sequential daze

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

And here I was thinking I was chatting to myself!

My webcomic traffic post from last week has enjoyed a few more eyeballs than I expected - mainly due to a kind link from Comixpedia which was picked up by Digital Strips and Fleen. That'll teach me to spin out half-baked postulations, eh?

Interestingly, the discussion has moved quickly to one of the ratio of "number of readers:making a living/turning a profit", which is an interesting development. Although I never mentioned that thought specifically in my original post I guess the connection has always been in the back of my head: ergo, more readers for my webcomics would naturally mean I'd be able to start making money from my work to the point where it became a 'day job'. Despite always believing this in some non-specific and vague way I never had a magic number of readers that would be a catalyst for this. To be honest, I think my projects would need a helluva lot of readers before financial liberation would ensue. Even if I did reach a magic number I don't actually have anything much in the way of product, plus I hate running advertising (despite having a small Google AdSense thingy on Magellan) - so all of that probably leaves me in a situation of not ever earning much even if I had over 100,000 readers per day.

Merchandising is a drag and I'm somewhat anti-consumerist, but it is still the most likely way I'm ever going to spin some financial gain. Probably the majority of webcartoonists who've ever tried self-publishing will admit that publishing printed versions of their comics is not a great money spinner, especially when printing colour comics (which mine are). And believe me the ratio of people who ask about a printed version and/or say they would buy one compared to the number who actually buy said printed version is (in my experience) somewhat alarmingly unbalanced (that is, plenty want one but then won't buy it once it exists. Yes, I am a bitter man). As for merchandise such as t-shirts, caps or mugs, I'm not sensing an interest from readers for these items. Magellan doesn't lend itself to iconic moments or sayings for a t-shirt although that hasn't stopped other cartoonists, often with very good results.

Possibly my main comic project just isn't merchandisable anyway. If that's so I'm just going to have to get used to doing them for the love not the money, even if I do get a million readers a day!

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