Friday, September 4, 2009

Not a people person

I'll try not to get too "emotions and stuff" here, but I have a blog and I have some frustration - IT IS THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS!

Today I posted my 300th strip. That's kinda a big deal, even though it fell in just about the worst place. I'm on the second-to-last page of the current story, meaning any curious new reader is not likely to stick around and give a crap. Readers are profoundly lazy beings, and there's no way to change that. The burden falls to me to MAKE THEM CARE. Today's 300th strip was a wasted opportunity.

I'm absurdly lucky to have the fan base I have now, because I thoroughly suck at cultivating it. Precocious lacks a solid HOOK to get the easy readers. (Unless you count the artwork as furry - and I don't know how effective that would be as I don't cover an furry topics in the strip.) I don't pander to a target group. I don't do T&A or more adult humor. That's an issue, since that stuff is what the internet is all about! We go online to find groups of like-minded people, so we WANT to find comics that fit our interests. The average internet user is more sharp-tongued and edgy with their humor, so comics with that voice naturally attract a large readership. All I have to offer is funny. That's a LOT OF PRESSURE!

It falls to me to make people care enough to stick around - and once they stick around, I have to make them want to help Precocious thrive! That's hard to do with my personality. Unfortunately, I'm far more the artist than the advertiser. Doing the social things, like tweeting around, hanging out on message boards and being proactive in audience interaction are hard for me. All I want to do is work on my comic! I've got all my eggs in the quality basket!

I'm frustrated with myself right now. Precocious may be ahead of the curve in the readership to comic age ratio, but it's not where it COULD be - and that's all on me. Not only have I not actively cultivated a readership, but I've done a lot to distance those who put forth the effort to reach out to me. I do my best, but I'm an awful communicator. (I'm two weeks behind in my email, and feeling reeaaaallly guilty about it.) Of course, I knew this going in. That's why I went daily. That's why I do all my extras. I need quality to make up for my poor social skills. But quality will only take me so far.

I'm sorta lacking direction here, so I apologize. I'm having a hard time communicating about having a hard time communicating!

See, the problem is my ego is at work here. I have a WONDERFUL group of dedicated readers, and I want MORE. This post is not a knock on them, as I mentioned they stuck around despite me doing NOTHING to win them over. They are amazing, and reading their feedback is what keeps me putting in the massive amount of hours that are needed to produce a daily. And do I tell them how awesome they are? No, I whine about how I'm not satisfied.

I look at the numbers by Precocious for ranking sites and I cringe. I produce a new comic every week as a vote incentive, yet a really small fraction of my readers bother to vote. IT'S A NEW COMIC! I can't do any more to get them to care! Problem is, they don't even care enough to READ MY NEWS POSTS about it, so they don't know! I'll keep trying to get their attention, but you can understand how that frustrates me. I put a lot of work into Copper Road, dammit! On the ad side, my revenue has been dropping recently. I am making no profit at all, which bugs me to no end. The numbers say highly visible ads on a site with as much traffic as mine should be making far more than they do. I look at sites with half the readers and they're making twice as much per day, if not more. My ego is not pleased to see stuff like that! I'm worthy of more people caring, dammit!

Anyway, forgive this little outburst. A lot of crazy when in to messing up my day, and I'm taking it out on the few people who do read this blog. I'll try to bring the awesome back tomorrow. Actually, scratch that. Tomorrow I'll be in full panic mode to get Sunday's comic done. I'll just have to be awesome in the strip, and hope that balance out my utter lack of entertainment over here!


Al S. Romero said...

Hey Chris, I can understand how the pressure it can be working hard daily (and weekly) and not having the results as you expected. I really can't give much more detail about making comics daily (since I haven't much started), but who hasn't? Imagine Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, he started Garfield since 1978! and it is still running!! I can imagine how much stress he had to go to manage his own life, let alone his comic. All I am saying is that, some people have worse stressful time, like you.

Another thing, you should be proud for your efforts on your comic, sure your not as big as Garfield, but your work is so amazing and an outstanding one I have ever seen.

For me, I worry about how am I going to start my comic, will it last long, how will I make it spread the word, how can I make it viewable, will the plot line go this way and that way, etc.

Now, if you want more people to know about your comic, that is going to be tough. Since this comic has anthropomorphic (furry) characters, try finding a site where furry comics are common, a furry site, like (just be careful on the adult level sites).

Funny, I discovered your comic strips when I was at a furry comic called Badly Drawn Kitties (In a paid advertisement).

Anyways, that is my advice to you, since you had helped me before, I hope this helps.

-Al S. Romero

Sam said...

I actually discovered this big load of awesome when I was browsing TWC, and I must say I follow this comic more voraciously than any other webcomic. Or regular comic. Some TV shows, actually.

And Chris, you should put your advertising budget in skywriting. Trust me, it works. One day I'm an atheist, the next day I see some skywriting and now I'm handing out pamphlets to people who would rather not have pamphlets..