What do you do? Do you have a facebook page? Pay for add space? Attend conventions? What do you do? What DON'T you do, and why?
More pages here: www.patreon.com/russelllecroy
But aside from just that I also promote at my locale brick and mortar comic shop. Also online places like facebook, twitter and of course all over deviant art. I'd like to start getting tables at conventions as well but I haven't yet.
What I don't do is enough! lol but for real I should spend more time promoting then I do. I've ran adds for previous comics I've made but not for my current one. (at least not yet) As for people who would like to run adds, project wonderful is a useful tool. www.projectwonderful.com/
Advertising is by far the hardest and most important part of creating a comic you want the world to read. I’ve read through many of the post in this journal and have to say all of the suggestions are valid and can help you get your comic noticed, but the one that worked the best for me and sold the most books was getting out there and talking face to face with readers. My website does not seem to bring in new readers or sell much merchandise. I think it is because the Internet does not promote a personal connection between the reader and the creator. So you ask, what did sell books and bring in new readers?” Conventions and setting up local meet and greets.
One of the strategies I used to promote my first comic was simple. I asked my local comic shop if I could set up a table on Free Comic Book Day to show their customers what I was working on. I brought only a five page preview and postcards advertising my website and said hello to every person that walked through the door. Ask yourself this, “What is it that independent comic creators can do better then the big companies?” Interact with their readers. That’s the key. Show them your enthusiasm for your story, talk to them about your passion for art, and most importantly… be yourself.
I am currently working on my second attempt at comic book success and plan to try the same tactic with a small twist. I’ll let you know how it goes in a few months.
Success takes hard work and perseverance. Stay inspired people!
Also, getting as much of exposure as you can get. I haven't done all the things I listed below for my comic (which is only a short-story, nothing to market really ), but I've seen ppl doing the following things:
-posting on their dA account
-posting in many dA groups
-posting on pixiv
-having a website for the comic
-posting on smackjeeves and/or Inkblazers
-posting on tumblr/ Facebook
-getting exposure by posting original art and in between fan arts from popular fandoms
-making and selling goods from fandoms and have some items from your story
-drawing doujinshi's from fandoms and selling them alongside original comics
I'm sure there are many other ways, but honestly getting ppl to notice your work is quite hard >< There are just so many amazing people...
- Multiple groups on dA
- a website for the story
- nearby conventions
I found the most powerful way to get readers is by word of mouth.
Next to this... Groups. c_O
But in general advertising strategy planning needs to take much time and still it's very hard work. Also amounts of money can be wasted very quickly if you doesn't consider every step enough. Also keep in your mind that work that isn't unique/in right time can't be sold even if advertised well (and in right places). Of course fantastic projects can also fail if you won't be marketing enough and people won't find you.
Sorry if I scared you... but keep it up! And remember making advertising work takes lot of time (expecially if you won't use amounts of money ) :'D
It's all so very strange to me, because I'm having such a hard time generating interest for my story, despite an overwhelming chunk of popularity when I did a doujinshi based on Bleach. Most of the 800+ people who read it said it was better than the canon story, and lauded my storytelling ability, saying they would all follow me into whatever projects I did later because I had essentially proven myself as a competent storyteller...but almost none of them did. Maybe 30 people.
I just don't know what to do.
I would love to give you awesome advice with marketing but I am nowhere near as popular as you, nor do I have as much material
All I would say-- I feel like it's not wrong for you to occasionally ask for features from people (politely obviously) if you haven't already tried that... and just generally interacting with other comic creators
and I'm sorry to hear about the fan-base shrinking once you started your original stuff- I can imagine that being a kick in the spleen
Once I get time to read your stuff I'll definitely give it a mention in a journal on my other account some time! (I mean like, I have a very small following but still)
I'm kinda bad on interacting with others if I know all I'm doing it for is to beg for mentions. I've been trying to find other ways of getting my name out there without feeling like I'm pleading for attention. I thought that once the story really got going (which it will start to do here with ch9 this/next week) it would basically advertise itself, because it'll have craziness going on, but with such a small pool of people to draw from, I've started getting worried.
I mean, in the end, it's not THAT big of a deal. I love the story enough that I'd do it even if I only ever had the same number of readers as I do now, as one compliment can keep me motivated for the whole next update...but it'd be neat to have more people looking into it. I spent 3 years working on that Bleach doujin SPECIFICALLY to get my art good enough that I wouldn't think I have to correct things every other month. I restarted that doujin twice because of getting better at drawing. So far, Eidolon's held up to my scrutiny, even though I've been at it for just over a year now. Only a few things here and there that bother me...and that's just alteration in the character's designs as I've matured them with practice. I can live with it. I'm just glad I don't have any glaring anatomy fumbles like I used to.
I am so super impressed like
your art is rad
I am kinda still taken aback by how much you can get done in such a short space of time- really it's truly impressive
(Just thought I'd get that out of the way haha)
I am totally with you- feeling that the interactions are a bit fake?... I started trying to sort of just 'attention grab' a while ago- ended up making 2 really awesome friends. Which wasn't the plan but I won't complain- the two friends I inadvertently made are awesome and two of my best friends on the internet ahah
but honestly, just reading other people's webcomics and commenting and supporting them- it's more fulfilling and mutual support is sometimes a lot better than just 'fans'
in my experience anyway
I'm in the fumbling around, trying to figure out how to make comics and redoing stuff stage myself haha it feels wrong to try and put myself out there when I haven't got the opening bit as good as it should be.
I've been staring at this comment for ages I can't think of anything else important to say
good luck (again) with stuff
But yeah, the 'forced' part makes me feel bad XD I've tried reading other comics but then I get scared to comment, like it'll just be washed away in the endless flood of other comments that the author never sees. So few comics catch me, and the few that do are already massively popular...I don't even know where to begin jumping into those frays, especially when the comments sections are snippets that don't allow signatures, so no one would ever know I'm doing a comic anyway unless I said so outright...and I know how much it drives people nuts to see other people use their comics as platforms to get attention, so I avoid it .______.
I feel so silly sometimes
like recently I saw a thing of someone asking for feedback on their comic
so I sat down, read all of it and wrote notes on all the things that they could improve on; writing, lettering, pace, dialogue etc etc
then I wrote up this long explanation to the person
how sad it that? haha
I mean- half way through I asked myself 'am I doing this for attention or do I genuinely just want to help this person out??'
I think the real answer is both or maybe neither
I like thinking about stuff- and sometimes in helping other people- I help myself
I really went off on a tangent there
It is frustrating being in a sea of comments... People who are good but unpopular are super hard to find... for obvious reasons
I looked for comic artists like me through directory type things where you ask to be listed
sometimes you'll find a comic with kinda average art but AWESOME story though- but they're so hard to find because they just don't stand out as much
But yeah in a comment there is no guarantee anyone is going to click on you or even read your comment
it's like shooting into the darkness, you could shoot 50 comments and get no response, but then you could shoot 5 and get 100s of views
I tend not to comment on stuff unless I feel I have something marginally different to say
or if I just want to support the person- regardless of whether they reply to me or not
also, a lot of this 'be part of the community' stuff is super hard
you need to somehow infiltrate friendship groups
which is impossible
It's like, 'hey, guy, there's a story here, too, not just tatas.' I don't cater to audiences like that, but it seems like that's a huge chunk of the online community. It's just discouraging.
I believe that you can start advertising now, it seems you have enough pages. I was told that it's possible to start after 10 pages, but having around 30 can make it so new readers get hooked!
I've done the convention thing for nearly 10 years now, and it's awesome, but, yeah, it takes practice. I've somehow learned how to go an entire day without using the bathroom, or eating, but I don't recommend it, it's not healthy. If you choose to do one, I suggest going in with someone else! Share a booth. It halves the cost, draws more people over, and both of you are able to take turns taking breaks. To sell at a convention, I'd suggest having a few copies of your comic, and other things... such as pinback buttons, necklaces, stickers, etc. especially fan art related items! Sell them for a profit, and include a business card linking to your comic online with every purchase. Also, walk around before the artist alley opens. Talk to other artists! Trade business cards, and even trade artwork, this helps you gain friends who help you out. Doing commissions, selling additional items, handing out cards, it all helps I'd say print out flyers for the comic, showing the art and the skill level in it, as well as the detail, and pass those out. Any extras? Drop them off at a local comic book store!
You always lose fans when you switch from a fan media, to an original. It just happens, but don't fret! I was in the same boat, but you CAN draw back the crowd! Fan material is always very popular... often ridiculously so, but you can use that to your advantage. I've seen people at conventions drawing fanart... on flyers. The back of the flyer told all about their original character story. It was brilliant, people purchase the art because they loved it, so they made back the cost of the flyer being printed, and made a profit, while also ensuring no one tossed it out, and would learn about the story.
You can do it! There are lots of members here who will help!
The suggestions for the convention scene sound like a good idea. I just need to get out there. I haven't gone to a con in years, svee DragonCon this past year, and I regretted that a lot @_@
Thanks! I'll look into what others are saying.
And nah, my story isn't so much the opposite of Bleach as it is a different realm of storytelling entirely. It's catered to adult readers (not because of porn or anything, but like Ghost in the Shell, where it's more intrigue, political stuff with action thrown in, and giant robots, and awesome technology here and there) whereas Bleach is geared towards readers age 13 and under...kids, essentially, who won't notice how bad it is because they're still too young to know what REAL stories are like. It's also scifi/fantasy/political intrigue stuff whereas Bleach is straight-up action/power-ups/magic powers.
Thanks for the feedback~
Hmm if you are sure about that the people knew what they were talking about then I guess it could be just bad luck or the lack of advertisement. But in the end I guess more advertising in right places can boost it and people will know more of your works So keep it up!
No problem! This is related to my daily job so I was interested.
Up until now, I've been nervous about advertising. I've tried posting things here and there on tumblr, but I haven't gotten a single note or repost on anything there so I've gotten disheartened. I've tried to join a few comic communities on DA, but they all support stories that are so completely different from what I do (mostly short stories, or things that are extremely novice/beginners) that I don't feel like I fit in and the people who participate don't read my work. I worry that I come across as aggressive (a desperate attempt to force myself to participate so people don't think I'm begging when I ask for feedback?) so I stopped posting in those places. I used to post on the MangaMagazine forums too, but stopped after they did their big upgrade to InkBlazers because it wasn't getting me anywhere anyway.
My comic itself, I think is really good, but I'm certain that every author thinks that of their own work. I just...I dunno, I guess I'm just a little discouraged because I didn't think it would be so hard to find readers? I didn't have to do anything to get people to find my Bleach story. To this day, I still don't know how anyone finds the thing, and they still do despite my having stopped it over a year ago in favor of Eidolon. To me, Eidolon is a thousand times better than any BS shounen manga out there, from the character development, imagery, the presence of backgrounds, the thought that goes into the plot...but because I can't get it out to the world in a way that actually gets peoples' attention, I just sit here, basically drawing my comic for me, my mom, and maybe 10 other people who actively read it. I don't plan on quitting because of it, but it would be a little more rewarding to have more than 5 people commenting on it =/
For adverstising I recommend that you study it better (from eg. advertising books, marketing etc.) or if you have money to hire somebody better suited to marketing. Also checking what other people have done as marketing is good idea. I assume you don't live in Japan (like I don't) so you don't have the option as japanese people have to get the manga published and marketed through some company specialised to manga. But internet is full of web publishers what could be helpful. That way you can keep making your manga and somebody else will help you with your marketing.
If you plan to make website for you you could check better how people end up to your page to read your manga and how long they will be looking it. (free program: google advertisement) Those kind of infos are good as gold.