Last year, a number of comic book creators were tempted by Nick Spencer to join Substack Pro to publish their new original creator-owned comic books digitally and provide process materials for fans. Paid a sizeable advance for the first year, the second year will be funded by 90% of their subscribers. But how are the numbers breaking down?
Well, 3W3M, the Substack created by Jonathan Hickman, Mike Del Mundo and Mike Huddleston has released some statistics that can be easily analysed for their first year of operation. They posted;
As of today, we have just under 10,000 overall subscribers, with 2300 of you supporting us financially as paid subscribers. About a third of those do so at the founding level.
So let us break that down. 10,000 readers in total, 2300 paying to do so and 1/3 at the founding level. So that's 1700 standard subscribers paying $80 a year, 600 premium, paying $250 a year. Maybe more pay slightly higher with monthly subs, maybe the premium numbers are slightly less, but that should make a good rule of thumb. And that means that they are bringing in revenue of around $286,000 a year. And that's how they can also afford to bring in Steve Wacker as an editor-in-chief. This will also create content that can then be printed and published by Image Comics, otherwise known as "free money". That could double or triple the amount.
Now, 3W3M brings in more creators to expand their shared universe than any of the other Substacks, so there are big expenses. And, Jonathan Hickman, Mike Huddleston and Mike Del Mundo are at the top of the ComicsPRO tree, shared by James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder and Donny Cates & Ryan Cates. Others will have smaller numbers. But it gives you a ballpark figure for what is possible. The Substack contained;
To be at a number like this in less than year is something we're enormously grateful for. We've seen our growth accelerate recently— we've actually seen our growth double each of the last three months— and our churn (subscriber loss) diminish sharply.
And there is more to come.
We also want to dramatically expand our comics offerings and hire more creators. We pay industry-leading rates to our contributors, because we believe in the value of their work. And yes, in the coming months and year, we'll move more and more from our "concept universe" phase into more ongoing narratives, as you're already seeing with THE VALLARS. Those projects are inherently more time-consuming and expensive. But man, are they worth it. Here's a look at something from Mike Huddleston on that very subject…
They also teased a new thing from Jerome Opena.
As well as a new comic, Arena, drawn by Andy Kuhn, coming later today…