Publishing Your Manga Digitally
You have quite a few options if you want to publish your manga digitally. You have dedicated websites such as WEBTOON, Tapas or GlobalComix, social media or your own site.
Let’s have a look at them.
WEBTOON is a website specialised in the publication of web comics.
The website receives at the moment over 61.1 million unique visitors monthly, 1/4 being from the US (source).
It offers 2 types of series. WEBTOON Originals which are edited by WEBTOON, and WEBTOON Canvas which is content published by members.
Some figures indicate that there are more than 500,000 creators on the platform and over 1 million series (source).
Publishing on WEBTOON
Publishing is open and free on the WEBTOON Canvas platform for people 13 years old or more.
To be accepted the series must not contain any sexual or ultra violent content.
You are free to publish episodes at your rhythm. But if you intend to be monetised, then you will need many publications to maximise your views.
WEBTOON does not hold any copyright on series published on Canvas. You can therefore publish that same series on other websites.
If a series is successful, it can be selected to become a WEBTOON Original series. In that case WEBTOON will provide editing support and pay the author to provide new content periodically. You will not be able to publish a series selected to become WebToon Originals elsewhere.
WEBTOON offers 2 ways to monetise your content: ads and paid content publication.
For Ads you have different two programs: Viewer Ads and Reward Ads.
Viewers Ads require you to have more than 1,000 subscribers and over 40,000 monthly views. The ads will be displayed at the end of the episode.
Reward Ads also require you to have more than 1,000 subscribers, but over 200,000 monthly episode views. WEBTOON will here show an ad before your readers can read an episode.
Authors get 50% of the ads revenues, which can roughly amount to $5 to $10 per 1,000 ad views.
Up until end of 2021, Viewers and Reward Ads subscribers can subscribe to the Creators Reward Program. This program allows them to receive extra money according to the performance of their top series. The extra monthly revenues can be from 100$ for series getting over 40,000 monthly views, up to 1,000$ for series getting more than 1,500,000 monthly views.
More details in this WEBTOON anouncement.
Paid content publication
WEBTOON is also paying some artists to publish their work exclusively on WEBTOON. Such series is called a WEBTOON Original.
If you have the chance to be selected as a WEBTOON Original, you can expect an annual salary ranging from 10,000$ to above 100,000$, with a 30,000$ average (source).
Tapas is a community site for creators that allows publishing of comics and novels.
The website receives at the moment nearly 7.8 million unique visitors monthly, with 1/3 from the US (source).
As for WEBTOON, two types of content can be found on Tapas, with standard series and Premium series.
The website has more than 66,000 creators and 77,300 series.
Publishing on Tapas
As WEBTOON, publising on Tapas is free for people aged 13 years old or above.
Contrary to WEBTOON though, a mature filter allows the publication of a certain level of nudity, profanity or violence. But explicit sexual and ultra violent content is not permitted.
You are free to publish episodes at your rhythm. But if you intend to be monetised, then you will need many publications to maximise your views.
Tapas does not hold any copyright on series you publish, and you can publish that same series on other websites.
Tapas has a Premium Program where they provide artists with the support of an editor. This editor will help the artists by proofreading the chapters, and support them in publishing their series. Tapas can select some series to be part of that program. But creators are free to submit their work to the Creators Program by themselves. Creators must be 18 or more to be part of this program.
There is here 3 ways to monetise your work on Tapas: ads, Tapas Ink and paid content publication.
Ads is available for series having more than 100 subscribers. Creators get a share of 70% of the ads revenue. This can roughly amount to between $7.50 and 15$ per 1,000 ad viewed.
Then, Tapas has a Support Program open to series having more than 250 subscribers. This program allows creators to receive donations in Tapas Ink from viewers. Tapas Ink is a dedicated currency, 100 Tapas Ink being roughly 0.1 cents. Share is 100% of the Tapas Ink value, processing fees excluded ().
Finally, Tapas also has a selection of Premium Series. These Premium Series are advertised by the Tapas platform to get more visibility, and the creators receive the support of an editor. This program allows creator to condition access to an episode to a payment of certain amount of Tapas Ink. Revenue share is 50% of the received Tapas Ink (other 50% finance advertising and the editor).
GlobalComix is another brand new (created beginning of 2021) platform dedicated to webtoon publication.
It receives at the moment between 50,000 and 150,000 unique visitors monthly, with almost half of them being from the US (source).
It’s services are slightly different from WEBTOON and Tapas though. It offers different creator plans for both individuals and companies that allow accessing more features for the publication of your manga and the monitoring of your performance.
Publishing on GlobalComix
You can publish content for free on GlobalComix if you are 13 years old or more.
GlobalComix also accepts mature content with some nudity or violence, but explicit sexual, profanity or ultra-violent content is not permitted.
You are fully autonomous in your publication schedule. And GlobalComix does not hold any copyright on your content.
Note that at the moment GlobalComix has no such program where they pay creators for exclusive content publication.
Where GlobalComix changes in regards to WEBTOON and Tapas is regarding content monetisation.
GlobalComix does not monetise content using adds, but using paid access to content.
From a readers perspective, you have free content and paid content:
- Readers can buy credits that allow them to unlock some paid content. The cost is around 0.05USD per page. GlobalComix has set some mechanisms to prevent creators from abusing this and avoid readers paying for low content pages. Once unlocked this way, content is accessible without restriction to the reader.
- Readers can also opt in to a paid monthly subscription (Gold). This subscription gives Gold readers access to all free and paid content as long as it runs. This means that once the subscription ends the reader can no longer access the paid content he has read. Subscription doesn’t unlock content. At the end of each month, GlobalComix takes less that 2$ from that subscription. Then the remaining is shared between the authors whose content was consumed by the subscriber. The share is proportional to the amount of pages consumed from each author.
You are eligible from the start to receive donations from readers and to provide paid content. GlobalComix will take a share on these revenues that will depend on the plan you selected. This amount is between 25% and 35% on paid content, and between 5 and 8% on donations. This fee mainly covers the banking processing/transaction fees.
Paid creators plans allow you to provide promo codes and gift cards to your subscribers. As well as to publish your content in different languages to extend your reach. And finally they allow for custom services integration such as your own website or your online shop.
Manga Plus Creators
Manga Plus Creators is a manga publication platform hosted by Shūeisha and MediBang. It allows for publication of manga in English and Spanish. Published manga can be read from the MediBang MPC website or from a dedicated section in the MANGA Plus by SHUEISHA app.
The website receives on average 13 million views per month.
Publishing on Manga Plus Creators
You have to be registered on the MediBang website to be able to submit your work to Manga Plus Creators. Registration is free and and requires approval if you are: minor, adult ward, person under curatorship, or person under assistance.
The work you publish will be reviewed by editors to ensure it complies with the website’s policy regarding content restrictions (see section 17 of the Submission Guidelines). You can publish work you have published on other websites as long as there is no copyright infringement.
Manga Plus Creators recommends the following format for the content being published (and this is important if you want to participate to the monthly awards):
- 1,920 x 2,560 pixels
- Reads from right to left, with first page on the left (like a traditional manga)
- at least 8 pages long (to enter monthly awards)
At the moment, there is no monetization of the content through ads or editorship.
But Manga Plus Creators has Monthly Awards. The Monthly awards is open for every newly published one shots and series (up to the 3rd chapter). Your work is ranked according to the feedback it receives during the month of publication:
- readers’ likes and favorites,
- the fact that you followed the guidelines on the image format and reading order,
- and PV (publisher’s votes)
Note that it is therefore better to publish your work at the beginning of a new month to benefit from the full month to rank.
The top 4 English and Spanish manga selected will receive price money:
- JPY 1,000,000 (~USD 7,200)
- JPY 300,000 (~USD 2,150)
- JPY 100,000 (~USD 720)
- JPY 30,000 (~USD 215)
The winner will also have his/her/their one shot or series published on the Shonen JUMP+ and on MANGA Plus by SHUEISHA websites and apps! It seems, though, that this publication might not lead to any further monetization. You can therefore see this as a way to get your manga published along titles like One Piece or SPYxFAMILY.
As I indicated, for a series, only the first 3 episodes can enter the monthly award. Additionally, several conditions might lead to your work being dismissed or the award being cancelled (publication on other websites, number of participants, publishers choice…).
link to the Amilova website
Amilova is a website created in 2010 and dedicated to the publication of manga and comics from almost any genre. It features original works, fan arts and translations of mainstream manga and comics. Content can be made available under different languages thanks to a community of translators.
The website receives more than 120,000 visits per month (source), the audience being primarily from Brasil, the U.S.A. and France.
In May 2022 it stated having more than 100,000 members and 1,000 comics and manga.
Publishing on amilova
In order to publish on Amilova, you have to register (this is free), to share your work on the website’s board, and ask for it to be reviewed by an Amilova admin (source).
If your work is validated, you will then have access to the platform publication tools that will allow you viewing statistics, having a blog page, managing translations, working collaboratively and managing feedbacks.
As an Amilova author, you have access by default to means to sell ebook versions (in PDF) of your manga. According to whether you use your affiliate link or not, you receive between 60% and 85% of the price paid (source).
If the quality of your work is good, you can also ask the Amilova admin to become an Amilova Premium artist. Here again, if your work is selected after the review, you will be eligible for monitezation of your manga through advertising. Sadly, I could not find any details on the exact earning mechanisms.
In addition, readers can also subscribe to an Amilova Premium account which provides them access to ad free content and access to some specific premium content (source). It is indicated that part of the subscription fee (60%) is distributed to the authors, but there isn’t a lot of details on that point and comments on the forum seem to indicate this feature is somehow outdated…
Other webtoon platforms
There is sadly not many webtoon platforms open to public submissions. TappyToon is one of them but does not accept submissions at the moment. Other platforms (Lezhing Comics, Toomics, Netcomics…) work with specific editors and are not accessible directly.
Your Own Website
Having your own website or a dedicated blog is a way to have a place fully dedicated to display your manga and related work.
Manga like One Punch Man have been published this way, for instance.
The advantage is that when readers get there, you know this is to read your manga and see your work. The complexity on the other side will be to have people going to your site.
Publishing on your website
Publishing your pages on your website should be easy. Most website builders or blogs offer the possibility to create web pages and to insert images in them.
You have choice between a lot of providers, both free and paid.
A free option is Blogger for instance.
Monetisation mechanisms on a manga blog or website can be ads and merchandising.
If you have a consistent number of visits to your website you should be able to ads. You activate these ads by referencing your website in an advertising network like Google Ads, Facebook Ads… These networks will display ads on your website pages. Then they will pay you after your viewers have viewed or visited a certain number of these ads. Revenues can range from a few cents on a mildly active website, to $20 or $30 per 1,000 page views on a very active website. This mechanism is the one used by WEBTOON and Tapas to get money and pay creators. Note though that they benefit from the presence of hundreds of thousand of episodes from many creators. This leads therefore to a lot of page views and ads being displayed.
Then, you can display and sell your own products on your website. This can be printed versions of your manga, or some derived products like stickers, mugs, t-shirts… You can also sell some of your drawings or do commissions. To do so, you can either build your own shop or use a print on demand service. Again, some web hosting providers will provide means to create a shop. As for print on demand services, you have Redbubble or Spreadshop for goodies, or Amazon KDP for books…
Note that depending on the solutions you choose you will have to support additional costs. Therefore take your time to study the different alternatives before launching in this option. And back it up with some social media exposure strategy as explained just after.
Another option is to publish your manga as a digital book. It can be published as a PDF file or a in format like Kindle for instance. These books can be read from a computer, a smartphone or tablet, or on a dedicated machine.
Publishing your manga as a digital book
With these publishing techniques, you are completely autonomous.
You can package your manga digitally as a PDF using software like work or Google Docs. You will have to create a document and add the images of your pages. Then you will have the option to export the document as a PDF file.
Other formats like kindle are accessible on the publishers platform, like KDP which offers to publish your books digitally along with paperback publication.
You can monetise this kind of publishing in many ways.
You can sell a PDF version of your manga from your website or from your social media account. It can also be an asset part of your Patreon packages.
If you chose a specific formats like kindle your manga will be available on the Amazon marketplace. And you can put links to your manga on your website or social media accounts.
Social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Reddit are used by many artists to display their work. These media all have a large amount of users and therefore a huge potential for you to get visibility and for monetisation.
According to recent figures (source):
- Facebook: 2.8 billion monthly users
- Instagram: 1.3 billion monthly users
- Pinterest: 478 million monthly users
- Reddit: 430 million monthly users
- Twitter: 400 million monthly users
The main challenge here, though, will be for you to grow your audience. This will require you to publish content periodically, answer comments… This can take several months or years.
And avoid using magic solutions that promise to get you 1,000 or 10,000 of followers in a few days. First, these solutions might get your account banned. And secondly, the majority of these followers will not be interested in your work.
It is better to go step by step with active and passionate followers. These will help you grow by liking and sharing your work. But for sure it will require time and effort from your part.
Publishing on social media
Publishing on social media is straightforward. You will have to have an account (which will require you to be 13 years old at least in most of the cases), and you are ready to go. All the social media above allow you to publish images in a way or an other.
The best way to build a sustainable audience is to publish periodically. Therefore don’t publish your chapters in one go. But publish a few pages one day, and a few others the next one or two days after, and so on, and so forth.
Let’s be clear: social media will not bring you any money directly. But what social media will bring you is visibility and a dedicated audience.
Creating an audience
This point is important as getting visibility might be difficult. Your manga will be among tens or hundreds of thousand of manga available online on Tapas or WEBTOON.
Social media will therefore allow you to attract dedicated focus. It will be a mean to keep that audience active by periodically telling them that you have new episodes online.
As said above, publish regularly to attract people and to keep them hooked to your content. Display your artwork, tease your episodes…
Build your monetisation funnels
There is then different manners for you to monetise this audience.
You can for instance invite your followers to support you on crowd founding platforms like Patreon. You can offer your backers the possibility to discover your episodes in advance. Allow them to provide feedback on your script. Or provide them with exclusive artwork.
Another option is to tease your episodes on social media and direct your audience to your full episodes on WEBTOON or Tapas. There your audience will help you getting monetised through subscriptions, views and donations.
There is also the option to lead your followers to your website or blog and boost your website’s traffic.
And you can of course take the opportunity to advertise your products as for instance paperback volumes of your manga that they can buy from you (through direct messaging for instance), your website or from Amazon or similar online .
A last option, which is more an opportunity, is the one of getting sponsored. Some companies might contact you to display some of their products in one of your posts. They might either pay you or give you some of their products. Note that this requires you to have a fairly big following though.
One important point to note, though, is that people on social media have a tendency to consume what is readily available on that media. Not everyone of them will really follow your lead to you monetised content. You can expect on average between 1 out of a 1,000 and 1 out of a 100 to do so. Therefore do not expect that because you have 1,000 followers you will have 1,000 visits to your page. It might just be 10, or 1… But the more followers you will have, the more leads you will get. Therefore do not put that option aside, as I said just be aware that it will take time.
Do not hesitate if you have comments or questions.
Also do not hesitate to like and share.