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How to Sell More Comic Books
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How to Sell More Comic Books

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Presentation looks at how interactivity can be used to build loyalty and engagement across a comic book series

Presentation looks at how interactivity can be used to build loyalty and engagement across a comic book series


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  • 1. How to Sell More Comic Booksby Building an Interactive Storyworld
  • 2. Problem statement• General problems: – gaining attention and retention – protecting price – building on success• Retailer and app-provider owns the customer relationship: – has purchase data (frequency, demographics..) – builds loyalty from your content – often emphases low-price over quality (increased price pressure on studio/publisher) – cross-selling between issues and titles difficult or impossible• Customer “trusts” retailer, not studio/publisher• No chance to gain value from second-hand or pirated comics
  • 3. Solution• Write storyworld to include online interactivity: – increases “stickiness” of IP & comic series – increases word-of-mouth – measureable engagement – measurable demographics – builds direct marketing database• Create participation & community around your titles: – maintains inertia between comic issues – encourages subscription & repeat purchase – assists cross-promotion between titles – nurtures fans – rewards advocates• Build out storyworld to encompass conventions, stores, posters.
  • 4. Goal• Add interactivity & reader participation to comic series• “Call-to-action” at end of each issue directs reader to deeper, online storyworld• Constraints. Solution must be: – Low to no cost – No Flash or other application development – Fit existing workflow – Work across all platforms/media (paper, digital, app etc.) – Must add value to reader experience
  • 5. Pervasive entertainment & marketing• Use Conducttr to – add interactivity & participation – build out the storyworld – connect across all activities & media: comics, posters, promotions, events• Use online Forum & events to connect readers to each other
  • 6. Worked Example: Drone comic series from Red 5http://www.red5comics.com/
  • 7. Approach (Retrofit)• Identify story elements that are introduced but not explored fully in each issue of comic – Characters – Locations – Locations – Themes – Activities – Vehicles/Tech• Consider reader aspirations at end of issue: – How can reader get closer to the story? – How can we feed the reader’s imagination? – … digging deeper, role-play, discussion• Consider online foreshadowing between issues to build anticipation/excitement
  • 8. Issue 1 • Three kids hack a military drone and control it with the Wii Power Glove • Locations: Kazakhstan & Texas • Characters: The boys, Cat (injured engineer), McKinney (base in USA), Eero Hassan (“leader of resistance” but not yet named) • Vehicles: CV-22 Osprey used as operational base for the droneshttp://www.red5comics.com/
  • 9. Interactivity Issue 1  Issue 2 • Email – McKinney (officer in charge of operation) – David (one of the hackers) • Twitter – Drone 1138 • Storytelling – Place reader in control of a drone and ask to make a moral choice – Backstory to involvement in Kazakhstan • Puzzles – Hack challenge? – Simple research? • Information – Robot info & videos – Map – Mobile trackinghttp://www.red5comics.com/
  • 10. Call-to-Action
  • 11. Overview: Replying to readersComic Character 2 Audience (Reader) Content Email sent from Character in response to Trigger Trigger 1 Reader fires trigger with matching word in Subject of email to the comic Character
  • 12. Implementation in Conducttr1. Create the Characters – Link to email & social media accounts2. Create the Triggers (interactivity) – Define the codewords & other events3. Create the Content (e.g. write the emails)4. Connect the Content to the desired Character & Trigger
  • 13. Create the Characters• Three characters: McKinney, David & Drone – McKinney & David have email accounts, Drone has Twitter account
  • 14. Create Trigger “codewords”Character Match wordThis determines which This is the phrase thatcharacter is listening to will “trigger” E03the Trigger
  • 15. Configure the email replies Character This determines which character is responding to the Trigger Trigger Conducttr waits for the email trigger E03 and then sends this email as a reply Content This is the email body
  • 16. Simple & Effective• Implementation time for simple example: 30mins• Limitation only set by story and writer’s imagination• Complexity and tone of interaction dependent on intended readership – next release of Conducttr allows for more surprises, more fun interactions• Emails from readers builds mailing list• Interaction builds anticipation & loyalty
  • 17. Other approaches• Calls-to-action woven into comic story• QR Code image inside comic to unlock digital media on mobile• Use Conducttr to implement “story in the cloud” – engage fans across platforms, measure engagement, pervasively entertain – each platform has unique experience & story but bound into cohesive, participative storyworld
  • 18. “Story in the cloud”
  • 19. The End Robert Pratten @robpratten http://tstoryteller.com

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