Embarking on this new approach to promoting and trying to make a living off of my work, I knew that, first off, it was going to take time. Second off, I knew that I was going to have to put myself out there everywhere. I was gonna have to scream "TORC PRESS!!!" from the rooftops and hope that people would start hearing me. I knew I was gonna have to use Twitter more often (still working on it), and I would eventually need to resurrect my old DeviantArt sight. The other thing I felt I needed to do was create a Satellite Store. Now, my website has an Online Store, of course. There's a button for it at the top of this very page. And the Online Store works fine. But, you have to be aware of me and on my page to use it. In addition, this store is very limited. I can only put 5 Items at a time in the store. Creating a secondary store in a secondary location, in theory, will create opportunities for people who already aren't actively supporting my work (and a big old thanks to everyone supporting my work!!!!) to find my work and, y'know, buy it. I had several people suggest various online stores to me, but in the end I ultimately went with Storenvy, mostly because they don't charge you to set up or host your store, they don't charge you to put your products in their store, and you can pretty much put an unlimited numbers of products in your store. Anyway, I now have a Storenvy Store. Here's the Link:
The store already has a bunch of items in it. I went ahead and put all 3 Issues of "7 Worlds" in the store. Here's the other cool things in the store:
Paintings: I've been Painting Paintings lately. They're pretty cool, but also expensive, because of materials, shipping, and good old fashioned labor. There's a Cosmic Painting I created while on a Date Night with my wife. I'm also starting a series of Paintings inspired by my two favorite TV shows of all time, "Twin Peaks" and "Hannibal". You can check out my completed paintings "Plastic Angel" and "Shrike" over there. Also, there's a cool one called "Victorian Ganesha" that I'm pretty proud of.
Commission Work: No one typically asks me about Commission Work, but I am available for it. My prices and sizes I work in are up over in the Store Envy Site if anyone is interested.
Side Note: Again, the Store Envy Site is designed to hopefully draw new people to TORC Press. Having said that, if you're a fan of TORC Press and anything looks cool to you, you can either purchase it off of the site, or if you don't feel like messing with Store Envy, just contact me directly. I'll be happy to work something out with you.
The Patreon is off to a nice start. I've been thinking about, well, everything lately. What is the nature of this Patreon thing anyway? With most Crowdfunding sites, the Creators want to Create a Product, but they don't have the money to create and/or distribute the Product they want to create. So, they use Crowdfunding to hopefully raise the funds they need from other regular folk in order to produce their product. Patreon is different though. With Patreon, a Creator already has a Product, whether it's Art, a Webcomic, a Blog, Music, a Podcast, or Youtube videos. These Products don't make them traditional money, so they go on Patreon and ask people to help support this Product they create that makes no money. In theory, small monthly donations from a large number of people help the Creator get by.
When I started this new Patreon thing, I did it like I do everything. I dove in headfirst, willy-nilly, and just threw things out there. This be how I roll. Then I started thinking about it. The point of this whole thing I'm doing is to create Cool Stuff and make money off of it, specifically, enough money to make a living. I make comics, and I sell them to a handful of people online and at conventions. Comics take time to make, and the payday's not so great (I make around 20% of the cover price in profit). I'm also Painting. These also take time to create, and I charge a lot, because the materials are expensive, and it takes a looooong time to sell just one (I think it took over a year to sell one once). I've started a secondary online store on another site (more on that another time), but I figure it will be awhile before any of those sell.
Which brings us to the Patreon. I'm starting to think of the Patreon itself as a sort of product. It's like a virtual newspaper in a way. Or maybe a magazine. The content of a newspaper or magazine depends on its circulation. The more readers/readers' dollars that a newspaper has, the more articles, comic strips, and ect the paper has.
Right now, my "Paper" has a readership of 2 people, and I feel like, for a humble readership, I'm providing a pretty decent "Paper". There's a Daily Sketch Diary, so there's always something new, every day. There's a page a week of "Amigos", which is exclusive to Patreon, which I think is a nice Thank You for my Readership. And on Friday there's Fan Art Friday. So, a pretty nice rotation of material when you get down to it.
But we can do better, right? The way I see it, the more of a Readership the "Paper" has, the more features I can afford to add to the paper. So, I have developed a string of Goals on the Patreon that reflect this plan thing. If I meet these goals, cool, I will add new stuff and it will be awesome. If not, eh, less stuff I have to worry about. Here's my Goal List:
$10/Month -- I hit this, I'll start a new Ultra Dolphin Bros strip that will run every Wednesday. Think about it! Weekly Ultra Dolphin Bros! I'm currently testing this out over on another site, but I'll run it weekly if I meet this goal.
$15/Month -- What's a paper without an Editorial Column? If I make this Goal, I'll start a weekly Blog Column (also on Wednesdays) where I talk about comics. And yes, I will write extensively about Jack Kirby.
$20/Month -- I've been running old Quixote Coyote strips on the Patreon lately. I'm gonna stop that at the end of this week. I love Quixote Coyote, but the strip is costly, both in time and money. If I can get the Patreon up to this Goal, though, I could afford to do the strip full time, Monday - Friday. Full time, Quixote Coyote, baby!
$30/50/75/100 -- Basically, this series of completley impossible goals would fill up the rest of the week with a page of a different 7 Worlds spin-off.
Anyway, that's my crazy thoughts.
Joseph Morris is the Owner and Operator of TORC Press, a Small Press Comics Publisher based out of Central Illinois. He has published over 100 comics.