While looking for something new to read (and back) on kickstarter I came across The Bean vol4: The Dark Road. Not only is the look of the story awesome but this guy really knows how to put together a campaign. So I spoke to Travis, the creator of The Bean and I found someone as inspirational as he is talented. Here are some of the things he has to say.
Can you briefly tell us what your project is about and how long have you been working on it?
Bean is the fantasy story of a young dishwasher, who is sent out for mushrooms, kidnapped and then forced on a quest to find a magic sword. This is the 4th book in my ongoing web series which I started in 2009. It’s a tale of adventure, courage and most importantly hope, that even the most simplest of people can be the hero.
What led you to bringing The Bean to kickstarter ?
Bean vol 4 is actually my sixth successful kickstarter project. I enjoy the way the system works and how it can really benefit indy creators of all forms. I have found that with a little bit of planning and being honest with your patrons by fulfilling your commitments that the platform really worked. So I continue to use it to fund my books.
Of all the pledge rewards which is your favorite?
I personally love the cameo rewards. That’s where you get to help me add a character to book 5. I had several people pop up in book 4.
If some one finds out about The Bean: The Dark Road after the funding period has ended, will they still be able to purchase it elsewhere? If so where can they find it.
Yup you can always buy my books through my online store herehttp://beanleafpress.shop033.com/. Like all my books, they will come sketched in and signed if you buy from us direct.
Do you think Kickstarter is helping the independent creator, hurting them, or not doing anything at all, and why.
I think people forget that kickstarter is only a platform. A program to help people regardless of what they create to be successful. A lot of what depends on if a project is successful or not is the individual who created the project. The indy creator needs to plan it out before they jump into it. See what is successful, what is not and remember that people will back what they want. If they don’t back your project, than you need to reevaluate your project and it’s presentation. To blame kickstarted for not being successful is a poor excuse. What kickstarted has done in my opinion has opened the door for many indy’s and pro’s that want to tell stories their way and design projects how they see it. What a powerful opportunity this is, especially in an age where many big publishers are afraid to take chances. In fact, I myself like to hunt for new projects and books all the time on kickstarter. I find it to be quite beneficial for the creator. It’s a great platform in my opinion.. but that’s all that it is … a platform.
If you had the choice would you rather have your book picked up by a major publisher or would you rather keep putting books up on Kickstarter?
I would love to be picked up by a major publisher but that is not the case at the moment so I am not to concerned about it. I actually enjoy putting my books on kickstarted because it allows me to really interact with those that support me. It creates an incredible opportunity for interaction between fan and creator – something that I have always enjoyed.
What have you done so far to make your The Bean stand out from other Kickstarter comicbook projects?
I try to make it graphically appealing and not complicated. That is soooo important to me. I am also a big advocate for getting your rewards out on time or early. Those that have backed my last 5 projects already know my integrity about making sure they are taken care of. I like keeping them completely in the loop. So important.
How much have backers on previous projects helped you currently, what are you doing/ what have you done to bring them back?
Of my 6 projects, each one was funded by incredible people. They know that I always deliver, the product is top quality and that they are important to me. I let them know when projects come out and most (about 95%) want to know when I will do another one. They like the interaction and the ability to be part of the group. I understand though that they have a choice and can be picky about what story or artwork they want to back. I allow that to be part of the process. They also know that, I like to get my rewards out early. I hate going down to the wire. It’s all about communication and inviting people to return.. and if they choose not to that is ok, because my relationship with them is not based on if they back my projects or not.
Before we go is there anything you’d like to add?
That kickstarter is a great platform that allows creators and patrons to interact in an incredible way. That it has created a place for projects and dreams to become real. Yet at the end of the day, the creator still has to promote, push, design, research and deliver. It’s your responsibility to make your project successful, not kickstarted. Once more creators figure that out, I believe they will put more of the effort in to make their dreams become incredible realities.
You can find me at www.beanleafpress.com (where you can read the comic completely for free)
and instagram as travisjhanson
JayDee Rosario is a writer with Unstoppable Comics, and has run multiple successful comic book campaigns on Kickstarter.