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Should My Webcomic Ads Explicitly Say “BL”/”LGBT”?: a case study

Should My Webcomic Ads Explicitly Say “BL”/”LGBT”?: a case study published on 10 Comments on Should My Webcomic Ads Explicitly Say “BL”/”LGBT”?: a case study

A month ago I set up a head-to-head comparison on some ad banners for Leif & Thorn, and figured other queer-webcomic creators might be interested in the results.

The question is, does it actually entice more people to click on your m/m comic ad if it says “BL” in the corner? Or could that label be a turnoff, since some people have bad associations? What about a more neutral label like “LGBT+”, does that help or hurt?

(…in case anyone doesn’t know, Boys Love is the term used in Japan for m/m comics, so it’s geared to appeal to the manga crowd. You mostly see it on ads for webtoons.)

So I threw together a Project Wonderful campaign and let it run. I’ll explain all the terms for readers who aren’t in the ad game. Or you can skip straight to the end for the final data.

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New interview published on Art of Webcomics!

New interview published on Art of Webcomics! published on No Comments on New interview published on Art of Webcomics!

Go give it a read. I talk about the process of making the strip, advice for artists, and what I would do if I won the lottery.

By the way, if you’re looking for free ways to support Leif & Thorn: send a message to your favorite webcomic site or review blog, telling them to check it out and make a post about it! Webcomicry.com compiled this list of review sites a few years back; many of them are still active, and more have sprung up since. (Some of them take guest posts, too. Just in case any of you want to go the extra mile and write a whole review yourself. Which would be awesome.)

One more thing: vote Leif & Thorn in this poll to help it score some free ad space!

Quickie poll: What color should I make this character’s hair?

Quickie poll: What color should I make this character’s hair? published on 24 Comments on Quickie poll: What color should I make this character’s hair?

I’ve recolored this panel a dozen times and haven’t loved any of the outcomes, and it’s driving me nuts. Readers, what do you think?

The only serious limit is that he’s of United Islander descent, so the color has to be relatively bright and saturated.

He’s the head writer for magical-procedural drama MCLIS, if that helps. (In the criminal justice system, magically based offenses are considered especially heinous.)

ETA: After a few days of voting, #5 is the runaway winner. I mean, wow, none of the others even came close. Blue-tinted hair it is. (Keep an eye out for him in a few storylines!)

How To End Your Webcomic, for #WebcomicChat

How To End Your Webcomic, for #WebcomicChat published on No Comments on How To End Your Webcomic, for #WebcomicChat

Technically I’ve ended 3 webcomics. They’re all Hellsing fancomics — And Shine Heaven Now, The Eagle of Hermes, and Sailor Hellsing — so the full archives are collected on the same site.

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Webcomic Buffers And You, for #WeHeartComics

Webcomic Buffers And You, for #WeHeartComics published on No Comments on Webcomic Buffers And You, for #WeHeartComics

I keep turning up new webcomic-related Twitter discussions. This one was an (irregular?) offering from WeHeartComics, a product of the SpiderForest collective. (Think “Hiveworks for artists who aren’t into bees.”)

Last Friday was a chat about buffers. Which was a striking thing to jump into, because I’d just been listening to the ComicLab episode where the hosts go “ahh, regular updates are so 10 years ago! Just update whenever you draw something. Readers will be into it.”

And that works great if you’re Kate Beaton (of Hark! A Vagrant) or Sarah Andersen (of Sarah’s Scribbles), where your whole thing is random self-contained standalone bits. (It also helps if they’re Really Good standalones.) But, listen, it’s all wrong for a comic with any kind of continuity. If you slack on the updates there, readers will forget where they are in the story, and end up losing interest.

I don’t know if if strict update times are necessary in the social-media age. Nobody knows when Webcomic Woes is going to update, and it doesn’t matter, because as long as you stay on top of your Patreon/Deviantart/Tumblr feed, it’ll be served up to you.

But for those story-based comics, you’ve got to keep a regular update rate (e.g. “twice a week”). So you may as well keep the posting dates and times consistent too. Keeps your life simple, makes it easier to track your to-do list.

And with that, on to the questions…

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New Leif & Thorn merch!

New Leif & Thorn merch! published on No Comments on New Leif & Thorn merch!

Hey, does anyone remember that I have a Society6 store?

Because I finally did! At least, enough to add a bunch of new But I’m A Cat Person and Leif & Thorn merchandise.

Click on through to get some new shirts, phone cases, mugs, clocks, and other exciting gear. And if there’s any art I’ve already done that you wish you had on a pillowcase, now would be the time to ask.

Ads and advertising on your comic, for #webcomicchat

Ads and advertising on your comic, for #webcomicchat published on No Comments on Ads and advertising on your comic, for #webcomicchat

An extended versions of last Sunday’s chat, since I didn’t have time to go into all the detail I wanted.

(…mostly because I was in a moving car with spotty Internet access.)

Ad banner

Q1: Does your webcomic have ads? If not, would you ever consider getting some?

Yes, on both comics, because why not?

This is when some creators talk about Having Pure Motives and Providing The Best Experience. Thing is, as a reader, I’ve never found ads distracting or disruptive on anyone else’s comics. Not to mention, I can’t afford to directly support a ton of artists and writers, so it’s nice to know that at least my presence is doing something good for them.

For people who really can’t put up with ads, even for the sake of supporting indie creators, and haven’t developed the ability to tune them out…there’s always AdBlock.

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Comments, for #WebcomicChat

Comments, for #WebcomicChat published on No Comments on Comments, for #WebcomicChat

Took a break from remastering BICP chapter 7 this afternoon, to talk about comments at @WebcomicChat.

(I’m also more than halfway through re-uploading And Shine Heaven Now to the new site with comments enabled! Not that I expect to get any, I’m just saying…it’s topical.)


Q1: What are your favorite types of comments to read on a webcomic?

Comments that catch stuff I missed. Especially helpful when there’s a code or puzzle…or a Dramatic Appearance by a character I totally forgot about, so I’m counting on more-avid readers to say “wow, it’s X’s sister we all thought was dead!”

That’s referring to other people’s webcomics, btw. I don’t forget about my own characters. (…usually.)

Continue reading Comments, for #WebcomicChat

Guest Strip Week 2018 – Submissions

Guest Strip Week 2018 – Submissions published on No Comments on Guest Strip Week 2018 – Submissions

There’s a bit of a hole coming up in the Leif & Thorn posting schedule, so I’m opening the floor to guest strips!

Submissions will be open until January 31. If I get at least 7, they’ll be posted the last week of March. I got a few, but not 7, so the filler will be something else.

But it’s not too late — if you have an idea, go ahead and draw it and send it in, whenever you finish! I’ll save them up for a guest week later in the year.

Guidelines:

Format: PNG, GIF, or JPG
Size: up to 825×825 pixels
Rating: up to PG-13 (basically, match the tone of the strip)
Characters: whoever you want!

You can use any AU, explore any era, include any headcanons. When you send them in, include whatever name you want to be credited by. And, if you like, a link to your gallery/blog/fanfiction account/webcomic/Etsy store.

Safest way to get the strips to me is by email (sailorptah at gmail dot com). You can also PM me on Deviantart, or submit them via Tumblr. (If you use Tumblr, send an ask, too, so I can respond and confirm that I received it.)

Happy stripping!

Short story: All Downhill From Here

Short story: All Downhill From Here published on 6 Comments on Short story: All Downhill From Here

Hey, if you like Leif & Thorn, and you like AUs, have I got a thing for you.

All Downhill From Here is 13,000 words of fantasy survival hurt/comfort m/m. A diplomatic conference is derailed by an avalanche, leaving native groundskeeper Leif and visiting knight Thorn buried together in the snow. Romantic tension, divided loyalties, malfunctioning magic, and hungry vampires.

And now it’s out!

Get the illustrated version on Paypal ($1.99):

Or: Get ebook-friendly formats on Smashwords (also $1.99).

Or: Support the artist on Patreon and get it as a reward (as little as $1).

Also, if you pay for it on one site but also want a format from the other site, no need to buy it twice. Just comment here or shoot me an email (sailorptah at yahoo dot com) and I’ll send you a copy.

And if fantasy snowbound hurt/comfort with divided loyalties isn’t your thing, stick around, because there will be other stories to come!

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