Pictures of You Readership Drive!

So here's the situation...

Our audience here at Pictures of You, I've said it so many times and I mean it every time, is the best audience in webcomics. On the whole, you're more literate, more engaged and more dedicated than any audience I've seen. I flatter myself to think I'm at least partly responsible by not just offering a compelling storyline and strong characters, but also with a consistency of updates for the past four years.

Well, I've been thinking a lot lately about my update schedule, and especially now as people are more and more eager for new pages. I've long wanted to go to a more frequent schedule, five days a week, Monday through Friday. It's a big move, one that I want to make and I think I can. Recently when I dropped the hint about it, pretty much everybody says the same thing.

We'd love it, but don't burn yourself out!

I feel the same way. As things stand, I couldn't commit to that many pages a week. Creating five pages every week would require me to work Pictures of You as a full-time job, dedicating eight or nine hours a day to the writing, illustration, inking, colours and letters in addition to maintaining the site, marketing and all the other projects I have in the works. So why not make it my full-time job?

Here's why. As much as the readership for Pictures of You keeps growing, and every week I'm happy to see a few more readers have joined us, our numbers aren't quite big enough to bring in a reasonable income, at least, not enough to justify making the leap. The solution is simple enough...more readers! As of this writing, our regular audience is just under 5,000. In order to make it realistic to increase the update schedule, I figure we need about double that, 10,000.

And this is where you come in. I'm recruiting everyone to help spread the word about Pictures of You! Any way you can, get the message out there, bring new eyes to the site and grow our little cult! If you have a comic, link to us! If you have a blog, link to us! If you have friends, link, tell them about us with words!

I'm going to be working on a number of different promotional materials, both digital and in hard copy, that I can provide to anyone who wants to help. Flashy business cards, banners, postcards, flyers and more! Plus, anyone who wants to donate to the advertising fund is more than welcome! One of our intrepid readers has even suggested starting a wiki, and I'll be sure to let everyone know more as that develops. If you have other ideas of how I can help you help me spread the word, let me know! Nothing is off the table and no idea is too silly to mention.

I know a lot of folks have already been linking us on their blogs and comics, and you guys are awesome. You're actually what helped me make this decision, because so many of our regular readers come from word of mouth referrals, and those are the new readers we want...the people who like what you like, think how you think and read how you read.

There's no time limit, but I'm hoping to reach our goal before the beginning of Book Four, sometime in late fall of this year. And hey, if we get there sooner, that's when we'll make the jump! We'll have more information on all of this soon, as well as some fun incentives and a lot of other announcements still to come.

So, what do you think?
posted by Gibson Twist @ April 14th, 2011, 10:58 pm  |  12 comments

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Kotire, April 14th, 2011, 11:28 pm

I'm in I have already hooked about a dozen of my friends here at home on this place, and am working on more. Having things to pass around to people and fliers to place everywhere in Saint John will be fun too.

Coppermouth (Guest), April 14th, 2011, 11:30 pm

I Think This Wins I now have a much more urgent reason to make people read this (despite it's awesomeness). Let the advertising begin!

London-Smyth, April 15th, 2011, 1:03 am

Sir, you know I be pimpin' the PoY!

I know you're not a fan of the Book of Faces (aka Facebook), but it's honestly a great way to reach a large amount of people. There are several great webcomics that have pages on Facebook and post their comics there (some only occasionally)... such as PvP and Girl Genius. Both of the creators of those strips are full-time web comic artists.

It's free and it might bring new readers... what can it truly hurt?

The_Hankerchief, April 15th, 2011, 6:03 am

Good idea. You should ask the Canadian Prime Minister for an endorsement. That'd bring readers!

Artephius (Guest), April 15th, 2011, 2:17 pm

TWC I stumbled on this comic a few month ago when Pictures of You was (briefly) in the top 10. Currently, PoY is 86th and is generally 40th and lower.

If only you can get 5000-6000 votes a month (should be fairly easy if you have 5000 readers), PoY can get in the top 10 and get a lot more visibility. While updating 5 times a week would be hard, having interesting new incentives every week should be easier. Just a thought

phllybeef, April 15th, 2011, 3:35 pm

I demand you take the network television route: Commit full-time now to a full week schedule, and just reduce the quality of writing, artistic standard, coherence and character development as a result.

In other words, take these well-rounded, engaging, fascinating characters and their absorbing storylines, and turn it into some kitchy sitcom.

Just shitting, of course. This comic is amazing. Don't change it!

I'm gonna try to promote PoY on my Twitter and blog. Do my own little part.

darkamnios, April 15th, 2011, 5:54 pm

Im on it! Whoring the crap outta the comic in order to being more readers ^_^

Face (Guest), April 15th, 2011, 6:02 pm

If you make fliers, I will post them. I will post them all over campus. This I swear!

Rori, April 15th, 2011, 6:11 pm

Facebook Page! Come join!

Spaceman (Guest), April 15th, 2011, 7:26 pm

some help.. You should definitely make a facebook fan page.. like when you go to sign up, click the famous person button towards the bottom..

Also, go to and add one of those like button things mentioned by someone else.. They're really helpful because anybody using one of the sites included in the button can click the link and it posts it to their page..

BlinkyTheRed, April 16th, 2011, 2:54 pm

Yo Gibson,

I'm kinda in a similar position of wanting to grow my fandom up a bit in terms of numbers. I don't have the track record for updating like you have, though, so it might be more difficult. Haha. Though I'm updating on my schedule lately! Now that I'm back from Korea, I have nothing to do but draw.

Anyway, I'm advertising a little bit (only on one site for now) and working on getting Heard back into the top numbers at TopWebComics.. something that I think helps a lot.

If you made a flyer available for us to print off (black and white, if possible, to save costs), I'd be happy to drop them off with some of mine in local areas. :D

(And I'll pimp you out when I update, hehe.)


Ren (Guest), April 16th, 2011, 7:48 pm

TWC is a good way to boost your readership. My advice is to have a reminder to vote every time you update, at the very least; even better, update the vote incentives as well. I think I speak for all readers when I say we'd rather you focus on the comic itself rather than vote incentives, but there are alternatives.
I remember you adding the next page onto TWC a while back, which is a great idea and, if you were to make a habit of it, would probably get the vast majority of your readers voting every update day. Comic-related sketches and art that you do for practice are a great incentive, as well; and failing all else, you could call out to your readers to submit fan art, and upload the best as voting incentives. Finally, possibly offer some sort of incentive for getting the comic to a certain point- for example, get it into the top 20 and get an extra update, or a free wallpaper (if you have the time to do that), or similar. Just some ideas for you to maybe play with.

I've found more than a couple of new comics via TWC, and I doubt you need me to tell you what it would do for your readership to get some exposure there!

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