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wrathborne



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: I've often wondered... Reply with quote

How do you know when to do any merchandising with your webcomic?

I've only been a web comic artist for about 4 months now and have my work spread across various free hosts as well as my own website and obviously I'm not going to be doing this any time soon, but this has been on my mind.

How do you know when your work is popular enough to market ?
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Casual Notice
Spambot Extraordinaire


Joined: 18 Mar 2005
Posts: 2968
Location: Oh my God, It's full of stars!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite the fact that I have actively resisted advertising on my site and any sort of merchandising for my old comic Casual Notice, I have also looked into various methods of marketing and merchandising, just out of curiosity. I've also watched other comics, both here and at their home sites and gathered a little intel. My advice (which you may feel free to ignore or accept in whole or in part) is this:
You should:
  • Collate and/or print your first book collection after about 50-75 pages (150-225 strips, for 3/4-panel comics). Even if yo only publish it as a PDF or Kindle file, you can still see where you stand on postmarket interest. Collection Books are also useful for Convention Marketing, because they allow potential readers to scan your comic without having to rush home and boot up their computer (or flip their tablet off of the convention map/torrent of The Host) to look at your site.
  • If asked by friends or family, make a couple of custom T-shirts or Jerseys. You can get a losal shop to do a small (10 or so) silkscreen run for about $150 for a 2-color design and maybe $350-500 for a 4-color design (depending on complexity). This gets you low-cost advertising (off net) and also serves to give you practice in finding the right balance between cost and appearance.
  • Bulk printed office items (lighters, keychains, pens, swag bags) are best used as convention giveaways.

In any case, I would advise selling individual items directly from your front page and at conventions before you set up an online store.
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Casual Notice--commentary, comics and an appreciation for snappy hats.
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ewomack
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One sure sign is if people ask for it. So far I've only had 1 request for merchandise (a t-shirt), so perhaps it was only a 1-off. But, 1 person did ask so perhaps if I actually put up a store people would buy something? After I had that request a lot of people told me to put up a store, but I haven't (for reasons irrelevant to this thread). Another sign would be a spike in website visits, fan mail, etc. Anything that demonstrates that you have fans that might actually spend money if you offered something.
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