Clever Marketing Idea

By | Thursday, January 22, 2009 3 comments
There are an almost infinite number of ways that you can promote your webcomic. I'm sure many of you have seen many of those methods in action before. Here's one I hadn't seen before that A) I thought was clever, and B) worked on me if no one else. It's called "Wanna Be In My Webcomic?"

G.L. Nelson started a webcomic last April called "The Sergeant and Professor Skeary Winslow." Before this week, I'd never heard of it. But he seemed to be generally doing the right things: regular updates, process blog, quality work in general... But, for whatever reason(s), it just flew below my radar.

But this week, he posted a quick note on Comixtalk, whose feed I subscribe to. It said that he's got some crowd scenes coming up in future installments and thought it would be fun to draw in real people. But, instead of holding a contest, all you have to do is respond to a note on his blog.

Now, the first thing I did was say, "Sounds cool. But only if the guy's a decent artist, and only if I dig the storyline he's doing." And how might I go about finding out answers to such questions? By reading his webcomic, of course!

Sure enough, I found myself going back to the beginning of his comic and reading page after page after page until I suddenly found myself caught up to the latest installment. "I guess I really enjoyed that! Where's his RSS feed?"

And, thus, a new reader was born. And, indeed, an advocate as well, as this post should attest to.

It's all well and good to make a great comic, but if no one sees it... what's the point? Webcomic creators can't rely on word of mouth alone to get people to notice their comic; they have to do some marketing. And Nelson here has found a new way to do just that. I'm sure those crowd scenes where he's duplicating people's likeness is going to slow his page production rate way down for those scenes, but it's still WAAAY cheaper and easier than hoofing it to some comic convention, where you're brushed aside by most patrons because you don't work for Marvel or DC, and have to spend a lot of money on chotchkeys just to get people to even look at your table, much less stop and talk to you, much less go to your web site a week later.

Nelson's one of the few folks I've seen who can make an intriguing story AND put his creative energies towards marketing it well to boot! Go check out his comic, and then see if you can get yourself in it!
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tozo said...

Darn it - I was planning to do the exact same thing (though as a print extra)! I wonder how many people will take him up on it.

He says that the scene he has in mind should appear online in about "a month or so", so we should see then how many takers he had. Since you're thinking "print extra" and I'm guessing your next printed issue would be... what? Maybe August or September? (Wild shot in the dark on my part; I have to admit that I haven't paid that close attention to your printing schedule.) That should give you plenty of time to see how well Nelson's bit goes over. Of course, it sounds like you're looking at a slightly different approach anyway, so it'd be interesting (for me, at least) to compare their relative successes.

G.L. Nelson said...

Thanks for the kind words!
I am having a blast with this! It has thus far been the best way I have found to engage with readers. It has introduced me to many fine people. Aren't comic people just about the coolest?

Now I've got to scramble to keep up. :D