WOWIO woes continue

ComicList is reporting that Q2 payments are late, and our email inbox is filling up with reports from publishers who have not been paid.

Oh well.

UPDATE: We just received this from T Campbell and are running it as received:

My name is T Campbell, and I’ve been doing comics, in partnership with various artists, for nearly a decade. My most popular work is the teen comedy Penny & Aggie, with Gisele Lagace.

I learned about Wowio from Mike S. Miller, who had published Penny & Aggie in color in the direct market in 2005. His decision to do so made me wary of his overall business acumen– even Archie can barely survive in the direct market– but he had always been good to Giz and me, and we heard reports of others earning significant amounts. And in the end, being involved with them carried few opportunity costs… we weren’t making money off e-books any other way. So we cautiously became involved with the company. I was surprised and pleased to find myself making thousands of dollars each quarter, and being paid on schedule! As a result, I increased my output, to take advantage of Wowio’s system in the years to come. Finally, I could write as many comics as I wanted to with an eye toward profit on them!

There was only one big warning sign that Wowio would be, in the end, another small publishing company whose reach exceeded its grasp. Though the company’s first two sponsors, Verizon and Electronic Arts, were impressive enough names to quell my fears, other names didn’t seem to be following. I began to hear rumors that Wowio was burning through investment capital in order to pay publishers. We changed our plans to assume that Wowio would only pay out for up to Q3, 2008.

But that wasn’t enough. For Q1, we got our first significantly late payout. The money only arrived in the nick of time to help us meet some important expenses. Now, for Q2, the payout will be even later, if indeed it comes at all. If I hadn’t made another business arrangement in the interim, I’d be in real trouble. It’s my understanding that as of this writing, almost none of the publishers have been paid.

Q3’s payout is hardly relevant, because thanks to the changes made to the site in the last two months, our earnings have dropped 97.3%. I’m not going to fight over less than a hundred dollars. So all Wowio had to do was pay me for Q2 and I’d be out of their hair. Sadly, they couldn’t even manage that.

I agree with others that the communication has been terrible, though I seem to have an easier time than most in provoking a response from management or editorial. The fact that I have to provoke a response, though, some days after things go wrong, is bad enough.

I have sympathy for some of Wowio’s employees, especially the editorial director, Kristin Ellison, because two years ago, I was in her shoes: stuck between a crowd of hungry, wronged freelancers and a failing, red-ink-soaked company. The next time I actually speak to her instead of just e-mailing her, my message is going to be simple: Get out now. In fact, that’s probably good advice for anyone involved with Platinum Studios properties in any capacity.


  1. says

    A Suggestion that I would offer is to work with They sell pdf files of comics and you can set your own price and you can advertise it yourself. Look with direct marketting being hard enough as it is, don’t rely on companies that don’t know how to run their business. Drivethrucomics is affiliated with and they’ve been in business for quite a while. And trust me Gaming Geeks are extremely people. Click on that link and e-mail them about submitting content to sell.

  2. says

    The problem isn’t finding another place to SELL the PDFs. There are tons of them out there.

    What Wowio did was offer them for FREE.

    That was the genius of it. It was free to readers and we got paid $.50/download.
    Now if someone…ANYONE came up with a working FREE and SPONSORED download system like Wowio…I’m there.

    But paying for content online…especially webcomics is just silly.

  3. says

    God, I wish I had put Cathedral Child on Wowio when it was still bleeding money, especially since it got Boing Boinged. I would have made about $50,000. at least.

    Looks like, once again, Platinum has the Magic touch of Making Things S(t)ink. Rosenberg is delightfully consistent.

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