Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 5, 2008 - 09:29
Blogger/superhero Cory Doctorow writes about his dandelion theory of distributing his stories and why he doesn't like micropayments.
The Beat reports that Elephantman is now available on iPod comic site Clickwheel (full press release after the jump)
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Comics Worth Reading likes Dennis West's Backyard Frontier: the story of a boy and his alien.
Chris Mauter posts a review of the Penny Arcade collection: Attack of the Bacon Robots! that originally ran in TCJ. Interesting but a few quibbles - I'm not much of a videogame player and I don't think it's true such knowledge is needed for every PA strip (a few yes, but far from most) and clearly this book was intended for the PA fan (i.e, the completist), not to attract new readers. (I almost forgot that Modern Humor Authority ran the definite review of this book - check it out here.)
Most people, like me, are not very good at selling things.
But according to what I've learned, there's really only one true thing about selling your book: You have to do it - one on one, one at a time.
Unless you're John Grisham, you're not going to get a marketing budget, a promotional manager or personal assistant. You'll have to do it all on your own.
First things first - you've got to track your money. Only you know how much it makes sense to spend on things like conventions or advertisements, but to know that you have to have hard data. That means get in the habit of saving your receipts and maybe even setting a budget. Purchase a financial program. But know how much you're spending - you can use that knowledge to test what works and what doesn't.
Here's where you'll spend that money:
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 30, 2008 - 09:33
Kevin Kelly posts a follow-up to his 1000 True Fans essay called "The Case Against 1000 True Fans" with some links to previous writings from other artists and a bit of data Kelly has collected since he wrote his first essay. All of this is very familar to webcomic artists - it's all about trying to understand how an artist can make a living from their work and whether these Internet-enabled times are the best of.. or the worst of times for the artist.
A related story from TechDirt explores whether the era of the amateur blogger is over -- as blogging has grown many of the most popular bloggers have "quit their day jobs" not unlike the growth curve we've seen with webcomics over the last 5-10 years.
UPDATE: also related is a post from Rivkah on the decision to quit (or not!) the day job and do comics full-time.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 24, 2008 - 11:01
Kevin Kelly wrote a widely discussed blog post called "1000 True Fans" about the prospects of making a living off of a 1000 "true" fans - those completely dedicated to a particular artist. He's posted an interesting letter from musician Robert Rich about his life as an independent musician making music in a fairly niche genre which both confirms and tempers the optimism of Kelly's first post.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 7, 2008 - 08:51
Comics Worth Reading sums up the minor kerfuffle at Unshelved last week regarding a online tutorial company sponsoring an Unshelved storyline about online tutorial companies.
What do you think? Can a webcomic incorporate such targeted sponsorship (it comes awfully close to straight forward product placement) without damaging itself in the process?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 2, 2008 - 13:22
Journalista! catches the release of Platinum Studios financial report for 2007. Platinum owns major webcomics community DrunkDuck and publishes webcomic-to-comic Hero By Night by DJ Coffman. Platinum reported net revenues of $1.96 million, of which arouund 1.3 million seem to be directly attributable to Hollywood options on Platinum IP. There's more details at Fox Business and a summary of the 10-K report to the SEC at Yahoo Business.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 1, 2008 - 15:22
April Fools hijnks continue this year...
Previous April foolery On ComixTalk:
2006: April Fools Day Roundup
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 28, 2008 - 09:56
So the big interesting "thing" this week was two ongoing conversations at FLEEN and THE DAILY CARTOONIST among cartoonists about how to make money via the web and/or print. As this decade (the "naughts"?) has gone along it's obvious that cartoonists need to learn how to use all their options - web and print - to connect with the audience and turn that into a living. These threads still had a bit of what in the past folks have called "print" versus "webcomics" but when you get down to it, this is really a generational divide combined with technological shifts. It's basically as if all of the big band musicisians were released on 78s and they were talking to rap musicians released on casette tapes -- it's a whirlpool of baked in business and artistic assumptions on both sides that the average person can't get past. I suppose this crystalized for me reading Jeff Vella's comments about xkcd.com. GIven it's audience and rocket growth, there' really shouldn't be any doubt that xkcd is a rock star in comics, web or otherwise. But if you're a big band musician you may not want to admit that xkcd is even playing music, let alone that it's a star at it.But they're both very interesting threads, especially if you're a creator trying to make sense of what to do with your comics. And Scott Kurtz has set up a Talk Shoe call tonight at 7 PM to continue the discussion. You can call into (724) 444-7444 ( Call ID: 5786) or sign up at Talkshoe.com and use your mic and headset to talk for free using their built in software.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 8, 2008 - 21:00
This has been out there on the intertubes this week - Kevin Kelly wrote an essay on 1000 True Fans, the notion being that there is a sweet spot on the long tail for the working artist to make a living - not poverty and not superstardom. Nothing earthshattering in it to most readers here, but well-written and a lengthy discussion ensues in the comments. FLEEN picked up on it with a post yesterday on venture capital for comics. Well actually Gary is just flagging the idea that print and swag costs money upfront that artists don't necessarily have to do those thing right (and in a way that will actually make real money on the back end). So we have seen some folks call for pre-orders to help gauge interest before committing the money. What about just getting someone else to float the money to the creator so there's no hurdle? Well - let's think about it some. If it was me I'd much rather invest in a Topatoco set-up; help that kind of thing expand, then give my money to a creator in the kind of scenario Gary is talking about. But it's an interesting idea to think about.
You Thought We Wouldn't Notice, a blog focused on pointing out suspiciously similar designs. FLEEN had great coverage of the recent Soap Swindle saga.
I'm out of the loop - when did Digg get a Comics And Animation section?
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Checking out Xylia -- anyone else reading this fantasy webcomic?
International History Club is neither international nor historical. Discuss.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on October 2, 2007 - 15:55
Publisher's Weekly has a short review of webcomics making a living which includes well-coverted Tim Buckley and CTRL-ALT-DEL, but also includes Shawn Handyside and his comic Staccato; and Dave Stanworth and his comic Snafu-Comic.