The question always comes up – “How to I get more readers for my comic strip?” And cartoonists have all sorts of answers – Tumblr, Tapastic, Facebook, and I think they are all great. I think social media has helped so many creative people. It’s a fast, easy way to get your work seen. While I feel that comic creators should have their own websites, I don’t believe they are as great as social media for getting viewers. When you publish on a website, there is that single comic there, the question is, how are you going to get people, lots of people, to click on your one site daily or even every few days, to read your comic. I do believe there is strength in numbers and comic sites with more than one comic are great, but I truly believe that social media is best. It’s unobtrusive and your feature pops up in people’s timelines without any fuss. It is just part of their daily life.
I took a break from my comic panel Tomversation; I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I’ve decided to start publishing daily again and this time on Facebook. My goal was always to be published in newspapers daily, and I’ve had a few bites from rather large newspapers, but the timing is always off. And almost 20 years ago, when I had my chance for daily publication, I decided to go in another direction. I’m still kicking myself in the head for that
For a long time I did a comic daily on Instagram and it had thousands of readers a day. It just came up on their feeds and they read it that way. Unobtrusively, because social media is unobtrusive. I recommend that cartoonists publish as part of any social media platform, whichever works best for you.
I’ve noticed that people prefer to read the comic at the platform, rather than click over to your website to read the comic. So if possible, post it fully at Facebook or Twitter or wherever.
When Berkeley Breathed brought back Bloom County, he used Facebook and he publishes there daily, he has about 670,000 fans on there and New Yorker Cartoons has over 913,000 fans and amazingly, Matthew Inman who does The Oatmeal, has almost 4 million fans on Facebook, he links to his website from there. The Facebook posts are “liked” and shared all day long!
When someone “likes” a comic, their friends see that they liked it, nothing is private anymore. So to that end, starting January 1, 2017, Tomversation will appear daily on Facebook. The goal is to build up a fan base during the year.
I invite you to like my page at Facebook.com/Tomversation. There are many items there now and you’ll receive the updated comic when it starts on January 1. And you can always read my thoughts and see what I’m up to at my Tomversation blog at Tomversation.com where I will post a batch of comics at once, so you can binge read them, sort of like Netflix for comics. In the meantime the blog covers arts and culture and some personal stuff sometimes.