Sunday, 15 August 2010

Coloured by Chris Anderson

I recently finished listening to Chris Anderson's excellent book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price.

It coincided with my moves to put Omnitarium online as a webcomic (for free) and also make issue one available as a free download over at Drivethru.

The numbers have been pretty interesting, especially with the free download. Within moments of the book becoming available and being listed, I received lots of emails notifying me that the book had been downloaded.

I also found a rather nice posting on a website, linking to Omnitarium's own website and also to Drivethru, with favourable comments about the story and art.

Many of the comments made by Mr Anderson struck home with me. Value in the digital age comes not from monetary cache, but from reputation. Spreading an idea further by using a zero price model you create a fan base that may not have been willing to take a chance on Omnitarium even if it was available for just one penny.

Comic Books are going through a similar transition which music went through, with lots of people talking about how impossible it will be for the standard comic book to survive in this modern world.

However, I think comic books, and creators away from the big two (which seem to run as little more than IP farms) have adapted a lot quicker and a lot smarter than the music industry ever did.

Music was primarily in the hold of the labels - the majority of money lost by digital sales and pirating was felt by the labels.

Comic book creators have been embracing new digital technology with great interest - realsing that the wider they can cast their nets, the better it is for them. Like musicians, money can be made from the surrounding sales of the book-brand.

Conventions will become like the live-gigs for smart comic book creators, a place to perform, to a certain degree.

Omnitarium is no where near self-sufficient, but more people are reading it, which is incredibly rewarding.


pdore said...

Hey Jamie -

First of all, I totally agree with the above comment.

Second (and I've been meaning to talk to you about this, but with your schedule we keep missing eachother), I tried downloading Omnitarium from Drivethru and it was impossible!!! I gave it a good chance, but each time I tried, there was something wrong - busted links, errors, etc. I don't know if this affected the actual sales numbers (it might just be my ever-more-obsolete computer), but it sure was frustrating!! Looking forward to finally seeing it though!!

Monkey Pipe said...

Thanks Patrick.

Not sure about Drivethru having problems - I've had a couple of downloads register for issue 3, so it seems okay. Issue one is free on there, so perhaps try to download that and see if it goes through?

I did have some security settings on issue three that weren't on the other two, but I've removed those now, so perhaps that was stopping it?