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Work update

A week and a half into my "break", I got the following things done:

  • Did my tax returns, or at least the part of it that I absolutely had to. In practice, that meant bringing my books up to date, doing my VAT calculations and asking for an extention on the Income Tax return.
  • Remastered two chapters of the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan storyline "Guðrún": Escaping Winter and Kel and Jodoque Live it Up. I used the new A3 scanner to make high-res scans of the A3 originals from 1998/1999 and make new letterings which I may also be able to use for print. The new finished files are a consistent size and slightly larger size, have greater greyscale depth and have larger, neater lettering. They should be easier to read and not so off-putting. I'll do the rest of the story when I have time - it was mostly the first few chapters that offended my eyes.
  • Drawn a tiny, tiny bit. Some art needed to be reconstructed for the remaster project, and I've finished one installment of Courtly Manners. That' s right. Just one, and it was already partly drawn over Christmas. The rest of the week will be spent drawing some more episodes.
  • Fought spam on the Talk About Comics forums. I won't link them here because it looks like threads linked from this blog are more likely to be targeted by spammers. I've had to close down the nitpick thread, even.
  • Made a lot of promotional graphics from the existing material
(boring discussion of ad effectiveness below the cut)

I've just weeded out a bunch of the banners I had up on the Open Ad Network. It's quite interesting to see which ones fail and which are succesful. Based on the charts for all house ads on the network, anything over 0.25% is a success, and anything below 0.19 is a failure. For the vertical banner, the rates are ten times that: if a skyscraper ad hasn't got more than 1.9 % clickthrough it is taking exposure away from better ones and should be deleted, and if it's over 2.5%, it's doing pretty well. Below are a few successes:


Because Lord of the Rings just isn't long enough
A quicky I cobbled together out of an old graphic that I had lying around and a slogan I'd used before on Modern Tales. This one just worked. At around 0.30 % clickthrough for a comic that most viewers would already know, it's doing well.
This one, for The Eye of the Underworld:

Shock and Awe
is doing even better. 0.6% clickthrough. What's noticable about both is that in neither case did I make much of an effort to create pretty logos for it. My instinct when promoting fantasy comics is to use medieval logo fonts to communicate a little more of the feel of the comic, but it looks like it's a waste of time to do that, because the banners with text logos in them all bomb. Maybe I'm just no good at creating logos, but it's more likely that ad banners aren't the place for them.
This one:
Putting the Feud back in Feudalism
for Courtly Manners, is a bit of an exception. I think its success has more to do with the faces and the slogan than with the use of formatted text, though. It was another quicky, and I was even a bit dubious about the slogan. It's unoriginal (surely someone has used it before) and it annoys me because I know that "Feudalism" isn't derived from "feud". But 0.5% of the people who have seen it have clicked on it, which for an old-school banner ad is quite good.

These three skyscraper ads:
Tekst skyscraper yellow Text skyscraper blue EOTU ministrip
... all do about equally well. The blue variant gets 3.97%, which is nice for very little work. Note again the lack of a pretty logo. The moment/sequence shown in all three, interestingly, is the core idea of the comic: the idea of having a secret agent story start at the moment that the mission should technically be accomplished, and all he has to do is go back home. The page in which that was shown was one of the best in the story, and it makes for good advertising material as well.

The Eye of the Underworld has the advantage of being almost completely unknown on the sites where the ads are being shown, unlike Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan. Any ad for it will catch the eye more than a similar-quality ad for ROCR. Over time, that effect will get played out, as with the ad for White House in Orbit, which started out strong but has now fallen below the 0.18% threshold.

Other things I've noticed: custom graphics aren't particularly effective, but ministrips compiled from existing sequences are. Of the eight or so I've made so far, 3 vertical ones are above 3%, and the two that are horizontal are both over 0.25%.

Of course, my aim is to best all of these numbers in the next few weeks.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 29, 2005 3:36 PM.

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