What is Tapas? If you’re here, you probably already know, so I’ll make this quick 😉

Tapas is a free web comic and novel app. accessible via a phone, tablet, or a computer. Tapas provides free and paid comics and books to read–and that free content is good. Content such as Joanne Kwan’s Demon House and my own series, Detective Docherty (shamelessssss) are just two series that I’d recommend. Don’t worry, I’ll list a few more of my faves at the end 😉


If you’re not familiar with me, my name is Sarah WaterRaven and I’m a creator on Tapas. I have three series on Tapas, all on going, two are free (with ads and support enabled) and one is in the Tapas Premium catalog.

I started posting my stories to Tapas in 2019 and by 2020 I’d gained enough followers to pitch two of my series to premium and one got in. Because Tapas is such a great platform, with a fantastic community of creators and readers, I wanted to share how I gained a following so you can grow a following for your wonderful characters and worlds too.


Consistency is Key

Consistent, weekly updates will pop your comic or novel into the Fresh category, allowing new readers to find your story every week.

I update twice a week. Once during the week and once on the weekend, on the same days, every week. This not only gets you new readers, but builds trust with your current readers and keeps them interested in the story and coming back every week to read new episodes.

In order to maintain consistent weekly uploads, I highly recommend writing your entire novel first or creating at least half of your first comic season before you begin uploading. It is incredibly difficult, even when you write or do comics full time, to create and upload a finished episode once a week, let alone twice a week. There are some creators that can do it and there are some that can do it for a while, but burn out is a real thing, and it’s best to work at your own pace and upload when you’re completely finished or with half of the work done and ready to schedule for release while you work on the rest of your story. Give yourself the largest buffer you can.

In summary:

  • Upload new episodes once or twice a week.
  • Create as much of a buffer as you can before you start uploading.

Have a Good Thumbnail and a Good Cover

I know covers aren’t cheap and not everyone is an artist and can create their own, however, hiring a cover artist or taking the time to create a good cover/thumbnail yourself will go a long way.

Having a good cover isn’t just about a quality image, you want to make sure that your thumbnail and cover fit the platform, the genre, and focus on the characters.

Below are two thumbnails I had before I Fell in Love with a Necromancer gained enough of a following for me to pitch to premium. The thumbnail on the Left has a close up of a free stock image and the one on the Right is a thumbnail I drew myself.

If you’re were looking for a romantic paranormal series with ghosts and the undead, which thumbnail would you click on? Which thumbnail fits a platform like Tapas–which was originally geared toward comic readers and is now pulling in web novel and light novel crowds?

Web novels and light novels have illustrated covers, like comics. Realizing that, I replaced the stock image thumbnail with my illustrated thumbnail and instantly got more reads and subscribers.

Nowadays, full covers are available as well (at least for novels), but keep in mind that thumbnails are what readers see first, unless the content is in the premium catalog.

Tapas has a thumbnail guide HERE and a cover guide HERE.

Summary:

  • Have a thumbnail/cover that is illustrated
  • Have a thumbnail/cover that fits the genre (i.e. characters that are close and look intimate for romance, a character with magic swirls for fantasy etc.)
  • Have a thumbnail/cover with your main character or characters on it

Hook Readers with a Great Synopsis

A synopsis or blurb can be pretty tricky to write. Honestly, they can be written so many ways and despite what I’ve read on the blogs of other authors and seen on Youtube, all different kinds of blurbs work. There are just a few key things I’d suggest you consider:

  • Characters. Your readers are looking for characters to grab onto and cheer for. When you write your blurb, sell us on the characters.
  • Make sure your blurb has no typos or grammar errors. Even if it’s a comic. Show them this is going to be a solid read.
  • What is the conflict? Give your reader something to worry about. They need to be pulled right into that drama, whether it’s an interstellar war between two alien races or two women thrown together and who start to wonder if maybe this could lead to something else… ❤

I’m not saying my blurbs are a masterpiece, but I will say that I changed my blurb for Detective Docherty and the Demon’s Tears on Amazon and got a lot more downloads (it’s free on Amazon HERE) after I did. I looked at what other authors were doing with their blurbs in my genre and wrote my own version of that for my book.

The old blurb:

“It was called The Great Awakening, when humans around the world awoke to a new reality. In their homes, on their lawns, and in the streets, fairies, trolls, and shapeshifters began to roam. Exposed to mankind, they had a choice: assimilate into human culture or be destroyed by it.

They live among us now, renting apartments, laboring in the workforce, and paying taxes. Wood nymphs keep the cities green; trolls bounce for nightclubs, and dwarves own the finest jewelry shops in town. The world is full of magick again, but with new neighbors come new crimes.

A new class of detectives has emerged. Meet Detective Docherty, a forgetful, old fashioned detective who throws traditional methods out the window. Who needs technology when it only attracts pixies? With his vampire assistant, the two work together to keep the peace between their two kinds. Throw in a mysterious stranger and a pet goldfish and you have a recipe for an adventure full of mystery and magick.”

The new blurb:

It was called the Great Awakening, when magickal kind returned to our world. They live among us now, renting apartments, laboring in the workforce, and paying taxes. Ares is a vampire and doing very well for himself in the modern world. Between teaching at the local university and assisting a paranormal investigator, things couldn’t be better. But when a woman dies mysteriously in her own home, the question isn’t who killed her, but what.

Alexandria is alone in the world. Having lived a complicated life surrounded by mystery and tragedy, she’s quickly pulled into the world of paranormal investigating. Can she walk the border between the worlds of man and magick or will she become lost to it?

Vampires. Witches. Ghosts. Demons. Fairies and Gods.

Detective Docherty and the Demon’s Tear is an all new Urban Fantasy with a Paranormal Mystery twist.”

In the first blurb, I barely mention the two main characters, Ares and Alexandria (who wasn’t even named), and even when I did, readers didn’t have a reason to care about them. The first synopsis focuses on the world in general and the second focuses on the world through the characters after my hook.


Connect to Your Readers

Tapas has a comment section for readers. If they comment, respond to them. If something they’ve asked is a spoiler, just let them know the answers are right around the corner. If a reader says something negative, ignore it, but if they’re enjoying your series, let them know you saw their comment and appreciate it.

As your series gets more readers, it’s a lot harder to keep up with comments and honestly, a lot of creators suggest not interacting with readers after a certain point of popularity, but in those beginning days, connect. They took the time to comment, they wanted you to know they care, let them know you do too. If you’re strapped for time, a like could go a long way too 🙂


Conclusion

Update consistently, have a thumbnail that fits the platform and genre, a killer blurb that focuses on the characters, and pause here and there to let your readers know you appreciate their support 🙂

I really hope this post was helpful and I wish you all the best with your novels and comics!

-WaterRaven


Suggested Series

Demon House

This slice of life comic holds a special place in my heart. I read it until my eyes bled for two days. The comic starts out hilarious and light, but builds as it goes on and comes out at the end as a story of young woman in university with an eclectic group of friends and a special relationship with the demons living in her home.

Demon House was one of the first web comics to show me how truly diverse and inclusive the indie comic scene can be.

Demon House by Joanne Kawn


Fangs

A cute slice of life comic about a vampire and werewolf who find companionship and love.

Fangs by Sarah Anderson


The Sea in You

A modern re-telling of the tragic mermaid tale we all know so well. The series isn’t finished yet, so the jury is still out on whether this tale of love will have a happy ending yet.

Lesbian/bi romance ^_^

The Sea in You by Jessi Sheron


Oma

A unique science fantasy series with excellent worldbuilding and art that takes you to another universe.

Oma by Antonic


My Series

Detective Docherty

It was called the Great Awakening, when magickal kind returned to our world. They live among us now, renting apartments, laboring in the workforce, and paying taxes. Ares is a vampire and doing very well for himself in the modern world. Between teaching at the local university and assisting a paranormal investigator, things couldn’t be better. But when a woman dies mysteriously in her own home, the question isn’t who killed her, but what.

Alexandria is alone in the world. Having lived a complicated life surrounded by mystery and tragedy, she’s quickly pulled into the world of paranormal investigating. Can she walk the border between the worlds of man and magick or will she become lost to it?

Detective Docherty by Me 😉


I Fell in Love with a Necromancer

Necromancy is illegal. Cecile has lived her entire life on the run and in the shadows. She takes refuge in the small mountain town of Silverbrook, where she foolishly thinks she can attend university and be a normal student—that is, until she meets Darren.

Darren is dead. Unable to remember how he died, he quickly latches onto Cecile, who wants nothing to do with him. With a growing number of undead plaguing the city, Cecile and Darren are forced together on a journey that will change them both forever.

Will Darren find peace in his afterlife or will he simply fall in love with a necromancer?

I Fell in Love with a Necromancer by Me 😀

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