elrotram wrote:I disagree with corruption. One of my favorite quotes is, "Just because you've decided to sell out, doesn't mean anyone's going to buy." Having a niche comic is good - it means you have an easy target audience. See where they post and go there to advertise. I know Pokemon forums exist - go there and post relevant things, with a link to your webcomic in the signature. No, a niche comic won't have as large an audience as something more generic BUT the audience will be much more loyal and probably will follow you to your next project.
corruption wrote:When it comes to marketing comics, it can be hard. One thing to keep in mind to give you hope is this small story; Neil Gunstive (or however you spell his last name) started a webcomic called Robot Stories, with the main strip being Retail Hell. He started selling merchandise of his strip and made some money from it. Other comic authors asked him to handle merchandise for them, since he showed he could. He eventually had to finish his webcomics so he could focus on all the business he was doing.
This was long ago when merchandising webcomics was new, so don't count on it.
One thing I can recommend is getting your comics listed on as many directories and indexes as possible.
Sometimes you can find a community on the net that is interested in some comics that are not printed, and use them as your base market, expanding from there. One example is TGcomics.com. It is a site dedicated to TG comics, and in the forums people mention other TG comics hosted elsewhere that they like. However, not many of them are published. If someone was to offer to publish them, then the authors and the site members would probably like that. Find some web communities you can do that for, and expand to a broader market base.
I'm guessing one of your major stumbling blocks is your age and inexperiance. After all, who wants a student to run a business they plan on using a lot? One recommendation is to find other people who are refused elsewhere by people who don't want to be linked to some new artist who has not shown they will be profitable, or who is considered too out there for a major company to be associated with.
One last thing is something I am not sure if anyone has done. Offer to host the comics, and get the rights to publish them in exchange for hosting. I don't know how that will work, but it's an idea to think about.
Not to put too finer point on it, I just started reading your comic, and I believe that it is not the kind of comic most people would think of paying for if published. I admit the art is decent, and you have decent main plot and characters, as far as I have read, but it is to specalized. Mostly only Pokemon fans would be interested, and unless your friends are manga fans, I think that may explain why you have trouble getting them to read it.
I'm sorry to have to tell you that, but when looked at from a business point of view, you have to think about what other people want, not what you like. If you tried starting with a comic that is not as niche market as Pokemon comics are, you should have better success.
elrotram wrote:I have tips and tricks I use, as do many others, but most publishing companies HIRE people to do that sort of thing. If advertising isn't your strong point and you own a company, I advise you do that.
However, if you're simply trying to advertise for your webcomic, you're going have to look at it from a guerilla warfare point of view. I don't mean you should launch yourself at unsuspecting pedestrians. Wait, maybe I do.
Keep a banner in your forum signatures in ALL of the forums you frequent. Start a blog and create posts that would interest other artists (Comic Spotlights, tips on how you do your art, etc) - using your comic as reference. Ask other sites to review your comic. Offer webcomics you really admire or are close to your own to do an exchange - if you put their banner up on your site, they'll put yours up (sort of an "affiliate" offer). Hold a contest on the self-promo forum under your comic's title. The fifth (or whatever number you deem appropriate) person to post a kind comment about your comic will get some form of fan-service (you decide). Use social media sites like Twitter, FaceBook, tumblr, etc, to update often with sketches and funny little comics. One comic I know was a very music-intense one; the artist would post songs that inspired her to draw and they even offered a competition to local bands to make a jingle for the comic! (Alas, that comic is gone now.) Some people make AMVs on YouTube. Others go to conventions and hand out flyers and merch promoting their comic. There are all sorts of different ways to promote - just be unique and respectful. Spamming only creates a general blacklist-feeling among the web community and it's very easy to be banned. (Don't believe me? Check the Forum's Gallows.)
One thing that irks me about the Self-Promotion Forum. People make topics like it's the "thing to do" and then when it comes time for the monthly update-bump they're permitted, they literally just write, "Bump." What is that?!? If you're going to do the Self-Promo Forum, do it right. Include updates about scheduling changes, upcoming events in the storyline and any changes in the authorship. Remind everyone when the comic updates. Include pretty fan-art or even just illustration work you've created to promote the comic. Host a quiz about different details in the comic. Link back to the website, so people don't have to click on your profile and scroll like the dickens. Heck, have the website link to your forum topic. Introduce new characters. Just do something. That's an amazing opportunity to really hard-sell your comic. Don't be shy - do it!!
I bet you can't tell I've been getting more and more annoyed by that Self-Promo Forum. It actually turns me off of titles when the author doesn't even try to update the forum about them, and just say "bump." Nothing screams "I really don't care about this comic" than not even trying when you're being encouraged to put it all out on the line.
That is all on that subject. *ahem*
Anyone else have any ideas?
You just have to be willing to spend a few hours a week promoting yourself like hella whoa. If you're willing to put several hours in a week and feel a wee bit silly, you're bound to lure in readers. Good luck~!FabulousFox wrote:stuff
elrotram wrote: It actually turns me off of titles when the author doesn't even try to update the forum about them, and just say "bump." Nothing screams "I really don't care about this comic" than not even trying when you're being encouraged to put it all out on the line.
Jeremy Ray wrote:elrotram wrote: It actually turns me off of titles when the author doesn't even try to update the forum about them, and just say "bump." Nothing screams "I really don't care about this comic" than not even trying when you're being encouraged to put it all out on the line.
I "bump." Click on my link and tell me I don't care about my comic. I had a decent publisher offer to publish it.
The truth is that 99% of webcomic artists need to put in five more years of dedicated practice before they'll have pencilling skills worth pimping. If you want color and you want to write, double or triple that number. Don't put the cart before the horse. Time spent promoting a comic is wasted if the comic sucks. One thing that amazes me is how much time people will put into giving advice on forums, promoting, or, heaven forbid, practicing their signature like they're a master and the world cares, instead of drawing.
About niche comics, oddly enough I've found it's no guarantee of an audience, let alone a devoted audience, at all. Maybe that's limited to the horror genre, but I've posted on multiple horror forums and I don't think I got more than a bit of traffic from them. I posted in a comic thread on AVPgalaxy, but all they wanted to talk about was Marvel and DC.
The only good advice is to do the comic you want to do because most likely you'll be the only one who cares about it for a very long time.
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