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  1.  (8975.41)
    "Roadscum" is actually a pretty typical web-comics reader, judging by the numbers. Even Freakangels only has one paying customer per 5 to 10 on-line readers (depending on how much of the long tail is gift purchases). And that is an incredibly high ratio for the free-web-to-print-purchase model. For most prose books, it's more like 1.5 percent of web readers buy the print object (or so I hear). Big Head Press sales run from 2 to 5 percent of on-line readership, which I suspect may be more typical.

    Betting against Warren's hunches is generally not a good idea, but I'm going to try it anyway, soon. We'll see what happens.
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2010
    here we go again.hmmm..

    I can only add my two cents, you guys are deep in the minute details
    of all this.

    I can just echo the omitted footage from my interview with
    david Lloyd where he talks about the industry, meaning the
    business side of comics as being strangely very underground for an
    industry it's size.

    The people in the loop are very in the loop and everybody outside
    doesn't really have a clue what's going on unless being prodded
    by a hollywood movie.

    I say this because to have comics very very cheap on digital,
    you will need a larger fanbase than even those you have now,
    who again would probably go the shop anyway and get the stuff.
    That means ..gasp..comics/sequential art will have to be marketed
    for the first time just like other media products and not just as movie tie ins
    to the general public. This just has never happened.

    I mean do you ever remember an advert for a comic/graphic novel
    anywhere outside specialist places? But i'm sure you've seen lots
    of adverts/flyers/youtube promos for underground musician
    with no deals or nothing.

    i just don't expect people will know from thin air that
    such and such app is on the iphone to view comic products
    they never heard of.

    There isn't a technological problem, there's a marketing problem.
    We just need an itunes of comics fully open to all creators
    ungated with no submission police unlike LONGBOX and then
    you would really have the true diversity that itunes has created.

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentAuthormushi
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2010
    yeah, but we have that, it's called the internet, and just like "unsigned music" it's kinda specialized. there's the incidental listener and there's the guys searching the internet for it. there are people out there that actually make lists, much like mixtapes for webcomics, and several sites that serve kind of like a printing house, bringing a number of webcomics together so they're easier to find.
  2.  (8975.44)
    Damn! DC opened their own Comixology-powered store - including amongst other things Transmetropolitan and Planetary.
  3.  (8975.45)
    Comics Alliance: The Dramatic Data About Who Is Buying Digital Comics -- And What They're Buying

    Creator-owned practically dominate the top ten at ComiXology in comparison to the Direct Market, and personally, I find that very healthy for the comics industry. When a series like Chew, which two regular guys thought up and pushed out because they thought it was a good idea, outstrips all but three of Marvel and DC's comics, I think we're in a very good place.

    So, who's reading digital comics? I think it's fair to say that the answer to that question is "Not the same people who shop at Direct Market comic shops." The series that sell online are, for the most part, ones that don't sell half as well in comic shops. What can companies do with this data? For one, they can start figuring out who they're selling comics to, since it clearly isn't your traditional Wednesday Comics Crowd. If it were the same old readers, the charts would look a lot different. We don't know who they are, but we can start talking about who they are not.
  4.  (8975.46)
    I'm finding that a lot more independent creators are making use of the new way of distribution. There are a lot of stories to tell, and priced right they can get out there to those who are wanting to read something new and different. The fact that the costs are lower to publish the titles helps many. I'm trying to do a lot more about these titles at my site.
    The fact that people can bypass the apple censorship by letting people buy online, then download the titles - like some of the Graphic.Ly distributed titles helps.
    I get the feeling that Marvel & DC are giving a form of 'lip service' to the idea - just to show they are in the market - whereas companies such as IDW and Markosia seem to be making a more pro-active approach.
    I know that the digital market has changed my reading habits - yes there are some of the larger titles that I still read, but now I find myself reading more creator owned titles such as Cancertown and Nathan Sorry.
    I don't think digital is going to be the death of paper, but there needs to be a way that they can compliment each other. I would also like to see some of the digital distributors carving their own independant niches in what they supply - Graphic.Ly, Comixology, iVerse etc.
    • CommentAuthorsamishah
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
    One format that might hold some valuable learnings in this way is Podcasting. Majority of the podcasts, like most webcomics, are free. But some are starting to earn revenue through creative ways. WTF with Marc Maron, for example, can still be heard free but regularly asks for donations and allows people access to special episodes if they make a sizeable enough donation. My fave webcomic (after Freak Angels) is Goblins over at and the creater has been using the method as well for a while now. Plus, ofcourse, he does decently in collected trades. WTF did do something interesting though in that they took alot of their archives offline and made them available through a purchasable app. $1.99 for the app gives you access to their archives.

    The other format that has only worked for one podcast so far is the subscription model used by Never Not Funny. They first did it for free for almost 100 episodes. Then, until now, you can download the first 20 minutes of a 90 minute podcast for free every week, pay $20.00 for a season pass (24 eps per season plus extra free episodes now and then) or purchase individual episodes for less than a dollar each. It's worked brilliantly for them.

    not sure how this would work for something like Freak Angels though, but worth thinking about maybe. The archives go off-line and you can buy a digital version of each trade for $5.00 or so maybe? That way if you want to get caught up you need to buy the back issues as downloadable .cbr files or something? Probably not practical but I do think the comics world should be watching the podcasting world or vice versa more closely.
  5.  (8975.48)
    Hi everyone; I absolutely cannot take credit for this, but my friend Brett has devised something ingenious he calls THE NOT-.99 METHOD that I am itching to implement with my own webcomic series. It's essentially a fully-DIY, iTunes/whatever-independent solution to selling your any-connected-device-ready PDF comics using only a Gmail address and a PayPal account: no 30% Apple tax, censorship or publisher-profit-sharing.

    Allow me to turn the floor over to Brett himself:

    Has anyone tried a variation on this already? If so, please sound off here.
    If not, try it now... I'm going to be doing so as well.

    ---love---> d!
    Dan Goldman
    Red Light Properties
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
    How the fuck does anyone read comics on a little 3 or 5 inch screen (whatever the iphone is)?

    They (being some lucky electronics journalist assholes who attended CES recently) say this year is all about tablets, and judging by the fact the most affordable of the 10.1 tablets that are worth a crap, key word being "affordable" (the fly touch 2 and Archos 101) on Amazon are out of stock or being sold at absorbent prices then I believe it! I do seriously want a tablet just to read comics on...reading them on a 17.1 laptop is okay, but not really ideal IMO By the end of this year there will be a lot to choose from. I was thinking Asus eeepad (but looks like it will be closer to $500) and the motorola xoom looks great (for a thousand bucks, I'm not rich) but for reading comics predominantly at home and not settling for less than 10", let's go sub $300 range!
  6.  (8975.50)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    There is a trend in music for companies like levis to finance a compilation of tracks by artists they want to associate with their product, the tracks are then available for free, last year i got a Kills cover of Pale Blue Eyes and others this way, I think this is possible viable business model for digital media going forward.
  7.  (8975.51)
    How the fuck does anyone read comics on a little 3 or 5 inch screen (whatever the iphone is)?

    Same way (mostly) that folks watch TV/Movies on them-- which is to say, there aren't a LOT of people that do it-- but they are out there.
    The "big two" of digital comics ( and ComiXology) also offer Panel View options-- in which you aren't looking at a whole page on your screen, but rather a panel by panel zoom in. You flick as you progress through each panel.

    Sure, it isn't the greatest way to read a comic-- but it is a WAY.

    What I'll be interested in seeing (and it's an eventuality) is comics formatted to the device. Right now, we're just taking standard comic book pages and trying to shoe-horn them into a screen dimension. What's going to be cool is when someone comes along and works it the other way around: Creating a comic FOR a screen or device.
    For example, take Travis Cherest's SpaceGirl:


    That would fit marvelously on an Iphone in landscape mode. Just flick along to read each new panel/page.
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
    >How the fuck does anyone read comics on a little 3 or 5 inch screen (whatever the iphone is)?

    One hopes the software is designed for it. It really isn't that hard to imagine a dynamic zoom in/ zoom out feature that would intelligently size panels - if they were properly tagged - to be read on such a platform.

    Yeah, you aren't going to want to view the two-page sweeping battle scenes on it, but if the artist is aware that the medium is going to include mobile - well, they might make different choices.
  8.  (8975.53)
    @Dan Goldman That Not .99 method sounds really interesting. I think I'm going to start selling PDFs on my website at some point soon. Not sure I need to go so far as allowing the SMS-ordering and all that at this point though.

    Also, I think I'm going to start selling my book through a new online store focused on selling comics and other illustrated books as PDFs. Just got involved today so don't know too much just yet but I'll post more info later on.
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
    Okay that makes sense. I was wondering if they could automatically go panel by panel. That really seems to be only way I could read it without having to pan/zoom all over the place. Whenever I go to read on my PC it seems I'm always messing with the page fitting options and that is a much bigger screen.
    • CommentAuthorpauljholden
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011 edited
    Panel by Panel reading is well establish (notably by Comixology - though prior art exists with some french album publishers).

    Notably, it's a LOT better than the term 'Panel by Panel' would lead you to believe - in some ways it's actually a better way of story telling than page by page. Panel by Panel is actually predesignated location to predesignated location - so, occasionally you'll get two or three zooms on a single panel - leading you into or out of the page. I've seen some really effective uses of it where the reader is zoomed right into a piece of text "..the devastation..." then whooshed around the page and then, finally, zoomed out to take it all in. Partially cinematic and partially comics.

    I'm sure you'll see some video demos of it on youtube.

    If I were going for the NOT .99 method, I'd probably alter it to use a dropbox public account rather than google - that way the files are local (and I'd include CBR/CBZ as well as PDF for comics, as the iOS devices can move those files into the appropriate program if you have one...)

    (edit: Changed word 'arbitrary' to 'predesignated')
  9.  (8975.56)
    How many people here have read comics on the Nook?
    I'm going to be writing a blog post referring to it and need some thoughts on the buying and reading on it
    • CommentAuthorEmperor
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011
    The Not .99 Method looks like it could be really useful and I see Warren has blogged it and put out a challenge of sorts to Cory Doctorow, which might prove interesting as I'm sure there are ways to refine this technique that someone will come up with - being able to charge the same price for a series of comics would be handy. Also although it says the link will expire in 7 days it clearly won't and if you have steady sales you can't expire the link as some people might not have had time to download it - the workaround would be to use some kind of redirect service and change the link every week, so you can delete the link after 7 days. Or does Dropbox allow you to have links that expire?

    The big pity is that Gmail won't let you autoreply with an attachment (there does seem to be a Gmail auto responder that will do it but you have to pay for that, which rather defeats the whole point of having a free workaround) and there doesn't seem a way to somehow make Dropbox send an attachment either (although you can use Gmail to upload files to Dropbox, which makes it difficult searching for the opposite).
  10.  (8975.58)
    Also although it says the link will expire in 7 days it clearly won't and if you have steady sales you can't expire the link as some people might not have had time to download it - the workaround would be to use some kind of redirect service and change the link every week, so you can delete the link after 7 days.

    yeah, that was my thought-- it'll take a little handwork, but you could always go into your FTP and change the link name. Comicforweekof1_7.pdf --and then Comicforweekof1_14.pdf--
    Naturally, that's a pretty easy code to crack, but anyone could probably figure out a fairly easy and personal code system.

    Then, all you'd have to do is revise your Auto-Email to reflect the link change. Sure, there's a little admin work there, but it's a lot easier than personally responding to each purchase.

    Good to see that this method is getting some press attention-- hopefully some authors give it a go-- personally, I'm going to start looking into it.
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011
    Saw this tonight since DJ was talking about the Not .99 method....

    A Better Way to Sell Your Digital Comics

    Even talks about Warren quite a bit.
  11.  (8975.60)
    I just read Warren's opening monologue, and not to be a kiss ass or anything, but we need some very rich guy to get behind Warrens ideas about the industry and put things in motion. I've seen other ideas Warren has tossed out and they're so brilliantly practical it's a shame that there isn't someone able to put it in motion asap.

    Warren as a general manager or editor chief of a company could really shake things up. I know that's not Warrens style, but I can dream.