If you find any broken links or missing photos in posts, do let me know; I think that I’ve got everything fixed for the current calendar year, and will be working my way back through older posts as I encounter them. Yay, hosting! Also, while I’m thinking about it, something about shifting hosting just brings the spammers out in full force — in the past 48 hours I’ve had to clear more spam out of the filters than the previous two weeks; for some reason, they’re really attached to this old post regarding the SPLAT! Symposium back in March 2008. No idea why it’s so attractive to people that really want me to buy fancy shoes.
Okay, it’s late, let’s do this:
- Congrats to Krishna Sadasivam on 15 years of PCs, Weenies, and PC Weenies.
- Big thanks to the USPS for bringing me a copy of Skin Horse book 4 (which continues the tradition of the previous volumes of somehow ramping up the crazy and loopy and the ha-ha to ever-new heights).
- For those of you with RSS feeds, there’s one that you really should be on, courtesy of the very sexy R Stevens; Perpetual Edge Case is not where you go for pixel comics, it’s where you go for philosophical musings when they occur, and when they do they’re full of mad wisdom. I’m going to quote liberally (that is to say, in its entirety, because you need to read it) from the one that dropped yesterday, entitled The Lando Effect:
Free games with in-app purchases are apparently the One True Way to make money off indie games. I can’t find the articles I read that I got that from, so I hope you’ll indulge me for the length of this email.
The point is that people more easily spend money on stuff inside a game than they do paying a small amount up-front for the game. You’re more likely to buy zombie-fighting upgrades to your Plants or Mighty Eagles for when you get frustrated by Angry Birds than you are to spend $10 for the game itself. (I am the opposite, but what else is new?)
As someone who’s kinda been doing that with free comics that eventually translate into merchandise sold to 1-2% of readers, that makes a lot of sense to me.
But what about in-app purchases *inside comics*?
Let’s take Scott Pilgrim for example. It’s a dumb-kid-hero-quest-romance narrative with a clear line between lost boy and the boss characters he needs to defeat to find love and be a “man”. (I’m being extremely reductionist here.) But what makes the series special are all the side characters. What if such a book came out today for free as a digital series? How would you make a living off it?
If you were selling it to me, you’d offer the story in a free serialized form with the ability to buy “side quests” to see more of characters like Wallace and Knives and Kim Pine who otherwise just come in and out of Scott’s story. Give me Scott’s story for free but sell me the Mighty Eagle of Kim Pine getting in a bar fight or Wallace going out on dates.
The Empire Strikes Back is free, but for .99 you get an 8-minute Lando featurette showing a failed romance that ended just before the events of the movie which set him up to make a deal with Darth Vader. Twin Peaks is free, but you can give David Lynch a buck for a monthly webisode about the front desk of the Great Northern hotel or of Audrey Horne ordering pie. Spider-Man comics are free, but for 75 cents, you can follow the villains or Aunt May around for an extra 8 pages of hijinks.
I wonder if that would work. You put some ads on the free stuff, which folks who buy the extras don’t have to see. You get readers who would never plunk down for the book itself. You get to spend more time with the fan favorites who don’t really advance the main plot. [emphasis original]
If you don’t already subscribe to what is for all intents and purposes the Rich Stevens Conspiracy-of-One Newsletter, get on that.
That’s it for today and remember, if you need Christian Louboutins, I apparently know about twenty three guys that can set you up.
Update to add: Steven has posted the essay at The Medium.