HEY! You!! Yeah, you!
Are you one of those people who have been asking "Hey, Whatever happened to BPD? When is it coming back? Can you please make more comics, Liz? How do I make more comics happen??" Well, trust me, I hear you. And I feel you, I really do. Putting BPD on hold last year, which started as a very temporary "just till I get my head on straight" break to a long-term "I need a new business plan-of-attack with this" stalemate, has been super hard on me.
Comics, while super fun and enjoyable for me to do, also demand a lot of time and energy to get right. This isn't a complaint, don't misunderstand; but it's the main reason why my fight to turn this into a viable full-time job is so important to me. I've been spending the bulk of my day time either working at a dead-end temp job or doing solo commission work; the former won't last another month or so, the later isn't consistent enough to be reliable, and they both take a significant time away from creating new comics. So what's a girl to do?
The long-term goal for me has always been to do comics full time. The simple fact is that the more time I have to dedicate to comics (due to not having to work a typical 9-5 job), the more fine-tuned awesome I can deliver to you, my super supportive & wonderful audience. Not only that, but I also wanted to shift away from the one-page-at-a-time model to one that favored long-form stories. More storytelling flexibility, better pacing, and more enjoyable to read overall.
There are many different methods and models for doing that in the online webcomics & internet world, but I had a very specific requirement in mind: I wanted to be able to both earn a reliable living doing my comics - allowing me to devote more time to creating awesome, fun content for YOU - but also still retain the option for people to read everything online for free. The last thing I wanted to do was put everything I did behind a paywall. I don't want people to feel like they HAVE to pay me, but rather that they WANT to because they like what I do and want to support it.
How do I do both of these things at once? That's the question I'd been struggling with for most of the last year.
THE EXPERIMENTAL SOLUTION...
Inspired in part by services like Kickstarter, I've decided on a model I think could work well in the long-run. It will take a bit of effort and finagling to get off the ground, but I think it combines the best of both the Payment-Is-Optional and I-Still-Get-To-Pay-Rent worlds.
Here's how it will work in a nutshell...
Periodically, I will post a small preview (most likely one page + text synopsis) of a full, self-contained, multi-page comic story. It could be something BPD; it could be a BPD spin-off; it could be something completely brand-spanking new. Each story will be accompanied by a "Ransom" - a dollar amount that needs to be reached for that comic to be released. You can then choose how much you would like to pay towards that ransom; it can be $5, or $25, or $1; however much you decide you want to contribute, or "sponsor".
Once the ransom is met, the comic in it's entirety will be posted on the site for everyone to read. Those who contributed - regardless of amount - will get a full PDF download e-mailed to them to read on whatever device they choose.
As an added incentive, sponsorships over certain amounts will also be sent a special, super-exclusive thank-you physical gift *. The more you choose to sponsor, the more exclusive your gift will be. These items will not be available to buy from my online store or at a convention. They are just for folks who sponsor comics! I already have a bunch of awesome sponsor gifts lined up, but details on what exactly they are will be coming soon! *International folks may need to pay a small additional fee for shipping.
Right now, the main thing that is holding me back from the full launch is setting up the back-end that will keep track of Ransom progress and sponsor information. I already have numerous story ideas fleshed out - including a few new BPD stories - and am ready to get kicking on them. I'm hoping to get all of this live as soon as possible; once that happens, all that stands between you guys and new comics is the generosity of the BPD fan community.
Remember, while you don't have to contribute a dollar to any comic to read them once they go live, every dollar put forward towards the Ransoms will help them go up faster. If you can't contribute at any point, pass the word on. Share the site with a friend, or a bunch of friends. The more the merrier, I say!
Nothing here yet! However, if you have a questions about anything I've talked about above, feel free to post it in the comments and I'll answer it here!
Admittedly I'm as excited as I am nervous. I really, REALLY want to get back into making comics. But now more than ever, what with my current temp job seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and all, I want to be able to devote myself to it 100%. To do that, I'll need your support.
I want this to work out. I want YOU to be as excited about this new system as I am. With luck, my silly scribblings and humerous word jumblings will be appealing enough for you and a few of your friends to throw a few bucks my way, so I can keep creating them for you. It's like the circle of life.... but with Rafiki holding up a graphic novel and all the animals are throwing dollar bills at him like he's a stripper.
. . . Um, maybe that wasn't the best analogy, but you know what I mean. I hope.
Oh man, it's good to be getting back into it. ^_^