Skip to main content

MAKING A LIVING: What do you consider a LIVING WAGE?

Just curious what other webcomic creators or enthusiasts consider a living wage in webcomics? While it is possible to make just as much money as you could with another profession, it's not very likely at this moment in webcomics.What would you consider a success for a webcartoonist to make?A grand a month or more? Less?

Re: MAKING A LIVING: What do you consider a LIVING WAGE?

awcomix's picture

It would have to be at least $500 a week if you're not single and in share housing. Although if you only spend part of your day making the comic then it stands to reason that you nly need to earn part of a days wage, so therefore $50-$100 per strip would be appropriate

Let's not forget business

Let's not forget business sense, either. I think that this is a huge barrier for people considering doing comics, web or otherwise, as a major source of income. I know it has been for me. Unfamiliarity with business practices and how to advance and actually deal with the money end of things is quite the hinderance when you want to break in. Getting to the point where you even have what one could consider a livable wage seems like a mystical process.

---

Metrophor, a webcomic of dystopian fantasy- http://metrophor.org

 

---

Metrophor, a webcomic of dystopian fantasy- http://metrophor.org

I think a grand a month

bobweiner's picture

I think a grand a month would be considered a success. A few years back I was making $400 per webcomic published in EE Times (one per week). That, along with a few freelance webcomic gigs, added up to almost $20 grand for the year. Would be nice to get those numbers again. -Krishna

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies" http://www.pcweenies.net

The answer's relative to

Fabricari's picture

The answer's relative to what else you've got going on. If you have a wife and kid, mortgage, car payment, a grand is prolly not enough to quit the day job. It's prolly fine if you're single, living in an apartment with roomates, and in, uh, Montana. Yeah, I had to stop trying to measure comic success with money, cuz it always just got me down. Of course, if you could marry a rich person, and stay at home, or stay with mom and dad and make comics in the basement, then you're set. All you have to do to be successful is put the comic out on time. Or you could put an ad out in the classified: "Benefactor Wanted!" Like Great Expectations. :twisted:

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Define "making a living" If

Define "making a living" If you mean as a supplement to another job, then any amount can be helpful... but making enough to pay for supplies, bandwidth fees, and so forth would be a good thing. If you mean as your primary job and primary bread earner... again, it depends on your circumstances. Are you trying to pay a mortgage, buy groceries, and so forth? If so... then $400 a week might be the bare minimum of what you want (depending, of course, on where you live). If you have a wife making a good-sized income, then that may go down. And if you've an out-of-work wife, several children, and bills and such to pay... then you might be looking upward toward $600+ a week. In a way, this is much like writing for a living, except you've an ongoing paycheck rather than a lump sum for each story published (if you're publishing in magazines, for instance).

You might be able to make a

Tyler Martin's picture

You might be able to make a living wage from your comic, but not necessarily a living, since you might not be working at if full time like you would another job. If you put in a couple hours a day on it, Mon-Fri and made around $400 a month with it then you would be making like $10 an hour. So then you just need to double that or cut your time in half and make $20 an hour. :D

This is somewhat similar to

This is somewhat similar to a post I was thinking of making, but never got around to. With Aikida, I make enough money to support myself... anywhere from 600-1000 bucks a month. Like Jerry Holkins said many moons ago "Something I want to communicate to people doing comics on the web is that you would be truly shocked to find out how little a person can live on if they can cultivate a taste for Top Ramen." For me, sub in sandwiches and hot dogs for ramen, but you get the point. It's not the best of times, but considering the traffic of my website and the fact that I'M DRAWING COMICS FOR FUCKING MONEY, it's still pretty cool. I'll consider it a "success" when I can live just a bit more comfortably, not like some kid making minimum wage at the Olive Garden.

I'm sort of my own patron.

Greg Carter's picture

I'm sort of my own patron. Barring the rare big IT project it's a strictly M-F 9-5 job with great pay and benefits. Perfect for supporting this comic obsession of mine as well as my family. Even with an active family life - two teenage daughters, one starting college next year - if I'm careful I'll always have the time and money to support everything. The web hosting cost is low and stable and I spend whatever extra I can on a tiny bit of selective advertising and getting in the Artist Alley at conventions. The AA thing is more for promotion and ego stroking because it doesn't pay for itself yet either. I get almost no fan mail or forum activity but I'm finally starting to meet readers at conventions. I'm not ready for rabid fans anyway. This puts me in a good position for the future because it doesn't matter how slow I grow my audience as long as I see it's growing. Also, I'm totally my own boss when it comes to the comic. So when I wanted to dump the first year of strips because I got much better at it, I could ignore everyone who said don't do it. Readership has more than tripled in the months since then. I'm still learning this game and while I'd like for the comic to pay for itself one day, I'm in no hurry. And it might not even be this same comic that does it. The money is there to be made though. It take a bit of luck and a lot of hard work. I know several artists that are about as unknown as I am that make not quite a living wage, but make a decent profit. And as more people discover webcomics there will be more money available. 

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

While it's important to

Fabricari's picture

While it's important to keep your promise to your readers and deliver a comic on time(point at self and laugh) - it's a much healthier attitude to create a comic you love, first and foremost. You're gonna spend more time with it than anyone else. I have a job that pays better than I deserve, and it covers all my costs to make comics. So I got rid of the tip button and got rid of the google ads. I don't think it really helps make the comic any better if you don't need it. Maybe I'll add some merch or donation wallpapers, but at least folks would be getting something for their money. I'd just take that money and throw it back into the comic anyway. That aside, I like being able to give the comic away for free. I like having people read my comic - that's why I post comics in the webs in the first place. 

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Perhaps I have no soul, but

Tim  Demeter's picture

Perhaps I have no soul, but I do care about money. Not necessarily in terms of counting pennies, I do just fine at my day job and anything I make is beer money, but I do tend to think that if digital comics are to prosper like I think they can, and hope they will, they need to be a viable trade to attract all comers.

There are LOTS of talented people doing this right now, but there are a lot of other talented people out there that aren't interested in running a philanthropy. You should totally do it for love, I do it for love, in part, but I also think it's important for the medium at large to not be the giving tree of the entertainment industry.

If the creators of webcomics do not concern themselves with return outside of the good will of the fans (no small thing itself) then the world at large will be content to continue read and view them that way. Personally, I love this stuff and I want to devote more time to it, but until it can take care of a respectable slice of the practicality of life (and I have expensive tastes) I can only do so much. I know its fashionable to bag on Kurtz, and Tycho and Gabe, but personally I have a lot of admiration for these guys in that they took their product, packaged it and marketed it properly and now BAM they're doing it. I want to be doing it too. In short, DJ Coffman has the right idea in that $$ blog of his and everyone should read it.

Though as a P.S., if you're doing it completely for purity, as WG implied, then I think you're in the art community, not the entertainment industry (and certainly there's plenty that would prefer to be associated with the former, rather than the latter) and cash be damned then.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

There's totally nothing

There's totally nothing wrong in just being a hobbyist. I don't mean that as an insulting term either, some take offense to that phrase, but if you're content on just putting it up for fun, it is just your hobby. I think this question to webcomics or drawing ANY comics as a profession, specifically webcomics. Probably nothing better than loving what you do, AND making a living from it. Heck, it can be rewarding to even make anything monetarily from something you love doing. Looking toward the future of cartooning as a profession, I think it's imperative that people with an actual drive to do it for a living start treating it more like a business while having fun too.

"YIRMUMAH" wrote: I think

Tim  Demeter's picture

YIRMUMAH wrote:
I think it's imperative that people with an actual drive to do it for a living start treating it more like a business while having fun too.
Ah, clearer minds, thanks, that's totally what I was getting at. If you want to do it for kicks, do it for kicks, if you want to make it a gig, man-up and get to work.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

Fabricari's picture

Heh, I wanna make it clear, that while I do my comic for my own reasons and free - as a hobbiest - I have NOTHING against makin a dime off of it. Shit. If I could quit my day job and do this for a living I would.

I really think we need to get past words like "industry", "hobby" and "business model". In the end we make comics. We really need to, as a group, support however the comics get made. In the end the reader doesn't care about why the comic is made. I'm sorry but our lives and souls are not on the line. It's not worth drawing a line in the "T-Shirt Salesman", "Bitpass", or "Subscription" camps.

If I keep making my comic for free, and you all figure out a way to make money from it, then AWESOME! Hell, next year, one of you might come up with a new "business-model" that would suit me perfectly. And I won't feel the least bit guilty copying it.

That's why we're a community. We each go out and try to make things work in our own ways, and we come back and report on our successes and failures. That success is not just measured on the money we make, but how creating comics make us happy.

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Mark Mekkes's picture

Unfortunately this is kind of a loaded question. When looking at a "living wage" it's natural that people are going to jump in and start thinking about their personal expences.

Personally I've developed a standard of living (and debts) that a younger person would be able to start their professional career without. So for me a "living wage" is naturally going to be higher. But there's nothing about my work that would suggest that I deserve any more than anyone else.

Also, for younger artists, what may be a "living wage" now would naturally be expected to increase over the years allowing for cost of living and advanced experience. Sure, it'd be kind of romantic to live on mac and cheese in order to do what you love for a few years, but how long can you keep doing that?

Perhaps a better question would be "In a perfect world, how much should an average webcomic artist make per year?" Given that a cartoonists isn't required to live anywhere with a high cost of living, I'd love to see paychecks in the $30,000 - $50,000 range.

LineItemVito's picture

Instead of think of an annual salary, how about an hourly rate? Then honestly calculate how many hours you spend on webcomic production.

* My plumber charges $40/hour.
* My (advertised) rate as a programmer is $85/hour, though I usually charge less depending on the size of the job and history with the client.
* Minimum wage < $10/hour.

Creating webcomics is skilled labor. That should pay at least $25/hour, and more like the $40/hour plumber. If you work 40 hours a week on production (and be honest -- don't count reading comics and surfing the forums) then you'd earn:

* $ 50,000 a year @ 40 hours x 50 weeks x 25 dollars.
* $100,000 a year @ 40 hours x 50 weeks x 50 dollars.

But like most freelancers, you won't get 40 hours x 50 weeks of work. You'll spend lots of time on promotion, business, lost effort, idleness, etc. I try to charge $85/hour because I do productive, billable work only a fraction of my total time.

--Additional Edit // Forgot the summary: --
For myself, I probably spend 6-9 hours a week on webcomic production. So my annual salary might be:
6 hours x 50 weeks x $25: $ 7,500
9 hours x 50 weeks x $25: $11,250
6 hours x 50 weeks x $50: $15,000
9 hours x 50 weeks x $50: $22,500

My actual income from webcomics: $0.

Eddie

--
Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

You're right! An hourly

Mark Mekkes's picture

You're right! An hourly rate is much nicer to consider. And it might definately inspire people to work more. I know, for me, it's very easy to back track and think about how much I'm getting paid, then figure out how much work I'm willing to put into my art. Unfortunately there are way to many "stickmen" comics out there.

Greg Carter's picture

zortic wrote:
An hourly rate is much nicer to consider.
That's one way to look at it - as if you are doing work-for-hire for yourself. :) Any monetary answer is going to be unique to the situation of the person giving the number. I'm trying to think of a better way of asking it. So, if you are interested in such a thing, at what point would you, the creator, think you were monetarily successful in 2006? And/or how much $$ would make you say, "Wow, I should seriously consider doing this full time." Or if you are full time webcomicing already, what's your goal for 2006? Financial stuff is a confidential matter, so we're talking generalities here. Whatever a person is comfortable discussing. As for me, I look at myself as both worker and management. Right now the "capital investor" me is happy supporting the "artist" me until I'm ready to make a push to bring in more cash. I'm still in the investment stage, building a foundation. I've basically budgeted $6,000 dollars for this year (for the whole UpDown Studio). That's everything - web hosting, all convention costs (about 90% of the budget, I have to get a whole table if it's more than just me going, hotel, travel, food), art supplies, printing, t-shirts, buttons and other merchandise. That will get me the minimum. Anything I make adds onto that budget unless I hit a point where I don't need to spend that much. Honestly, I have no idea what that point is because I'm not ready to push too hard yet. That's not a relevant point. The relevant point is that I'm willing to spend that much this year basically in self-promotion. I may get a return on that investment in 2006 but I probably won't. I'm in for the long haul. I'd do this if comic on the web if there was no chance of making money, but because there is a chance at making money I'm willing to go the extra distance to make people aware of it. I want people to read my story. I need to promote it to make people aware of it so they have the chance to read it. It costs money to do all this effectively. There is nothing wrong with making money on your own art. No one has to apologize for wanting to make money on this. There is nothing wrong with promoting your own art either. I'm proud of what I'm doing. And I'm working on getting better at it. There's only the slightest chance I'll ever make enough money off comics to quit my day job. And I'm certainly not going to turn that money down if it comes a-knockin' (hint. hint. Hollywood). For everyone that wants to make a living at making webcomics - go for it! It looks like 2006 might be a good year for that.

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

Re: MAKING A LIVING: What do you consider a LIVING WAGE?

EricMillikin's picture

YIRMUMAH wrote:
Just curious what other webcomic creators or enthusiasts consider a living wage in webcomics?
A few years ago when I was sleeping in my car and living of Pop Tarts stolen from vending machines, I would have given a different response than today now that I am a rock star. There's some homeless dudes out here that make some sweet comics -- I should talk them into letting me post them online. They'd probably agree that a living wage > $0.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

I don't think I'd quit the

I don't think I'd quit the day job until the webcomic was making as much as or more money. But if earnings reached a significant amont, say, $1000 a month or so, I'd seriously consider changing to a job that allowed more free time to work on my comic.

Time on the Clock?

Mark Mekkes's picture

So if we're trying to consider how much we make relative to how much we work.... Does anyone mind if I ask how much time people put into their comic per week (on average)?

Personally, I like to put in about 40 hours aweek, but balancing that with an other 40+ hour job, plus housework doesn't always work out like I'd like to.

Re: Time on the Clock?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Oh... clock. I thought somebody new was joining us in the field of adult webcomics. Nevermind. Ghastly's Ghastly Comic takes anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a week to put together a strip from start to finish. It used to take considerably less time but now that I put more effort into my artwork the production time has increased. Apophenia take a lot of time too but the time I have to work on it is so erratic I don't really know for sure. I'd say probably 6 to 8 hours a page.

I guess the good/bad thing

I guess the good/bad thing about comics is that it takes the same amount of time to draw a strip whether it's read by 100 people or 10,000. If only I could suddenly increase my readership 100 fold, my hourly wages might improve :)

I used to take between 6-10

spargs's picture

I used to take between 6-10 hours to do three strips a week. Of course, often I spent a lot more time if I was feeling especially creative or frustrated that it didn't look quite right. Now I'm trying to balance comics and work, I'm trying to drastically reduce this time down without a reduction in quality. The odd thing is, whenever I go in with the mindset "I'm going to draw this comic really quickly", it seems to take me three times longer than normal. Many years ago I used to work full time and draw a full page superhero comic. That used to squeeze the life out of me like a peach on a vice.

[url=http://www.digi-comic.com][img]http://www.digi-comic.com/images/dcLilLink.gif[/img][/url]

Over the term, I was working

AbbyL's picture

Over the term, I was working 25 hours a week, taking 18 credits, heading two on-campus orgs, AND doing my full-page comic 3 times a week. Needless to say, my grades suffered.

i'm with zortic on that one

xmung's picture

i'm with zortic on that one - i have too many ongoing expenses that require a healthy pay cheque... and i'm still living quite frugally anyway!

Magellan - superhero cadets... their own worst enemy is themselves!

I'd be happy if, at the end

I'd be happy if, at the end of the year, my webcomic earnings were on par with my tax return. That'd make my wife delirious.

Re: Time on the Clock?

Fabricari's picture

zortic wrote:
Does anyone mind if I ask how much time people put into their comic per week (on average)?
Good topic, I'd like to hear what other's put in, as well. For me, I'm dreadfully slow, it takes me an average of 4 hours a strip, 3 times a week. But, if I wasn't drawing that time, I'd be wasting that time watching TV, anyway - so it's all free time as far as I'm concerned.

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

One Panel Project takes me

The William G's picture

One Panel Project takes me just under two hours to get each panel web ready the day they're posted. But that's both the plan and pretty obvious from looking at it. Bang Barstal is about five to six hours of my weekend from front to back. Depends on what's in the images and how anal I am about making sure the inking/ coloring is right.


it really depends on the

xmung's picture

it really depends on the amount of detail in a page (notably, the number of different characters i gotta draw) - but usually it can take 4-5 hours for a drawn/ fully coloured/ web ready page. and that's if i'm lucky. these days i try to include at least one panel per page that has a close-up of a character's face cos that helps cut down on the drawing time overall.

Magellan - superhero cadets... their own worst enemy is themselves!

Cheap rent is good

Tim  Demeter's picture

I passed on moving to Chicago and staying in Milwaukee for largely this reason, Cost of living is drastically lower and that rings the goal of full time comicing that much closer.

Tim Demeter
Reckless Life

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

Outsourcing myself

m_estrugo's picture

I've been thinking about outsourcing my own self so I could live on a much lower wage. I currently live in Spain, but have been thinking very seriously about establishing my residence in Chile, where prices are about four times cheaper than in Europe, and thus, I would need much less money to survive and even have a decent life, making webcomics one of my main sources of income.

One of the advantages of the Internet is that you can offer the same thing regardless on where in the world you are, and since I'm single, I've got no problems to relocate to Chile, a country I already know, since I lived in there for seven years when I was a little kid. Chile's also got cheap and modern access to the Internet, its living standards are pretty hig and it's a stable and dynamic country, so my choice was clear.

If things go as I plan them, I may be moving there in August. Time will tell if I took the right choice.


Compugasm: I'm not saying

Shishio's picture

Compugasm: I'm not saying it's easy to make money. Anyone can see that it's not, but that does not mean you should not work towards that goal.

You know what they say, "Nothing worth doing is easy", and "If you pick a profession you enjoy, you will never work a day of your life."

Xerxes: I realize that, but I think it would be nice to have a section of the site devoted to the topic, where the information can be collected in one place that people can add to rather than have a bunch of discussions dispersed over a number of forum threads.

Just a suggestion.

AdSense

I think AdSense is promoted more than it should be. I'm getting a standard 1:1000 rate of clicks with my AdSense. But why settle for $0.10 a click, when you could sell something for $3.95? For AdSense to equal that figure, would be somewhere around 50-150k clicks. Not ad impressions, but ad clicks.

If you look at Coffman's site, there’s lots of ways he collects pennies here and there from traffic. The best way, is probably the display of ads for his own book. I’m sure he could manage to sell one book, out of 50k clicks. So the return from that kind of self production/advertising, is many times what is made through AdSense. Besides, he has the option of selling advertising in his book.

If you're only making

djcoffman's picture

If you're only making 10cents a click on adsense, it's mostly because you're delivering low paying ads. You can't just stick the ads up and expect them to make a dollar a click- The real key is fine tuning your site, so that either the ads are very relevant to the topic of your comics, but not the keyword COMICS (those pay terrible!)-- the second key is placement and the actual number of ad units you use. You want to place adsense in place where the eyes and mouse often roll to, and allows them to an "exit" point. After bried articles is ideal, as well as closer to your navigation buttons, for people generally see the ads, and they can chose, 'DO I read the previous strip in this archive, or go check out this ad that's appealing to something I'm interested in?" Too many sites have bad exit strategies and just try to pack everything above the fold too often-- It's something you have to work toward and experiment with.

It would shock some of you to know that I know personally, 3 people who are a grand or more with adsense on their websites. I won't name them unless they want to come out themselves, but I assure you they do exist. It's a slippery slope and you're not really allowed to discuss your EXACT numbers, and it wouldn't be professional for me to out other people who haven't given me the permission to do so.

I wouldn't tell people to RELY on adsense, I know other guys who had steady income then it dropped off or worse, they got kicked out of the program for bad clicks, etc. I'd say it's safe to use it as side money to help fund other things for your own little webcomic empire though. Heck, if you make 100 one month, pop that into some stickers from thestickerguy.com or your own books through comixpress.com or if you make a little more, book a show... OR even better, take the money and advertise on other sites, creating a traffic turbine of your own, that will help increase your traffic and your ad revenue.

This is probably a newb

oolong's picture

This is probably a newb question, but how exactly does one change the category of ads displayed on their site? I suppose I could take a hint from spammers and fill my page comments with 'VIAGRA HERBAL PENIS ENLARGEMENT SEX AID' or whatever, but there must be a more subtle way than that.

And, for the record, I've made a grand total of $3 from my webcomic so far. :P

-------

oolong, if you're getting at

robhamm's picture

oolong, if you're getting at least 10,000 unique visitors a month I've got a potential solution for you.
http://www.bluecrashkit.com/tutorial6.php

D. Robert Hamm
Blue Crash Kit
BookMuncher

D. Robert Hamm
Blue Crash Kit
BookMuncher

Updated link to tutorial

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Rob's site still has this tutorial - just at a new URL.

____

Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

thanks for the tip! right

oolong's picture

thanks for the tip! right now i'm still in the low thousands, but i'll be sure and sign up once my comic gets more popular. *optimism*

-------

Here are a couple tips right

djcoffman's picture

Here are a couple tips right off the top of my head-- #1, in your meta tag you have "A webcomic (online comic strip)" - Drop the words "comic" "webcomic" and comic strip and focuse more about what your comic is actually about. You're overusing the word "comic" on your page a lot actually, and leaving the searchbots thinking thats the meat of your site. Since your using Wordpress, I suggest instead of just saying "Chapter 1 - Page 14" on your tiles of you post, give the Chapter a name? Or list them in categories maybe?

Since you're using Wordpress, I might also tell you to get the Technorati tags Plugin, where you can type then, topics, seperated, by, commas, like, this at the end of your posts. It'll help drive traffic in from blog search engines-- say you did a comic one day on Jesus-- BAM, you could have had Easter tags or something in there.

Other info that might help you at http://yirmumah.net/make_money

Exactly. All the more

Shishio's picture

Exactly. All the more reason to collect advice and opinions from multiple people.

I don't mean to be rude, but

Shishio's picture

I don't mean to be rude, but I believe that discussing ways to make money would be a much more productive area of discussion than how much web cartoonists need to make.

I know DJ Coffman has a blog devoted to what I described, and I am grateful that he cares enough about the industry to help it however he can, but I think it would be a great idea to go a step further by putting our heads together and sharing ideas to make webcomics more successful.

I think this would be an excellent feature to add to the site.

My apologies if I have been too presumptuous.

Re: I don't mean to be rude, but

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

[quote=Shishio]I don't mean to be rude, but I believe that discussing ways to make money would be a much more productive area of discussion than how much web cartoonists need to make.[/quote]

We do -- all the time. There are countless thread and posts on this subject throughout the 3+ year archive of the site.  Just use the shiny lil search box up top and I'm sure you'll find lots - honest!

 

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: I don't mean to be rude, but

[quote=Shishio]...I believe that discussing ways to make money would be a much more productive area of discussion..[/quote]

Hmm, I disagree. I can't tell you how many times, on a daily basis, I hear how "easy it is" to make a comic or a website. Most people should consider themselves lucky, to able to draw with a mouse.

I think the per hour breakdown is highly relevant, because it brings to light what all this education, and code fiddling, really is costing you as a creator.

Re: I don't mean to be rude, but

djcoffman's picture

The only problem with that is, what works for one person, won't work for someone else. There is no real cookie cutter answer to making money that people can use. It'll take a lot of trial and error for each individual creator to see what works. --- #1 has GOT to be, make your strip good. No amatuer hour stuff.

Hard and Fast numbers...

Howard Tayler's picture

Schlock Mercenary has not been my sole source of income from cartooning, but I have been the sole bread-winner under the roof here at the Tayler household.

Long story short: I need $3,000 per month to get by. That pays the mortgage, the car payment, the health insurance, and feeds six people.

In the past I've had some corporate clients to help make ends meet. I've also nearly depleted the savings I went into this with. The goal, of course, was to get the book out. The book represents a new revenue stream.

Right now the book pre-orders have socked away four months of my salary, and that's over and above paying for the print run, the shipping expenses (generously estimated), and other assorted expenses.

Going forward, if I sell 10 books per day from the site, my salary for that day is covered. Ad revenue is gravy at this point. We're not raising my salary or upgrading our standard of living, though. Gravy goes into the "famine" account. Because working for yourself in ANY industry is "feast or famine."

Schlock Mercenary

I've been keeping track of

I've been keeping track of time and expense, similar to LineItemVitos post above, since I started "A Murder Of Crows" January 1st 2006. As of 4/15/2006, it would have cost roughly $36,000. Two thirds of that cost was start up though. [more info on what was involved.]

I just bought a print advertisement in DJ Coffmans Yirmumah #3 book, plus a sponsor banner on his site for a total of $110. It was essentially "free", because I've made back the advertising money already. Here's a recent post from my blog which demonstrates more is possible. I also bought a banner ad on BadBloodComics website for $2.

In my opinion, there is no excuse for not buying at least $10 a month into adverting your comic. Anyone with a bank account can make $10 on the web in an hour. I'm not sugggesting crappy sprite comics throw money down an advertising money pit. I'm saying, look at the problem from another angle. Make even a tiny bit of quick money, throw it into advertising, and you'll you'll get a huge boost in traffic without out of pocket expense for promoting your comic. Using the internets, I've made $98 for my comic thus far. I've only been around for four months.

Agreed

djcoffman's picture

I agree on the advertising thing. There are several techniques to getting the word out and not only making your money back, but earning a profit.

While I can't give out exact numbers to how much I earn in my Adsense alone, I can say that when I advertised on Punks and Nerds.com for like 9 dollars a day, I was making over 5 times that in return.

Also, I just put out some ads on SomethingPositive.net which were a little more spendy and I was nervoud of throwing 40 a day away, but the return was tremendous, not only does Randy's site send quality traffic that sticks around (new readers) but it also paid for itself within the first 5 hours of a 24 hour period on his site.

Imagine taking these small examples and jumping out of the webcomic box, finding sites where advertising WORKS and multiplying this process TIMES 50. You could easily be making a few hundred dollars a day in advertising return if you know what you're doing. -- While the money and strategy is nice, it's not worth a damn if your comic isnt fun to read though.