I polled my Patreon backers, and I asked them one simple question: How did you find out about my Patreon? The answers were surprising to me, so I made the poll ongoing — making the question a part of the […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
I’m aware of some issues members are having accessing the site. I’m working on getting them fixed as quickly as possible. I appreciate your patience, and I assure you, the site will be fully functional very soon!
Today’s show is brought to you by Wacom — makers of the powerful, professional, portable Wacom One! Are you self-conscious about self-promotion? Brad has a suggestion: Talk about your Pride or talk about your Joy. It’s a bulletproof marketing technique! Questions asked and topics […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
Comicraft, makers of excellent digital fonts for comics and cartooning, is having a half-off sale that ends July 31. The sale price will be applied upon checkout and applies to all fonts. Here’s a few that I highly recommend…
It can be frustrating to “hit the wall” in your creative output, but — speaking from experience — that wall isn’t a wall. And once you realize what’s actually happening, you’ll feel a lot better about your journey as an artist.
ComicLab Ep 187 — The Pulitzer No-Prize for Editorial Cartooning
Today’s show is brought to you by Wacom — makers of the powerful, professional, portable Wacom One! What’s your elevator pitch? If you had to sum up your comic for a new reader, could you do it effectively in under 60 seconds? Questions asked […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...
Through the Facebook page of the National Cartoonist Society, former NCS president Bill Morrison shared his recent experience with a check scammer that many people who accept freelance commissions have encountered. Let’s talk about how it works and how to avoid it.
The content you are trying to access is only available to members.
I accept criticism on my art from two sources: peers who are on a similar journey who I reach out to for advice (like an art-school critique, for example) and people with a demonstrated proficiency in my field. You’ll notice that the list does not include comments from individual readers or people who claim to be critics on websites, podcasts, social media or video. Here’s why…
The content you are trying to access is only available to members.
While I was hosting my webinar* on webcomics for the Graphic Artists Guild, a comment came in from one of the attendees. This person said, “I think people avoid reading my comic because the archive is so big.”
I disagree. I’ll talk about why, and then discuss some strategies for creators with large archive.
If you’ve convinced yourself that readers avoid your comic because your comic is too big, I want you to consider something.
When is the last time you were reading a book and said…
“I love this book! This is a tremendous book! The characters! The plot! I’ve never enjoyed the simple act of reading so much. There’s only one thing…
“I wish there wasn’t so MUCH of it!”
You’ve never said that. No one in their right mind has ever said that. It’s nonsense. Conversely, have you ever said something like this…
“I love this book! This is a tremendous book! When I got to the last page, I go depressed because I knew it was coming to an end.”
See my point? If your comic is good — if it connects with its audience — that archive can never be large enough! If it has 4,000 comics, your audience will scream for 8,000.
But if it’s not good, your archive can never be small enough.
That’s not to say that handling a big archive doesn’t come with some challenges. So, let’s talk about some smart archive strategies.
If you’re like most of us, your archive is organized by whatever default system is in place. More than likely, it’s assembled by date. The problem is… nobody has ever said, “Y’know… I’m really in the mood to read a comic from May 2014.”
Your archive should be organized by content. If you’re doing a storyline-based comic, this is easy. The archive should be divided into those individual story arcs. And you should be identifying good places for a newcomer to jump in. You should have story synopses placed in strategic locations to facilitate these jumping-in spots.
If your comic isn’t storyline-based, you should be grouping your comics by topic. For example, a comic about cats could have the following categories…
comics about scratching posts
comics about knocking things off the table
comics about trips to the vet
comics about being finicky about food
comics about emotional aloofness
You can take that strategy one step further and assemble those archive breakdowns into eBooks. Let’s face it. Your website offers a good reading experience, but an eBook is faster and cleaner. And, if you’re on a mobile device or a handheld tablet, an eBook is probably preferential.
Take the advice from the preceding section and build eBooks to sell on your site.
In the early days of webcomics, a large archive was beneficial. More comics meant more web pages, and more web pages meant more ads. With a large archive (and a little savvy SEO) you could generate a significant amount of ad revenue through people just bumping into random comics on the Web.
Well, the ad market has evaporated, and people are finding their new content on social media. And your large archive is mostly an added expense (in terms of bandwidth and hosting).
So you should be using the Patreon WordPress plug-in to put a large portion of your archive behind a paywall. This is an excellent reward to offer people at the lowest ($2) tier of your Patreon — unlimited access to the archive. And it’s the only way you’re going to benefit financially from that collection of work besides eBooks and printed books.
A large archive is not a barrier to success. If your work is good, it’s a tremendous advantage. And using some very straightforward, common-sense thinking you can use that advantage to its full potential.
I’m a firm believer in basing a Patreon campaign on exclusive content, and then over-delivering. I try to post for my backers as often as possible — and as early as possible. Here’s a great way to do just that.
At the beginning of the month, I like to throw as many posts at my Patreon backers as I can. This is a great way to welcome new members and remind older backers why they enjoy participating in my Patreon. Remember, some of these folks may have forgotten they had subscribed, and now they’re evaluating whether to continue now that they see the withdrawal from their account!
A quick and easy way for me to do this is to offer them an impressive array of rewards at the beginning of the month. This includes…
Desktop backgrounds (with the new month’s calendar)
Backgrounds for mobile devices
I choose a piece of art from the previous month’s offerings for the image. This might be a commission, a single-panel cartoon, or an attractive panel from a comic.
I’ve gathered some screen sizes and aspect ratios from popular mobile devices and desktop monitors. I include a printable version at letter size as well as A4 for my European backers. And backers are always welcome to suggest a new size.
There are about 30 different sizes. The entire thing takes about forty-five minutes to complete.
Plus — BONUS — since they’re based on popular monitor ratios, four of these will work perfectly as Zoom backgrounds for many of your backers.
This really depends on your laptop and the webcam it uses. Most built-in webcams in modern laptops are either 720p or 1080p, which means they have a 16:9 aspect ratio. 16:9 images include those of 1280 x 720 pixels and 1920 x 1080 pixels. Some webcams have (or can be set to) a 4:3 aspect ratio, which includes images of 1024 x 768 pixels and 1280 x 1024 pixels.