In my e-comics sales report a couple weeks ago, I wrote that I intend to keep at my little digital comics experiment and see where it takes me. I eluded to four things I intend to do. In order of what you’re most likely to care about to least, here they are:
1) The Kameoka Diaries: Volume Two
Sample panel from the forthcoming book
May as well officially announce it: I’m working on a second volume of Kameoka Diaries comics! As with the first volume, it’ll be in the neighborhood of eight chapters, I’ll be selling it for 99-cents, and I’ll be putting some (most?) of it online for free.
But I thought I’d try one thing different this time. I’m going to release the e-book first, and then start putting them online in the weeks that follow. I thought this might provide that extra bit of incentive for people to fork over the 99-cents. It’s worth a shot, anyway!
I’ve already finished about half of the book, and expect to finish and release it later this summer (or maybe early autumn at the latest). I’ll keep you posted!
2) The Kameoka Diaries in PDF format for Android/PC/Whatever
A few people have asked about a PDF version of The Kameoka Diaries: Volume One, so for the past couple weeks I’ve been working on that. It’s almost done, and I’ve started looking into ways to sell/distribute it. (Speaking of which, if anyone knows of good services for selling digital downloads, lemme know!)
Like the iBookstore version, the PDF version will be in HD, DRM free, and cost 99-cents. If things go to plan, it could be out as soon as a few weeks from now (no promises, but hopefully). Stay tuned!
3) More Marketing
I was really happy with the e-book sales I had for the month of May (443 books sold). In fact, if sales averaged that much every month, I’d be ecstatic.
Unfortunately, June sales are nowhere near that level. With half the month over, I’ve sold juuust over 30 books so far. If sales maintained that level for the rest of the month (and frankly I’m not even sure if that will happen) my June sales will be about 15% of the May sales.
It’s not unusual for sales to fall over time, but I think the reason the drop was so steep is this: other than the occasional blog post/Facebook update/tweet, I’ve done essentially nothing to market my books for the past few weeks.
Sure, blog posts/Facebook updates/tweets are better than nothing, but they’re sort of like preaching to the choir. The only people who will see them are friends, family, and already established fans, and if they were interested in my e-comics, they probably would have bought them by now. I’ve done next to nothing to reach out to new readers who might be interested in my work.
The main reason I’ve slacked so much on marketing front is things have been particularly hectic at my day job lately. I’m taking a few weeks off work during July/August, so hopefully I can give my e-comics the big marketing push I should have given them from the start.
4) Website Housekeeping
If you’re reading this blog entry around the time it was posted, then you can see the overall look of this site is pretty generic. The reason for the blah layout is this: about a month ago my site got like 48,000 hits in one day, and it almost gave my webhost a heart attack. I realized my site wasn’t optimized for that level of traffic, especially since, as a cartoonist, I need to display so many images. So I provisionally switched to website theme that didn’t use as much CPU power, so I could handle the extra traffic.
And that’s how the site stands today: the current iteration is almost like a placeholder, until I can get in there and fix things (on both the front and the back-end). On the front-end, I want to create a more inviting looking website, with more obvious links to twitter, facebook, my store, etc. On the back-end, I need to look for ways to optimize the site, and upgrade to a better (and unfortunately more expensive) hosting package so I can promote the site without worrying about getting too much traffic. And I might also try to add a way for people to purchase digital copies of my comics through my site. Again, I hope to do all this later this summer, when I go on “vacation”. Sigh.
So those are the main things I intend to do in regards to my digital comics experiment over the coming months. After I’ve done all that and the dust settles, I’ll reevaluate where I’m at, and decide if I want to continue doing digital comics. Updates will of course be posted on this website (and on Twitter and Facebook).
Side-note: Every now and again people ask about Tonoharu, my graphic novel in progress. I’ll admit I’ve been slacking on that recently, but I intend to make work on Tonoharu a priority during my “vacation” (in addition to all the stuff outlined above). As always, don’t hold your breath, but know that the series hasn’t been abandoned!