Jim Zub continues his series of behind-the-scenes blog posts with one about what happened when he decided to serialize back issues of Skullkickers on the Internet:
Skullkickers online has garnered just over 5.8 million pageviews and been visited by 272,000+ people over the past 12 months. Divided by 12, that means each month an average of 22,600+ new people come on board the story and the site generates almost 486,000 pageviews. I don’t know how it compares to other webcomics (though I’m sure it’s far lower than a lot of the long running and financially self sufficient sites) but it’s reaching 7-8 times our floppy comic print run worth of new readers every month, building up awareness of the title day by day using content we already had archived and ready to go.
It gets better:
As I mentioned in my post over the summer about convention sales, print and digital are working together pretty harmoniously. Our print numbers aren’t hurting because of online serialization and some of our online readers are becoming print buyers, especially the collected trade paperbacks and deluxe hardcover ‘Treasure Trove’ edition. Retailers who stock the series are benefiting from our online outreach, not hurting from it.
He summarizes the experience as “everybody wins,” adding that “There’s absolutely no reason for me to narrow the delivery model for my story. The more channels I can make my content available through, the better.” Maybe, having shared his experience, other people will follow his example.