As I explained on Wednesday, at the end of June I conducted a survey through Comic Tea Party to assess reader habits for webcomics/indie comics. I went over the results for the first ten questions in that post, so if you missed out, check in on it.
In this post, I would like to do two things. First off, I’m going to discuss the optional question 11 which many participants did fill in and that I have aggregated to the best of my ability. Second, I am going to discuss my own thoughts on the results of the survey as well as some areas where there is room for error. Of course, if you don’t care about my thoughts, you are highly welcome to skip them and draw your own conclusions.
For those who don’t know, I am the host of a weekly, webcomic book club known as Comic Tea Party. At the end of June, through Comic Tea Party, I surveyed webcomic/indie comic readers and gathered data on their reading habits. This included questions about reading frequency and how they interacted with the comics they read. The survey received 188 responses, and today I would like to go through the data and share what we have learned with the survey.
Note: This survey had 10 required questions and 1 optional question. This post will seek to only aggregate the data for the first 10. Question 11, which was the optional fill-in, will be aggregated in Part 2.
Check out my guest post on lettering for comics that I wrote for Nattosoup! It’s a fantastic blog with so much info on creating for comics, whether you want to talk about art, writing, or marketing aspects. It also has a lot of great topics on watercolors for you traditional artists as well. Please make sure to give everything a look through if webcomics and/or art are one of your interests!
“What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t my creation have more of an audience?”
These are questions that are often frequent in any industry’s indie sector. No matter what you create, whether it be comics, stories, videos, games, or anything else, there are special challenges that come with being a solo or small-team creator. Oftentimes, indie creators feel that no matter how much work they put into their product, they don’t have enough people consuming their content. This is when those questions start plaguing their minds, and it can lead to some depressing attitudes about future success.
I’m here to tell you that you can succeed when you’ve hit the point where you’re asking these questions. However, in order to be able to succeed, you have to take a very tough and harsh look at your content and how you handle it. Since this can be a scary and intimidating matter, though, today I’m going to walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself. Some of these questions are going to be hard to tackle, and know I mean no particular offense with them. Yet, by working through them you will be better positioned to figure out what you need to do to grow your audience.
Welcome to my weekly post where I share awesome stuff I encountered throughout the week. You’ll find a variety of things here including (but not limited to) links to comics, articles, YouTube videos, and show recommendations. If you’d like to find potentially new things, I encourage you to tune in every Sunday and check out what gets posted!
That being said, with it being Christmas here in the US, I want to take this particular post and turn it entirely into a webcomic pimp out post. Some you may have read, some you might not have. Either way, I’m gonna pimp out some of my favorite webcomics that you should check out this holiday season!
UPDATE: The morning this post went up Patreon decided to rollback on their decision for fee changes. However, I will be leaving the article as is since the point is largely not about Patreon. Remember, just because Patreon listened to feedback does not mean their next decision won’t hurt you. Be wary and use this as a lesson even still.
I debated long and hard about writing this post. I do throw around my opinion a lot on my blog, but there are certain topics I hesitate to come within any reasonable distance to. Writing tips and media analysis are, for the most part, fairly harmless and not something most people will take offense to. Then there are other topics. Topics like politics, like social issues, like economic issues, etc. Those are topics I don’t like to make any mention of. I have seen how much vitriol comes from talking about them, and it is just something I don’t like to be a part of within a public sphere.
However, the recent incidents with Patreon have made me want to speak up about something. Now, before you click off, I’m not going to talk about what I think of Patreon’s decision with their fees (for those who already know what’s going on). There are literally 100’s of posts already talking at length about this topic. I also don’t care where you chips fall on which side to take; that is your business, and I am not here to convince you that Patreon is a villain/not a villain.
What I do want to convince you of is the cold, unfortunate reality that most for-profit, multi-employee businesses do not care about the creators.
It’s no real secret that I spend a lot of my time writing. I write for this blog every week, I write webcomic reviews for StArt Faire every month, I do a lot of social media managing which involves a lot of tweet writing, etc. While I wouldn’t say I’m the best writer, I have definitely seen worse; you only need to be an English major in a low level college class to see the huge difference sometimes in skill level. While I don’t often have time for fiction, I do occasionally write that as well. I’m arguably more passionate about fiction and stories, but I also do enjoy the sorts of non-fiction analysis that I do here on this blog. Either way, I have lots of experience in writing, in part because I make efforts to practice it when I can.
Thus, as someone who identifies as a writer, nothing grinds my gears more than seeing others treat writing as anything less than a skill.
As someone who is a big fan of Subnautica, I often keep up with updates to the game, usually via various Youtubers who cover the game extensively. Without spoiling too much, a huge portion of the end game is in development right now (when this article was written anyway). Since it’s a key story point, it’s being tweaked to be as impactful as possible. Animations, voice acting, textures, and tons of other aspects keep being overhauled to present the most satisfying moment that could be achieved. However, in some of the more recent updates, one additive that added a ton of impact caught my eye: the sound effects.
Sound effects are one of those aspects of creative media that often get overlooked. Whether the sound effects are audio or implied to with words, they make a huge difference despite being minor additives. Unfortunately, in numerous indie industries, they can often be underused. While certainly you run the risk of oversaturating a piece with sound effects, they are still an essential that should never be neglected. To hammer in this point, let us examine why the sound effects make a difference in two industries: gaming and comics.
“Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”
This is a common saying that gets passed around, but I think too few people actually stop to think about what this concept means. Particularly for indie creators, whether they’re creating games, comics, or otherwise, there seems to be a general trust that goes towards third party businesses as far as making your content available. Unfortunately, the risk for betrayal is somewhat high and may catch the more naïve off-guard. Today, I would like to analyze this statement a bit, particularly as it pertains to comics. Why comics? Well, I will tell you why.