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Sparkler Podcast #02

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    Our second podcast is now up! We talk about a bunch of stuff including behind-the-scenes talk about the magazine and our plans for Year 2. We’d love to hear your reactions and feedback on it!


    Some early thoughts (recognizing more discussion might happen once the podcast is out from behind the firewall):

    * Would you consider running member-only polls to help shape the next project to come to print — whether an artbook for Off*Beat or one of the finished prose stories? MEmbers who pay the monthly are already slightly invested in the larger concept of “Sparkler Monthly” and if they can /are willing to pay a sub, more likely to kick in for smaller tiers of the various campaigns. [Would you also consider building a more permanent form behind the paywall to catch membership thoughts, such as “What was your favorite story/comic this month? Why?” –> Basically go with the Shonen Jump method.]

    * I think an artbook actually might be a good project candidate for Kickstarter. However, I think limiting it to one creator-property is too preemptive and risky. FOr the most part, the artbook projects I’ve seen fund well on Kickstarter are often anthologies. IN this case, featuring art for characters from Sparkler Monthly stories could work — you could draw from your main artists and additional “guest artists” in order to leverage their collective social media power and support the “cause” of Sparkler.

    * IN response to some reader requests — would you consider POD for the prose books? Those are a little easier to set up with Createspace and not as cost-prohibitive to get into. (If you have a very good Word source file to start with that makes clean use of headings and styles, your conversion from digital to print for Createspace is not terrible.) It does mean someone who processes files needs to set a few days aside to work on it but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad!

    Lianne Sentar

    Always good ideas from sgl!

    1.) We’ve run various polls with various sections of our audience, with…varying success! :D We’re probably going to do them a lot more in Year 2, though, and like you said – in a more permanent capacity. As for using a Members-specific poll as a way to gauge print – if the Gauntlet Kickstarter is any indication, the regular Sparkler subscribers ARE much more likely to buy print books than people who are new to the site. But there still aren’t enough subscribers for them as a group to sustain big projects yet. :(

    2.) I agree that if we do an art book, doing one as a Sparkler collective will probably be more successful, especially if it’s crowdfunded. Also, we have SO much great art and SO many great creators that we want to include as many of them as possible in a project like that.

    3.) Yes, we’re starting to consider POD for certain titles. Between you and some of our other Sparkler Distro clients, we’re seeing how much faster and cheaper it is these days than it was even 5 years ago. This industry is changing so rapidly…which is both a blessing and a curse for us. :) But our company was always designed to be flexible around changing technology and fluctuating demand, so we’re always open to other options.

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