Nothing on the docket right now. *sad face*
If you'd like us to come to your convention or gathering, contact Liz for more info.
Now that things have settled in a bit, here's the haps.
Posted at 04:02 PM on Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Okay, so I've had a day to think about things now, and I think I've begun to have a clearer idea of where to go with this whole thing. I think my original idea of going full-time, donation supported, isn't really the right choice at this point. I think the subscription idea for a few extra comics a month is a good one, but I also think I had the prices set too high. But after talking with some people, I've reached a few conclusions:
- For starters, I NEED to get the new website I've been working on UP. It needs to happen. I've been putting a lot of work into it over the past few weeks, and I can reasonably say it's less than 3 weeks from launching. It brings a few new features, such as Ustream integration, reorganization of some site items, and an overall improved look. It also will increase the size of the comic from 530 px wide to 560 px wide for a SLIGHTLY larger strip, but that's beside the point. Having this done will allow me a lot more freedom with my layout, because I'm transitioning to 24-bit PNGs for layout purposes.
- Diversify. Right now, the ads bring in a BIT of money per month, but not really a whole ton. I've been given some pointers today that may help me increase that revenue by a decent margin. We'll see how that actually plays out, but the point here is that JUST relying on subscriptions and donations isn't enough. I need to cover my bases in any number of ways.
- Subscriptions: A good idea, overall. But starting at $15 a month is way too high. A meager $5 a month is a more reasonable point, with $15 a month covering the costs involved in sending out an actual printed newslettery-booklet with an extra comic or two and a sketch. I don't have a login system in place at the moment (I have one I've worked on for my current job, but I'll need to modify that to work with my website) but essentially the base subscription will just mean you get an extra comic per week made available to you. For now, this'll probably mean you'll get an e-mail from me every saturday or so with the comic, but eventually you'll be able to create an account and just log in to see stuff. This is something that, thankfully, I can actually start doing right away. I'll be putting up some subscription buttons in the newsbox a little later tonight, and they'll find a more permanent home on the new website when it's done. You can expect your first bonus strip this saturday. :)
Anyway, that's the gist of it right now. For those who worry that I'll be saving "the good stuff" for the subscription-only comics, fear not - these will be non-storyline, and more or less non-canon. It'll never be something you have to read in order to keep up with the comic. I'll be doing things just like I have been for years now, except now I'll be doing one more comic a week. I don't think Ill be quitting my job anytime soon, unless the combination of these new revenue streams makes up for the income the job brings in. Until then, it'll definitely help make up for the time lost on any unexpected furlough days. :)
After some further thought...
Posted at 01:10 AM on Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I'd like to thank everyone who sent me an e-mail. Most of them were supportive of the idea, and many were supportive but cautious. The general gist of it was that something like this was potentially feasible.
That said, the more I think about it, the less "sustainable" the method I've mentioned in the last post seems to be. It's kind of irregular and it doesn't really support the month-to-month concept I'm going for. Plus, while wallpapers are nice and all, not EVERYONE wants a wallpaper. They're just kinda allright. So what I think is the best option, long-term, is something more subscription-based. I haven't worked out the subscription costs yet, but I'm thinking something like... $15 a month and you'd get one additional comic per week, whereas a $25/month subscription would get the printed booklet thing I was talking about - all the month's extra comics, plus maybe one or two more just for the booklet, as well as a sketch in every one. Think of it kind of like the Real Life newsletter. An old-school concept, but the extra $10 a month would get you a neat tangible thing in the mail each month, and it wouldn't kill my time too much to do it.
The nice thing about a concept like this is I could potentially start doing it now, without quitting my job, and if there's enough interest in it to where enough people sign up, I could transition to doing Real Life full time without risking it all up front. I think I'll still come up with some sort of mega-awesome gift each month for large donators, (I already received a few today unprovoked) but this should be a nice happy medium, I think. A good value for the subscription, as well as added value for higher subscriptions.
The good thing is, over the past 9 months, I've spent a LOT of time working on PHP/SQL user validation and account creation type stuff, so I could integrate that kind of functionality into a subscriber-only site fairly easily. It would all be automated, which removes the possibility from me of messing up and not getting stuff out in time. Could be pretty useful... we'll see. In the meantime, I'll figure out the details for a subscription system tomorrow and get something rolling.
You guys freaking rule though - don't forget that. The amount of support you've given me is amazing. I really do appreciate you guys!