Webcomics.com Poll: Buffer Size
I decided to follow last year’s poll on buffer size with a more specific question about the actual size of the buffers held by our members.
As you may remember, last year’s poll centered on the member’s opinion about the size of their buffer and how that size work for their webcomic.
This year, the question asked members to simply report the size of their buffer. Here are the results, with 98 members participating.
Surprisingly, just over half of the respondants had absolutely no buffer. After that, the buffer size seems to be fairly well-dispersed across the spectrum — with about the same number of respondants reporting a buffer of one as those reporting thirty or more updates in their buffer.
Reading the responses to the original invitation to participate in the poll, a common comment seemed to be that respondents were reporting no buffer, but they’d actually like to build one — or at least have some back-ups ready to go in case they were in danger of missing a post.
The Stay-At-Home Con
The question then becomes, what can you do to build that buffer? Myself, I’m in favor of the stay-at-home con technique. When I recently crossed a couple of conventions off my schedule (because my past appearances lost money instead of making profit), I took some of those weekends and treated them as if I’d actually gone. For all intents and purposes — from the standpoint of my family — I was gone that weekend. I’d be home at night, of course, but for the hours of the convention, I worked on my strip. The buffer I built during this time was (a) definitely better than losing money again and (b) could arguabley have been more valuable than the meager profit that I may have made that weekend.
It was a great way to justify to myself that I had made the right choice in skipping those conventions.
Some of the strips ran right away. Others, I held back to insert into the run at a later time. It was a great luxury to know that I literally could not be thrown for a loss by Real Life issues such as sickness and family priorities. It actually gave me more confidence when I sat down to write. I knew that I was covered, no matter what, and that lead to a much more relaxed, natural process for me.