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Comic 1118 - Sail away

3rd Sep 2018, 7:02 AM in Spirit of Adventure
Sail away
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Lackinganame 3rd Sep 2018, 7:02 AM edit delete
Lackinganame
Well after three weeks I've come to a understanding. I've been doing this for almost six years and my age has got me. I don't have the time or energy I need to do three pages a week, work and school. So I'm sorry but it looks like for the next few months Gratz will need to switch to a two page a week update plan. So sorry about that.

(next update 9-10-18)

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Maryalee 3rd Sep 2018, 9:21 AM edit delete reply
Maryalee
"Come sail away;"
"Come sail away;"
"COME SAIL AWAY with me, lads."

The results of August voting saw GRATZ end at #623 on the Top Webcomics list, with a total of 64 votes. This was an improvement from July where the comic ended at #726, with 50 votes; from June's standing of #737 with 44 votes, and even May's totals of #676 and 58 votes.

I saw one interesting voting event during August. For pretty much the entire month votes were only averaging 2 a day until around 8/22, where they started hitting 3 daily. I got a slight shock on 8/29 when the vote count bumped "6" votes from 8/28, but the remaining few days went back to 3 votes.

I was musing on this over the weekend and started thinking. I decided I wasn't going to say anything though, until you posted the above. If you would forgive me, I would like to toss this idea out there.

I spent part of this weekend NOT fighting the stupid battle for Azeroth, but instead finally reading through the back archives of a couple other webcomics I follow. Something clicked in my brain while doing this. I realized that of all the comics I follow, GRATZ has been unique in it's scheduling. Every, and I mean, every other webcomic I see follows one of two posting schedules: either they update ONCE a week with ONE page; or, they update 2-3 days a week with one page on each day. GRATZ is the only webcomic I have ever known to have a one-day-a-week post schedule, yet cram so much into that one day.

I believe this has created an undue burden on you. You end up working at a feverish pace during the week in order to have 3 pages of quality comic ready for Monday, Sunday actually if you use an automatic upload. No wonder you feel so drained. I've come to believe that this also may be affecting the site visit numbers. Readers know that you only post on Monday so everyone visits on Monday and only the hard-liners like me and a couple others come back during the week to vote each day. I would like to propose a small idea to you.

Instead of pushing yourself to maintain what is currently an untenable schedule, consider changing it. Go from a one day to a 2 or 3 day a week. You could post a page on Monday, page 2 on Wednesday, page 3 on Friday. This would allow you to post the same amount of story each week, but would space out the effort needed a bit and give you some down-time. It would *also* provide a bit of a bump to site visits as you would have readers coming back different times during the week to read the dailys, which could also affect voting. The most important part is that it would ease up all the pressure you've been feeling to have EVERYTHING ready on Monday.

My other voting suggestion is a change to the page itself. The only vote button you have left on the page is at the top, but the "Comment" link is down at the bottom. After scrolling down to read the comic, there's nothing at the bottom of the page screaming "Vote Plz", and if the reader does post a comic, the dialogue box then disappears and they're still sitting at the bottom of the page. Maaaaaybe stick another vote button at the bottom of the page, below the comment link? That's not overly cluttered.

Speaking of comments: What happened? I remember when this comic used to have multiple reader's comments on the pages, now I feel all alone here. I tried not commenting a few times in case I was running people away, but still no comments. It's pretty harsh for an author when they get no feedback, people.
Lackinganame 3rd Sep 2018, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
Lackinganame
That vote study is very interesting and very good points about the button placement. I'll add one to the bottom of the page and try and place it near the comment section.

The multiple update a week is something I have gone back and fourth with before. your right it could increase page traffic. One of the issues I'm having has been that I use the three page update to help with the single update. Like so

Each story has a beginning middle and end
Three pages Beginning middle and end
Five panels per page beginning middle and end with two transitional panels.

This was the old way of doing it so each update could have a rising or falling action and even a mini story for that that update. The three pages allowed the emotional tension felt on the second page to still be strong when reading the third page.

(one day long wait that could result in a loss of investment but I will acknowledge that it could also strengthen the tension as we have to wait.)

The once a week update also offered some flex in my production as I had a week to get all three pages done. So if I missed a day I could do extra on another.

But with the changes in my life now this may no longer be viable, I can't do extra on a different day because my days are pack now. And I am doing two pages now so the the beginning middle and end format no longer works. So it may be time to revisit the single update a week idea and see what is what now.

Thanks for your thoughts and hard work!
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