Welcome back to the third part of this mini series for making a webcomic. For the foreseeable future, this will be the final part to this series as I’m unsure about what else to write on. If you have any specific questions, feel free to send them my way in the Contact Me page. Today, we’re talking about publishing.
First things first, we’re going to rip off the “I’m gonna make a comic and make tons of money on it” band-aid. Odds are, you’re going to put more money into your comic (paying for an artist) than you’ll actually make on it; for a while anyway. If that’s the only reason you’re going into this, then I suggest you look into doing something else. Like most anything you pursue, you need to be passionate. Your readers will know if you’re half-assing things, and you’ll also grow bored after a while. Make sure you think this over before you begin. For me, I had always wanted to take one of my works and make it into a comic. Getting started wasn’t easy–mostly because of my budget–but once I took that step forward, I knew that I wanted to keep going. There was something addicting about seeing the characters come to life on the page–characters that you created and fell in love with. If you’re a writer, you’ll know what I mean when I say that your characters are like your children. You create them and want them to thrive and struggle in the world you place them in, so seeing an artist draw them in that setting you put together is something else altogether.
Alright, so you’ve thought it over and now you’re ready to go forward; where do you go from here? I’m going to talk about the two different platforms that I know which are Tapas and Webtoon. For me, I have a preference towards Webtoon as it’s much more friendly to its canvas creators (the creators not sponsored by webtoon) than Tapas.
Webtoon is a large webcomic platform that has hundreds on hundreds of comics for people to choose from. No matter the genre, you’re guaranteed to find something that piques your interest. With it’s eye-pleasing interface and and easy to navigate structure, the platform knows how to pull readers in.
There are two different types of webtoons on the site; canvas and originals. Original comics are stories that are picked up by the people at Webtoon and produced by Webtoon. Think about it like getting your novel picked up by an agency. Canvas comics are ones that are self-published and pushed forward by the creator(s) themselves; however, the thing I love about Webtoon is that it has a built-in audience. Unlike sites such as Tapas where the stories pushed forward are largely ones they sponsor and pick-up, Webtoon highlights its canvas series. My comic Zodiac Life has only been going for a few months and we’re already up to 200+ subscribers whereas the same series on Tapas only has about 10, if that. The monthly page views is also largely different with the series on Webtoon nearing 1,500 global views/month.
Tapas is essentially the same as Webtoon in terms of its platform; however, people also have the option to publish webnovels on site. I’ve used it on occasion, but again, it’s not a great place to become seen as the platform largely pushes forward things that they sponsor. There’s no real support system for it’s self-published creators. I will give Tapas one thing, though, and that’s their Tapas Forums. These forums are how I found both my artist and line artist for the comics that I produce. They make it so easy to connect and interact with other creators which is a feature I wish Webtoon offered–maybe they will in the future, but for now, if you’re looking to connect with some other creators and receive some tips and tricks of the trade, I recommend checking out the forums here.
Moving on to the actual publishing process, both sites make this pretty easy. Webtoon has improved their uploading even more. Before, the creator had to make sure everything was cut and properly sized, now the site does this for you, all you need to do is upload it. When you decide to start a series on webtoon, you’ll go to your dashboard on the computer version and hit the button Create Series. The picture I’ve attached shows you the basic layout of the next page you’ll be presented with. You’ll give your comic a title, description, and label it’s genres so people can find it better!
Once this is created you’ll be taken to the next step which is upload your first episode. All you need for this is an episode title (which could just be Episode 1), a thumbnail, the actual episode, and a proper description or author note for people to see at the end of the episode. At the very bottom, you’ll be given the option to either publish immediately or schedule when your post publishes. This is the only downside I have for webtoon. If you schedule a post to publish and then create another episode and decide that you want this new one to publish first, you have to get ride of the original post scheduling entirely, you can just schedule it to publish earlier or change the date of the original one.
Tapas has about the same layout as Webtoon, their interface just looks different, as you can see from my image below. The creation of a series is the same, as is the creation of episode. Tapas is a bit more picky about the image sizes you have, so be careful with that and make sure you’re following guidelines or else you might struggle a little. To get around this, I use MediBang Paint to adjust image and canvas sizes of my comic. Medibang is free and easy to use. I’ll be uploading a post on MediBang for episode sizing at a later time.
One thing that I absolutely love about Tapas is that you have the option to add tags to your work. Webtoon doesn’t have this. You’re able to tag your specific episode which means that you’re able to reach a larger audience; again, I will say that even without tags on Webtoon, my comic has done much better on that platform than Tapas. The tags is just a nice feature.
That about wraps up my post on publishing your webcomic. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along on this miniseries. I’ve had a fun time writing it, and I look forward to posting more in the future.
Until next time!