This post has been submitted by Webcomics.com member Cameron Davis, creator of Blow the Cartridge and Rose. I thought I’d share an experiment I’ve been running over the past few weeks with Blow The Cartridge and see if there’s anything […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
It just struck me in the shower this morning… the nominations for the Harvey Awards haven’t been announced. A quick check of my previous posts shows me that nominations had usually opened in late February or early March. Then, when I […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
Webcomics Confidential Ep 18 — Launching a Book… Common Mistakes...
A Webcomics.com member wrote in asking me to talk about common mistakes webcartoonists make when they’re preparing to do their first book. I started thinking about it, and there are a lot of them! I know because I made almost each […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
I consider good lettering to be crucial to the success of a comic. It’s very simple. If you make it hard for your readers to read the comic, they won’t. So I opneded up a Hot Seat critique that just focuses […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
It’s Q&A time on today’s Webcomics Confidential! A Webcomics.com member writes: I was hoping you could talk a little social media strategy sometime. I was terrible for being that “go check out my comic” person but I get completely stumped as […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
Some cartoonists have been asking me to give them my thoughts on their Patreon pages. And I’ve opened up a new Hot Seat critique series based on members’ Patreons. And — honestly, I’m a little obsessed — when I see […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
I deleted my Tapastic account because they granted themselves right of first refusal in their updated Terms of Service agreement (TOS). After I deleted my account with them, Bleeding Cool reported a response from the company to the angry backlash over the rights-grab: […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
It’s time for Webcomics Confidential Episode 6! I take on a couple pf good questions. First — Are smaller comic conventions really better for webcartoonists? And then — Patreon backers who come and go… are they a problem? I’ll answer both of those questions and manage to insult vegans all at the same time.
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This is a re-post from the Webcomics.com archive. If you’ve ever been curious about the kind of information, tutorials and advice that you’ll get as part of your subscription to Webcomics.com, this is a good example.
If you’d like to join the site, consider a subscription! You’ll get a steady flow of information, tutorials and advice targeted towards your webcomic business — plus a private forum to discuss issues with other professionally minded cartoonists.
Forget the Stretch Goal. The Add-on is where it’s at — especially if it’s a digital add-on!
Editor’s Note: The Add-on was a huge part of the success of my own recent Kickstarter. However, there’s a new twist — Backerkit. We’ll be talking more about that in an upcoming post.
Whenever a Kickstarter campaign attains its goal, it’s expected that the creator will announce a Stretch Goal. I know that was the expectation when I hit my funding goal with two weeks of campaigning to go. But I really didn’t have a good Stretch Goal lined up. My readers have never strongly supported merchandise outside of the graphic-novel line, so maquettes, action figures and toys were out.Heck, I’ve never even seen a strong enough demand for hardcover editions to justify that expense. Besides, adding all of that stuff to the mix means accounting for extra shipping expenses, and I wasn’t certain that I was going to be able to hit a Stretch Goal if it accounted for all of the extra money that would be needed.
And — really — now that I’ve reached my goal, isn’t it wiser to simply run up the numbers for the current Kickstarter? I mean, I have a three-volume omnibus book that I want to pitch to my readers, but I think it’s better to let that stand on its own merits — with its own Kickstarter.
However, I did want to maximize the money I’d be able to generate in the next two weeks of Kickstarter funding.
And that’s when I discovered the beauty of the Add-on.
The Kickstarter Add-on was pioneered by tabletop-gaming project creators, who have used them to allow backers to add expansion packs, extra cards and game pieces. Since then, add-ons have become popular for projects in every category.
I offered a single Add-on — a PDF that collected the NSFW comics I was doing for Patreon since last April. I alerted my Kickstarter backers that it would be available as a $20 add-on. That announcement went out on April 7.
Three days later, I’ve seen $720 in increased pledges.
How does the add-on work?
Instruct them to press the ‘Manage Your Pledge’ button on the Kickstarter page for the item. If they haven’t pledged yet, this will say “Back This Project.”
Instruct them to increase your pledge by $XX. TELL THEM NOT TO CHANGE THEIR REWARD TIER.
After the Kickstarter campaign has ended, you will send out a survey. If a backer pledged at least $XX over their reward tier, you will give them an opportunity to indicate that, and then will send them the PDF when you fill their order.
To maximize the impact of this add-on, it should be a digital reward. If that’s not feasible, it should at least be something lightweight that will not significantly increase the shipping cost of the item. Remember, Media Mail rates are applicable only to bounded, printed material. If you throw something different into that package, it no longer qualifies for Media Mail rates.
Keep in mind… a Kickstarter is basically a preorder on a line of merchandise. If the Kickstarter is successful, you’ve covered the start-up costs on that merchandise. If that happens early, it’s risky to try to launch a second piece of merchandise at the same time — especially if you haven’t properly gauged the extra cost and/or the demand.
I think it’s much wiser to simply maximize this preorder cycle, and let that second line of merchandise stand — or fall — on its own merits.
We’ve all heard of “shameless self-promotion,” but there’s such a thing as shameFUL self-promotion — and that’s low-yield, pointless, ineffective promotion. If you’ve ever posted “check out my web-comic” then you’re guilty, too. Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of poor promotion — and, more importantly, learn how to do the kind of effective promotion that your comic deserves.
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We’re going to run TWO Hot Seats concurrently — Book covers and lettering. Lettering is crucial to improving the quality of your comic. Let’s talk about upping your lettering game. Hit the Comments and give me…
March 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.
Patreon rewards that work
Here’s a guest post by Webcomics.com member Jake Parker. He originally wrote it in the forum, but I thought he made a lot of points that I’d like to present to a wider audience. He’s talking about setting up Patreon rewards that work. [Subscription post]
Podcast interview: “Webcomics Must Change or Die”
I was fortunate enough to be interviewed on Comic Pop. There’s a lot of stuff there — much of it based on the posts I’ve made here over the past several months.
That appearance touched off such a positive response, I decided to take Webcomics Confidential out of mothballs and re-imagine it…
Chances are, your webcomic site is set up based on what webcomics were in 2005. Title image at the top — and probably way too big — and a comic strip. And if you’re not able to pull off a satisfying, standalone piece of storytelling in that strip, you’ve already lost the game. [Subscription post]
The return of the e-mail list
I got a chance to bend Cory Casoni’s ear while I was in Seattle for Emerald City Comicon. Cory is the business manager for Scott Kurtz (PvP, Table Titans). The subject of Patreon came up several times during the course of the week, and I learned something very interesting about one of their most popular Patreon tiers. It was something I’d assumed that most of us had stopped doing around 2005. [Subscription post]
Webcomics Confidential Ep 2 — The Best Patreon Rewards
In the second Webcomics Confidential, I answer questions from members, including: What kinds of [Patreon] rewards do you notice patrons find more desirable? Is it the connection to the creator, exclusive content, or perhaps physical rewards like a “____ of the month club”? Here’s an excerpt…
Comic Easel’s Transcript function — and some solid blogging strategy
This was originally offered by Phil Hofer in the forum, but I wanted to pull it out here to make it easier to find in case anyone was looking for this answer later. The question was: Is there any advantage to using Comic Easel’s Transcript function to input comic’s script. Does it provide any SEO advantage? [Free post! Read it now!]
Webcomics Confidential Ep 3 — “How do I get more patrons on Patreon?”
For the third episode of Webcomics Confidential, we talk about one of the perennial questions in crowdfunding: “How do I get more patrons on Patreon?” Here’s an excerpt…
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future of webcomics. We’re in a period of significant upheaval, and rather than be frightened, I’m focusing on the opportunities that present themselves in such times.
And the results aren’t all bad. For example, once we remove ad revenue from the equation, we’re free to rethink many things that were no-brainers for over a decade of Web publishing. And one of the biggies is this…
Webcomics Confidential Ep 4 — The end (for me) of comic conventions
I’ve announced that I am canceling all future comic-convention appearances, and I think it’s time for independent artists to consider doing the same. When you judge the numbers objectively, it becomes hard to justify one more Artist Alley table. Here’s an excerpt…
If you’re like many cartoonists, you learned Photoshop long before you learned any other image-manipulation software. As Manga Studio 5 EX continues to make converts out of us, I thought it would be useful to post a guide to manga Studio from the perspective of someone who, like myself, once saw all image-manipulation through the lens of Photoshop.
Many of the shortcuts, processes and commands are identical. But there are some old habits that you’ll need to dispatch — and still other new tricks to learn that were never possible before. [Free post! Read it now!]
ComicPOP inteview — The ins and outs of NSFW comics
The mighty Sal Crivelli from ComicPOP talks to me about NSFW comics — and specifically the role crowdfunding has played in their re-emergence.
In today’s show, veteran webcartoonist Brad Guigar (Evil, Inc.) drops an onslaught of mega-ton knowledge bombs on everything from Kickstarter to Patreon to creating better comics. You’re going to want to listen to this session at least twice!
The state of the webcomics business model in 2017 from the guy who literally wrote the book on webcomics.
What Brad wishes he focused more on in the early days.
How Brad’s entire business almost went belly up a few years ago… and the crowdfunding platform that saved it. (Spoiler: He’s not talking about Kickstarter.)