Am I Going to Cancel the Book of Dark Places?

In all likelihood, yes.

But that’s too short of an answer, and an answer like that… especially for the people who are enjoying that project… deserves an explanation.

First, realize that the Book of Dark places was an experiment from before the first episode even hit the server. I wanted to know if a multimedia horror project similar to a webcomic could make any money. Given that webcomics IN GENERAL don’t make much money, the chances that a high-bandwidth niche horror THING that couldn’t really be described as a “webcomic” could even support itself was pretty low. But I wanted to try, and try I did.

I wanted to give it a year. I didn’t want to make millions… or even hundreds…but beer money would have been nice. Now, it IS true that I didn’t put a tremendous amount of effort into publicizing BoDP, but I did put in quite a bit and saw almost no result. If I had seen results from the efforts I DID make, then I would have been encouraged to make more. But people just aren’t biting. I’d love to continue the effort for a while longer, but I am faced with a few inescapable truths:

1) BoDP is expensive… and I’m not even talking about money. Yes, it takes money to get models and host on an unlimited-bandwidth server, but the real cost is time. Time and energy that I am not being compensated for. Time and energy that I can spend on OTHER experiments that might have a higher chance of success.

2) The experiment just wasn’t working. Not only that, but, more importantly, there weren’t any encouraging SIGNS that it ever WOULD work. In the early stages of such a project, the hope of success is more important than the actual success itself. But after over a year of ABYSMAL traffic and ZERO revenue… well…. fuck it.

So, as much as I love BoDP… I can no longer afford to continue that particular experiment. The returns do not justify continued effort in that area.

So what am I going to do with the project?

Well, what I WANT to do and what I ACTUALLY do will likely be two different things. I want to finish telling the current story. I want to keep the existing material available online for anyone who might stumble in its direction. I want to keep the domain name and a web host that is separate from my project.

These days, I want a LOT of shit that just ain’t happening.

So I will attempt to achieve all of the above, but I will not make any guarantees. Specifically, any further work on the current story won’t happen for another month or so. There’s too much other stuff going on now, most of it bad. It MAY come down to finishing the current story in a different format (i.e, a written story) rather than as a multimedia project. I just don’t know.


  1. DarkIcon, July 20, 2007:

    When I posted this to the Asylum Walls, I added the following paragraph, included here for the sake of consistency:

    I won’t make any final decisions on BoDP (or anything else) in my current state of mind, and really, I won’t consider the BoDP “experiment” concluded until after I finish the current story. At that point, I’ll decide based not on traffic or revenue, but how much effort it takes to keep going and what else I could be doing with that effort. If I gave people a choice between more BoDP and another December novel, I already know what the answer would be. But who knows… a lot can happen in a very short period of time, so my future situation may allow me to continue on multiple projects. I don’t see HOW that could happen, but it could. Another option would be to continue BoDP in some other format that requires less time and energy… but, again, no decisions now. Just wait and see, because that’s what I’m doing.

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