The much-anticipated Part Three of the Tonoharu trilogy is hot off the press

My wife, Carla, is the executive editor of Tofugu, a Japanese language and culture blog. Today she ran her review of the third and final installment of Lars Martinson's Tonoharu trilogy.

The entire trilogy takes place over the course of one year, as we follow the main character, Dan Wells, an awkward 25-year-old English teacher who has just moved to the remote town of Tonoharu, Japan. Being the only American in a rural area an hour away from the nearest small city is a culture shock that Dan hasn’t anticipated. Over the course of the series we are right there with Dan as he struggles with issues that most new assistant language teachers will likely deal with to some degree: loneliness, making friends, fitting in, improving Japanese language ability, overcoming cultural barriers, and figuring out what’s next.


Video trailer for Tonoharu graphic novel

Tonoharu: Excellent graphic novel about an English teacher in Japan

Tonoharu Part Two: Excellent graphic novel about an English teacher in Japan Read the rest

50,000 new visitors to cartoonist's site results in an extra 23 books sold

Cartoonist Lars Martinson submitted the first installment of the Kameoka Diaries to Reddit. As a result, his website, which gets about 100 visitors a day, had 48,342 visitors in a single day. He thought he might sell a couple hundred more ebooks than usual because of the new influx of visitors. That was a gross overestimate.

I once heard something to the effect that when you offer a free webcomic, you’re lucky if 1% of your readership buys something from you. Now, I’m paraphrasing so I might be getting the exact details wrong, but either way, it’s a just a sliver of the whole.

So when I saw all the people that visited my website, I wasn’t expecting any miracles. But still, I couldn’t help but run the numbers: if just half a percent of the visitors bought something, that’d mean hundreds of sales… it was hard not to get just a little excited.

But alas, the 48,342 people that visited my site resulted in an additional 23 e-comics sales compared to the previous day. So about 0.048% of the extra visitors made a purchase.

Hey, don’t get me wrong; an extra 23 books sold is better than a kick in the seat of the pants. And I’ll admit: out of all the hundreds of sites I personally visit, only very rarely do I buy anything from them. So it totally makes sense, it’s just a bit sobering to see the hard numbers.

3 Things I Learned When My Site’s Traffic Increased 25,000% in One Day

UPDATE: Kameoka Diaries is now the #1 best-selling Graphic Novel in the iTunes Bookstore. Read the rest