Best of Webcomics.com — December 2016
November was an excellent example of the tremendous value offered by a one-year subscription to Webcomics.com ($2.50 a month). My readers got early alerts on issues that would impact their businesses, helpful tutorials, insightful analysis, and meaningful feedback on their work.
If you’re curious about joining, we’ve made it easier than ever with a $5 trial membership. You’ll get full access to the site for thirty days so you can see what you’ve been missing. At the end of the trial, you can choose to re-subscribe ($30 for 12 months of access) or walk away with no strings attached. You will not be re-billed unless you choose to subscribe.
End of the year, end of the line
Without a doubt, this post got the biggest response from my subscribers. It talks about a subject that most of us are too afraid to broach: When is it time to quit?
I got an Instant Message on Facebook today:
Maybe quitting my Webcomic
Sorry to bother u
Just to say thanks for the support
Yup, it’s that time again. Many of us are reaching the end of the year, and taking a long, hard look at whether we should be continuing in the following year. And that brings a heavy dollop of grief… and feelings of failure.
As if the holidays weren’t challenge enough.
We had a really good discussion, and since I think it applies to many of us, I got permission to share it here. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
Should you be prepping for a subscription-based future?
One of the major developments of 2015 is the sudden spike in ad-blocking software. In October, I wrote that Web publishing had seen the tipping point for ad blockers — in other words, we’ve crossed a threshold that we can’t cross back over. Use of ad blockers has started reaching mid-level users (instead of being a feature used only by the tech-savvy among us). And that means that consumers will soon come to expect this feature. Furthermore, if Firefox or Chrome were to cease their support of ad-blocking software, a new browser would pop up and gobble up the dissatisfied consumers.
Nope, we’re not going back to an ad-supported publishing system.
Where are we going? I’m glad you asked.
As this trend continues, it’s pretty easy to extrapolate a logical outcome… [NO SUBSCRIPTION NEEDED! Read this post right now]
Here’s a great tip on creating custom calendar quickly in Adobe Indesign. This is perfect for print projects — as well as handy desktop wallpapers you can offer to customers and Patreon backers. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
Wizard World started last month with an announcement that Stephen Shamus had been fired. According to the NY Post, “Stephen Shamus, 42, helped select celebrities for fan gatherings run by Wizard World, which pays stars to show up and sign autographs for fans — but often fenagled the high-profile figures into signing memorabilia for him personally.” Read the entire piece here. Shamus has since filed a counter-suit, according to Bleeding Cool, denying all charges, claiming that Wizard owed him over a million bucks — and asserting that the stress from his ordeal put him in the hospital. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
Clickthulu — A New Webcomics CMS
If you’ve been looking for a new Content Management System (CMS) to replace your current publishing system, Webcomics.com member Matt Sowers (RSCI Publishing) wants you to know about Clickthulu. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
As you may recall, Webcomics.com informed you about VAT MOSS in 2014:
On January 1, the European Union (EU) is changing the way Value-Added Tax (VAT) is applied to digital goods. And its rules affect not only member countries, but countries outside of the EU as well. So, if you are selling digital goods (ebooks, music, apps, etc.) to someone who lives in the EU, the business — not the consumer — is responsible for the collection and remittance of the necessary VAT. This, of course, is a reversal from traditional VAT collection, which placed the burden on the consumer (if at all).
As a matter of fact, this site assembled a report card on third-party providers like Gumroad, Patreon, ComiXology, and Paypal on how they handled this burden on behalf of their clients.
Earlier this month, the European Commission announced a set of proposed sweeping reforms to the VAT MOSS structure. And it includes information you’re going to want to know. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
In the past, I’ve been encouraging members to consider a Christmas break. But, in view of how reading habits on the Web have changed so drastically over the past few years, my attitude has changed.
I think you’re a masochist if you don’t give yourself some sort of winter-holiday break. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
Webcomics.com Poll: Whom would you hire?
The most recent Webcomics.con Poll asked: “If I could hire one person to help my webcomics business, it would be a(n)…”
The results weren’t particularly surprising. The top response (27%) was “Business Manager.”
But here’s the real question…
Would you actually follow a business manager’s advice?
A business manager would certainly make some very stringent requests on you. Including… [Subscribers can read the entire post]
It’s a question that vexes Patreon creators every month — why do people cancel their pledges? After all, it’s hard not to take it personally. This is a much more intimate relationship than we’ve had with our readers in the ad-supported model. When we lose a patron, it feels more like a break-up. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
When I worked in newspapers, December always meant end-of-the-year lists. Every writer in every department would file one. Why? Well, I guess they can be pretty interesting. But more importantly, they’re easy content to churn out during the busy holiday season.
Once I became a self-publisher I saw the wisdom in that. Besides, I’m always looking for blog content, and this one’s a no-brainer.
So let’s discuss a quick-and-easy way to generate a top-10 list for your comic. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
Patreon-exclusive comics — case studies
I’ve been saying for a while that you’re making a mistake if you’re not thinking about offering exclusive comics through Patreon. To help prove that point, I’d like to talk about a couple of people who asked my advice on the topic — and put it to use. Their results speak for themselves. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
Getting paid for a project is always great — except for the first time you get asked to submit an invoice. If you’ve ever been embarrassed to admit that you didn’t know how to do this routine business task, here’s a quick primer. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
Clip Studio Paint announces Clip Studio Assets
Clip Studio Paint is strongly recommended by Webcomics.com as a premiere comics-creation software. Their recent update — CSP 1.6.2 — adds a feature with tons of potential — Clip Studio Assets. Here’s what you need to know… [Subscribers can read the entire post]
If you break your stories down into chapters — to make it easier for your readers to jump in at different entry points — you may get to the point that the sheer number of chapters you’re offering makes updating your comic cumbersome. Here’s a Pro Tip to make it easier. [Subscribers can read the entire post]
It’s time to chart a path
This is a time that many of us start daydreaming about the coming year. We have hopes, plans, goals, and dreams. We have so much we want to accomplish. And yet, it’s going to seem like this year — like the one before it — will whoosh past us, leaving so much stuff left undone. And there we’ll be, the following December, daydreaming goals for the next year.
The fact is, our lives are too complicated to rely on goals alone. After all, daydreams take a back seat to day jobs every time. Throw in family life and personal issues, and it’s a wonder wo accomplish anything at all!
So, as you’re looking ahead to 2017, here’s a suggestion that can help you actually achieve some of those goals — even the lofty ones — that hover on the horizon. [Subscribers can read the entire post]