As I chug along with my daily comic strip each day, I wonder “What is the best method of gaining readers?” Is the daily website the best choice anymore? Now with smart phones and tablets taking over the market, that seems to be the way to go.
Just recently when I was telling a friend of a friend about my comic, the first word out of his mouth was, “Is there an app for it?” I had to tell him, “No, not yet.” But I am ready to get an app out there. It’s not hard to do, there are companies that do it for you basically by you plugging in your URL. After that, you will have to market your app and your feature, but hopefully you are doing that now anyway. If I had an app, I could have had it download it right on the spot and there it would be, in his face daily!
One reason an app is important is that apps are where it’s at today (say that three times fast). With a daily comic panel or strip, if you’re not linked in with others on websites, you may not be read. I know there were some who tried creating an app where everyone would be featured and it would be a one stop place for webcomics, but that didn’t materialize, although I do see that happening in the future.
For the time being, having your own app is probably a clever idea because that’s where people go for content umpteen times a day. People use apps on their smart phones and tablets more than they visit websites, they prefer it. So that is where your feature needs to be. While apps may get lost in the app store, it’s probably best to market yourself and your app instead of hoping people find it in the app store. So rather than send people to your website, you would send them to the app store.
They say the PC is on its way out, I mean it may take a few years, but the growth is in small devices with apps now. GoComics just introduced their new app and it is now number one in the comics category. So the good old fashioned comic strip is alive and well. It just needs to be accessible.
I think perhaps in the digital age, all ways are best. What I mean is, the comic feature should maybe be spread all over — it can appear at its home on the originating daily website, but then can appear on various other comic sites that list webcomics, it can be on Facebook and Tweeted out and I found that Instragram is a great way to share comic content daily.
The future is with your own app. I can see it now, a screen on someone’s iPhone with just comic apps where they would go from comic to comic and hopefully eventually they can make their own comics page using just one app. There is a big opportunity out there for someone to create this — an app that would collate all the other apps and make a person’s own personal comics page. But I’m not sure how that would work monetarily, as everyone would have to get a cut of something.
With your own app you could sell it on the spot or make money the old fashioned way through ads and peripheral items like books and merchandise, which probably is the best way.
Tom Falco, creator of the webcomic www.Tomversation.com has been doing cartoons and illustrations for many years. His comics have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books and online. Tom is also a journalist whose work appears in various publications including the Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Examiner and now the Webcomic Alliance.