Joey Manley, publisher of Modern Tales, the leading subscription service for webcomics, announced today that it has launched the first-ever affiliate sales program (to his knowledge) in the field.
Modern Tales launched March 2, 2002, and has grown into a significant online revenue generator, with thousands paying subscribers and hundreds of thousands of non-paying readers in any given month. This kind of popularity is common among webcomics sites — some webcomics sites, such as Penny-Arcade, can boast millions of monthly readers. However, success on the scale of Modern Tales’ for a subscription-based, pay-to-view business model, is virtually unheard of in the webcomics world. According to Manley, the business has grown with very little cash outlay for marketing or promotional purposes, depending on word-of-mouth and, as Manley says, “the enthusiasm of our core audience for our quality online publications.”
The Modern Tales Affiliate Sales Program is designed to play to this strength, and buttress it with cold, hard cash for Modern Tales fans who help spread the word about the company’s four subscription-based webcomics publications. Manley expects that most of the Affiliates will be the company’s own customers — but Affiliates are not required to purchase subscriptions in order to participate in the program. “We’re happy working with just about anybody who has a website — a blog — an online radio station — anybody, really.”
Modern Tales’ content mix includes up-and-coming young unknowns as well as well-established artists and writers from the comic book field. Some of the better-known cartoonists whose work may be found on one or more of the Modern Tales websites include several past winners and nominees for the comics industry’s highest awards, the Eisner Awards and the Ignatz Awards: Roger Langridge, Jason Shiga, James Kochalka, Damon Hurd, Michael Hawthorne, Tom Hart, Nick Bertozzi, Derek Kirk Kim, and even “American Splendor” author Harvey Pekar, and “From Hell” artist Eddie Campbell, as well as many, many others.
Modern Tales’ four subscription-based publications are as follows:
ModernTales.com: a wide variety of webcomics
serializer.net: so-called “artcomics” for the sophisticated reader — the webcomics world’s closest cousin to an art film house or a coffeeshop poetry jam
GirlAMatic: webcomics (mostly) by women, (mostly) for women, with an emphasis on Japanese-pop-culture influenced “manga.”
GraphicSmash: webcomics for the action-addicted.
Subscriptions cost $2.95/month. Affiliates may earn referral fees amounting to $1 — about 30% of the total sale for a monthly subscription — when they bring qualified new subscribers in to any of these four websites.
More information about the new Affiliate Seller Program can be found at the Affiliate Seller Program’s index page on the Modern Tales site:
More information about Modern Tales itself can be found here: