Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day #32: Saturday 31st December

Final day of the year and final day of this challenge I think.

ACTION TAKEN: Four pieces of action today.
1. Sent out my final Natalie Dawn inspired picture on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
2. Posted a message on a new forum I'm visiting, the Higherside Chats Plus.
3. Sent out a Happy New Year email to my mailing list.
4. Posted a panel preview on my Patreon page. Then shared it on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

RESULTS: WE GOT ONE! Or more accurately, WE GOT TWO! Two new pledgers. Both friends of mine, but still. So... 13 backers pledging $84 a month sees me at 13.3% on my way to my goal.

AFTER THOUGHTS: So getting a little bump on the final day was a real boost in the self esteem. But the thing is, I haven't lost sight of what I have to do in the New Year. My plan is still to do this comic as a webcomic and try that way.

And thus brings the end to the thirty (two) day challenge. I'm really glad I did it because I learned a lot about the mistakes I've been making with the business plan.

I have much work to do :)

Day #31: Friday 30th December

Day three of the Natalie Dawn style photo campaign continues.

ACTION TAKEN: Posted another Patron page pimping pic to my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.

RESULTS: Nothing so far. Still sitting at a 0% increase with 11 Patrons giving $79 a month.

AFTER THOUGHTS: This time I thought I'd use a panel from my actual comic book instead of my face. I think my head is too distracting to men and women alike and that might be why they aren't pledging ;)

I guess we'll see how that plays out tomorrow :)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Day #30: Thursday 29th December

The Natalie Dawn inspired photo campaign continues!

ACTION TAKEN: Another pic pimping my Patreon (and offering a free comic) posted on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

RESULTS: Still no dice. 11 backers at $79 (Getting very used to seeing these numbers every day).

Went for a fun pic today as yesterday's was borderline terrifying.

And decided to show off the actual comic book too.

All this aside, still aiming to launch my story as a webcomic in the New Year. Giving the story away for free is the key here. Since I don't have a huge body of work like a lit of the others, this is all I got. We'll get there :)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Day #29: Wednesday 28th December

Today I continue my Natalie Dawn inspired photo campaign.

ACTION: Another photo thrown up on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. Was going for whimsical... think I got more scary...

RESULTS: Again, nothing as of yet. 0% increase. 11 backers at $79.00 a month.

AFTER-THOUGHTS: At this point I'm really not expecting to get anyone. To me, I'm really just going through the motions here.
But, because I lost track of a few days along the way, I'm going to extend my challenge a couple of days and end it Dec. 31 2016.

A few more days to go...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Day #28: Tuesday 27th December

On the home stretch.

1. Recorded this week's Turtle-Boy Podcast with the advert I recorded tagged on the front.
2. Started my Natalie Dawn campaign by posting my first pic on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. This is the pic:

RESULT: Nothing yet. I do have two friends that retweeted/shared the photo I posted. But as far as Patreon is concerned we're still sitting on 0% increase; 11 pledgers at $79.00 total.

AFTER-THOUGHTS: My opinion still hasn't changed. I need to get more free product out to the public to build my readership. So, I'm still leaning toward the webcomic, and I need to get that up and running before anything real change is going to happen with my Patreon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Day #27: Monday 26th December

To be honest, this last week leading up to X-Mas has been insane. I've worked my day job every day and it's been pretty crazy. Now I'm sure I did a thing or two over the last week, but like I said it's been a blur so I really don't know.

But it's time to pick up where I left off.

ACTION: Today I emailed my mail list an X-Mas/New Years email and mentioned that I'll be pushing this last week of December for more Patreons. I mentioned that everyone who signs up for the $1 or more on my Patron page this week will be sent a copy of Cthulhu Williams #0 (Adult colouring in variant cover).

RESULT: 0% increase this week. 11 Patreons @ $79.00 total.

AFTER-THOUGHTS: Tomorrow I start my social media campaign of pimping this patron with free comics. Bribery seems my last bastion of hope. Taking a page from Natalie Dawn I'm going to start pushing on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages that people can get this comic if they sign up for as little as $1 a month. I know the business side of spending $10 buck to get $1 is insane, but really, it's my last stand.

Tomorrow is also podcast night where again, I'll have the advert I recorded tagged to the front of the episode.

Finally and a little unrelated, the Australian Comics Arts Festival that I booked a table at has been cancelled. Such is life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Day #20: Monday 19th December

Back at work today. I don't get time off work this year except the public holidays. So, today...


ACTIONS TAKEN: I listened to Comixlaunch: 062 – PatreonLaunch #6: Patreon for Publishers with Magnetic Press’ Mike Kennedy. I have backed one of their kickstarters before, so I'm a little familiar with Magnetic.


Also threw up another preview panel on my Patreonpage


RESULTS: 0% increase - 11 patrons = $79 per month.


AFTER-THOUGHTS: Really, I don't have anything fresh and new to add. We all know where I am and what I'm trying to move towards.

Days #17, 18 & 19: Friday 16th, Saturday 17th, and Sunday 18th December

Another busy weekend. Let's get into it...



FRIDAY: Today I a table at another local comic convention; The Australian Comic Arts Festival (ACAF) for February 2016.


SATURDAY: I spent a good chunk of my morning researching more webcomics. It was suggested to me look at SmackJeeves and I did. A lot of good looking webcomics there. So, I tried to set up a page, but I suck at this programming stuff. I have a friend who offered to build me a page.


SUNDAY: I tried again with a fresh head to try and build my webcomic on SmackJeeves. Again, I struggled. So I sent a message to my friend and await a response.


RESULTS: 0% increase - 11 patrons = $79 per month.


AFTER-THOUGHTS: I just need to get this webcomic started. That's what this all comes down to. This is my course of action. But this time of year is so busy, it's hard to divide my time and energy between all the people and things I need to. I would love to launch my webcomic on X-Mas Day. But I'll need to pull my finger out and get a move on.


Talk again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day #16: Thursday 15th December

Today is fun stuff. Nothing amazing, but what I love seeing. Panel previews from my artist Ahmed Raafat.

ACTIONS TAKEN: Like I said, no ground-breaking actions today, But I did throw a couple of panel previews up on my Patreon and shared them on my Facebooks and Twitters.

RESULTS: No change - 11 patrons = $79 per month.

AFTER-THOUGHTS: I love Ahmed's artwork. Not like, LOVE! This is why I do this. I have these silly little stories and then artists like Ahmed smash them and take them to whole new levels.

On other things, it's a crazy busy time of year. And it's so damn hot over here, so I'm not sleeping much. Some people would be lie "Great! More time to be productive!" But the chronic pain prevents me from doing much more than lying there in pain.

Anyway, That's all for today. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day #15: Wednesday 14th December

Everything I do and listen to seems to concrete the fact that re-thinking my business model (as you've been reading this last week or so) is the smart thing to do.

ACTIONS TAKEN: Re-listened to Comixlaunch podcast episode #61 with Jim Zub. Tyler asked us to take an inventory of what we might already have have to offer for Patreon rewards.

RESULTS: Same as it ever was - 11 patrons = $79 per month.

AFTER-THOUGHTS: Inventory - All I have is my scripts. I have two short stories I did for the Will McLaren's Circus Graphic Novel and Darren Close's upcoming Killeroo Gangwars, as well as the script for Cthulhu Williams #0, and my work-in-progress Gorillas my Dreams: Mime of my Life. Apart from that, I think I'm just too much of a rookie to have anything else to offer. Which is another indication that I've jumped onto the Patreon boat a little too quick.

And the thing is, my scripts are already a pledge level. So it's good to know that I'm at least on the right wave lengths.

Actually, I kind of feel like my entire wave-length is on the right track, though (as I said above) I've just acted prematurely. A lot of what I'm hearing to try I have already attempted to do, but my audience is too small.

Tyler brought up in the podcast why he was giving away Amzon vouchers to entice people to do his survey. Well, last two mini-conventions I did, I was using a free t-shirt give away to entice people onto my email list.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Days #13 & 14: Monday 12th & Tuesday 13th December

Busy couple days at the day job and gruelling couple days with my chronic pain, but I think I still managed to do a task for each day.

MONDAY: Re-listened to Comixlaunch podcast episode #60 - The task Tyler set at the end of that one was to "write my story." So I took a shot at that:

Comic books and superheroes have been a major part of my life forever. When I was beat-up in high school. The first time my heart was broken. When I crashed my motor bike, spent seven weeks out of action, and left with chronic pain for the rest of my life. When, as a result of all that, I suffered depression and was thinking suicide. At these, the lowest points in my life, there were always mutants in blue and yellow, vigilantes dressed as bats, red skinned demons, and reptiles practicing martial arts ready to help pull me out of the darkness.

I believe comic books and superheroes are a form of escape and support and under the right (or really wrong) circumstances, comics can save lives. This is why I want to make more comics. I wanna try to contribute to saving someone else’s life with my silly characters and Funny Books.

TUESDAY: Tonight is Turtle-Boy Podcast night. Recording a new episode and, same as last week, I'll have the new advert my brother and I recorded tagged to the front.

RESULTS: Again, because I'm not actively pimping stuff, the results aren't changing - 11 patrons = $79 per month.

AFTER-THOUGHTS: Again, I think this is going to be the same for the rest of the month.
It's the business model that's getting in the way. I really do need to focus on a few other things before my Patreon is going to take off at all.
And I have a friend that has pointed me in the right direction for some education as far as webcomics are concerned (And I'll buy that book as soon as I have the money).
So, yeah. I'm not expecting any more pledgers for this month, but I will continue the exercise.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Days #11 & 12: Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th December

This weekend has been a write off.

My friend's funeral, multiple blood tests and doctor appointments, and computer problems (I'm typing this up on my phone, since my computer is A PIECE OF CRAP!!! But I digress).

Saturday: Re-listened to Comixlaunch podcast episode #57 - Filled out the Patreon Survey mentioned at the end of that episode (I can't remember if I did it the first time around, but doing it again with the lessons I've learned this week in mind was a good exercise).

Sunday: Re-listened to Comixlaunch podcast episode #58 - Looked at the pledge action suggested at the end of the podcast. Asked to come up with potential rewards for $1, $5, $10, $20, and $100 pledge levels. I did realise that my Patreon is already (almost) set up like that. But regardless, here's my reworked pledge levels:

$1 Pledge:
Official patron status. This means you'll get access to my patron-only blog feed with behind the scenes art and whatnot, including seeing the finished page before it gets posted on the webcomic web site. Not to mention you'll have my undying love and appreciation.

$5 Pledge:
Same as $1, plus you'll get an email link to buy my latest comic before it goes on sale to the general public. Plus an exclusive variant edition of every new comic book that comes out! FREE!

$10 Pledge:
Same as $5, plus every year on your birthday, I'll send you a signed script of whatever comic is currently on sale. Plus an exclusive variant edition of every new comic book that comes out! FREE!

$25 Pledge:
Same as $10, plus every year on your birthday, I'll send a T-shirt with a Big Tim's Funny Books character on it. Plus an exclusive variant edition of every new comic book that comes out! FREE!

$100 Pledge:
Same as $25, plus you will appear in my current comic as a hero, villain, or monster. And this won't be a throw away character in one panel and never seen again. You'll go down in history as one of Cthulhu Williams' or KnockaroundGuy's friends, foes or informants.

RESULTS: Again, because I'm not actively pimping stuff, the results aren't changing - 11 patrons = $79 per month.

AFTER-THOUGHTS: It's been a rough weekend. Saturday was my mate's funeral so there wasn't much time or motivation for work. But I slipped a quick-nonaction-action in by listening to the podcast. Managed to do that is the waiting room of the doctor's. Health isn't great and was told to get some blood tests. By the time I left the doctor the Pathology Lab was closed and I was told to come back on Sunday morning.

Sunday, I was set up to smash out some homework (As well as a full-time job, juggling four kids, making comics and rehearsing to play Uncle Fester in Addams Family: The Musical early next year, I'm also doing an immersive screenwriting course), do my 30 day diary, and write some comics.

I got up, had a little breakfast and went got some blood sucked out of my body. When I got home I spent hours trying to get my computer working again. Interrupted by a phone call. It was the Pathology Lab. They needed me to come down so they could take more blood. Apparently they had an accident with my samples and needed more. More needles, more blood. 

Got home again, computer is still a piece of crap. So, went to bed with a pen and paper and listened to the podcast making notes.

Again, what I'm hearing is I need to build a following outside of my Patreon to make this thing work. I need to research my local and interstate cons and how much they cost.

It's been a whirlwind weekend of shit. But even though I didn't get done a lot of the stuff I needed done, I'm taking this Patreon thing seriously so made sure I at least did some non-action actions.

Oh and once I get the webcomic up and going, I'll probably change my pledge levels as listed above. Except I dunno how I can make that $100 level work. I need to think about that more.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Day #10: Friday 9th December

I'm kind of... not sure what my daily actions should be. As I've previously mentioned, rethinking my entire approach is going to take some time.

But I am a determined sum-a-bitch so I will be doing something behind the scenes daily, even if it's not directly pimping my Patreon or my comic Gorilla my Dreams.

Today saw a number of tiny actions taken, but nothing major.

1. Googled webcomics. Looked up a whole mess of webcomics to see how they work and what they look like.

2. Overwhelmed with the search results, I Tweeted/Facebooked to my friends about what ones they enjoy so I could look them up and see how thei pages are laid out.

3. Spoke to a web-designer type friend about potentially helping me set it up when he's back in the country.

4. Sketched out a rough Idea of what I want my future webcomic page to look like. Whether he'll be able to make these things a reality? I have no idea. But this is the first design of what I THINK I need for my webcomic's page.

5. Read the How Nataly Dawn Increased Her Patronage From $1.5k to $6k in 30 Days article. Trying to see what wisdom I can milk from this woman's experience.

RESULTS: 0% Growth. 11 patrons = $79.

Again, no real change. I don't expect any real change for the next week or so while I do invisible work in the back ground.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Day #9: Thursaday 8th December

As mentioned yesterday I'm rethinking my entire approach. So my action today is just my business as usual stuff.

ACTION TAKEN: Posted page six of Gorilla my Dreams: Mime of my Life to my Patreon Backers.

RESULTS: 0% Growth. 11 patrons = $79.

So, I've been trying to research and design a webcomics page. That's about it. I have six pages of finished art I can start posting once I get it up and running, and can add another one every fortnight.

I think this could work. But still figuring out the ins and outs of it all.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Day #8: Wednesaday 7th December

Today is not a good day for Big Tim's Funny Books and the "business plan" I've set up so far. We'll get into that in a minute.

ACTION TAKEN: Completely out of ideas I went back to Tyler's first podcast on Patreon. After listening to that, I realise why my Patreon page isn't going to go anywhere anytime soon. But again, we'll talk about that later...

No real action was taken today. I posted one panel from my artists on my personal Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (and of course put in a link for my Patreon page). But that's all I did as far as pimping my page today.

I have more important things to figure out.

RESULTS: Again, 0% growth. 11 patrons = $79 per month

AFTER THOUGHTS: My entire set up is wrong. After listening to that podcast today, I realise my half-arsed "business model" is not going to work for Patreon.

I don't have a lot of money, that is why I'm paying my awesome and accommodating artist Ahmed for one page of art per fortnight (as I'm paid from my day job fortnightly). I would love to pay more and get more pages quicker and get it out there, but it's just too far beyond my financial means.

Hence having started a Patreon some months ago.

So, now I have to ask myself some tough questions.

Even my Patreon has been set up the wrong way. I have finished pages, as they come in, being shown to my paying backers. and panel previews and BtS pencils and inks going to my public backers.

From what I'm hearing today, this is wrong.

Where does this leave me and Gorilla my Dreams and my current backers?

Here's my thoughts:

1. I need to make Gorilla my Dreams a webcomic. I was always pimping it as a webcomic with a $1 cover charge. But this (obviously) isn't working.

2. I need to set Gorilla my Dreams up as a legit online webcomic. This is problematic for a number of reasons. Which brings me to...

3. I am truly a technological Neanderthal. I have tried building websites from some of the easiest providers available today. But I genuinely suck. Drag and drop? Not the way I understand the phrase. How am I going to build a website, and maintain it, and update it every fortnight with a new page of story, when I can't even figure out how to put my logo on it?

4. And what about my current backers who are already happy with the current arrangement? Do I upset my current backers in the hopes of attracting more backers that may never come? I really don't know.

So I'm tempted to just throw in the towel, take my bat and ball and just give up.

But I won't.

Tough decisions aside, I've started this social experiment so let's see what happens.

I will still strive to do at least one active thing every day this month to pimp my Patreon.

See you again tomorrow.

Day #7: Tuesday 6th December

One week. I am completely out of ideas with what to do tomorrow. But as for today…

ACTION TAKEN: Before recording our podcast tonight (Turtle-Boy Podcast) my brother and I recorded an advertisement for my Patreon page that I’ll be tagging to the front of each episode from now on. We recorded the episode and I uploaded it when I got home. It’s live as you read this.

RESULTS: Again, 0% growth. 11 patrons = $79 per month

AFTER THOUGHTS: So, all my actions so far aren’t really designed to get immediate results. But I would have thought that some of my work would have gotten to a single person by now. So I really don’t know.

I’m kinda outta ideas. I’m going to read through Tyler’sblog again, and Searnold’s as well. Hopefully steal some inspiration.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Day #6: Monday 5th December

Back to the day job. Back to the daily grind. This is what I did for my Patreon today...

ACTION TAKEN: Today I did an exclusive post up for my Patreon backers. I put up a page of my artist Ahmed's pencils and the same page done with inks. Thought it may be cool for people to see this stuff. I always love seeing the progress. But then I posted it on my Twitter accounts (again, no Facebook because for some reason their share function is ugly right now). I know that people can't see the preview image when I'm posting a Patreons-Only post, but hoping it will stir up a little interest.

Second thing I did was hunt through Facebook groups for pin-up artists for my next comic. I posted on the groups I'm a member of and to give people more of an idea of who the character is I want drawn, I left my Patreon page link. Again, hopefully these guys will come to see the preview panels and like what they see and maybe pledge.

RESULTS: Again, 0% growth. 11 patrons = $79 per month

AFTER THOUGHTS: Today I did two small actions. Smart? I hope so, but feels too much like attempted trickery. I don't like it. I just want to get my stuff in front of the people who will like my stuff. And I understand I have to get it out there or those people will never see it, but I don't like the trickery of today's activities.

On to day #7, yeah?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day #5: Sunday 4th December

Another quick one today.

ACTION: Restocked my local comic book store Impact Comics with Cthulhu Williams #0. Also dropped off 30 Cthulhu Williams postcards with my website details (including my Patreon page).

RESULTS: Again, 0% growth.

I'm just not even getting a blip on my Patreon page. Yes, I know this is only day #5, but I just don't have any real kind of following other than friends. And to be completely honest, I don't even really have a lot of friends who are comic book fans.

So, yeah. Things are getting very disheartening around here. Everyone who has read Cthulhu Williams has said they like it and it's good. I just can't figure out how to get to a wider audience (and as I said, I know this is only day #5, but you also gotta remember, my comic has been out 11 months, and my Patreon page has been up about four. And yes, I understand that you need to get more books out to engage a hungry audience. But I just don't have the money, or else I would be bringing more out and I probably wouldn't need Partreon. So I feel like I'm just continuing to get no traction no matter how smart I think my ideas are).

So enough whinging for now. This is putting day #5 to bed. See you on day #6.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Day #4: Saturday 3rd December 2016

Today I posted a public post on my Patreon page. It's nothing spectacular, as my artist is running a few days behind (he got himself a real, paying gig so understandably, mine has had to take a back seat for a few days.

ACTION: Did a public Patreon post.As I didn't have a completed page yet, I showed the pencils of one of the panels instead. Shared the post on my personal twitter, (@BigTimStiles) my comic book twitter (@CthulhuWilliams), and my podcast twitter (@TurtleBoyPod). I didn't post to my Facebook equivalents, because it was glitchy and wouldn't show the image.

RESULT: Things just aren't moving. I have 11 Patreon backers = $79 a month. I have had 0 new backers turn up, so 0% increase. And as mentioned yesterday, I have 78 email subscribers now that two quit me.

Again, I am tired. 4 days in and no real movement. Added 12 email subscribers and lost 2. Wondering if this exercise is just gonna be a waste of my energy? Again, time will tell what sort of long game I'm playing.

Day #3: Friday 2nd December 2016

So far I'm pretty much still acting on strategies I came up with before starting this thing. The t-shirt give away has been in the works for a few weeks. Again, I'm hoping this will help me set up my long game of getting people into my Patreon page.

Action: Last night I drew the winners of my t-shirt competition. I recorded a video on my phone of a couple of my friends drawing the winning names.

Sent the email off to all 80 people who have signed up to my email list.

Results: 11 Patreons = $79 a month. 0% increase. As for my mailing list, today it has dropped by two. So now I have 78 subscribers... 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Day #2: Thursday 1st December 2016

Again, it's very late, so I'll make this one quick.

Today's Action: I had a table at the X-Mas Markets at my day-job today. It wasn't open to the general public. Only employees of the government department I work for.

I had a t-shirt (with one of my characters on it) on display, and used that to pimp my email list. I've been pimping my email list with a competition where I'll randomly draw three names from my list and they'll win a free t-shirt. I got about 12 email addresses to add to my list.

T-Shirt Design

I also have postcards with some of my characters on the front and my websites and social medias on the back (including my Patreon web address) and I made sure everyone who bought a comic took one of them too.

Postcard Design

Results: My current Patreon following is still 11 people totalling $79. So again an increase of 0%.

General thoughts: I really wasn't expecting to move many comics today. Being a work-exclusive market place, and all the other tables selling teddy bears and ginger bread, my comic isn't exactly X-Mas themed and this market wasn't a comic-con which was expecting to attract geeks and nerds.

I was honestly not expecting to move any comics. Then why do it, I hear you ask?

The fee for booking a table goes to the Black Dog Institution so even if I didn't make any money, this was a fun way to donate to a good cause.

Now, having said all that, I moved heaps of comics. I walked away with a couple hundred bucks profit, which is gonna come in real handy this time of year.

But back on topic, I got about a dozen people sign up to my email list, and that was the real goal today. I've added them to my mailing list and tomorrow I draw out the winners, and then email everyone to announce the winners and then the winners specifically to get sizes and whatnot before I send them out.

I don't know if I'm playing the long game and or a dumb game. I guess over the next four weeks we'll see if any results trickle through to the Patreon or not.

Anyway, gotta be up in six hours for the gym. Talk later.