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  1.  (9067.41)
    …do they add a few percent to sales, or do they double sales, or more?

    That’s always the kind of question I have about the “free content=content sales” argument. What does a spike in the sales of a graphic novel mean? Is the spike just some extra spending money in relation to the tremendous amount of writing, drawing, etc. that go into a book? Are these spikes repeatable, or just flukes? For example, Cory Doctorow loves to point out that Monty Python saw a massive DVD sale spike when their videos hit YouTube, but what has happened in the time since? Can someone actually make a living off this stuff—at least someone who doesn’t run the internet’s most popular linkblog? And are spikes like these worth considering in contrast to the massive volume of material that doesn’t appear linked to sales at all? Or are they just mathematical noise that falls outside the spectrum of events worth analyzing?
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      CommentAuthorSteve Lieber
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2010 edited
     (9067.42)
    @Paul, @James: You both raise good questions, but I'm not the guy to offer useful answers. You want a Scott Kurtz or a Meredith Gran, people who have demonstrated that they know how to build a supportive audience in the free comics economy. I haven't done that.

    (Edit: my overblown metaphor with Mad Men spoiler deleted.)
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2010
     (9067.43)
    I'm curious as to what would have happened had you not shown up. Because there were more than a few "oh, um, oops" responses and I'm wondering how many people got guilted into buying a book they wouldn't have otherwise. That's not to say that the book isn't good on its own, but an astonishing number of people will do the right thing when they realize they've been caught doing the wrong thing.

    I'm also annoyed by the people that are all "Fuck you, you're still just selling shit." The people that expect things for free just because they could be bother the hell out of me. Entitled assholes.
  2.  (9067.44)
    James:

    Those are good points. Steve, I think a follow-up after a month or two would be interesting to all of us, who are interested in digital distribution business - did the sales spike thing translate to any kind of increase in overall sales?

    rickiep00h:

    Yeah, people like that are short sighted stupid kids. I guess the best response there is "Umm... yeah, I am? I love it that you enjoy my work, but I won't mind at all if you go buy it - here, I made it easy for you, have fun with this!"
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      CommentAuthorSteve Lieber
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010 edited
     (9067.45)
    "I think a follow-up after a month or two would be interesting to all of us, who are interested in digital distribution business - did the sales spike thing translate to any kind of increase in overall sales?"


    It'll be a few more months than that. As freelancers, we get statements every 4 or 6 months. We also won't have anything to compare it to except the initial order. The Amazon rankings were great, but it's hard to say what actual numbers they represent, and I'm not even sure if bookstore sales will be isolated in the next statement.

    Geez. People ask for clarity and all I've got to offer is the fog of war. Sorry about that. I'm feeling my way through the darkness on this stuff too.
  3.  (9067.46)
    Steve:

    Geez. People ask for clarity and all I've got to offer is the fog of war. Sorry about that. I'm feeling my way through the darkness on this stuff too.


    Heh, don't worry about it - this is one field where everybody is still stumbling through a fog of war.
  4.  (9067.47)
    Any news of Underground appearing in Comixology? That service has really kicked my comics hobby to high gear, I think I've dropped about 200€ in there in the last month and a half alone :)
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      CommentAuthorDarthmoga
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2010
     (9067.48)
    Dozed off after reading this thread.
    Just woke up with the idea that just maybe, all it would take to make this viable is for one high-profile creator team to:
    - hook up with a gutsy advertiser
    - compile a CBR themselves, Ads included
    - Realease the CBR themselves to piratebay/demonoid, or hook up with minutmen/DCP and have them include it in their packs.
    A bonus would be that the creators could include finished art, instead of scans, and have it look better than anything else in said packs.
    Also, the download numbers could be easily tracked (seeds/leachers) and the gutsy advertisers would have reason to feel smug.

    ...
    Or maybe I haven't woken up completely yet.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDarthmoga
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2010
     (9067.49)
    Also I agree with rickiepooh's read on the situation.