I’m sure many of you are aware that I have a book for sale that takes Volumes 1 & 2 of Willow’s Grove and condenses them into one volume. I’m also sure many of you are saying to yourself, “why should I spend my money on something I can already get for free?” Now, realistically, I went into this venture of producing a book, and let me tell you, it is not as easy as you may think putting it together to be ready for print, not expecting to sell 1000 copies, but I did think that I would sell about 20 to 30. To date, and the book has been available since July 14th, I have sold 2, one in the month of July and one in the month of August. But I’m not here to bellyache, I am here to talk to you, my fans, and let you know what is on my mind as to what reasons could justify you purchasing a copy of the book.
1) It will keep Willow’s Grove going
To bring you an update on a regular basis, and you can check the archives and see that I have not missed one single update, there needs to be some form of income to pay the bills, whether it is for hosting, DSL, food in my belly, what have you. Sure, I could hop onto a free hosting server, but for anyone who has done this, you know those services offer very little in ways of bandwidth, extras, etc. Limited services by means of limited bandwidth, also limits the amount of people that can view the site and keep up with the ongoing storyline. If I can’t pay for my DSL, I can’t regularly update the comic, thus limiting, again, the amount of people that can view the site and keep up with the ongoing storyline. Food in my belly means, well, you get it, a dead artist can’t very well update, can they now?
2) Easy reference
If you are a regular reader, you know how many episodes there have been in the nearly 2 years since this storyline started. That is a lot of episodes to scan through to see what I may be referring to in a current episode. If you had a copy of the book, you could skim a lot faster to find the comic being referred to and see what plot line I may have closed, stretched or dangled. It also allows the keen-eyed reader to catch me in some continuity error I may have made and you can jump onto the comments and let me know I messed up so and so, or hey, his hair wasn’t like that or her boobs used to be much bigger and now you are drawing them smaller, what gives?
3) Helping Willow’s Grove grow
This webcomic of mine is but one little fish in a very big pond. There are tons of webcomics out there, some good, some fantastic, some, well, let’s be honest, if they were in your newspaper (if you still read comics that way, I know I do), you wouldn’t give them the time of day, but yet, they have a following larger than I would have ever imagined. Why? I would like to find the answer to that question, but I do know my readership has grown slowly over the nearly two years Willow’s Grove has been back on the internet. This is, in part, because of you, yeah, you over there reading this in the corner. By buying a copy of my book, you will help us grow. How, you may ask? Well, if you have a copy and are on a bus, or a train or a plane, you know someone will look over your shoulder to see what you are reading (the same holds true to video or music, humans, by very nature are curious…in other words, we’re nosy as hell…:D. By them being curious, they may ask you where you got it, thus giving you a chance to spread the word about Willow’s Grove. They in turn, hopefully, will become a fan, which will spawn more fans and so on and so forth. You can be a Willow’s Grove evangelist! Can I hear an amen? This site would be nothing without you and your support. By you purchasing a copy of the book, it becomes bigger and spreads out like weeds or locusts (oh wait, those are plagues…sorry, wrong type of reference there)…it becomes bigger and spreads out like love and puppies (wait, do puppies spread? Well, yes, when they lick themselves…heh, wrong type of picture to paint…but you know what I mean!).
4) Fulfilling a life long dream
I won’t kid you, this has been a dream job of mine since, FOREVER. I can stay at home, work on my strip, and give it the quality it deserves. If I have to work a 9 to 5 job, then my window for producing the strip narrows and the quality goes way down, not only in the art work, but in the story/writing. Then I lose readers and close up shop. Trust me, I’ve tried the other route and it is very hard with the demands of the family on my time. I have been drawing comics since I was in the third grade and let me tell you, at nearly 44 years of age, that is a long time. This business is very competitive, and there are a lot of webcomics out there that frankly are crap, but yet get tons of readers. To see my comic in printed form after being endlessly rejected by syndicates was such a wet dream for me, I had to spend hours, if not days, prying the smile off my face. Try going into a store to buy something while looking like Jack Nicholson as the Joker. See, not easy to do. That is how overjoyed and geeked out I was. By you purchasing a copy, you can keep that grin on my face and make me look silly every day!
5) Prove my family wrong
I so appreciate your loyalty as readers of my comic. It is such a joy to know I am bringing my heart and soul to you each and every week, Monday through Friday. I don’t get that much at home, my friends as the only people in the Grove that shows any kind of interest of what I do are my kids. My wife? Let’s not go there only to say she thinks I am wasting my time. My parents? Sure they tell me good luck, but that is where it ends. They don’t think I could make a living drawing silly pictures. In fact, while I was paying my own way through college, my father, bless his heart, told me something very similar to that when he found out my major was Art. Even though I was paying my own way, he suggested I change my major to Computer Science so I could put food on the table while doing something I absolutely loathe. So, being that he is my father and thinking fathers give good advice, I did this and went into the IT field, where I loathed every minute of it while longingly looked back at my love of drawing silly pictures. By you purchasing a copy of my book, you can help prove my family wrong. As I said, I have sold a total of 2 books…not one of those two copies were purchased by my family.
6) It helps keep Willow’s Grove free to view online
By means that Willow’s Grove is a business, I have to find ways of monetizing it in order to keep it running as a business. By selling a book and t-shirts and such, I can do this. I do not wish to or even want to plop a subscription on Willow’s Grove in order for people to read it. I truly think this drives away the very core of readers I have worked so hard to get over the years. By offering a book for sale or pins or t-shirts or even the opportunity to drop some coins in my tip jar, it gives you, my readers a chance to invest in Willow’s Grove. It allows you to be a patron in my store and help keep it going. I could also go the way of Public Television and have telethons and such and even put up “this comic is brought to you by Simon J. Reader”…and we know how much we love having our name up in lights…it’s an ego thing…just look back at me grinning and jumping and hooting and hollering when my book proof arrived and I saw my comic in print…after 36 years of hoping and praying and wishing, I was finally in print! Buying a copy of my book, if you let me know you have, I can put your name up in lights as a fine sponsor of my comic, OUR comic, as you have now an investment in the product.
The list is actually endless, but these are some of the main points I wanted to press as to why you should buy a copy of the book. If you have made it to the end of this blog entry, I applaud you as I know I suffer sometimes from longwindedness…which is kinda’ ironic as I myself, sometimes can’t finish a magazine article because it is too long. I put the magazine down and push it away saying, “oh, no, no…too long…oh look a kitty!…what was I saying? Oh crap, I forgot what I was going to do…oh great, now I am rambling on to myself in my own mind…ice cream would be nice right about now.”
I do thank you for being a reader and by buying a copy, you help keep what you love going.