ComixLaunch_Green020What makes a project worthy of launching a Kickstarter? In this session, 3 Kickstarter mindset myths are shattered, and Tyler discusses the best way to think about crowdfunding projects.

 


Today’s Session is Sponsored by ComixTribe

Go to ComixTribe.com/subscribe for 5 Free Comics

 


Table Setting

You know I’m huge on mindset… and in today’s episode I’m going to tackle three mindset myths related to Kickstarter campaigns.

Before we get into it… I do want to mention that applications for the ComixLaunch Course are open.

The ComixLaunch Course is special pilot program where Jeremy Melloul and I will be taking a small group of creators step-by-step through the process of designing and executing a successful Kickstarter campaing to crowdfund their next Comic and Graphic novel project.

To apply, go to:

ComixLaunch.com/course

Had a few questions about the application process, and it’s really a simple one. We ask you to fill out a short questionnaire so we can find out a little more about you, your creative history, and your project.

We’re interested in knowing where you are in the creation of your comic project, roughly when you think you’ll be ready to launch, and get a rough idea of how much you think you’ll need to raise.

If figuring out how much you need to raise or when the right time to launch is is a stumbling block for you… don’t worry. All that is covered in the course, we’re just looking for best estimates.

We also ask you to imagine where you’ll be after your Kickstarter is successful, so we have an understand not just of where you are and where you’ve been but where you’re hoping to go…

Because helping you get there is the reason we’re doing the course in the first place.

The application will take a few minutes to fill out. Jeremy and I will review, and you’ll get a response back within 48 hours.

If you’re right for the program, we’ll send you an invitation to join.

If you’re not right for it at this time, we’ll give you some feedback on what you can do to get into the course next time around.

Admission is rolling, and once the course is filled, admission will close… so please, don’t wait…

There’s no reason not to apply if you think this might be for you…

ComixLaunch.com/course


What is Today’s Episode About?

A hang-up many creators who have yet to run a Kickstarter project are dealing with looks something like this:

“I don’t think I have a project worthy of a Kickstarter yet.”

And I can completely relate to this one.

I had the exact same hang-up for a long time.

In Session 001 of ComixLaunch, I talked a bit about my history with Kickstarter, and how I sat on the fence for a looooong time before pulling the trigger on my first campaign.

See, at the time, I was looking at Kickstarter like a one time use power-up in a video game.

I was looking at it as a card that should be played only for the right project… and one I didn’t want to “waste” on something small.

But as I explained in that first episode, I eventually had a mindset shift on Kickstarter…

Three Kickstarter Mindset Myths

Myth #1 – Kickstarter is Only for “Big” Projects

Reality

403 projects – 12% of successful Comic Book Kickstarter projects were for less than $1K

74% were for less than $10K.

One shots, first issues, pitch packages, digital only campaigns…

Focus is your friend… Fund a book, and tour, and plush, and t-shirt line, and…

Mindset Ship: My Kickstarter projects can be as big or as small as I need it to be, and in truth, the more focused my campaign, the likelier it will succeed.

Myth #2 – If my Kickstarter project doesn’t go viral, it won’t succeed

Most successful comic Kickstarter projects never “go viral”… and going viral doesn’t always equal success.

Steve Lichman KS — Blog post, nearly $200K funding… you do a good search for “steve lichman KS” get 779 results. Now… that’s not bad, but not exactly viral.

Compared to one of the most viral KS stories… “Potato salad KS” -31,800 results… $55K.

Plenty of stuff goes viral with very little return for creator.

Mindset shift: If I build a great project with a goal that takes my current audience in mind, and get that audience out, I can succeed whether or not it goes viral.

Myth#3 – Kickstarter is Too Complicated

Reality…

Compared to nearly every other option for getting your work out there, your ROI on Kickstarter will be better.

What does it take to get picked up by a major publisher or hired?

Todd Mac rejection letters.

What does it take to get your book in the direct market.

What does it take to sell on Comixology?

Mindset Shift – Running a successful Kickstarter campaign will take effort, but your return on that effort will be bigger on KS than virtually anywhere else.

Don’t want to run a complicated KS?

Don’t want to spend a ton on printing? Run a digital only campaign.

Don’t want to deal with shipping? Run a digital only campaign.

Worried about int shipping? Restrict physical pledge levels to US only.

Worried about fulfillment? Design your campaign so you can outsource everything.

Your KS doesn’t have to be Big and complicated and go viral…to win. Because remember, it’s not a one-time power-up.

If used properly, Kickstarter is a renewable resource… a platform that actually gets EASIER to launch on the more you use it.

And that’s a lot different than a “use it and lose it” mindset.

What DOES make a project “worthy”

First, and foremost… it’s important for you to recognize that you are a person of value, and in your creative work, you have something unique to offer the world.

You need to believe that BEFORE you launch.

Because if you don’t believe that, all the backers in the world aren’t going to validate it for you.

Are you Proud and Passionate about it?

Kid on the fridge parallel… we stopped

Are you going to give it your best effort?

Don’t flail.

Don’t toss up a page without a video or with a quickly tossed up description and little love put into.

If you’re not willing to take your project seriously, why should anyone else.

There’s a difference between taking short-cuts (which are simply more direct routs to the same objective… ComixLaunch Course we love shortcuts) and being lazy (not doing stuff you know you should.)

Ex. Big name creator who posted about tossing a KS, stripped down page, no video, just a single pledge level, etc.

Better off doing that on an online store or etsy — less %. Respect platform.

Will it Help You make it to the next milestone in your creative career?

I think a lot of creators mistake “worthy” for “big…” as in your Kickstarter project needs to be some earth-shattering event in order for you to launch.

I don’t agree.

Rather than thinking whether your project is “big” enough for KS…

Think about what the very next milestone in your creative career looks like.

For me back in 2012, before I launched my first Kickstarter, that next milestone was producing a hardcover.

After all, I had been making comics since I was twelve years old…

But many of you haven’t.

For many of you, the next logical milestone in your career is simply getting a comic you created printed and in your hands.

Your next logical milestone might be a single issue.

In life and our careers, we get to earn the right to go after bigger goals…

So, I would challenge you to think about what the very next step in your comics career looks like?

You might want to ultimately become the next Stan Lee or Robert Kirkman… and that’s fine.

But for now, just focus on the very next step.

And once that next step is clear, think about whether crafting a Kickstarter campaign in service of that next step could make sense for you.

From my own experience, and that of the 3,000+ other creators who have successfully crowdfunded comics and graphic novels on the platform, I know that KS is an incredible tool to help you get to that next rung on the ladder…

And progress is always a worthy goal.


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.

ComixLauncher 020 –  In a few sentences or less, describe what the very next step in your creative career looks like. We are all someone in our journey as creators.

Go a step further… share your progress publicly with us on Facebook here.

Or shoot me an email to [email protected] subject ComixLauncher 20.


Wrap Up

Hope you got something from this episode… and perhaps expanded your idea of what KS can and should be used to fund.

If you would like to build your next campaign with me and Jeremy and a small group of like-minded peers… I would encourage you to apply for the ComixLaunch Course Pilot program by visiting:

comixlaunch.com/course

 

“Sell one. Find one person who trusts you and sell him a copy. Does he love it? Is he excited enough to tell ten friends because it helps them, not because it helps you? If not, you must stop what you’re doing and start over.” – Seth Godin


Apply for The ComixLaunch Course

Would you like to build your first or next Kickstarter campaign with me?

If so, go to ComixLaunch.com/course to apply to join a pilot group of creators Jeremy Melloul and I will be taking step-by-step through the process of planning and launching a Kickstarter campaign.

CL_Course_LogoBanner_1200

Spots are extremely limited, so if you are at all interested, do not wait… go tocomixlaunch.com/course, fill out the short application. We’re looking forward to helping you launch.

 

ComixLaunch_Green019In today’s session, Tyler is joined by Jon Parrish, to explore the emotional roller coaster ride that is running a Kickstarter campaign. Jon’s first Kickstarter campaign was successful, but went right down to the wire. All the ups, downs, twists and turns he experienced are covered in detail.


Today’s Session is Sponsored by the Johnny Bullet webcomic by Hervé St-Louis. Read it for free at comicbookbin.com/bullet.


Special ComixLaunch Announcement

Before we get into today’s episode, I want to share some early insights gleaned from the ComixLaunch Survey we ran last month… and the thing I’m most excited about for 2016.

We launched the survey throughout the month of October 2015 to find out more about you guys… what you’re struggling with, and what you want to hear about on this show.  The best way to find that information out was simply to ask. And I knew it was going to be eye-opening.

One thing that surprised me… nearly two-thirds of the creators that took the survey, primarily made up of ComixLaunch listeners and creators in the ComixTribe community, have NEVER launched a Kickstarter project.

I know it seems like every time you turn around, someone new is launching a KS… but the reality is, most creators out there are still on the sidelines.
And thanks to this survey, I have a much better understanding of why.

The Things Holding You Back

I know what’s holding you back from launching your first (or next) Kickstarter campaign.

Do you have a project worthy of launching a Kickstarter?

Do you have enough time to run a Kickstarter?

With a day job, you’re already finding it hard enough to carve out time to write or draw… how could you possibly do all the work a Kickstarter would require on top of that?

What if your Kickstarter becomes an all-consuming endeavor that blocks out the sun for 30 days?

Fear is a big thing holding so many creators back… Fear that you’ll launch and your project will be completely ignored and fail to hit its funding goal.

What will a public failure like that say about you?

What will your friends and loved ones think when they find out something you’ve been working on forever looks like it’s going no where?

How do you look yourself in the mirror, knowing how much time you put into your comics, only to have you build it and no one come?

Or even worse… maybe the fear that’s holding you back is that you’ll be successful, and then because you missed something in the planning, end up botching fulfillment and disappointing backers, costing your time, money and reputation.

Or maybe it’s not those fears that are holding you back… instead it’s the enormity of the task. You know a successful Kickstarter will help move your comics career forward… you just have no idea where to start.

How do you set your funding goal?

How much of your project do you need to complete before launching?

How do you allocate expenses?

Does any of this resonate with you?

And and even when you manage figure all that out…

How do you know if your current audience is big enough to hit your goals

How do you promote your project in a way that gets media and attracts new readers?

I know you. You care. You know that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

But the sheer overhead of “doing a Kickstarter right” and executing it flawlessly is daunting.

Veteran Kickstarters Will Tell You Those Concerns Are Valid

And the truth is… and creators who have run Kickstarter campaigns before will back me up on this, those concerns are completely valid.

In the survey, I also received feedback from many creators who have taken the plunge and launched KS projects, some successful, some not… And there were I whole host of other pain points that those creators experienced that they never saw coming.

A theme that kept coming up was the surprising emotional toll running a Kickstarter took on creators.

They spoke of difficulty keeping up motivation and staying positive, especially through the draggy middle stretch of campaigns I call “the dead zone.”

They talked about how isolated and lonely they felt running their campaigns…

Creators who already were dealing with some mental health issues like depression found them aggravated while running their campaign.

And I know at least one creator who will tell you running his first KS campaign landed him in the hospital.

Kickstarter has a tendency to knocked creators way out of their comfort zones… many are viscerally uncomfortable promoting their work as it makes them “feel like a hobo begging for change.”

And even for creators who succeeded, the overwhelming and unexpected challenges of fulfillment left many unsure whether or not they’d do a Kickstarter again.

And even those who will launch another Kickstarter, many were left scratching their heads as to how to build upon the success they’ve had to get books into more readers hands.

There’s Got to Be a Better Solution

With all of those obstacles, with all of that pain standing in your way… It’s no wonder so many of you are interested in KS… But haven’t launched yet. There’s got to be a better solution… and Jeremy and I here at ComixLaunch have been working on find it.

What if you didn’t have to build your Kickstarter alone?

What if you had someone there to coach you through each step in the process — from prelaunch platform building to product design, goal setting, campaign execution, to fulfillment planning and beyond?

What if you had a small group of peers building their own campaigns along side of you, who you could share ideas with, get feedback from, and provide mutual support to?

Would that make you more likely to launch?

With a proven plan, a supportive peer group, and step-by-step guidance from coaches who have done it before… Do you think you could successfully Kickstart your comic book or graphic novel project and take your career to the next level?

Introducing… The ComixLaunch Course

CL_Course_LogoBanner_1200

 

In early 2016, Jeremy Melloul and I will be running a small private pilot course for creators interested in planning and building their next KS project the right way.

Over the course of ~6 weeks, we’ll be covering every phase of running a KS campaign.

This won’t be just theory and general advice, this will be a step-by-step plan for building a rock solid campaign in a small group setting.

It will combine a series of live streaming training sessions, supplemental resources and checklists, concrete assignments, all designed to move you one step closer to a successful KS.

Essentially, we’re giving you the comic book Kickstarter playbook and coaching you up on how to execute it.

And while I’m calling it a course, the final exam won’t be a test… Rather it’ll be your own ready to rock Kickstarter campaign you will be excited and proud to launch and confident to bring to the market.

Capture_CLCourse

Why Learn This Stuff With Us

I know there’s a need for something like this… Reviewing more than 100 surveys made that abundantly clear. But why am I the right person to learn it from?

Obviously, I have a passion for this stuff, and I’ve already spoken at length about the impact KS has had at changing the trajectory of ComixTribe and my own career.

For the past 5 years, I’ve been sharing my creative journey on ComixTribe.com… With lessons learned, mistakes made, and aha moments galore.

I’ve had a lot of success on the KS platform, managing both my own projects and those for others in the ComixTribe stable.

I’ve had a great mix of projects that I’ve funded, including floppies, trades, hardcovers, mature graphic novels, children’s board books, and even toys.

Now, I know having success yourself and being able to teach others how to have it is a different skill entirely…
But I’m an educator at heart… and by training, and I have a Masters in Education from Harvard hanging on my wall to prove it.

So, those are my credentials, but what’s great about this course is that you’re not just getting me…

You’re also getting Jeremy Melloul, who is an expert marketer who travels the world consulting for a wide variety of companies on marketing and strategy. (He’s consulting in Costa Rica right now, the lucky duck.) But Lucky for us, comics are Jeremy’s passion, and he is incredibly strong in areas like marketing, and sales and big picture strategic thinking, where so many creators struggle.

Jeremy and I love teaching this stuff, I’m incredibly excited to share what we know about building successful KS campaigns with the right group of creators in a more hands on fashion.

Who is the ComixLaunch Course for?

  • Creators who will be ready to launch a KS in 2016.
  • Creators who know they have a good product that deserves more readers.
  • Creators who recognize they’ll have to put effort in to get effort out, but are looking to use their time and resources as efficiently as possible.

Who is the ComixLaunch Course not for?

  • Someone who have an idea for a comic but not a nothing to produced yet… plenty of resources on ComixTribe.com to get you to the next step, but the
  • ComixLaunch course is about taking something that you have ready to present to the market.
  • Someone who isn’t coachable. We’re going to be asking a lot of the creators in the pilot program, and some of the steps to launching a successful KS will push you outside your comfort zone… but that’s where all growth happens there.
  • Someone who isn’t willing to invest in him or herself.
  • The course will not be free. I want to make it clear there will be an investment required to be a part of it.

Because this is a pilot course and we’ll still be developing materials throughout, it will be available at a discount for this first round.

But it won’t be free, for the same reason I don’t recommend creators launch a Kickstarter without some product to show… We need creators in our course who are willing to put some skin in the game.

There are literally thousands of free resources on the internet about crowdfunding already… The ComixLaunch podcast is and always will be a free resource…

But the medicine only works if you actually take it… and what being a part of this course will give you is the right plan, in the right order, with the right people there to make sure you stick to it.

I know that when you invest in yourself and actually commit to launching, you’ll be more likely to also put the time needed to be successful.

Jeremy and I are going on to be devoting significant time and energy to making sure our students are successful, and an investment is one way to make sure everyone in the group is serious about launching and taking their careers to the next level, and to make sure everyone who signs up, shows up.

Spots Are Extremely Limited

Because this is a pilot program and the first time we’re doing this, we’re only taking a super limited number of creators… we want to make sure we can fully support everyone whose in, so it’ll be capped.

You, the ComixLaunch Podcast Audience, are the first to hear about the ComixLaunch Course… And for the next two week, applications are open exclusively to you guys.

If you’re on our email list, I’ll be sending you more info on the course and again, for two week, first available will go to you guys.

If there are spaces left over after one week, then we’ll open enrollment to the much much larger list of creators who subscribe to ComixTribe.com and Jeremy will send to his Creator-At-Large network, and we will fill the remaining spots.

How to Apply for the ComixLaunch Course

So, if you’re listening to this and thinking Yes 2016 is going to be my year to launch, and you want to build your Kickstarter step-by-step the right way with Jeremy and I, and a small group of creators by your side, in a supportive environment where we’re all rooting for you, then please head to ComixLaunch.com/course and apply for one of the limited spots.

This course is the thing I’m most excited about working on in 2016, and Jeremy and I can’t wait to work with a few of you.

>>>Click Here to Apply for the ComixLaunch Course<<<


What is Today’s Session About?

I’m excited about this episode, because we’ve got some serious #realtalk coming your way…

One of the things that stuck out to me that so many creators who responded to the ComixLaunch survey brought up again and again was how they were not prepared for the emotional toll launching and running a Kickstarter campaign would take on them.

This isn’t the Oprah show or Doctor Phil, but I still think it’s my duty to help the ComixLaunch audience who have you to run a KS prepare themselves for this… and for those of you KS vets, I want to make sure you know that it’s not just you who experience this stuff.

Kickstarter is a rollercoaster, and I have the perfect guest to talk to about that today…

  • My guest today is the comic book writer of two mini-series (Secrets & Shadows) and ClusterF-U-C-K (we’re a clean podcast!) which will be published by Alterna Comics.
  • He has a BA in English and has spent time teaching Language in Japan, and he recently completed his first Kickstarter project… a project that went down to the wire and managed to hit its funding goal on the very last day of his campaign, exceeding his $5,000 goal by just $76 dollar.

Here to talk about the experience is Mr. Jon Parrish. Welcome to ComixLaunch, Jon!

Guiding Questions for Today’s Show?

  • Why Kickstarter?
  • What kind of preparation did you do to get ready for launch?
  • What were the Highs of your campaign?
    • Getting the first backer.
    • Getting to $100
    • Getting to $1000
    • Getting to the halfway point
    • Getting fully funded in the last few hours.
  • What were the Lows of your campaign?
    • The first 24 hours
    • Messing up the US Shipping Costs on the first day
    • The 10 days things stalled out
    • Not knowing how to turn views and likes into pledges
    • Being in the last day and not reaching $3,000
  • What were some Twists and Turns you didn’t see coming?
    • The Digital TPB had more backers than the physical book
    • One backer changed his pledge multiple times from $85 to $15
    • Having people say they’d back it and not

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

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

“…Daunting.”

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?

“Make it shipping settings clearer.”

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

ComixTribe.com [Thanks, Jon!]

4) Promotion Tip?

Twitter was very helpful for me, a lot of backers came from there. Facebook advertising also helped me get in front of a lot of people.

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

D4V3 by Ryan Ferrier.


Sponsor: Johnny Bullet

Johnny Bullet is really the kind of comics that we don’t get enough of. Hervé St-Louis, also known as Toon Doctor, creates it.

It’s a web comic that has the look and feel of a classic newspaper comic strip, except that it’s published weekly web comic.

Johnny Bullet is a professional drag racer who gets in trouble with the law, bad guys, and of course bad women!

You can tell that Hervé, Johnny Bullet‘s creator, likes cars and drag racing. There are muscle cars everywhere!

There is really no comic like Johnny Bullet. It’s been described as Michel Vaillant meets the Dukes of Hazzard. Set in the 1970s the characters sport afros, and bell-bottoms.

It’s fun to read a crime comic that’s serious but without being dark and gloomy. Johnny Bullet is your classic good guy!

While Hervé tells me that he isn’t ready to launch his Kickstarter just yet, there’s nothing stopping you from reading Johnny Bullet at ComicBookBin dot com slash bullet (comicbookbin.com/bullet).

Leave him comments so he knows that we sent you!

Johnny Bullet. It’s a comic about a man and his car.


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.

ComixLauncher 19

Write down 10 things that you’re grateful for…

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this.


Wrap Up

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

Just give it a shot!

2) Besides, how can listeners best connect with you online?

Twitter: @Jon_H_Parrish

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jpcomicwriter

Website: secretsandshadows.net

Thanks for Listening.

Tease future episodes

We’re going to go even deeper into both mindset, strategies and tactics for making KS work for you.


Apply for The ComixLaunch Course

Would you like to build your first or next Kickstarter campaign with me?

If so, go to ComixLaunch.com/course to apply to join a pilot group of creators Jeremy Melloul and I will be taking step-by-step through the process of planning and launching a Kickstarter campaign.

CL_Course_LogoBanner_1200

Spots are extremely limited, so if you are at all interested, do not wait… go to comixlaunch.com/course, fill out the short application. We’re looking forward to helping you launch.

ComixLaunch_Green018Figuring out if and how to engage brick and mortar retailers in a Kickstarter campaign is a vexing issue for creators. Chimera Comics owner Carmelo Chimera joins Tyler for a frank discussion on retailer outreach.


Today’s Session is Sponsored by Purebuttons

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.]


Today’s Guest

My guest today is the co-owner of Chimera’s Comics, a four location comic shop in Illinois that, in addition to carrying comics and graphic novels, does great community charity work, hosts gaming tournaments, special events, and is now publishing comics as well! He’s also a practicing attorney-at-law, and is a comic book creator himself.

Last month, he launched his first Kickstarter project, The Magnificent, which as of this recording has hit it’s funding goal, heading into the final week.

Congratulations on that and welcome to ComixLaunch, Carmelo Chimera.


What is Today’s Episode About?

One of the more vexing things for Kickstarter creators is figuring out how to approach retailers regarding their projects…

Should they bother with retailer outreach?

What would make retailers back their projects?

And are there other ways besides just financial backing that creators might engage retailers?

Carmelo Chimera the perfect person to talk to about this stuff, because you’re coming at it from both the retailer and the creator perspective.

Guiding Discussion Questions:

1) Last month, you launched your first Kickstarter Project, Magnificent, with co-creator Steven Brown, and David Gonzalez. However, as a retailer, you’ve no doubt been aware of Kickstarter for a while now. We’ll get into your experience as a creator in a bit, but I’d like to start by talking about how you view Kickstarter from the retailer’s perspective.Most retailers I’ve talked to’s opinions on Kickstarter range from open hostility to complete indifference… though some’s opinions on the platform have evolved over time. Can you talk about how you see Kickstarter as a retailer?

2) I think it’s important for Kickstarter creators to understand how a retailer’s business works before they think about how to approach retailers to back a Kickstarter project or support it in some way… Can you give us a look behind the curtain?
How do the terms offered to retailers by most Kickstarter creators differ from the terms you get from your main distributors, like Diamond?

3) What advice do you have for Kickstarter creators interested in getting retailers to support their projects?

4) Have you difficult making the transition from retailer to creator launching a KS? What have you learned from launching your first KS Project? What’s surprised you?


SPEED ROUND

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

“…delightfully subversive.”

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?

Incorporate add-ons as a built in feature.

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

Celtix script writing software

4) You guys made an AWESOME video… any tips for creating compelling KS videos?

Keep it short and from the heart. Save the facts and figures for your page.

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

Roche Limit by Michael Moreci and Val Malhotra


Capture_PureButtons

Episode Sponsor: PureButtons

When creating your Kickstarter projects, it’s absolutely essential to have a variety of pledge levels and awesome rewards for your backers. Making custom buttons of your most popular characters is an easy reward or add on you can bring to your campaign…and the folks at PureButtons can help. Specializing in custom buttons of all shapes and sizes, as well as button packs, fridge magnets, custom coasters and much more, PureButtons is my top recommendation for fast, reliable quality printing of buttons and more.

And now you can get 10% off your next order by going to ComixLaunch.com/purebuttons. 


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.

ComixLauncher 18

Do Something Nice for Your Local Comic Book Retailer

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [If you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see it. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #18.]


Wrap Up

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

The most important thing is what you do before you launch will determine your success. Don’t start campaigning when you press launch. 

2) Besides the Magnificent Kickstarter page, how can listeners best connect with you online?

Like or follow Chimera’s Comics on Facebook.


Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?

If you’ve enjoyed this Session of ComixLaunch, I need you to do me a favor… actually, I need three favors. Please Subscribe, Rate and Review ComixLaunch on iTunes.

They’re the rocket fuel this show is running on, and the sooner you do it, the more powerful your action will be. Don’t wait to give us some love!

>>> CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A REVIEW ON iTUNES <<<

Provide a rating, 1-5 stars and leave an honest review.

This can be done in less than 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.

ComixLaunch_Green016With more than $40 million dollars raised for comics and graphic novel projects to date, Kickstarter is playing an ever increasing role in the industry. Tyler James discusses the economics of Kickstarter and digital comics with Author Todd Allen.

 


 

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 to ComixLaunch.com/Kraken for 5% off your entire first order.


Today’s Guest 

Our guest today has spent more than 15 years around digital publishing and comics. He’s written about the business side of comics for Publisher’s Weekly, the Chicago Tribune and Comic Book Resources, and is a contributing editor to comicsbeat.com. He’s been nominated for an Eisner Award, he taught eBusiness in the Arts, Entertainment & Media Management department at Columbia College Chicago Chicago for 5 years.

He is the author of the book The Economics of Webcomics and the 2014 follow up The Economics of Digital Comics.

Welcome to ComixLaunch, Mr. Todd Allen!

For more on Todd, visit: http://www.indignantmedia.com/


Guiding Questions for Today’s Discussion

1) Todd, last month, you wrote an article for Comics Beat titled “How to make crowdfunding sustainable for comics” which was in part a reaction to an article on Kickstarter written by a Brian Hibbs, a prominent retailer. I’d like to start our discussion with your take on where Kickstarter and crowdfunding fits into the economics of comics right now?

2) Let’s talk about where we think comics and crowdfunding is headed… I know there are creators who think we’re in a Kickstarter bubble that’s going to burst any day now, and I know others who think KS is the future. How do you read the tea-leaves? What is KS role in the future of comics?

3) Your first book was an indepth look at the economics of “webcomics”… in a recent episode of ComixLaunch, we discussed them at length. Your second book was on “digital comics”. Recently Brian K Vaughn and Paulo Rivera took home the Harvey award for “Best Online Comics Work”…a curious designation. Do you draw distinctions between these various terms… or are the lines blurring?

4) What’s next for you? What are the big questions about comics and Kickstarter that we still don’t know, and want to find out.


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.

ComixLauncher 16: Buy and read a non-fiction book on the comic book industry before the year is out.

Need some suggestions? Try:

Shoot me an email to [email protected] subject ComixLauncher 16 and let me know what book you pick up?

 


Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?

If you’ve enjoyed this Session of ComixLaunch, I need you to do me a favor… actually, I need three favors. Please Subscribe, Rate and Review ComixLaunch on iTunes.

They’re the rocket fuel this show is running on, and the sooner you do it, the more powerful your action will be. Don’t wait to give us some love!

>>> CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A REVIEW ON iTUNES <<<

Provide a rating, 1-5 stars and leave an honest review.

This can be done in less than 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.

 

ComixLaunch_Green017Did you know that Kickstarter creators don’t actually receive the entire funding amount displayed on every Kickstarter page? In this episode, Tyler James details the three reasons why, what (if anything) you can do about it, and how much you can actually expect to receive. Plus: A bonus mini-lesson on SMART goal setting!


Today’s Session is Sponsored by ComixTribe

Go to ComixTribe.com/subscribe for 5 Free Comics


Session Table Setting

ComixLaunch Survey Update

We put it out, and you guys responded! Thank you so much for taking it!

Quick Tip: Set a Goal for Everything Important you do

Could have just made the survey

Instead – Pick a target # of surveys to collected, decided to set a time frame, and throughout the month, steadily checked in on our progress toward that goal.

On Oct 30, 1 day before closing, we hit our target.

SMART Goal Setting

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Timely

I sent out an email to the ComixTribe creators list, just talked about the power of measuring your progress towards your goal

Kickstarter bakes into DNA this in. A KS designed with SMART goal framework in mind.

The ComixLaunch Blog is Up!

Jeremy interviewed with Dave Rapoza and Dan Warren of Steve Lichman Kickstarter

Just ended, one of the biggest comic book Kickstarters of all-time, one of the top 1%, $198,608 dollars in funding.

Putting the Reader First: A Six-Figure Strategy for the Steve Lichman Kickstarter

The first in a series Jeremy will be doing where he’s talking to Six-Figure Comic KS projects and breaking down what they do differently.


What is Today’s Episode About?

One of those subjects that really doesn’t get talked about… I think a lot of people take it for granted that people just know this… but in talking to many creators who haven’t launched KS before, I know that this will be something that some of you haven’t completely considered.

The Funding Amount that is displayed in big numbers on every successful KS page IS not the amount of money that KS creator receives.

The Funding Amount raised is a number that’s pledged.

Not number of funds that is actually collected.

Definitely not Amt that shows up in Your bank acct.

Lets illustrate will some actual numbers from the last three KS campaigns I’ve managed:

C is for Cthulhu Plush Toy and Board Book

Pledge – $42,483

Collected – $38,276.19

Difference – $4,206.81   (9.9%)

The Standard Ultimate Collection

Pledged – $17,259 

Collected – $15,374.64

Difference – $1884.36 (10.9%)

The Red Ten Volume 1

Pledged – $13,460 

Collected – 12,136

Difference – $1,324 (9.8%)

Was I robbed? Call the cops? No… This is how KS works…

There are THREE Reasons why KS actual funds differs from funding amount

1) Kickstarter Fees

KS fee -5% flat 5% off the top of every pledge.

Best deal in town…

  • Diamond takes 60%
  • Amazon 35-45%
  • Retailers 50%

Marketplace for comics. People are shopping there, $40 million dollars have been spent there on comics… show me another platform with that volume that takes less.

Nothing you can do about these fees.

2) Stripe fees

Stripe is KS cc transaction partner.

Stripe, our payments processor, will apply credit card processing fees (about 3-5%).

Used to be Amazon Payments, last switched to Stripe Jan 2015

Pros

  • Stripe seems to be the preferred processor of new companies (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Won’t need to set up an Amazon Payments business account anymore.
  • You’ll just enter your bank account details on the Account tab when you’re drafting your project on Kickstarter. It takes about two minutes, whereas the old way could take a few days. 
  • For backers, this means a simpler, faster and easier checkout process. No more being redirected or having to log in to a separate service. It takes half the steps, and it all happens on Kickstarter. 
  • Very easy process, very clean interface.
  • Amazon payments, more cumbersome
  • One lump sum

Cons

  • You’ll need to wait 14 days before any funds are available

Nothing you can do about these fees.

3) Backer Attrition – What is it, what to do about it?

People sign up to Kickstarter to back first project… Enter a cc

When they back their next KS, they aren’t asked to enter a CC again.  This is a good thing… Whipping out cc is a momentum kilker.

Drawback, is that some expire… Ks only checks this when they try to process and cant

KS tries to get backer to update CC, sends several emails over 10 days… Backer updates, great, cc is processed. If not, the backer not charged.

Can amount to real money–

C is for Cthulhu

11 Backers Dropped – $730

The Standard Ultimate Collection

5 Backers Dropped — $479

The Red Ten

1 Backer Dropped – $135

There IS something you can do about backer attrition.

Before campaign over, in update– remind backers to check their cc.

Ex. *IMPORTANT* Kickstarter will be collecting all the funds from backers, so if you haven’t done so already, please ensure your credit cards are up-to-date so you can get your rewards without delay.

Within 10 days after… Send email to extra asking

They might ignore email from KS…

After 10 days… Email with PayPal link.

Hi, [backer name]

It looks like Kickstarter was unable to resolve your payment for the C is for Cthulhu plush campaign. Your credit card was not charged and you were dropped as a backer from Kickstarter.

I know you’re still interested in getting the Plush Toy, and I already have your survey information.

Here is a special direct Paypal payment link from ComixTribe, the publisher of C is for Cthulhu, that will allow you to make your pledge and get your reward — https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=6DW9M5XTHDDS2

If you have any questions, please let us know, and thanks again for your support!

Best,

Greg, Jason, and Tyler

When the product is in hand — Email them again.

Hey, we’ve got your book still reserved for you!

Either direct them to your online store… or again, that Paypal link.

You can recover a good % this way.

 


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.

ComixLauncher – 016

What is one goal you want to accomplish in the last two months of 2015?

What ever goal you have, find a related, measurable action you can start tracking.

If you’re a writer, maybe it’s pages written, or even words each day.

If you’re an artist, maybe it’s pages or panels.

If you’re a publisher, maybe it’s sales or leads. Maybe it’s retailers on your VIP contact list.

If you don’t know exactly where you fit in the comics industry, maybe your goal should be to talk to 3 people in the industry each week for 15 minutes until you figure it out… start tracking that.

Whatever is important to you… set a goal, and then start measuring your progress toward it.

Go a step further… share your progress publicly.

Shoot me an email to [email protected] subject ComixLauncher 16 and let me know what you’re going to measure.

 


Quote

“What you measure, you can manage.”

– Peter Drucker


Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?

If you’ve enjoyed this Session of ComixLaunch, I need you to do me a favor… actually, I need three favors. Please Subscribe, Rate and Review ComixLaunch on iTunes.

They’re the rocket fuel this show is running on, and the sooner you do it, the more powerful your action will be. Don’t wait to give us some love!

>>> CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A REVIEW ON iTUNES <<<

Provide a rating, 1-5 stars and leave an honest review.

This can be done in less than 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.