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Pay for Online Manga?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2001 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm planning to put online manga on a Web site that I plan to create soon, but I want to charge a monthly fee ($3.95 a month or $39.95 a year), for access to four different original online manga series that I and my partners plan to create. Each monthly installment may have 24 pages for each series.

I feel that I should charge money for my online comics because I deserve to get paid for my talents...

Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition out there. Mainly because people give away their online manga on the Web for free. Some of these free sites don't even have ads at all. I believe giving away online manga for free really hurts what could have been excellent business...

Please tell me; what is your opinion on my subscription model for the online comics that my company and I plan to make?
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Zubkavich
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2001 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Please tell me; what is your opinion on my subscription model for the online comics that my company and I plan to make?


I think you've got some ideas, but there's room for a lot of problems.

Firstly, it's very hard to convince people that they should pay for things on the web unless you're a pre-established talent or have built up a solid fanbase of hype.

Web comics are around in relative obscurity for months (or longer) before people start reading them regularily.

Even then, it takes quite a bit longer to make money at it. Take Scott Kurtz's Player Versus Player for example. The comic strips are still free, it's the merchandise that you pay for. If anything, the PVP comic strips are now like branding advertisement for the published comic, web sponsering and merchandise. There are hundreds (thousands?) of web comics that will never get that far.

Quote:

I'm planning to put online manga on a Web site that I plan to create soon, but I want to charge a monthly fee ($3.95 a month or $39.95 a year), for access to four different original online manga series that I and my partners plan to create. Each monthly installment may have 24 pages for each series.

I feel that I should charge money for my online comics because I deserve to get paid for my talents...


You'll need to prove things to the paying internet public:

- Your comics have high quality writing and artwork. If they're the same cost as Marvel and DC books, they've got to be AT LEAST that good, even without the brand names of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, etc. That doesn't even count the hundred or so other manga strips already on-line that you'll have to be better than.

Be honest about the quality of your work. Is it better than Marvel or DC? If not, very very few will pay $3.95 a month for it.

That also doesn't count that a reader can buy the published comic, own it and look at it anytime. A web comic just can't match that flexibility this stage of the game.

- Your comics are regular. (on time, every time, like clockwork.) Web audiences can afford to be fickle because there's always other webpages they can check out if you're not regular.

Honestly, no one will pay for a website that hasn't proven itself beforehand, from what I've seen (unless it's a porn site ).

Worst of all, if you post your comic up and charge too much for membership, people will pirate them (if they're really, really good). One person buys a membership, downloads all the images and just e-mails them to whoever else wants them.

Most web comics are put out for free because the artists want recognition, a fanbase, a creative outlet for their stories and nothing more. It's hard to compete with the $0.00 price tag that they offer. If you're going to charge anything, it has to be exponentially better than what's already available for free.

It may be frustrating, but that's the reality of the current market. Sorry to rain on your parade...

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2001 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it seems nobody wants to pay for anything on the Internet anymore... even during the free-to-fee revolution... And I'm surprised there still aren't any online comics that went from free to fee...

But putting a price tag on the online manga greatly reduces the number of users. The manga won't be very popular at all, but at least it will solve possible bandwidth problems.

But then again, there's a majority on the Internet that believes that just about everything on the Internet should be free, and many of them are not going to get out their credit card or go through PayPal just to read someone's online comics...

Now, I've found a pay online comics site called "Cool Beans World," but not too many people talk about it. Guess they don't have very many subscribers... The online comics concept is a good idea, but unfortunately, it doesn't really seem to be a salable commodity... At least not when it comes to charging for online comics.
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holychocolatecow
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2001 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-09-02 18:32, Anonymous wrote:

But then again, there's a majority on the Internet that believes that just about everything on the Internet should be free, and many of them are not going to get out their credit card or go through PayPal just to read someone's online comics...



I think this has something to do with the age oft the potential readers.
They are young.
And not many young people, you can call them kids, have credit cards or are allowed to buy something from the internet.
(at least here in Europe, and Europeans are potential costumers in the internet because there ain't any frontiers)
This will change, but not too soon IMO.
Also these younger readers just don't have enough money for all the things they are interested in.



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John2two
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2001 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anon, there has been a lot (and I mean a holy sh*tload) of talk about pricing models and how to get the audience to pay for webcomics over on the Zwol:RC:Commerce forum, just next door. Your posts in this thread give no indication that you have read through and absorbed those discussions. Maybe that would be a good place to mine for informed, experienced opinions?

John
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holychocolatecow
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-09-03 09:23, John2two wrote:
Anon, there has been a lot (and I mean a holy sh*tload) of talk about pricing models and how to get the audience to pay for webcomics over on the Zwol:RC:Commerce forum, just next door. Your posts in this thread give no indication that you have read through and absorbed those discussions. Maybe that would be a good place to mine for informed, experienced opinions?

John


I was browsing through there just before I even registered myself here.


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deicoon
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 2:01 am    Post subject: Happy medium? Reply with quote

I just came from Scott Mc Cloud?s site after having read his "I Can't Stop Thinking" comics.

Or more specifically his last comic,
( http://scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/icst-6/icst-6.html )

When I read Reinventing Comics I was opposed to Micro payments on the principal that it would:

    A) Nickel and dime consumers to death.
    B) Most people won't want to pay for something on the net.
    C) Some people can't pay for something on the net (kids being a one example).

I thought this 'till I read,
*

Then, I thought back to the fact that there are no micro payment services. Additionally, I remembered the fact that credit card companies charge a fee for each transaction.**

What about this:

    Users get the full comic at lo-rez/B&W for no charge. IMHO just offering the first 1/2 of an issue or just the first issue is kinda lame, and it doesn't inspire loyal readership. Here would be a good place to set up merch for those who don't want to subscribe, but still wanna' buy something.

    Paying customers get and enhanced version. The enhanced version would have color, artist commentary ( I'm thinking back to Calvin and Hobbes Anniversary Edition) a downloadable version they could keep, and any other bells and whistles you can think of! I'd favor flash or html-bmp/jpg version for the downloadable in place of a *.pdf just 'cause pdf's and I don't get along too well.

    Now you don't just pay for 1 artist but several. This way each artist gets a little and the site pays for itself (in theory). This could be a good way to establish artists too. And it be a good place to sell exclusive merch to the paying customers. However, and I can't put a finger on exactly why, I don't like the idea of exclusive merch as much.

    Finally, set up a page of "What are you paying for." This page would detail to the potential customer where each $ goes. I think this would encourage people to identify with the artist and gain a respect for the overhead of maintaining a site and credit card service.


This sets up a tiered payment plan without explicitly calling it such. The customers know what to expect and know where their hard earned money is going. And the artist no longer has the burden of housing their creation on the web.

I'm sure I haven't got all the bugs worked out but I think it's a step in the right direction.

*Please Scott don't sue me! I'm trying to emulate the IC style in this post

** Reinventing Comics pg 184 [/list]
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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John2two wrote:
Anon, there has been a lot (and I mean a holy sh*tload) of talk about pricing models and how to get the audience to pay for webcomics over on the <a href="http://www.zwol.org/forum/viewforum.php3?forum=3">Zwol:RC:Commerce</a> forum, just next door. Your posts in this thread give no indication that you have read through and absorbed those discussions. Maybe that would be a good place to mine for informed, experienced opinions?

John


I was thinking that too. But it's so easy to send a new reader to the logs, when really, those logs are so daunting. I have to wonder if there's some way to actually edit the whole thing down to just the useful bits. So much of it is outdated, redundant, or only tenuously related. But if it could be edited and compiled, we would have a wonderful catalogue of ideas and their objections.

Probably far too time-consuming a project for anyone to actually do, though.
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losttoy
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This whole thing started over a year ago when I wasn't registered here at Zwol yet. The recent posts to it brought it up to the top so I can read it and now give my opinion.

Anonymous wrote:
I'm planning to put online manga on a Web site that I plan to create soon, but I want to charge a monthly fee ($3.95 a month or $39.95 a year), for access to four different original online manga series that I and my partners plan to create. Each monthly installment may have 24 pages for each series.
I feel that I should charge money for my online comics because I deserve to get paid for my talents...
Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition out there. Mainly because people give away their online manga on the Web for free. Some of these free sites don't even have ads at all. I believe giving away online manga for free really hurts what could have been excellent business...
Please tell me; what is your opinion on my subscription model for the online comics that my company and I plan to make?


My advice would be, Print.

The question is why do want to publish online? To reach a larger audience? To play with the infinate canvas? To provide a product directly to the customer for less without the cost of shipping, editors, distribution, etc.?

If it is for the larger audience, then give a free preview of the comic and then have and orderform to buy the printed copy. If it is the infinate canvas, then by all means, the web is the only web to distrubute such a comic. If you want to cut down the middle men and provide the comic dirrectly to the customer, then you will NEED to cut the price to something more reasonable. One of the thing that I have always said about the digital distribute over print is that people have a fasination with the textural feel of the comic, the collectablity of it, the possiblity of the worth to go up and how long the comic will last. Magnetic media only lasts about 10-15 years. Paper, if kept properly can last MUCH MUCH longer.

Regardless of your reasons, if you want to go into self-publishing, try both. Use the comic to promoute the web site and have the web site promoute the comic book.
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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. Doing comics in both print and digital is a great way to go. Both mediums offer their own challenges and pleasures, and both have their own pitfalls and difficulties as well.

If you want to make money: make a really good comic and get it printed at an indie distributor who will pay you money and let you retain control of your intellectual property. Self publishing will also make you some cash, but only after years of hard work (and second jobs, probably).

Internet comics are not a get rich quick scheme. They're not even a pay your bills and have enough food for a month scheme. Most people who offer free, good quality stuff don't even get readers.
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