I was listening to some podcasts while working on remastering LOG:02 for its upcoming book release and I stumbled across this one on YouTube:
In it they discuss a variety of webcomic topics, a little bit of the history of how webcomics have changed over the years, moving from ad revenue to crowdfunding, etcetera, and a couple of the points stuck with me.
First, how should comics be released. Not every webcomic is a strip, but we all mostly tend to update in the traditional page a day/week format. But webcomics like The Sprawl are more and more common. They're not strips. Not meant to be read a page at a time. They're graphic novels. In the past, keeping readers coming back to your site every day/week was vital for ad revenue, but that's no longer the case. Common wisdom is that you need to keep readers coming back every day/week or you'll lose them forever, but is that really true? For long form comics would it maybe to releases further apart, but with multiple pages per release? I'm considering testing this with the Webtoon version of The Sprawl. Maybe doing monthly episodes rather than a page or two a week.
Speaking of ads no longer supporting comics, another topic that came up was monetization. Crowdfunding still appears to be big and I'm considering Kickstarter as a way to raise revenue to market future Sprawl books (using the money to buy ads, send review copies out, etc), but Patreon has never really worked out well for me. I know it's a YMMV deal, as I've seen other webcomics making several times my rent in Patreon revenue each month. And I am planning to redo my Patreon campaign to try other approaches to it. But in the podcast they bring up ideas like only keeping the most recent chapters of your comic public, and making the backlog a $1/mo subscription. People tend to make frowny faces at "paywalls" when it comes to webcomics, but people seem to like the idea when it's applied to bigger published comics, like Marvel and DC, and no one complains about Netflix hiding movies behind a paywall, so maybe the problem isn't paywalls, but the perception people have of webcomics being low tier. I don't know.
What do you guys think?