Disclaimer: This post was meant to appear directly on Tapastic, but due to the character limit there, I had to post it on my blog with a pointer to it from there.
Dear Tapastic readers,
It is with great sadness that I must announce my departure from Tapastic on 2 June. As I value all of you very much, I could not just leave without notifying you in advance. I hope that two weeks will be sufficient to reach each and every one of you and for you to readjust to either my blog or my Webtoon mirror. More on this later.
Why this decision? Recently, Tapastic added a clause to their Terms of Services that essentially would force anyone wishing to earn money outside of this platform to first negotiate with Tapastic. Here’s the clause:
Right of First Refusal
If user desires to sell, license, exercise or otherwise dispose of, indirectly or directly, any rights or any interest in any content posted on the Platform (the “Offered Right”), then the user shall give written notice to Tapas Media of such desire. Commencing upon Tapas Media’s receipt of such notice there shall be a 30 day period in which user will negotiate in good faith with Tapas Media for Tapas Media’s acquisition of such offered rights. If by the end of 30 days no agreement has been reached or if at anytime Tapas Media declines interests in the offered rights, then the user shall be free to negotiate elsewhere with respect to such offered Right.
Written notifications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject ‘Offered Right.’
The problem with this is that Tapastic is NOT my employer, so it has no business asking me or any other non-premium creators to negotiate for anything. This is highly unethical and especially irritating and worrisome to me: since I already am making money off of my own blog, I should be starting such negotiations immediately and retroactively. Will Tapastic come after me or every single creator quitting without negotiating? Probably not. Should I be concerned about getting into legal issues? Well, unfortunately the possibility, however remote, does exist, and I cannot and will not let anyone bully me into such a risk. Luckily and predictably, though, following an uproar from a large number of creators (yours truly included) in the Tapastic forums, and the onset of a huge author diaspora, the expected backpedaling came: the clause was suddenly retired by the Tapas staff (all in one day, 18 May).
Why leave, if the clause has gone? Because I am 1000% certain they will pull this trick again and I am very much afraid that, next time around, they will be smarter and sneakier about it. Don’t forget that this site rose from the ashes of Comic Panda, a platform that literally stole authors’ contents a few years ago. Given their past business practices, I’ve always been very careful publishing my comics here, often checking the fine prints to avoid potential trouble. And I am very sorry to say that I was right.
What changes for you? While you won’t be able to read my comics on Tapastic from 2 June on, they will continue to be released regularly on Mondays, 12 EDT, on my own blog and on my other mirrors. Although I would very much prefer if you would follow and comment my work on my own blog, I will welcome you to any of my mirrors, with a stronger preference for Webtoon, if possible. Here is where you can find me and what’s in it for you:
This would be the best place to read and comment my comics, as it helps me financially (I have ubnotrusive ads: all you have to do to help is simply reading my comics and any of the content on my blog, as I’m paid per number of ads’ visualizations). You will get:
– the full Infected Blood experience (with special announcements, character bios and world building posts)
– all of my other comics, including really exciting collaborations with other great authors, as well as fan art and guest art
– Sekhmet Reviews (every other Friday), a fun series of (often drunk!) webcomic reviews by your favorite crazy war criminal
– my monthly newsletter
If you are worried about missing updates, you shouldn’t! I have a Follow button all over my blog that works both for WordPress account holders and for those who don’t have/want one. In the first case, you will be notified by the Reader about any and all updates. In the latter case, you will receive an email notification for each and every update. As I despise spam with my whole being, all you can expect is no more than one (at times two) emails per week, strictly for new comic pages, reviews or other projects. BTW, you don’t have to follow me to be able to comment on my blog! Comments are open to anyone and welcome from anyone (well, there is some automatic spam filtering, but I’m sure it won’t apply to any of you 🙂 ).
This is my favorite mirror, as it offers a larger readership (much, much more than Tapastic, I must add) and it seems to have clearer business practices. Webtoon automatically becomes patron to authors who meet a specific traffic requirement per update, so again, simply reading my comic there would also help me.
Other mirrors, although I am generally not very active there and I don’t benefit from any $$$ earnings:
Infected Blood on The Duck (I read and respond to comments, there)
Infected Blood on Becomics (not much going on in this platform, but it may grow in time. Never got any comment, so far, but if I do, I will certainly respond)
Infected blood on Tumblr (this is truly a passive mirror which gets updated automatically whenever I have new blog activity. I will likely never reply there)
And I am also on social media:
Twitter: @InfBloodComics (all of my blog updates end up there automatically. I am very active on Twitter and tend to respond quickly. Feel free to drop me a line at any time!)
Facebook page (all of my blog updates end up there automatically. I am not very active there, but I do get notifications if people try to contact me, so feel free to send me a message there, if you wish. I will respond)
I hope you will understand my decision and continue supporting and enjoying my work on my website or elsewhere. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reply to this thread or contact me at email@example.com
Take care and see you soon outside of Tapastic!