Hello Webcomickers, face front! It’s another #webcomicschat report. It was great to tweet everyone again during this week’s discussion. A few topics were tossed around and here are some highlights. I started by asking how folks plan out the printed and digital editions of their comics. Collected editions, whether digital or printed, are a good source of income for web cartoonists. I think everyone agrees that it’s always a good idea to offer printed collected edition for your readers. We all love the convenience of reading our comics online but there is something special about holding the “comic” in your hands. Besides, how do you “collect” data anyways? Do they sell mylar bags for our computers?

Here is my strategy for my collected editions. Super Siblings will always be available to read online for free, but all of my free comics will be in black and white. The collected editions I have for sale will be in color. I like the idea of giving my readers something more for their purchase and color seems like a good incentive to buy. I hope to have my first color editions available for purchase soon. Color is expensive in print, so I haven’t completely worked that out yet, but in the meantime color digital editions should be ready soon. As was stated by @OgdenStudios in our chat, our approach to digital comics may need to be something akin to the video game industry when they try to decide between gaming systems, i.e. Wii, Xbox, PS3, Gameboy, etc. Should you format your comics for Kindle, iPhone, Sony Reader, Droid etc? For now I think the answer is “yes”. Try them all until a dominate distribution format is widely accepted. We’ve all heard of the fabled iTablet, and maybe that will finally create a standard with iTunes or Longbox. Your guess is as good as mine. In any case it’s good to stay informed and see what’s coming to look for opportunities.

@surfsidejack also pointed out in our chat that people will read digital and collect print. This makes a lot of sense. In contrast some feel that digital will adversely affect print sales. This may be true for large publishers, but I don’t think it matters for independents. The more people that are reading your digital comic will increase the percentage of potential print customers. It’s a lot like the musicians, the more their music is played the more people know about them and buy albums and go to concerts. Here is a list of print on demand services that can help in printing your comic for resale:

lulu.com
lightningsource.com
createspace.com
ka-blam.com
comixpress.com

Here are some more digital distribution sites:

Comixology.com
Longboxinc.com

To sum up, we’re all looking for ways to derive an income from our web comic. We should all think about how to sell both digital and printed collections of our comics. We should also think of ways to make those collected editions special so our customers have an incentive to buy. Every web comic is different so not all methods will work for everyone, but I think there are a lot of good ideas out there to try.