Best of Webcomics.com — September 2017
September was an excellent example of the tremendous value offered by a subscription to Webcomics.com. My readers got early alerts on issues that would impact their businesses, helpful tutorials, insightful analysis, and meaningful feedback on their work. Here are some samples of what you may have missed…
Patreon Hot Seat
The detailed analysis of members’ Patreon strategies continued last month. We’ve seen some very good applications of some of the approaches suggested here at Webcomics.com. One member wrote:
I transformed my Patreon back in May with a bunch of advice from Webcomics.com, in fact. The Webcomic Confidentials on Cargo Cults and The Death of Ads, as well as a few articles including 12 ways you’re doing Patreon wrong were huge eye-openers for me. (also the one on not doing cons anymore and focusing on Patreon and Kickstarters).
And here’s the numbers to back up their claim:
Webcomics Confidential Ep 27 — Getting a Quote from a Printer
We’re discussed one of the most complicated parts of self-publishing a book — getting quotes from printers. We’ll talk about how to prepare for the quote request —and then how to make sense of it once it arrives! Plus, pitfalls and common mistakes to avoid. [Subscribers can view the entire video tutorial]
What is the standard size for a comic strip?
A Webcomics.com member asked me: What’s the standard size for a comic strip?
There’s no such thing as a “standard” comic-strip size — at least, not in the sense that there once was. But — over the years — a sort of accepted norm has developed. This was a Free Friday post, and you can read the rest right here.
Webcomics Confidential Ep 28 — Group Projects
Someone on the Internet got under my skin, and all you got was this lousy episode of Webcomics Confidential! A poorly-thought-out suggestion for a comics anthology posted on Facebook raises my ire, and I turn on the cameras and start venting. Folks, running a group project is a lot more complicated than chirping “Let’s put on a show!” And if you don’t understand what you’re getting into, it could come back and bite you later. Let’s take a not-so-starry-eyed look at the reality behind group projects…
Webcomics Confidential Ep 29 — Creative Cocoon
You’ve been doing your webcomic for over ten years now, and you’re just not getting anywhere. Worse yet, you have family obligations and other pressures that make it hard for you to devote time to your craft. It’s time to make the hard decision — not to quit — but to let your creativity cocoon for a more opportune time. [Subscribers can view the entire video]
Webcomics Confidential Ep 30 — Facing the Truth
This is a follow-up to Episode 29, when we talked about decided when to quit webcomics — or, more appropriately, take time for a creative cocoon. We have the response from the person who originally wrote in, plus we’ll talk about a cartoonist who thinks that readers won’t buy indie comics. Correction: They won’t buy crappy indie comics. [Subscribers can view the entire video]
Webcomics Confidential Ep 31 — What’s wrong with indie comics?
Independent comics have been on my mind recently — specifically, how can we as indie comics artists better present our work to a comics-buying public that seems to be cooling on Marvel and DC? [Subscribers can view the entire video]
“What a Waste of Time” — Handling Online Criticism
I was lucky enough to get a generous review on io9.com a few years ago. And in the comments section under the review, the response was overwhelmingly positive. I was being tweeted, and e-mailed and Liked.
It was a really good weekend.
Until I read this.
“I tried giving this comic a read, and it wasn’t funny at all.
What a waste of time.”
My pageviews were astronomical. People were clearly pouring through the archives. And the positive comments were kind to say the least. Obviously, I was doing something right.
But you know which comment stayed with me: “What a waste of time.”
Shipping Comics Using Media Mail
There seems to be some misinformation going around about whether it’s legal to ship comics using the Media Mail service of the U.S. Postal Service.
Since misunderstanding this could cost you thousands, let’s get it straightened out now.
Here’s the passage on the USPO Web site regarding comics and Media Mail — with the pertinent passage in bold.
Media Mail packages may not contain advertising. Comic books do not meet this standard. Books may contain incidental announcements of other books and sound recordings may contain incidental announcements of other sound recordings. In accordance with standards in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), Section 170, Media Mail packages must have a delivery address and the sender’s return address and are subject to inspection by the Postal Service™. Upon such inspection, matter not eligible for the Media Mail rate may be assessed at the proper price and sent to the recipient postage due, or the sender may be contacted for additional postage.
So, if you’re shipping graphic novels that do not contain advertising, you can use Media Mail to do so — as long as those graphic novels don’t contain ads.
If you’re shipping floppies — i.e. monthly comics that contain advertising — then you may not use Media Mail.