ComixLaunch_MailbagTyler James answers ComixLaunch listeners’ crowdfunding questions! This episode covers protecting your books from piracy, getting the best price on printing, and how big an audience you need to launch a successful Kickstarter project.


This session is sponsored by KrakenPrint.  Need a reliable printer for your next comic book or graphic novel print run? Then you need to unleash the Kraken. Head toComixLaunch.com/Kraken for 5% off your entire first order.


Today’s Ask ComixLaunch Questions

In this episode, we answer Kickstarter questions from creators!

Questions #1 – Piracy

“I was interested in your opinion on releasing digital versions of comics/graphic novels as rewards on KS.

Everything I’ve read indicates that – although it seems counter-intuitive at first – letting your stuff out there, DRM free, is on balance a positive thing for creators. In fact, it seems like if you want to run a viable KS campaign, you really have no choice these days but to offer a digital download. Eric Stephenson of Image and Neil Gaiman seem positively evangelical about this.

I completely understand the rationale behind this. But do you have any reservations about it – or do you know of any independent creators who feel that releasing easily pirated digital versions of comics (or in particular single graphic novels) wasn’t the best move?

Thanks for your time,

Lex M.

It’s a good question… and definitely one that draws strong opinions.  This is also nice follow up to the recent ComixLaunch Session entirely on Digital Rewards.

Here’s the deal… the most pirated TV show on the planet is Game of Thrones. (HBO is doing just fine.)

The most pirated comic book is The Walking Dead. (Robert Kirkman, also fine.)

9 of the 10 most successful comic book Kickstarters, including this one that has absolutely EXPLODED this week, were webcomics first, and largely available to read in their entirety for free.

So, I wouldn’t be concerned about your work getting pirated…

I would be far, far, far more concerned about your work getting ignored.

A lot of creators out there who waste a lot of time worrying about preventing other people from making money off of their work… before they’ve even figured out how to make money off it!

DRM is an illusion… focus on getting readers.

Question #2 – Printers

“Can you point me in the direction of printers for a Kickstarter that we’re finishing up, I’d like to share it with my partners. They have someone in mind, but I’d be interested in seeing if we could get more bang for our buck. Who have you used, and what was your preference for price and quality?

– Shawn

Shawn, ALWAYS price multiple printers… and don’t be afraid to share your print quotes with the printers from other printers, as they’ll often try to beat them.

KrakenPrint is a sponsor of ComixLaunch and if you mention ComixLaunch, they’ll knock 5% off your first order. Go to ComixLaunch.com/kraken and shoot them an inquiry. But definitely get multiple quotes!

  • Transcontinental
  • PrintNinja
  • POD – CreateSpace
  • IngramPrinting / Lightning Source

#3 – Platform

“Should you hold off launching a KS until you have a (measurable) audience for your comic? Or is doing a KS a way to build an audience?”

– Rich

Yes and Yes

Should you hold off launching a KS until you have a (measurable) audience for your comic?

Yes… love the wording… measurable audience. Because

The Avg KS pledge is around $25.

That means for a $100 goal, you need 4 backers. Do you have a measurable audience where you’re confident 4 people will back?

$1000 goal, need 40 backers.

10,000 goal need 400 backers

100,000 goal need 4,000 backers. Think about it… difference between 3000 people can make a $90,000

So, yes, your audience should be measurable (ballpark), and your goal should reflect your audience… but that doesn’t mean you need a huge audience.

Yes, Kickstarter is a way to build a platform.

Some will tell you it’s not… but here’s the truth… I could pull up the list of 3500+ backers, and most of them are people I couldn’t pick out of a line up and have never met in person.

KS is a profit maximizer.

If you start a fire, it makes smoke… likewise, a successful KS will attract fans.

And the single most valuable thing that KS does for you, something that so many other platforms — the Direct market/Diamond, Amazon, Comixology, Bookstores — is that it gives you direct access and the ability to contact after the fact every single person who pledges to your KS.

They are YOUR backers… not Kickstarters. And that is HUGE.


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.

A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can and should do right now, or immediately after listening to the show. They’re all activities I’ve done myself, and will get you one step closer to a successful ComixLaunch. They’ll transform this Podcast from a passive, lean back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU.

This week’s ComixLauncher… 

Ask ComixLaunch a Question.

Shoot me an email to [email protected] subject ComixLauncher 15 and ask me something. You’ve gotta have something you’re wondering… and chances are someone else is wondering it to.


Closing Quote

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”

– Mark Twain


LAST CALL for the COMIXLAUNCH SURVEY!

We’re in the final week of the ComixLaunch survey, so if you haven’t already, please head over to comixlaunch.com/survey in order to take our first ever listeners survey.

This survey will help shape the direction of this show and the resources we create over the coming months and into 2016.

Comixlaunch_CLICK

We’re committed to making ComixLaunch the single best resource for comic book creators interested in using Kickstarter the right way to fund their projects, and advance their careers… but we can only do that with your input.

Please head to comixlaunch.com/survey and fill out the short survey, I promise it will only take a few moments and yet have a huge impact in what we’re able to do for you.

And as a special bonus…

Everyone of you who completes the ComixLaunch survey will be given instant access to a private bonus ComixLaunch training! I promise you… it will be well worth your time, and comixlaunch.com/survey is where it’s at. 

ComixLaunch_Green014ComixLaunch host Tyler James is interviewed by Walter Haas of Kickspy, in an effort to uncover the secrets of successful Kickstarter projects.


Today’s Session is Sponsored by ComixTribe

Go to ComixTribe.com/subscribe for 5 Free Comics


Today’s Session…

I have a very special interview for you today… in the hot seat getting interviewed is a creator who has successfully run 7 Kickstarters and raised nearly $170K on the platform… you may have heard of him… his name is Tyler James.

Now, before you think I’ve gone crazy and I’m interviewing myself on the show, or that my ego has super sized, let me tell you what’s up with this week’s session.

A few weeks back, I was contacted by a gentleman named Walter Haas, a mathematician in San Francisco and who’s been studying successful Kickstarter projects for the past few years. For a while, he ran a site called Kickspy.com analyzing Kickstarter projects.

While Walter is primarily focused on the quantitative research side… he now wants to focus more on the qualitative side to balance out his knowledge of the platform. As such, he’s talking to successful KS creators, seeking to pick their brains, similar to what I do in my interviews with creators, trying to find the mindset, strategies and tactics that lead to success.

So, he asked if I’d talk to him… I agreed, on one condition… that I could record the interview, for the benefit of YOU, ComixLaunch.

And so that’s what I have for you today! But first…


ComixLaunch Survey Reminder!

Before I get into that, though, I wanted to mention the ComixLaunch Survey.

First, thanks to all of you who have taken it, and there are a ton of you who have. Jeremy and I are already taking action behind the scenes planning topics and future shows based on your responses.

CLSurvey

The survey is running until the end of the month Oct 31, 2015. We set a goal for the number of respondents and right now were’ about 2/3rds of the way there.

If you’ve gotten value out of this show and want to see it continue and get even better, the single biggest thing you can do is take the survey.

(Next biggest thing you can do is share it with other creators, so we get even more responses and better data.)

Also, remember there is a Bonus KS Training unlocked at the end of the survey that you won’t want to miss.


The Tyler James Interview

Here’s Walter’s list of Questions for Tyler James… We touch on most of these!

General Discussion Topic

  • What would you say are the biggest factors that led to your phenomenal success with your last Kickstarter campaign? Is there one or a few things that stand out the most?

To Connect with Walter Haas, email him at [email protected].


Today’s Sponsor – ComixTribe

5FreeComicsTwitterCardsA

Click here for 5 free comics from ComixTribe. ComixTribe…Start here!


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.

A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can and should do right now, or immediately after listening to the show. They’re all activities I’ve done myself, and will get you one step closer to a successful ComixLaunch. They’ll transform this Podcast from a passive, lean back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU.

Write down one idea from this episode that you’re going to take action on.

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this, and I’d love to hear what you came up with. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #14.]


Final Quote

“It’s much easier to do things right from the start than to fix them later.”

– Guy Kawasaki


SURVEY

Hey, guys! Before you go, I just want to remind you to head over tocomixlaunch.com/survey in order to take our first ever listeners survey.

This survey will help shape the direction of this show and the resources we create over the coming months and into 2016.

Comixlaunch_CLICK

We’re committed to making ComixLaunch the single best resource for comic book creators interested in using Kickstarter the right way to fund their projects, and advance their careers… but we can only do that with your input.

Please head to comixlaunch.com/survey and fill out the short survey, I promise it will only take a few moments and yet have a huge impact in what we’re able to do for you.

And as a special bonus…

Everyone of you who completes the ComixLaunch survey will be given instant access to a private bonus ComixLaunch training! I promise you… it will be well worth your time, andcomixlaunch.com/survey is where it’s at. 

 

ComixLaunch_Green013In this session with writer Ryan K Lindsay (Negative Space, Deer Editor), the topic is the pros and cons of digital only reward Kickstarter campaigns. This session will be especially valuable to creators outside of the United States interested in discover whether or not Kickstarter is a good platform for them. 


This Session’s Sponsor…

Purebuttons, your go-to resource for custom buttons of all shapes and sizes.  Go to ComixLaunch.com/purebuttons for 10% off your next order of custom buttons.


This Session’s Guest…

ComixTribe publisher Tyler James is joined by a special guest who is an up-and-coming comic book writer from the land down under, who has been steadily building an prolific body of impressive, thoughtful work, and whose career has really taken off this year. Comic fans and critics alike are raving of series “Negative Space” from Dark Horse.  In the past four years he’s had work published by Image comics, IDW, Monkey Brain, Action Lab, SequArt, and more… And I’m thrilled to be working with him on a yet unnannounced new ComixTribe title that will be making big waves in 2016. Welcome to the ComixLaunch Podcast Mr. Ryan K Lindsay.

Anything else you want to tell the ComixLaunch audience about yourself?


Today’s Session… 

I’m thrilled to have Ryan on the podcast today because I wanted his perspective on a topic that I’ve received a ton of questions on from ComixLaunch listeners… and that’s the viability, pros & cons, of “Digital Only” Kickstarter campaigns.

In 2014, Ryan launched his first KS campaign for DEER EDITOR, a 48 tablet page B+W mature readers noir comic… that happened to feature an anthropomorphic deer as the lead.

It was primarily a digital only campaign that exceeded its $1000 goal by more than 200%.

We’re getting two for the price of one here with Ryan, because we get to talk about digital only campaigns… and running a comics Kickstarter outside of the United States.

We have a lot of INT listeners to this show, and FYI KS is available currently in 18 Countries:

US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg

Key Topics Discussed

1) To rewind the clock back to August of 2013 when Kickstarter announced it would be opening up shop in Australia… you’re a savvy comics creator, obviously backed KS before… what were your thoughts when you heard that announcement.

2) Why a Digital Only Campaign? What are the Pros and Cons?

3) Thoughts on what worked and what didn’t?


ComixLaunch Lightning Round

SPEED ROUND of Questions (Short/ Quick answers 30 seconds or so.)

1) Finish this sentence: “Kickstarter is _______.”

…fantastically diverse in the way you can put things out there, and the way they will land.

2) Let’s the pretend the powers that be at Kickstarter are listening (which you know they are)… if you could change one thing about the Kickstarter platform, what would it be?

Some sort of element of lottery of surprise, that rewarded backers randomly for backing projects. We need more people getting into the door for KS. 

3) What’s your secret weapon? (Meaning a tool, resource, app, etc. that you couldn’t make comics without?)

DropBox and Google Drive, Google Drive especially, because I can work anywhere and share easily and quickly.

4) Fulfillment is where even successful Kickstarter creators often drop the ball… Do you have a fulfillment tip for our listeners?

Get all your emails off of Kickstarter and set it up in a spreadsheet instead. Don’t copy and paste one e-mail at a time.

5) Can you recommend one comic (not done by you) more people need to check out?

D4ve2 from Ferrier and Ramon.


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.

A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can and should do right now, or immediately after listening to the show. They’re all activities I’ve done myself, and will get you one step closer to a successful ComixLaunch. They’ll transform this Podcast from a passive, lean back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU.

Today’s ComixLauncher — Come up with 3 creative ideas for digital-only rewards (beyond just a PDF copy.) 

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [NA — What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #13.]

 


Wrap Up

1) Do you have one final piece of advice for INTERNATIONAL BACKERS on running a Successful KS campaign for the ComixLaunch listeners?

Don’t be afraid to use your location as an advantage… play up the home-field advantage. Step up! 

2) You have an awesome email newsletter… comes out every Monday, I’m a subscriber and I look forward to it every week… tell our ComixLaunch audience about it?

http://tinyletter.com/ryanklindsay

Weekly Monday email, talking about comic process, Kickstarters, books I’m reading, and the week-to-week trials of breaking into comics!

Website – http://ryanklindsay.com/

Twitter – @ryanklindsay

 


SURVEY

Hey, guys! Before you go, I just want to remind you to head over to comixlaunch.com/survey in order to take our first ever listeners survey.

This survey will help shape the direction of this show and the resources we create over the coming months and into 2016.

Comixlaunch_CLICK

We’re committed to making ComixLaunch the single best resource for comic book creators interested in using Kickstarter the right way to fund their projects, and advance their careers… but we can only do that with your input.

Please head to comixlaunch.com/survey and fill out the short survey, I promise it will only take a few moments and yet have a huge impact in what we’re able to do for you.

And as a special bonus…

Everyone of you who completes the ComixLaunch survey will be given instant access to a private bonus ComixLaunch training! I promise you… it will be well worth your time, and comixlaunch.com/survey is where it’s at. 

ComixLaunch_Green012Last session, we detailed all the things that went wrong with the Archie Comics Kickstarter, and the major lessons creators should take from that failed launch. In this session, Tyler James and co-host Jeremy Melloul, rebuild the Riverdale relaunch Kickstarter from the ground up, and discuss ideas for crafting a more successful launch.


Today’s Session is Sponsored by KrakenPrint. Visit comixlaunch.com/kraken and mention the show for 5% off your first print order.


Kickstarter News

Something cool… The success rate for comics on KS went above the 50% mark… 50.1% to be exact. First time I’ve seen that!

Clearly ComixLaunch is working!

Number fluctuates, around that 50% mark for years… but as far as I’m concerned, no where close to where it can and should be… so we’re not resting on our laurels here… We’re DOUBLING DOWN!


What would we have done differently if we were running the Archie Kickstarter

Join the KS Community 1-2 Months before Launching

Back 10 projects

Do your homework

Run a strong Pre-Launch Campaign

KS got off to a very slow start…

Social Media Teasers

Emails to List

Narrow the Focus of the Project and the Lower the Goal

ex. Life with Kevin digital campaign

Lower the goal to something more reasonable

Simplify… Everything

Simplify the reward structure

Improve Transparency

Obviously transparency & more realistic goal are two good things to do.

Clarify the costs

The Target/ Wal-mart deal not relevant to this campaign


ComixLauncher

A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can and should do right now, or immediately after listening to the show. They’re all activities I’ve done myself, and will get you one step closer to a successful ComixLaunch. They’ll transform this Podcast from a passive, lean back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU.

Come up with at least three ideas for what would you have done differently to build a better Archie Comics Kickstarter?

Tyler mentions his email, I give mine

Email us your ideas at [email protected] & [email protected] using subject line: ComixLauncher #12. and let us know… how would YOU have righted Riverdale?


Bonus Content: Lessons from Archie E-book

It’s a PDF presentation meant to dive deeper into the merits & failings of the Archie Kickstarter in order to extrapolate as many lessons as possible. It includes:

  • An explanation of the Archie Kickstarter & the controversy surrounding it
  • A bonus lesson in light of the cancellation of the project
  • An alternate Kickstarter strategy: How Archie could’ve put together a successful campaign, based off Kickstarter best practices.
  • A post-mortem, discussing what might come next from Archie and where they could go from here

If you’d like, you can download the entire 72-page eBook for free by pressing the button below. It’ll also get you signed up for the awesome Creator At Large Newsletter.

Or, if you’re not convinced, you can click here to learn more about the eBook!


SURVEY

Hey, guys! Before you go, I just want to remind you to head over to comixlaunch.com/survey in order to take our first ever listeners survey.

This survey will help shape the direction of this show and the resources we create over the coming months and into 2016.

Comixlaunch_CLICK

We’re committed to making ComixLaunch the single best resource for comic book creators interested in using Kickstarter the right way to fund their projects, and advance their careers… but we can only do that with your input.

Please head to comixlaunch.com/survey and fill out the short survey, I promise it will only take a few moments and yet have a huge impact in what we’re able to do for you.

And as a special bonus…

Everyone of you who completes the ComixLaunch survey will be given instant access to a private bonus ComixLaunch training! I promise you… it will be well worth your time, and comixlaunch.com/survey is where it’s at.