FYI: I know none of these people, and have no personal involvement in this issue. Just pointing you to the info, in part, to show that publishing problems aren’t limited to print.
Keenspot is a webcomics portal that bills itself as “…the largest publisher of exclusive webcomics!” They came to my attention recently when a Keenspot member suggested I try signing on. I decided to stay independent long ago, but thanks.
Today, the Keenspot website posted the following notice:
ANNOUNCEMENT:Keenspot no longer accepting new webcomic submissions.
Posted By Chris Crosby at 12/19/2009 12:21:00 PM
Please note that Keenspot is no longer accepting new webcomic submissions, and has no plans to invite new members to Keenspot. Thank you for your interest.
Two days ago, the Keenspot creator of Sorcery 101 was fired. She posted the following notice:
Why did they fire me? I asked that question as well and got the response “We have multiple reasons.” None of which they will tell me. It happened right after Scott Kurtz’s ustream where I talked said Keenspot was only good for the newsboxes (which is true and I’m not the only person on Keenspot who’s said that) and I’d leave once the newsboxes stopped being useful. Because they are EXTREMELY unprofessional.
Keenspot is a small company with no staff to speak of outside of the owners (i.e. no accountant on staff), and because of that it generally takes us longer than we would like to produce exact revenue calculations, whether they be from book distributors or the many ad networks and advertisers we work with daily. However, we have always offered Keenspot members an advance payment. and have never refused an advance to a Keenspot member who asks, whether they’re owed money or not.
Almost everything that Kell, Kurtz and Straub said were lies, and Kurtz almost certainly wrote most of what Kell said for her. And when they’re not lying, they’re insinuating other lies, like that Keenspot would conceivably take down her site out of spite, when they’ve never once done that to the dozens of other Keenspot members who were fired or left, most of which left under far worse terms than this situation.
If you are interested in webcomics as a publishing vehicle and revenue stream, you might want to take the time to go through these posts and the accompanying comment threads.