After a few success (and failures) I have leaned quite a bit from crowdfunding comic books through Kickstarter. Now while I am no expert in this, recently there have been people asking me for advice on the matter. I have to say what worked for me might not work for everyone, but if I can save you a buck or two, if you can learn from my mistakes, or if what I have to share could be the difference in you hitting your goal or not, I am more than happy to help.
I will be running a column here on Indie Comic Source going into more detailed information in the future, but for now let me start by sharing a few quick tips.
#1 If this is your first time running a campaign to crowdfund your comic book do not set a huge goal! I see this time and time again, first timers asking for $3,000 -$5,000 to crowd fund their comic and they don’t even get close. It is expensive to publish a comic book, but what I learned the hard way in my first Kickstarter (which failed by the way) was, that it’s hard for people to invest towards that high of a goal when you don’t have much experience. Think of it like this, are people given a brand new car on the day they get their drivers license? The very same reason new drivers do not get that brand new car is why you won’t hit a goal that high and it all comes down to trust. Are there exceptions to the rule, yes, but if you take the time to build stock and trust with the backers you’ll get closer to that goal with a few more campaigns. Plus let’s say you set that $5,000 goal and only raise $2,200 hundred. Well on Kickstarter you get none of that and you’ll be kicking yourself in the head wondering why you didn’t set a lower goal.
#2 You are raising money for a comic book, DON’T FORGET TO ADD PICTURES!!! You would think this is common sense, but there are campaigns right now that just have a cover image or two. I know this sounds crazy but it’s the truth. Folks, you are selling a comic book, people want to see what it looks like. When you go to McDonalds and order the latest burger up on the board, at least you know what it might look like even though you don’t get the exact same thing. Consumers want to see what they are buying so show it to them. I am not telling you to give away the book, but if you don’t want to show full pages at least show some panels.
#3 Do not try to get just an idea funded. This may sound like it ties into the previous statement, but make sure your story is fully realized and you have gotten some pages made. People feel safer knowing that you have put some of your own money into making the comic.
#4 Promote, Promote, Promote! Are you on facebook, twitter, google plus, instagram, pintrest, etc, etc? Why not? Here is where you will find like minded people looking for something different in comic books, or more importantly looking for something that might sound like your project. Utilize hashtags so you can be found easier. Are there websites out there willing to review your book and give you a little press, go after them. Just make sure you get it back before your project is over. Post what they say in your project update section, it may be that something extra that gets someone to fund you.
#5 Don’t check kicktraq or any other tracking sites. I am not saying they are not good, but you will go crazy checking it multiple times during the day. Work on your campaign, promote it, update it and measure your statistics afterwards. There is a wealth of information, but I have found the information you can get from there works best when you measure it against other campaigns you have run.
That is all for now, but I will explore more in future updates.