Income Fluctuations

By | Wednesday, April 12, 2023 Leave a Comment
Back when Toys R Us was a going concern, they made the vast majority of their income in December every year, as everyone swoops in to buy holiday gifts for their kids. I know a lot of other companies see their sales go up in December as well for pretty much the same reason. Companies know this, of course, and kick up their advertising and staffing and all that accordingly.

But it's got me thinking...

A lot of webcomics people don't do their strips full-time. They hold other jobs that frequently do require extra hours. Plus they have families, too, and try to spend additional time with them, which often involves travel. Combined, this means a lot of webcomikers put their strips on hiatus for some period towards the end of the year. Totally understandable, and I completely get it.

But, if they're not putting out their comic, and not doing as much promoting of it, are they missing out financially? Are people out there looking for gifts to buy friends and family, and don't think of a printed webcomics collection or a clever t-shirt based on a webcomic or whatever, because the creator is taking a break and they're not top-of-mind for the whole month?

I don't have any data on this, but anecdotally, I've heard that sales tied to a webcomic generally track pretty closely with actual strip updates. People only hit the site when there's a content update, and then they might click over to buy something because the strip is already in front of them. I suspect it's rare that readers think, "What should I get Uncle Phil? I know! I'll be he'll like this t-shirt based on a comic I don't know if he reads!"

So while I appreciate the break in creators' schedules so I can catch up with their work, I wonder if that works against them from a business perspective? I'd be curious to hear any webcomikers' thoughts/experiences on the subject.
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