(Avg. Reading Time: 6 mins)
Photo Credit: Gwenaël Piaser
This is Part 2 of our mini-series on why you should put your comics online today! If you haven’t read Part 1 of the mini-series, then click here.
In Part we discussed reasons 1-5 of why putting your comics online is beneficial to your current and future career as a comic book artist/writer. Namely, those reasons were…
- Exercise creativity truly and completely
- Make a statement
- Connect with your potential readers
- Make a name for yourself
- Spread that name out into the world
Here, we discuss the last 5 reasons on our list…
- Give your readers a sense of security
- Piracy is not your enemy
- Nobody else steals your idea
- Accomplish something of importance to you
- Stop thinking about the money
Give your readers a sense of security, something to treasure
Have you ever been disappointed when reading a book you thought was great and later found to be incredibly unfulfilling and unsatisfying? Did you feel as though you were robbed of your money?
Here’s a common counter-argument: Never mind that the reader didn’t like it. At least I got a sale, unlike if I gave it out for free, I’d get nothing.
If you were the author of that disappointing comic book, that simple reaction by one reader can hurt in one important way:
Reader dissatisfaction will NOT generate more readers.
In fact, that one reader will go out and express to all his friends how much he hates your books and recommends that no one else buy it, proclaiming it a waste of money.
Compare this to if your comic is out for free, then maybe, just maybe, that particular friend that was told how bad your book was, might take a look at it and judge for himself. Why?
Because there’s no risk involved.
If, in turn, that friend likes it, he might decide to buy a copy and share it with his friends.
Taking away the risk of having to put out money also helps you in one important way:
When someone that loves your work buys it, you know for sure—a 100%— that that person will treasure it and share it.
And that’s much more valuable than just some random guy who bought your book, read it, and then tucked it away at the back of his shelf.
The person that loves your book will go out and talk about just how much he or she loves it, recommending it to friends, who themselves take no risk in reading it online for free and seeing just what the fuss is all about.
If they, in turn, also learn to love your book, they’ll buy it, treasure it, and share it. You will have attained yourself a true fan.
In other words, give your fans the opportunity to love your work without them needing to take the risks to get to know it. (Tweet this)
Piracy is not your enemy
Neil Gaiman, at first, hated piracy. He felt that he was being robbed of a sale because people were pirating and sharing his books. What he realized later on, however, was how profoundly wrong he was.
And Neil is right, if I may say so. No one who was going to buy your book isn’t buying it. If they really loved the book, they’d go out of their way to procure a copy. Those kids would stop eating at lunch break for a month if they had to, just so they could save enough money to buy your book.
So if your work is being pirated, take that as a nudge that you did an excellent job.
Nobody else steals your idea
Actually, the truth is that the fear you have that someone will steal your idea is a rarity. We live in a world where people shy away from chasing after their dreams because they’re afraid of taking the risk. They have responsibilities that need to be taken care of. They have obligations they have to meet.
They “don’t have the time” to go off and write a book. And so they don’t.
On the other hand, if someone did steal your work from your website, what better way to find out than have your legions of fans hunt down that impostor and pressure him into taking down your work? If you’ve got those 1000 true fans for you, what chance does this no-name have against you in court? None.
Unlike if your work’s obscure and lurking in the back of your room—never seen the light of day—how does that help your cause when your idea gets stolen? Nobody’s there to vouch for you. Nobody’s there to back you up and defend you.
Accomplish something of importance
The great thing about having a webcomic with a thriving audience is that there’s more pressure for you to finish. Sure, it’s a given that there are hundreds of webcomics that have suddenly disappeared off the map because their creators couldn’t take it, or couldn’t finish what they started. But compare that to if you just kept those thumbnails and sketches in your drawer?
Without the pressure of adoring fans, there’s no sense of accountability, no motivation for you to finish your work. What is in the drawer, stays in the drawer, and you hold no obligation to it whatsoever.
Even better, that website is a constant reminder for you as a person with a heart:
STOP SELLING YOUR SOUL AND FOLLOW YOUR BLISS
If you do put off posting new comic pages for a while, you might eventually get back to it.
Stop thinking about the money
I’ve heard dozens of successful authors all say that they didn’t do it for the money. They’re half-right when they say that. Of course, at the back of their minds they’re thinking about the possibilities of what might happen if their book suddenly hits big time.
What I believe they really mean to say is that, “I didn’t let the want or need of money dictate my level of passion.”
Money is always the issue, isn’t it? It’s the number one reason why we put aside our dreams. It’s the number one reason why we give up and join the rat race. It’s the number one reason we settle for less.
Money does not equal riches, however.
Money is not the god of everything.
Once you’re able to break free of its clutches, you’ll realize just how much freedom and power you actually have.
In short, don’t allow currency to be your master. Rather, turn money into your slave.
If you can rally an audience that values and treasures your work far more than the average reader, then the money will take care of itself. You just have to think up a creative way to monetize it somehow.
And that’s easy! After all, you ARE a creative, aren’t you?
Piece of cake.
So my final say regarding this topic is go out and start a website. Put your stuff on there. Trust me, if we are not in this stage of modernization already, we’re quickly getting there. It is far better for you to be ahead of the trend, than lagging behind because you wanted to be conservative about the whole thing.