Comic Publishers – 10 Tips for Successful Webcomic Marketing

Comic Publishers – 10 Tips for Successful Webcomic Marketing

Scribes Unlimited Press has three successful webcomics as comic publishers.

 

Each webcomic has its own niche, and we imagine our comics could be doing a lot better if there wasn’t a deadly pandemic in the air. For instance, “The Depths” is holding a steady daily visit of approximately 1500, “Insignificant Otters” is trying to reach 500 subscribers on Tapas, and “Island Girls” has become something of a Webtoon hit with about 2500 likes.

God knows where we’d be if things were normal, right?

Scribes Unlimited does a few things to help get the views up and get people talking as comic publishers. A lot of these are 100% free or require very little money. Many people will tell you “it’s who you know”, and that’s it. Well, that’s not at all “it”.

First, it should never be “it’s who you know” because we ALL should know each other. The crying need of webcomics today is to become relevant, and as it says on our home page, it’s not enough to publish your comic online and hope for the best.

Now the real work begins.

  • Review your content. A very popular artist once told us “content is king”. We don’t mean just the webcomic either, but we’ll get to that later. Suppose your webcomic sits on a site like Tapas, ComicFury, or Webtoons, or you have your own dedicated site. In that case, you can provide outstanding service to present – and future readers – by including more content. These can be in the form of blogs, videos, extra art, maybe a journal, anything that you can post to show people “Hey, I’m here! Pay attention to me!” Because that’s basically what the webcomic world and the entire internet is right now. One large stage with billions of people trying to fit on it. You can’t and won’t be able to compete with these billions if you don’t do what they do. So make sure you DO something besides your webcomic. Share a funny story or cat video, write about the comic (maybe some upcoming plans), add a sexy pin-up of one of your characters. Do a little extra and you’ll prove to people that you belong in the spotlight.

    Our own cat video featuring Destiny:

 

  • Review your webcomic. Take a solid look at what you’re doing in the webcomic. Comic publishers all over the world are successful because they include only the best comics. The argument is that they want the art, the story, the characters, etc., but it’s really not that cut and dried. We’ve seen XKCD rise to super-stardom with nothing more than stick figures. So maybe it’s not about the art. Maybe it’s the humor, or the action, or the story itself that moves readers. In any case, take a look at what you’re doing and self-rate. Is the art passable and easy to decipher? Is the story flowing, and making sense? Are your characters memorable and relatable? Get a couple of good reviews of your work and listen to the critics. They may have some ideas you didn’t think of, and a fresh set of eyes never hurts.
  • It’s in the cards. If you feel you can spend about $50 or so, and trust your graphic blandishment enough, you can tell a lot of people about your webcomic without being on the web. Places like Instaprint have great deals on 100 or so 4” x 6” postcards that you can post up on bulletin boards in colleges, or in cafes or diners, and especially in comic book stores. If you ask at a comic book store, you’ll usually get permission, and you’re right at the heart of the action then. We placed about 10 cards for “The Depths” at a comic book store once and when they were fresh out of them, we were able to supply more. The cards should have the most eye-catching art imaginable, (especially at a comic book store because you’re in competition with so much incredible art), a few catch lines/phrases, (We used “Beauty has never been deeper…”, which went down very nicely) and most importantly the website address of the comic. Keep them in your car if you have one, so that anytime you go out and spot a bulletin board or something public like that, post a card or two.

  • We got the hook-up. Comic publishers often link together to provide all sorts of services like marketing, advertising, distributing, etc. So too should you link up with other sites as well. Start with well-known webcomics already out there, but aim for the ones with your style of content. For example, “The Depths” is linked with Andrew Hunter’s “Delve”, because they’re both adult comics with lots of nudity. So look for comic creators that might like to link with you and drive traffic to your and their websites. Create a variety of banner sizes so you can accommodate a lot of people. Also think about really cool text-only ads that might get people clicking.
  • Social media matters. As much as we HATE to say this, you need to have a social media presence. Yes, we know, “but everyone else is doing it!”, you scream. We know. And you’re going to have to do it too. It’s still the highest degree of success for some of the biggest webcomics out there, so stop screaming and get a presence. You’ll want a Facebook page (keep the content clean), Twitter (content can be adult there), Instagram, Reddit, and Tumblr to really make a mark. We recommend only a few because you CAN’T keep up with all the ones you could be doing. You’d have to essentially hire a staff to look after it all!
  • Make some lists. Your webcomic will fare much better if a lot of eyes see it, so naturally you’ll want to get it on a few lists. Look online for webcomic lists like Top Webcomics, Belfry and others. Getting ranked high on these lists will guarantee you more traffic. Then your job will be to keep the traffic interested. (See Tips #1 and #2 above)
  • Get a subscriber list started. Let’s face it, no one really likes to do this unless they are really, really pumped about your webcomic. Your subscriber list should only have the most devoted, dedicated fans. Creating one is actually a simple matter too. Email. Yes, emailing something as simple as, “Do you really love “The Depths”? Want a free peek at new content or alerts when new pages publish? Let us know and we can add you to our subscriber list!” You’d be pleasantly surprised how many people will sign up to be on your email list if you show a little bravery and kindness. Getting a list also allows you to offer free art contests, something people might TELL OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT. Also handy for Patreon if expenses for comic creating become significant and you need help.
  • Review other webcomics. Is there a popular webcomic you really love? Ask the artist if you can write a review about it, or interview the artist personally. We were lucky to interview two artists with very popular webcomic titles, Brandon Shane with “The Monster Under the Bed” and Andrew Hunter’s “Delve”. These two then told their audiences about the interviews and where to find them, and suddenly we had a lot more website visits. So, yeah, it never hurts to be a good neighbor to the webcomic community.
  • Conventions. Most assuredly, getting yourself a booth or table at a main event would be ideal, but you need to think of expenses in this case. If you plan on printing your webcomics to pass out to attendees, that’s great, but you’ll need to consider the cost. Printing costs for 100 standard 36-page color comics start at around $500. If you manage to score a good printing deal, you’ll want to think about merchandising as well, like t-shirts, mugs, notepads, etc. The more items in your booth or on your table, the more crowds you’ll get. Just as with the internet stage, you’re competing here as well – just a much smaller setting and more focused market. Do all you can to stand out.
  • What’s the secret code? QR codes are becoming much of a thing in this day and age. You see them everywhere, and anyone can use a smartphone now to scan these codes and be taken away to a website for more information. Why not yours…? Stop by the QR Code Creation site and get a code to the main website you want people to visit, and place these codes on those postcards and all publicity materials for an added boost. You can even include a code as your email signature, just to look cool.

Seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, if all you want to do is draw your webcomics, let Scribes Unlimited do all the other work for you. Contact us and we’ll get you a great deal. We can write content for your blogs, help you out with search engine optimization, market your webcomics, help you get links, reviews and interviews, and much more.

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