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  1. #1
    dcgride2929 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Is this story worth working on? Ask the community

    What up, everybody.

    I've been an artist for over 3 decades (I'm 37), but until now, have never had the opportunity to get really serious about my works.

    I draw mostly manga pictures and stories using Manga Studio 5 EX on a convertible tablet-laptop sitting on an Air Desk.

    I have had this idea swimming in my head for the past month.

    It is a manga story I'd like to draw.

    Here is a brief description:

    Title: Changing Stiles

    Storyline: On the verge of graduating high school without a boyfriend, a detached artist has a humiliating first date with the man of her dreams, so she transforms into her inverted alter-ego using a magic pen with the result of impressing her date the second time. But when her principal threatens to expel her for what she did as her inverted self, she must learn to believe in her true strength -- before she loses the boy of her dreams, her chance to graduate, and her identity -- in order to stop her possessive and destructive alter-ego from killing her true self.

    Now, I'd like about 5 minutes of your time to answer these questions. Do them on your own time. I'm in no rush.

    1. Does the above storyline evoke any feelings in you?
    1a. If yes, what are they, in single words (wonder, suspense, romance, excitement, etc.)?
    1b. If not, what feelings would you like this story, or any other I create, to evoke? I.e. What single-word feelings do your favorite stories evoke in you? (E.g. My favorite stories evoke feelings of wonder, fear, suspense, romance and joy.)

    2. Are you male or female?

    3. Are you in school or college, or not, and if not, have you graduated?

    4. Do you have kids?
    4a. If so, do you think they would be interested in reading this story?

    5. Are you single? Divorced? Married? Engaged? Dating? Widowed?

    6. Do you read physical books, digital ebooks, both, or neither? Do you read webcomics?
    6a. If you read physical books, ebooks, or both, what are the top 5 outlets from which you buy them?

    7. Do you buy books and ebooks, or do you search mostly for free content?
    7a. If you buy books and ebooks, would you buy this story based on the storyline?
    7b. If yes, how much would you spend on it (roughly a 220-page manga story in one volume)?
    7c. If no, what would convince you to buy this story?

    8. Would you like to see this story as a free webcomic before you decide to buy?

    9. For those with websites: If I were to complete and release this story, and create an affiliate program where you would get paid the price of the book if you sold it to, say, at least 5 other customers (via an affiliate link to one of my outlets on your website), would you buy the book?

    10. If I were to advertise this storyline, via banners, email, social media, etc., how likely would you be to buy this story? More likely, less likely, or not at all likely?

    I graciously thank you in advance for your responses.

    PS. If you have questions, post them, I will answer them the best I can as soon as possible.

  2. #2
    Kevin Shiel's Avatar
    Kevin Shiel is offline Administrator Community Builder
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    Default

    I'll share my feedback with you, but keep in mind I'm not a huge Manga/Anime/Comic reader.

    1. It might be the fact that this Comic is aiming towards Women in general, but I'm not really having any feelings evoked. The thing is in 7b, you suggest 220 pages per volume and I'm not sure how far your story could be stretched to really have anything more of a volume unless you were going to focus on the kind of person this women before the boyfriend came into the picture, why it's so important, and how this young women begins to change slowly.Your story line does not go into detail, not saying that is a bad thing but it makes it hard for emotions to be felt. One thing though I'd like to suggest is perhaps taking a look into how Breaking Bad(TV Show) was developed since when I was reading your story line, I got the impression that perhaps you would be taking a similar path.If you have not watched the show, which went on for 5 seasons, it starts with the character finding out he is sick, and the viewers slowly watch this nice innocent man who just wants to take care of his family become a monster, but because people have become so familiar with him, understand why and what he is doing, it's hard to ever root against him.

    1a. None at the moment but perhaps if I knew more about the story that would change.
    1b. I think as I described above, to keep people interested, you want people to "sympathize" or"understand" this women, meaning they need to understand why she made the choices she did and what she is doing to repair the damage (if that is the direction the story heads). Otherwise readers might get turned off.

    2. I am Male.
    3. I graduated from College.
    4. I do not have kids.
    4a. No kids, so not apply.
    5. I am Single.

    6. I read books, physical and digital.I prefer digital books, along with most people I know since storing them is simple.
    6a. I get my books mostly from Amazon,but I do get books directly from the publishers if I have to (Pearson Higher Education and others). I think I might have bought some from Ebay in the past as well. These are really my only 3 outlets of purchasing books, if you exclude walking into a story and buying a book, but mostly I order things online.

    7. I do search for the book online to see if I can find it, mostly though I've grown out of my content stealing ways and understand the need to purchase things to help support the authors and creators. So pretty much everything I have on my computer I've paid for (software, ebooks, etc).
    7a. It's hard to know, you would need to type up a more detailed story line but I think the fact that I'm a man and you are talking about a female character so I am not going to be the person/kind of person buying your Comic. I see young women,young girls as the people you should be targeting.
    7b. Although I would not be buying since I'm not your target market, based on what I've seen, you are not going to get more than $9.95, see http://www.viz.com/manga/print/one-p...olume-69/10874 as just one example. One Piece is a very popular Manga series and it can only get$9.95, so if you are starting out, you want to keep your prices either at that price or a few dollars less.
    7c. I'm just the wrong target market I think for your comic/story as I am an adult male.

    8. I think it would be great if some of the story was released for free. I remember hearing about games back in the old days, software developers would release parts of them for free and if you wanted more you have to pay. At least in the very beginning, you should release a few dozen pages, or perhaps if you are splitting the volume into chapters, to release the first few pages of each chapter. As a new Comic, you are going to have a very hard time getting people to spend money unless they really know what the story is about, and are hooked on learning more.

    9. I've never been big on Affiliate programs, which is why I never implemented similar things here which would have been a great place to do so. For that reason I'd decline.I don't see most people posting about the affiliate offer unless it was a site dedicated, or at least huge section of their site, that contained nothing but content for your comic and were looking at ways of bringing in extra money. Most people want to quickly buy their book/comment and move on, so you would have few takers with regards to an affiliate system.

    10. You would not want to advertise via banners, that would waste a lot of money while you tried to generate interest. Email might be a good solution if you built up a mailing list of interested people. I see the best place for a new comic author to promote is via social media, Twitter, Facebook, Ask.fm,etc. But again as I spoke of earlier, advertising will not help you sell the story, it might attract people to your site, but you have to have something on your site that would encourage people to make a purchase, a limited supply of free content would be helpful for sure.The biggest thing that would lead to sales, would be through the building of a fan base, so you would want to ensure that you solicit feedback from your users to know what they want / like.

    One last word of advice, don't focus on sales, focus on growing your fan base, your social networking connections, your email list. Then you can start hounding these people to start buying your products.

    Since I am probably, as a adult male,not your target audience I do not know if my comments will be totally helpful. I think though that overall your story line is something you could work with if expanded further. The great thing though about the world today is it does not cost much to get up and running, a cheap hosting account, a domain, a website template + perhaps a programmer to develop some custom features and you could be up and running for less than $400, so I would encourage you to give things a shot.
    For every evil man out there like Tazmo, there is a better man trying to stop him. Visit StopTazmo.com and talk about Manga 24/7.

  3. #3
    dcgride2929 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Big thank you to Kevin Shiel

    Thank you so much for your insights. I understand everything you said, and find it extremely helpful to see where to take this story. Based on your and others' responses from other forums, I'm going to seriously consider starting it as a webcomic first before trying to sell the story. That sounds like the right thing to do, and also sounds like the easier path from what I've read.

    I also understand that the best market for this story would be young girls, and based on your and others' comments, I'll work on a different version of the cover.

    I'd never heard of Ask.fm. I'll give that a shot. Thanks for that info. And I would definitely want people to comment on my comic to get feedback and possibly change direction if needed.

    Based on your and others' comments, I'm throwing the affiliate idea out of my plan.

    Should my comic get popular enough on the web, then I'll consider releasing it on Amazon. But based on what you and others have said, I think it would be best, as stated before, to start it as a free webcomic to see if I get some kind of response to it.

    As for the story, your insights are very helpful. Tell me, what channel is Breaking Bad on? Is there any way I could watch it online? (I don't have access to any premium channels or internet TV services at the moment.) Also, I'll seriously consider including a prelude showing how and why the MC got the way she is, and what she is doing to repair the damage.

    From what I've read from you and others, the general consensus states that if I sell the book, $10 would be the price cap, and a few dollars less would be better. But again, I'll most likely shift my focus for now to releasing it as a webcomic and growing a fan base and possibly an email list.

    Since I haven't got a lot of money, I'm not sure if I should focus on starting my own website or hosting it on a webcomic hosting site like smackjeeves.com. Anyone have any thoughts on which would be the most cost-effective path?

    Thanks again for your insights. They were extremely helpful.

    D. Grider

  4. #4
    Kevin Shiel's Avatar
    Kevin Shiel is offline Administrator Community Builder
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    Default

    I'm not actually sure what channel Breaking Bad was ever on, I watch most of my shows online. You can watch the episodes here http://www.primewire.ag/tv-4128-Breaking-Bad, you might have a tricky time navigating as the ads try to trick you so you click on them so be careful.

    If I were you, I would launch with my own site, and try to get my content on Amazon as soon as possible, that way you can try to encourage people to buy and support you from the start, while giving away the first few chapters on your site, or x pages per chapter, or whatever you plan on doing once you get an audience. You could also try to put ads on your site, Google Ads to generate income too.

    I should mention that Ask.fm might not actually be the best place to promote your comic, it's more of an Ask/Answer site but you might be able to use it in some way to promote yourself. It's huge, so it's something you will have to see how you can work with, either asking for feedback about your story, the kinds of things people want to see written, etc that would have to be in an Ask/Answer format. It's better to use it than not use it due to the amount of traffic and the large numbers of young girls/women on the site. Not that I would know much about that since I'm not a member of course .

    I agree with tossing your affiliate program, few people would signup in the first place, even fewer would make sales. I just don't see the Anime/Manga/Comic community really developing a huge affiliate program. I agree with the sub $10 price point, $5-$10 is a good range to be in.

    I've come across a great deal of Comics from authors that seem to be on CrunchRoll, Wix, etc and I would highly suggest you spend $10 buying a .com domain for your comic. It will make you easier to find, people would think you are serious about things and would improve your image. You have to have your own domain to be taken seriously I think. You can find cheap hosting for $1/m and up. One thing to keep in mind is perhaps you might not have people attracted to your story, so you might want to pick a generic domain name like CoolComics.com, YourNameComics.com, etc so you can always publish 5 different stories all in one place to see which ideas take off with your readers. I just was searching for domains and found one that is actually something you could register right now, ComicsForWomen.com, could be a place for a number of stories tailored for women. In the long run it would be cost effective to use smackjeeves.com since I assume it's free, never looked at the site, but from a branding perspective, you really need your own domain and its hard to beat ComicsForWomen.com, vs some smackjeeves.com/you URL (or whatever they give you).
    For every evil man out there like Tazmo, there is a better man trying to stop him. Visit StopTazmo.com and talk about Manga 24/7.

 

 

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