You know we’re a webcomic, right?
An interesting thing has been happening these past few years.
STAR POWER usually has a good showing at conventions, where people discover us and give our books a try. There’s something about buying from creators in person, from us in particular, that people seem to prefer. But the convention formula regarding new readers seems to be as follows: people find us, buy our book(s) because they look interesting, and then they become invested in our story! This tried-and-true formula isn’t what is interesting, though. It’s what happens next.
Many new readers who find us at conventions do not visit our website. Despite the address being plainly printed on the last pages and back covers of each book, despite us saying to their faces, “We’re primarily a webcomic and we update new pages every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!” They wait for us to return next year to the convention they found us at, where they pick up whatever next volumes we’ve printed. It’s a very strange phenomenon for me, and one I was not prepared for. But after fifteen years in the webcomic business I should have expected that times would change along with people’s preferences.
Perhaps the rise of streaming media and “binge-watching” has made waiting for bits of story at a time unpopular. Perhaps formatting STAR POWER like a traditional print comic book makes people think that our website is secondary to our books. Perhaps people like buying directly from creators, in person, because it feels more like direct support of their work. Perhaps the “centralization of the internet,” where artists post the majority of their work to places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr, has made people wary of visiting other sites.
Maybe it’s a combination of all those things, or maybe there’s some factor I can’t see. Whatever it is, it’s a curious situation and one we’re trying to remedy.
So if you like STAR POWER, and we hope you do, encourage people to come visit us here! There’s always something new to see and we promise that reading our updates on the Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule won’t lessen your enjoyment of the books.