1. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    sgl, something ive been pondering is using images as a link into the text, even images thats just the first sentence of the update in text on a colored background as a jpg, because that gets more shares than straight text.

  2. SgL (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    For a webcomic,you could crop in a panel or a portion of an image that has enough "mystery" to draw the curious out. Certainly beats seeing a plain old text blurb in RSS or on twitter...

  3. DaringNovelist (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    SgL: images in Twitter or RSS feeds:

    Heck yeah!

    The problem right now is that many feeds (not just RSS, but also automated "blogrolls") is that they do not give you the opportunity to control which portion of the picture shows. That's one of the reasons why I went for small square images for the illos on Test of Freedom -- they are more likely to show something interesting in in image previews.

    It can throw off the design, but if you can find a way to put a tiny interesting picture as the first image in a particular blog post, that will get seen in more shared ways than a larger image (which will be cropped down to some random spot in the middle, or resized in unexpected ways).

    The thing I haven't taken advantage of yet is titling. Titles of posts show up in various shares and RSS feeds, but I've been using vanilla ep titles ("Test of Freedom - Episode 3"). I do this for consistency of the URLs, but I think it works against me. Titles are the best teaser tools we have. I've noticed that again and again.

    With Miss Leech, for instance, I do put in a post title for each strip. That seems to get attention. Also, if I have a good title for an episode, I get a rise in hits that come from sources where the title is mentioned.


  4. DaringNovelist (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    And to continue the discussion of social media vs. RSS:

    Yes, social media is a promotional tool -- but that's a small part of marketing. Promotion is about finding new readers, not keeping them. It doesn't matter how many eyeballs you get on something if you can't convert.

    It's unfortunate that there is so much emphasis on "promotion" that nobody realizes that it's actually the least important part of the marketing picture. Sure, it's great to promote... if you have the structure in place to support the attention you get. If you don't have that, then promotion is a waste of effort.

    That infrastructure that supports the attention you get? That's what RSS and other aggregation tools are all about. It's designed to keep the readers you've got. Is it old tech? Well, sort of, but it really hasn't got a replacement yet, and maybe it never will: because it's also one of the foundation technologies for other newer ideas. (And often, users have no idea they are using RSS at all. It's the basis for something newer and cooler.)

    In an overcrowded universe, where finding your own house can be darned difficult, user-curated aggregation is critical. It's a different thing than social media. They are apples and oranges. Whether it's RSS, or some new tech that hasn't made it to mainstream, it's necessary.


  5. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Ouch! My web comic is only a week-old and has all of two pages but it's already got more page views than my fiction serials... any of them. And I've been running fiction serials since 2004. -_-

  6. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Yeah... that's pretty much the way that works. Images are easier to sell.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  7. SgL (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Yeah, I've looked at this before and it's a 10-1000 fold difference. The infrastructure for webcomics and the audience is there... it's why I still mull a short webcomic in the series I'm working on.

  8. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Ah well. I'm not above using a web comic to pay for all my other endeavors, assuming the web comic makes some money once I get the ads up on the site.

  9. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago


    That gets me wondering if I should recruit an artist to illustrate a Worm webcomic.

    I tried once, with a story I wrote ages ago, but it fell through when three artists in a row dropped the project. I wasn't even demanding anything, it just never got past the concept stage.

    Ditto when trying to find banner artists so I could put something on Topwebfiction. Was in contact with no less than three artists, money in hand, and they disappeared on me. I wound up drawing it myself.

  10. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I don't know. Getting an artist to commit to a long-haul project like a comic--one that makes very little money, because traditionally comics hasn't--is a hard sell. It would be an impossible sell to me as an artist, and I've never heard back from artist acquaintances that they'd be willing to do it for the money typically offered them.

    But your general problems, Wildbow, makes me wonder if we shouldn't have a list somewhere of artists that can be reliably commissioned for things like banner ads and book covers.

  11. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    See, I put out a request, had a few responses, had a few enthusiastic responses. People who loved the story, who were thrilled about the notion of the project. First one gave me the concept artwork, we refined it, we got a few initial pages done... they were more excited about it than I was, and then they disappeared.

    Then another one asked if I was still interested, I said yes, we got a short bit into it, and they disappeared.

    So the -sell- wasn't the hard part. Just... whatever followed from that. The realization of what the project entailed for real? I don't know.

    Maybe we could have a thread like we do for the released work? People you've successfully worked with in the past, as well as a spot where WFGers who can draw (or perform other services) can offer their work/wages?

  12. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    It's usually how it happens... you get excited until you realize just how much work you're committing to, and then--oh geez, what did I sign up for?? regrets.

    But I think the extra thread on the topic is a great idea, and would be a good resource for people.

  13. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Yeah, one of the reasons why I decided not to do Curveball as a webcomic is because there's no way I was going to be able to get an artist to sign on and stay on without actually paying them directly. And I can't afford that. I think I did good by hiring Garth to do my splash and cover art, and I did doubly good to specify that I needed it to be generic and reusable. (Unfortunately, the cover Jeff Darlington did was too specific for me to use for more than issue 3).

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  14. DaringNovelist (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    M.C.A. - great on the comic success! (And yeah, you not only have been doing serials for a long time, you've been doing them well and successfully.) I now that comics don't tend to pay, but they do attract attention, and I suspect that your art is the type that will sell products as well as attract more attention to your other things.

    But that tendency of comics to attract attention is part of the reason I decided to pull out my old Miss Leech and the Yard comic strip. I only do it once a month, but it's in a genre that relates to my books more than my serials do. (It's a cozy mystery series about a little old lady sleuth and the detective inspector she drives nuts.) I would love to do it once a week, but I don't have the mindspace to come up with gags AND do the art that fast, along with everything else.


  15. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    People have been poking me about web comics for years now, and I said 'no' because I couldn't figure out how to do it in a timely way. Most of my novels would take forever to express as a comic, and drawing the panels would take far too long ("Spots" was the one people seriously wanted to see as a web comic, but if I'd done it that way it still wouldn't be done four years later).

    I went with this concept because I can do black and white art Really Fast, particularly when it's of non-humans who aren't living in an environment with a distinct background. These pages take me about 45-75 minutes per page from blank paper to upload-and-schedule, so. That makes it do-able.

    We'll see if I can monetize it effectively. Even if it converts eyeballs into money at the same ratio as my web serials, it will have been worth the investment given how many more eyeballs there seem to be...!

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