You want $10, I want a pony

There’s been a little bit of Internet Noise over this new theory of “10 dollars per reader” started by that other site, the one that is stupid (Are we still enemies? If not, I’m sorry). I really wanted to do a quick sound off of my take on the whole thing.

I am all for Web comic creators making money. I think this buzz has gotten creators to think a little more aggressively about going out and getting money. This is good. Just waiting for your money to show up is a sure fire way to fail.

 

Here are a couple things that I would like to say to all you comic creators as a potential $10.

 

Focus on high profit items. When I buy a T-shirt from your site, I don’t think about the cost to you of making that shirt. All I see is 20 dollars leave my possession and mosey off in your direction. I don’t see what you do with it and who you have to pay on your side of things. In my short-sited little, mind I just gave you 20 bucks and my conscience is clear for the next two years. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only Web comic reader who failed economics.

 

Give me something new. Every comic offers shirts. Every comic offers collections. No comics offers collectible oven mitts. If you have something no one else sells, I have to buy it from you.

 

Give me quality. T-shirts are great, but I only need so many. I only have enough underwear for one week, why would I need more shirts? Plus, as my wife will attest, I still have/wear on a regular basis shirts that I had in high school. It is a rare privilege for a shirt to cover my chiseled physique, If your shirt wants to join these hollowed ranks, it better be freaking sweet.

 

Give me something I can’t get for free. The ancient proverb “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” applies to more than loose women. I do own a couple collections of Web comics, but when ever I think about buying a new one, I’m reminded that I can already read everything in the book for free. This isn’t justification for you to start charging for access to your archive (although that’s a strategy I have heard of working) but rather a plea for you to put more into collections. Add bonus strips. Add sketches. My favorite addition to a collections is commentary about what went into making the strip.

 

Be a strip worth ten dollars. As an avid Web comic reader, there are probably 50 or so strips that I read often enough to consider myself a “reader.” At 10 dollars a strip, that’s 500 dollars and a week sleeping on the couch for making poor financial decisions every year. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to financially support the strips that I really love. The ones that I feel deserve it. You may have the best swag in the Net, but if I’m only reading your strip because I’m too lazy to change my book marks, you ain’t getting a dime.

 

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