Web comic to serial conversion.


All of the ads I have seen (via project wonderful) for serials have been on web comic sites, so I have two questions for y'all concerning web comics and serials. How likely do you think web comic readers are to be converted into serial readers? Also: if you have both a web comic and a serial yourself, what sort of conversion do you see?

The majority of views on my site go to my web comics, but I am seeing a trickle down of visitors checking out my serial. More than half of them do not go on to read other entries but the ones that do seem to be binge reading. The web comic subreddit is waaaay more active than the one for serials, so I have been posting my old comics there in hopes that I can gain a few readers for my serial. This is nice in that it allows me to promote my web comic and pull of a sort of bait-and-switch for my serial. I am not expecting a high payoff here but I am curious to know if anyone has had some experience in this.

I've always had higher reader retention from webcomics than I have other serials and webfiction portals like WFG. I don't know why, exactly, but I imagine it's partially to do with webcomics having a larger - and thus wider - audience.

Also, webcomics require less commitment to read than serials do, because they take less time to read. We've talked about this on the forums before, you can probably find the discussion if you search, "webcomics."

@Billy Higgins Perry

Thank you, I will. Sorry about the double post.

I found my first web serial from an ad on a web comic site. I think that's true of a lot of serial readers, at least the old guard. Comics are the gateway drug.

I have both a web comic and a serial, but I don't think there's any common element in readership (aside from two of my friends, who I know in real life). Of course, the topics are wildly different (math hairstyles versus time travel) and we're only talking a dozen readers for each, so maybe 2/12 represents a good percentage for a poor set of data. I also don't reddit, seems like a big learning curve there.

No problem about posting a topic again; I think the last time this came up was in the following thread: http://forums.webfictionguide.com/topic/webfiction-readers-verses-webcomic-readers I mention it here because it didn't show up on any of my initial search hits for "webcomic". (I wonder, can I add a tag? Oh, hey, I can. Maybe it'll be there now.)

I can answer this one!

I've published Help Desk since 1996, so I've had a webcomic since forever. The answer is, for me at least, that the crossover isn't really significant. Some people who read the comic read the serial, but by and large people who come to a site to read a comic aren't interested in reading a serial, at least not at that specific time. My theory is that it's because reading a comic is a lot less time intensive and a lot of people read webcomics in batches.

On the other hand, there seems to be much more willingness on behalf of serial readers to check out your webcomic.

Also, your mileage may vary. Some fans are really into your work, so if you do other stuff they'll want to check it out. It seems to be a very tiny subset however.

Don't be sorry, revfitz! It's good to bring this stuff up periodically. People's views evolve over time, and new members get to add their own two cents.

@Fiona Gregory

It is certainly true for me.


Do you host your content on the same page or do you have specific sites reserved for them? I too thought reddit had a large learning curve (it doesn't) and avoided it for years. I am honestly regretting that now as I am seeing results that are comparable to paid advertising (granted, I was never able to afford a campaign beyond $20 on project wonderful). The serial section for reddit is like a ghost town but I would recommend it for your web comic.


That is genuinely impressive that you have had a webcomic for that long. Thank you for helping pioneer that! I think you might be right on your second point, the people who go through my serial eventually land on my comic and binge more often than the other way around.

@revfitz: The simple answer is, I have specific sites for the serial and the comic.

The more complicated answer is, I started with a math serial on blogger... ended it when years of posts seemingly led nowhere... started a new serial site on wordpress... and then later relaunched the math serial (on the original site), except as a webcomic. (Both sites are "mathtans", and they cross link.) So in a sense, the webcomic has never had a dedicated site, and there wasn't much of an opportunity to follow me back and forth. Good to know about reddit... maybe I'll investigate once I have some other projects dealt with. Assuming it seems worth it.


That is a very interesting history. I am a little curious to see how the adaptation of the serial to webcomic looks...

I have not found much success on reddit as serials go, but the webcomic reddits have given about as much exposure and views as my most successful advertising campaigns. Try https://www.reddit.com/r/comics/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/webcomics/

There is also https://www.reddit.com/r/webfiction/ if you wanted to try your hand at it. Do not give your upvote count too much attention (the numbers are "fuzzed").

Oh, the adapting is it's own story... actually, in case anyone does want to do something of the sort, here's what I did.

Having the benefit of "personified math" being in the eye of the beholder, I relaunched everything with completely new characters. Instead of Parabola-Bunny, it was Parabola-Twintails. Trigonometry became black skinned. Some characters (like reciprocal) vanished, and I created a new one, the Gamma function. The plots were new, and had no pre-knowledge necessary... but I did hint that a serial world existed out there. Then, after some months of that, fusion. Both worlds came together, and had to try to co-exist - the serial world, now stuck in a webcomic, and the webcomic world, now with new personification counterparts. Did they get along?

Well hey, it's all at http://mathtans.ca (Series 1-6 was the serial, the fusion happened near the end of Series 7, and I'm deep into Series 8 now.) Thanks for the reddit links. I've been meaning to get more involved in the webcomic community on twitter too, might try that first.