This week, you were all tasked with a complex marketing challenge by our Publisher, Andrew Goletz. We lost one more contestant, as Ronald Montgomery withdrew from the game, evening the teams at 4-4. Let’s see how it shook out this week.
Here’s what Andrew had to say.
“This week we threw you into the frantic waters of marketing and gave you several tasks designed to cover many aspects that publishers need to concern themselves with when making comics and trying to carve out a piece of real estate in this industry. And Team A came up with a name: Comic Creative Collective.
Both teams seems to come out of the gate fairly strong after some initial shock and ‘what the heck are we going to do’.
For the first couple of days things were relatively close. Twitter followers and Facebook Fan Page ‘likes’ were about even, both teams struggled trying to promote the comics’ sale and a lot of effort was made to try and get coverage.
But then towards the end of that first week CCC just started steamrolling and it appeared that Hive Mind gave up on Twitter entirely. Hive Mind was still able to pull off some impressive site views of Horntoad Sam on Thursday but the last Twitter post made was way back on Thursday the 15. It is just 1/5 of the overall score but it was a bit disappointing to see that an important aspect of social media and one that could have helped was left unattended to.
CCC wins the Twitter Challenge over Hive Mind 111 followers to 43 and takes 20 points.
Hive mind performed much better and was much more active in the Facebook set up. Perhaps it’s a matter of comfort but there were more updates and you were trying to engage the fans a bit more in discussion topics which helped. The teams started off close, CCC took a lead at the end of the week which Hive Mind started to cut into over the weekend and early this week but it wasn’t enough to catch up.
CCC wins the Facebook Challenge 218 to 133 and takes 15 points.
While Twitter and Facebook are there to give people a forum to talk about their product and interact with fans and peers the website is home base. It’s there to sell product, showcase some talent in the form of webcomics, early looks at projects and share up to the minute news on what’s going on. To simplify things and make things as fair as possible each team had to promote the latest update of the Horntoad Sam webcomic.
What was especially fascinating to me was the discussion by a team not to market the comic book sale on the day the other team had to get hits for the webcomic as it would send traffic their opponent’s way. This was the first cutthroat part of the competition and I kind of liked it as it showed some forward thinking from the participants.
The question now is whether taking a day off from selling comics hurt your chances to take 31 points as you sought to prevent the other team from taking 9 points with the webcomic lead? Hmmmmm
Both teams did an admirable job promoting the strip. Our web comics aren’t as much of a focal point as they once were on the site when we first started and typically average about 75-80 unique hits per update. Hive Mind was able to double that amount with their efforts and CCC wasn’t too shabby either.
Hive Mind wins the Horntoad Sam/Site Visitor Challenge with 166 hits to 112 and takes 9 points.
Of course having a Twitter or Facebook page or a great product isn’t going to help if no one cares but your family and friends. Getting other sites to recognize what you’re doing is a big part of publishing. It’s especially difficult for a small press publisher with not a lot of big name talent or event driven comics to carve some space on comic sites. They’re making money for people clicking on the site and if it’s a choice between your latest small press venture and the next big death/rebirth/origin/crossover from Marvel or DC well, good luck.
We were very impressed in the results here. By the weekend emails were starting to come in from multiple sites and reviewers asking how they could get copies of the book and who could be available for interviews.
Hive Mind impressed early with plans for podcasts and getting the legendary Tony Isabella to agree to take a look at some of our books to review. CCC came up with a very good idea of establishing a press release which helped them give talking points to the sites they were targeting. They developed a plan of attack, a list of sites to contact and sent the press releases out. Within a day it was paying off as I started seeing other people tweeting and posting about the Apprentice game based on the press release. In fact, CCC even was able to get a few sites to link us that have never responded to our press releases before.
Hive Mind’s link of contacts:
-Kokomo Perspective Newspaper Website: given permission for review: kokomoperspective.com Editor- Pat Munsey.
-Geekstorm website video/show: Review forthcoming from Shawn Hilton. Can be reached at Comics Cubed of Kokomo Facebook- he is owner of Comics Cubed
-Review posted - http://comicsfondle.com/2013/08/14/the-gathering-14-2012/
-Ain’t It Cool News (aintitcool.com): Humphrey Lee has agreed to either review issues himself, or to have another writer on the site review them. I’m waiting for the copies I ordered for him to come in the mail. johnconstantine @ comcast.net
-Tom Spurgeon (comicsreporter.com) has been sent review copies.
-Tony Isabella (http://tonyisabella.blogspot.com/) has been sent issues for review
CCC’s list of contacts:
I had two pieces at Geek Syndicate (http://geeksyndicate.co.uk/2013/08/19/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-passes-the-half-way-point/ andhttp://geeksyndicate.co.uk/2013/08/20/interview-with-grayhaven-apprentice-sam-read/).
Also Comic Anonymous did a short piece (http://comicsanonymous.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-competition/), and The Big Comic page shared our Facebook page on there own (https://www.facebook.com/BigComicPage - 16 August entry), with The Beat including us in a tiny piece in their news round up ( http://comicsbeat.com/pedigree-chum-160813-captain-america-steps-onto-the-good-ship-disney/ - halfway down).
Comicbookkid.co.uk got back saying they were interested
PODCAST: Done by Jeremy; audio link to come. Congrats, Jeremy!
CONFIRMED INTERVIEW: Tricia Barr with Andrew for FANgirlblog.com
BLOG POST/PROMOTION: Thursday, August 15th, “FANgirls Around the SWEU/Web” at FANgirlblog.com
CCC wins the Get Press challenge and takes those 25 points.
With a lead of 60 points to 9, Team CCC wins this week’s challenge. But let’s see where the final totals stand.
All of the hard work put into marketing and going out there on social media and finding contacts to work with to promote your books/events aren’t worth anything if people aren’t responding and buying the books. It’s a great measure of satisfaction to say you’ve published a story or a book or a mini series but if no one is buying it you can’t publish forever. So the last part of the challenge was to sell some comic books with a discount code you were given.
Some of you started early, promoting the codes and the sales from the first days which was interesting. The allure of the discount helps but the rest of the challenge was designed to help you establish a small base of people in which you could sell to. Would your strategies pay off.
CCC wins the Comic Selling challenge 32 books to 18 books for the remaining 31 points and an overall victory of 91 to 9
Let’s get to the obvious. That is an outstanding win for CCC. Being able to watch the team work all weekend was a treat. Nathan was Project Manager but Mary and Sam were over the top in terms of organization and reaching out to people through social media and press connections. I don’t know how anyone on your team slept this week.
This isn’t a slight to Hive Mind. This was a difficult challenge and a lot of work. It took me months to break 100 likes on Facebook or 100 twitter followers. It’s not an easy task but then again none of these are.
Unfortunately your efforts just weren’t enough to pull off a win this week.
Don’t go too far though, everyone…”
So as we can see, it is a big win for the newly named Comics Creative Collective! Congratulations to the four of you, and Nathan as project manager.
Unfortunately, Jared, your team put a lot of effort in, but I’ll need you to pick two of Courtland, Steve, and Ryan to join you in the boardroom.