Success in Comics seminar notes: Howard Tayler

Howard Tayler, the creator of The Schlock Mercenary was the last speaker and the lone representative of the webcomic free model. Howard stayed clear of openly advocating the free webcomic market instead talked about the ideas and concepts that he learned over the years that have enhanced his ability to provide a living based solely on his webcomic.

A few of the concepts he talks about is the fact that most major online news sites don’t post comics – or at least use comics to sell the website much like newspapers used comics to sell papers in the early days of papers. There is now a separation of comics and journalism. He advocated his audience to read two essays by Kevin Kelly – “A 1000 True fans” and “Better than Free” – the former about how it is possible to generate a livable income off of a much smaller audience than one would expect and the second how to make money in an era of the “superconducting copy machine” – where everything can be copied, distributed at a cost of zero.

Perhaps the most important concept he spoke about was the notion of owning one’s audience. It is “easier to find content for your audience than find an audience for your content,” meaning it’s easier to market to an existing audience than try to sell a product to an audience that has to be created.

One thought on “Success in Comics seminar notes: Howard Tayler

  1. Credit-where-credit is due: I spoke with my friend Richard Bliss this morning — he’s the one from whom I got the quote about finding content for your audience. Richard said he first heard it from Seth Godin at a seminar.

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