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Comics Sherpa - The good, bad, ugly?
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Marooned



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:38 am    Post subject: Comics Sherpa - The good, bad, ugly? Reply with quote

So myself and Steve Ogden of Croaker's Gorge decided to take the plunge and put out the $60 for a 6-month trail of ComicsSherpa.com.

We had heard that it was a great way to get exposure to a large audience as well as network with other cartoonists. A few cartoonists who had been on there had really raved about how it helped jumpstart their readership.

Both Steve and I have been initially quite disappointed in the results. While neither one of us expected people to come beating down our door, I think we both expected a bit more than we're getting.

Initially I got 8 subscribers on joining and had 150ish hits on the comic. That has drastically dropped to 60ish a day and 5 subscribers dropped off pretty much right away. Plus, there doesn't really seem to be any networking tools, unless you want to contact someone directly. There are no forums or anything like that.

Statistics are very minimalistic at best. Users can fill out a form and contact you, but I have yet to be contacted by a Sherpa user.

Again - we didn't expect to be something other than a way to get some exposure in addition to other avenues. But I certainly expected it to get me at least more exposure than I'm getting on my own - which I am getting for pretty much free. Today I've got close to 200 visitors and 550+pageviews - this blows away Sherpa, which I paid $60 to be in and supposedly has this vast exposure to comic readers.

It seems as though at one point, Sherpa might have been a good deal. But they don't appear to be promoting the site at all or doing anything to help the artists - it's really nothing more than a DrunkDuck you pay for.

So, comments? Anyone been on there and had something to report good or bad? I'd really be interested to hear.
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jynksie



Joined: 23 Apr 2008
Posts: 612
Location: New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not from personal experience, but from talking with other comic artists, the sites that are interactive tend to yield better results than static sites such as comic sherpa.

They are nothing more than a way to drain you of your money. In order to read comics from that place beyond the 30 day window, readers have to join themselves and pay a fee and lets face it, this is the web, people will not pay for something they can get for free in a gazillion other places.

It looks good because you are mixing your talents right in with the syndicated gigs, but in todays world of self publication and independent web comic promotional sites such as this place, why bother?
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mooncity
is awesome cool.


Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 1339
Location: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. CS isn't doing a single thing for you that you can't do yourself, both better and cheaper. Basically, you're providing them content so they can make money from ads they stuff all over your pages. You not only don't get any of that money, but you have to pay them for the privilege of being fleeced. Plus, I've heard their user services are all geared towards getting you to sign up, but if you need help after that, you'll be just a voice crying in the wilderness. I say they're a scam. Build your own site. You'll be way better off.
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Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow since 1976!


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Marooned



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly have my own site, we were only interested in it as a way to supplement visitors. But I agree with your assessment. And somehow, I missed the fact that the users have to pay, I don't know why. I probably would not have signed up had I realized that.

I've also heard their post-signup service is real bad, although I've had no issues as of yet.

I can only hope it will at least attract a handful of readers I can hang onto after the 6 month window, because there's no way I'll renew.
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wendyw
The Bomb-diggity


Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 4141
Location: North-East England

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really get it.
All it looks like to me when I go there is a listing site and not a particular good one either. From a reader perspective I wouldn't bother with it all. It doesn't seem to help you find anything. I'd say the listings on the free comic hosts did a better job personally.
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Marooned



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the key difference is that you are listed in conjunction with syndicated comics. The idea is that you get access to those readers, people who are apparently looking for new comics. Plus you supposedly get the eye of the syndicates who can at least take a look at what is there.

Personally, I don't put any stock in the "eye of the syndicate" thing, I was mainly interested in exposure to different readers. TBH, if a syndicate actually came to me and offered me a small starting gig, I doubt I would be able to take it anyway. There's no way I could support a family on it and I wouldn't have time to do a daily. So that was not an issue for me.

Anyway, like I said, we're both pretty disappointed and I think you can see why. I'm just wondering if anyone out there has had a positive experience with these guys recently. Doesn't seem like it.
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Aslice
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Posts: 1022

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, pretty much every different method of making your strip popular has a good fat chunk of luck involved. You rolled the dice on this sherpa business and it didn't take, but you've gotten a few hits from it and learned some stuff. If the stars had aligned just right, you very well could have gotten big from it (the right person sees it at the right time, etc etc). The one thing I'm learning is that you have to keep trying and you have to try different shit, so keep it up. 60 bucks is one day of work in the real world, keep it in perspective.
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vulpeslibertas
Level 1 threat


Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 2490
Location: Here and there...mostly there. Sometimes kinda in between.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aslice wrote:
60 bucks is one day of work in the real world, keep it in perspective.
60 bucks will keep a college student alive on Ramen noodles for 2 months.
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Marooned



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe. Yeah, I agree on the roll of the dice thing. It's very true.
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Legion of Boom



Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 245
Location: Space City, TX

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the Sherpa thingy waaaay back in 2003 when I had no idea how a webcomic worked. I drew AWA on Sherpa for about a year. Back in 2003 there was 0.0 tools for the Sherpa cartoonist to utilize in order to see if people read your stuff or not. There was a voting system that was abused and not reliable. Anyway, taught me a lot and I got a paying newspaper client out of it before shelving AWA around 2006. So at least I got my money back. But in 2008, your own site is really all you need and is way more effective.
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Dutch
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1673
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say you'd do just as well doing what you're already doing. I've read through your archive and it's not all that lengthy just yet, although despite that you seem to get regular feedback on just about every strip you put online, and you've already been accepted into what looks like a nice little collective.

I'd say you're doing fairly well for yourself already. 200 viewers in a day is nearly twice what I'm getting for four years of effort. You're doing great!

All the best. Smile

Cheers.
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Marooned



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dutch!
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Dutch
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1673
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries. I'm not against giving credit where it's due.
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Reinder



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marooned wrote:
I guess the key difference is that you are listed in conjunction with syndicated comics. The idea is that you get access to those readers, people who are apparently looking for new comics. Plus you supposedly get the eye of the syndicates who can at least take a look at what is there.



The Belfry lists comics without distinguishing syndicated comics and the Long Tail. So does The Webcomic List, for that matter.
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shortminds



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
Posts: 28
Location: TX, US

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never even been to comicsherps. But at first glance it looks like all other comic listing sites. God ugly and just out to make a buck by flooding people with ads.

But with those numbers it doesn't sound like you are getting the best bang for your buck.
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