Print or Web First?

I mentioned in my digital only kickstarter post that I’ve tried to experiment with Kickstarters when I can. Fame and Misfortune was one of them. After seeing webcomic after webcomic use kickstarter for finished collections, I wondered how making a comic that was print only for a year and then put online would work.

Then general/common logic of webcomics has been put it online for free and that will help build your fanbase and eventually sell collections. But in 2012, I needed a new book for cons and was busy redrawing Sorcery 101. Since I already had a fanbase from Sorcery 101, the plan was to have a comic that was print only for a year. Then when it was eventually going online, anyone who was impatient for updates could just buy the book. This was the same thought process for The Better to Find You With and for The Dead Deception which just finished getting kickstarted.

The Kickstarting part was mostly successful. The Better to Find You With was delayed because I hurt my hand. Some folks were definitely annoyed by that fact. So for The Dead Deception I did more of the book before launch than I did with Fame and Misfortune and The Better to Find You With. But overall, the trust and reliably I built with my other Kickstarters were enough to get these smaller books printed  and shipped.

But there were some long term effects that came up when I was posting those comics online. One of the easiest Patreon/Drip rewards to offer are early updates. I definitely think the book already being out is why that reward level didn’t do as well for me. A lot of my regular readers have already read the comic and new readers probably saw the pdf in the store and grabbed that rather than back my Drip.

The other downside is the comic is technically a rerun of sorts when it starts going online. If that’s the only thing going up on my website, then a decent amount of my readers got out of the habit of checking my site regularly. That means they are missing announcements and blog posts.

I’ll probably keep releasing The City Between as print first. But I think I’m just gonna try to get another comic off the ground this year. So I’m getting the best of both worlds.

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