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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.