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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

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How to Sell More Comic Books

  1. 1. How to Sell More Comic Booksby Building an Interactive Storyworld
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 6. Worked Example: Drone comic series from Red 5http://www.red5comics.com/
  7. 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. 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. 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. 10. Call-to-Action
  11. 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. 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. 13. Create the Characters• Three characters: McKinney, David & Drone – McKinney & David have email accounts, Drone has Twitter account
  14. 14. Create Trigger “codewords”Character Match wordThis determines which This is the phrase thatcharacter is listening to will “trigger” E03the Trigger
  15. 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. 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. 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. 18. “Story in the cloud”
  19. 19. The End Robert Pratten @robpratten http://tstoryteller.com

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