If you’ve followed the previous steps, you now have successfully created a series and uploaded at least one episode. Congratulations, beginning a new venture is often the hardest part! Tapas will automatically notify you on desktop and via app if someone likes, comments or subscribes to your series, but that opens another question: How can you find your audience on Tapas?
There are many different ways to gain a following on your series and there is no one size that fits all, but here are some tips and tricks that our most successful creators have utilized in the past.
Have a stunning cover and description
In a recent survey of over 1,000 readers on our platform, series description and covers are the highest rated reasons why a reader first chose to take a look at the series. That means that a stunning cover design and an intriguing description are the basis for a successful series and have a huge factor on your success.
Make sure your series’ artwork is polished and showcases what your story is all about. For more instructions on the topic on creating covers, please look forward to tutorials written by some of Tapas’ best creators, which we will be publishing in the near future!
For your series description, keep it interesting, about 1 to 2 paragraphs long and to the point, without major spoilers. Avoid vague sentences like “A girl’s journey to meet her true love…” and think about what makes a reader feel like they just have to read this story immediately instead! It can be helpful to write multiple options and share them with family, friends or other creators to learn more about what they like or don’t like.
Have a GREAT start
Most series lose a large number of readers right after their first episode, which is completely normal, but is something you need to keep in mind when creating your series. Your first few chapters introduce your readers to your world and your characters, as well as your writing style and/or artwork. A strong beginning is going to be a big basis for a long lasting successful series.
As an artist who consistently works on your series, your artistic skills likely improve greatly over time. If you have a strong series you believe in, it can be a great idea to review your first chapters to freshen up the artwork to your current skill level. Your art is your greatest selling point and, aside from cover and description, the greatest reason why readers choose to read your series.
Should you work in a page by page format, we also recommend the first episode to contain multiple pages, follow the mobile reading format and ensure readability (more about that later in this article).
For novel creators, we recommend keeping individual episodes short, with each episode catching the reader’s interest, compelling them to keep reading. Readers come into the first episode looking to make a final judgement. Their initial impressions have already been formed by the cover, series description, and genre – so episode 1 is the last chance to sell the narrative.
To provide a few more detailed examples: For romance stories, introduce at least one of the romantic leads within the first 3 chapters (first chapter if possible). In an action series, introduce the conflict in that same span.
Since the episodes aren’t long, using the first episode as a prologue that drops readers straight into the middle of an intense action, or drama scene can be a great hook to get them interested in reading the next episode (which will start from the beginning of your story and then move toward that dramatic scene).
Consistent upload schedule
Just like with TV shows airing on a regular basis, our readers enjoy regular, reliable updates that they can look forward to. However, it is important that you have a schedule you’re comfortable with and are able to commit to. Most creators upload once per week, but other schedules like twice or thrice per month, or even daily, are common practice. Because this can be hard for even the most dedicated creator, don’t forget to have a buffer, as discussed before!
Based on our most successful series, this is our recommendation:
Comics: Once per week with a minimum of 7 - 15 panels
Novels: Once per week with three episodes around 1000 - 1500 words each
Quality Quality Quality
We welcome all types of creators, from beginner to professional! However, when it comes to gaining readers, the higher the quality, the easier it will be for your series to be noticed by followers and staff.
For comic creators, strong art skills will help you make an instant impression and have a great factor in your chances to become successful. However, art isn’t everything! A compelling story is what keeps your readers coming back for more. If storytelling isn’t your forte, but you love structuring panels and creating a comic’s artwork, forming a team with a strong writer may be a great solution!
For novel creators, your prose as well as correct spelling and grammar are vital for a successful series. We’re all human and mistakes happen, but readers expect a certain level of professionalism from authors, as it shows that you care about your work and take it seriously. It can help to let someone copy edit your work before uploading it, or even work with a professional editor.
Mobile format and readability
With a large number of readers using our mobile apps to read series, it is crucial that you keep these readers in mind if you want to create a successful series. Because of this, we recommend the mobile comic format over a page format.
For comparison: Mobile layout (left) and page layout (right)
However, if you prefer publishing in a page format because it improves your story, you can still be mindful that the text is legible for mobile users and make it work for them. You can use the ‘Preview’ tool on our site to check how mobile and desktop readers are going to see your episodes. When starting a new series, make a few test pages using a couple different font sizes and confirm which one works best for you, while still being able to comfortably read everything. From experience, we recommend your fonts to be simple, easy to read and a minimum of 18px high.
Here is a simple example! The font on the left is easy to read! For comparison we used a very fun font on the right. Even though being the same size, it is much harder to read and will turn away many readers. When it comes to fonts, always prefer readability over style!
Social Media and the Tapas Community Forums
When first starting your series, social media can play a huge role in gaining a following. If you have an existing social media account, don’t feel shy about sharing your new series with your friends, family and existing fans and continue to do so as you continue to publish. Great places to share your work at include but aren’t limited to: Reddit, Instagram, Patreon, Twitter and Facebook.
If you would like to meet creators like yourself, we highly recommend joining the Tapas Community Discord and the Tapas Community Forums that are full of tips and tricks for artists and writers. Our members often share their work with each other and provide feedback, as well as answers to questions you may have. The Discord allows you to interact directly with our staff as well.