Statistically, the comics category on Kickstarter is the category most likely to have creators return to the platform after having a successful campaign… but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Tyler chats with Vito Delsante, writer of Stray, about the challenges, strategies, and tactics of bringing backers back for another Kickstarter.


Today’s Session is brought to you by

The Untold #1, a horror comic currently on Kickstarter.


Session Table Setting

Stick around until the end of the episode, as we’ll be announcing the winners of the SuperShow Bundle giveaway!

Statistically, the comics category on Kickstarter is the category most likely to have creators return to the platform after having a successful campaign.
Often taken for granted that being successful on Kickstarter once means you’ve cracked the code, and it’s easier to fund the next time.
But is that always the case… have a great guest, and we’ll be talking about the challenge of getting Backers Back to Kickstarter for subsequent campaigns. Mindset, strategy, tactics, lessons learned, and so on.
Sound good?

 

Listener Feedback

Recently in ComixLaunch Session 52 & 53, it was a two part master class on titles… series titles and project titles.
For the ComixLaunchers, I invited listeners to submit their titles for some feedback… and I’m going to share a couple of submissions with you, and I’ll give you my thoughts.

RJ Samonte – Shades of Arca ShadesofArca.com

Project Brainstorm
1) Shades of Arca #1: Epic fantasy comic – Shades come to earth
2) Shades of Arca Issue 1- The Shades have come to earth
3) Shades of Arca #1 – An Epic Fantasy Comic From Earth to Arca

Before I give feedback on the project name structure, I want to touch on the title a little bit.  Here’s the good: RJ owns this space. Google Shades of Arca and every single mention is related to RJ’s comic. So, as he builds it, there will be very little brand confusion.  It’s relatively short and rolls off the tongue fairly well, just like:

Mines of Moria
Game of Thrones
Wheel of Time

One thing that is a challenge and potentially a mistake, especially when starting out, is relying on the name of your fictional universe or world to carry the title.  Arca doesn’t have any real meaning to me, and I would guess to most people.  Now, the reason we do this is because so many of our favorite books or series do this sort of thing:

Chronicles of Narnia
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Prydain
The Book of Three
The Black Cauldren

Likewise, the word Shades… D&D players and your target audience know “Shades = demon or spirit” but that’s not what I think most people attach with that word.  So, your title is [little known use of a word] of [made up place]… and as a result, may not instantly have the sort of impact of a fantasy title comprised of words everyone knows:

A Song of Ice and Fire
The Wheel of Time
Lord of the Rings

Am I saying change the title? No… but I want those listeners out there naming their projects to think about these things.

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

Guest Introduction: Vito Delsante
My guest today is a NYC based comic book writer and graphic novelist who has written for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, AdHouse Books, and Simon & Schuster, among others and his stories have been reprinted throughout the world.  He has a project called STRAY – The Ongoing Series, with artist Sean Izaakse, which is currently funded on Kickstarter with a bit of time left on the clock.  Stray is published and distributed by the fine folks at Action Lab Entertainment.

Welcome to ComixLauch, Vito Delsante.

Vito, glad to have you on the podcast… we’ve known each other for while, dating as far back, I believe, as the 2012 30 Characters Challenge… or maybe even 2011 NYCC.  I’m really excited to talk to you because I think you’ll be a great guest to talk to about an important topic relevant to creators who plan on making Kickstarter a key plank in their business strategy.

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

The challenge of bringing backers back to future Kickstarter campaigns.

 

Guiding Discussion Questions

You recently set out a Kickstarter update to backers of your first Kickstarter campaign for STRAY that caught my attention. With your permission, I’d like to share that update with the ComixLaunch listeners, and then ask you a few questions about it?

Update #66 For backers only: Honest Question Time

So, I was looking over the backer report for the new Kickstarter campaign and I see a lot of new names, names that weren’t with us for this campaign. A lot of new names……but not a lot of old ones.
So, I have to ask a very atypical, and maybe a very personal, question.
Have we let you down?
Feel free to comment here as this is a Backers Only post and will not be seen by the public (but will be seen by other backers, so please no profanity). I realize we’re still doing fulfillment and it’s extremely difficult to ask for your support when you were maybe disillusioned by the first campaign, but again, I have to know what we did wrong so I can fix it now.
-Vito

1) Definitely a different kind of update. Can you talk to me about your reason for sending it, and framing it the way you did?

2) You received a few comments back on your post… Anything surprise you from the comments or reactions?

3) Okay, let’s talk a bit about the current Stray campaign… Currently 11 days to go, a little under 200 backers, well over your $5,000 goal at $6,815, but still a ways away from matching the support and funding of your first Stray Campaign?
What were your expectations going in to this Kickstarter?

4) Statistically, there’s data that shows that creators who return to Kickstarter after their first successful campaign have a much greater success rate, tend to raise more funds, and get more backers when they return to Kickstarter. However, I’ve noticed that that’s often not the case in the comics space. What are some of the challenges you see for creators returning to Kickstarter, especially when they’re returning with a second campaign for the same property?

5) Do you think the presence of a publisher (in Stray’s case Action Lab) can actually hurt funding on a platform like Kickstarter, which seems to favor independent creators? What are the pros and cons of working with a small press publisher vs going at it alone that creators should consider?

 

Speed Round

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

A young and growing platform for new creators. 

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?

More due diligence with respect to the projects they approve.  

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

My wife. 

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

Don’t send out anything until it’s all completed. 

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

Pluto based on Astro Boy


Sponsor Mid-Roll

In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…

The Untold #1 Kickstarter

If you love horror… But hate horror cliches, then Untold #1 is for you!

The Untold is a 28 page black and white horror comic, which features splashes of color throughout.
The story is written by life long horror fan Daniel Farrand, with pencils by Johannes Vick and inking by Peter Pamiotti.
Daniel steps away from the stereotypes of the horror genre, — no Vampires, Werewolves or scantily clad damsels in distress. Instead, he brings a warped and twisted world of psychological unease and striking visual gore to create a truly terrifying experience.

Right now, Daniel is offering ComixLaunch listeners an extra incentive to pledge.

Simply comment “comixlaunch” when pledging to receive print by Peter Palmiotti, that is not currently available on Kickstarter absolutely free.


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can do 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 and your projects.

ComixLauncher [055]
Do something extra special for someone in your life who supports your creativity.
Vito’s “secret weapon” being his wife struck a chord.

Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions

1) One final piece of advice
2) What’s the best way for listeners to connect?

SuperShow Bundle

Winners – Each will get Choice of one of 6 books
Karen Gillmore – (Canada)
A David Lewis
Ron Jones
Patrick Davidson
Carmelo Chimera
Ramon Pina (Mexico)
Grand Prize
Jacob Halton – USA


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.

Regardless of what you’re trying to create, your audience is on Facebook. As such, if there’s one platformimages you should be leveraging to grow your audience, it’s the house that Zuck’s built. In this session, you’ll learn 10 super simple tips to maximize the power of your Facebook page to get you ready to launch your next Kickstarter.


Today’s Session is brought to you 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.

Featured Resource – FreshBooks


Session Table Setting

Listener Feedback

Probably the Best Kickstarter Resource available and it’s FREE – 5 Stars
Aaron M Williams
“An amazing podcast that gives you the insight, lessons-learned, and actionable tips from the best on the Kickstarter comics platform. If you are even thinking about putting a project on Kickstarter, this podcast is for you.”

Thanks Aaron!
Aaron just launched the Comics Manifest podcast cast: Inspiring Interviews with Amazing and Influential Creators in Comics 3 days a week.
I was honored to be Aaron’s 4th guest… Check out Episode 4, I share my lowest moment as a creator…
Show off to a great start and you guys should check it out.

Show Updates / Shoutouts
Absolute last call of entries over at ComixLaunch.com/supershowbundle

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

Today, I’m going to share some of my absolute best tips on how to prep and maximize your Facebook page in advance of a Kickstarter project.  Now, we’ve talked about FB a bunch on this show, usually FB Ads. (See Session 28 with James Ferguson)  Not talking about FB ads today… everything I’m going to share today is absolutely Free.
Why important?
Your Audience is on Facebook

1.65 Billion Active users (logged into FB during last 30 days)
25 million people interested in comic books in the US
Comic Books, Knitting & Hulk Hogan in Oregon – 1,900

It’s the King of Social Media Platforms.  It has more users than Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat combined and it’s advancing every day.

It’s getting harder and harder to get people to discover our stuff outside of a platform like FB

Webcomic
Blog Post
Podcasts

All of us should at least have some FB presence.
Without FB, there would be no C is for Cthulhu… at least no six figure sales.

 

10 Facebook Pro-tips for Creators

1) You need a Facebook Page.

FB Business page, not a personal page.
Yes, FB does get personal page a leg up in feed…
But PP are capped as to how big they can get.
Your options are limited — Insights, promoted posts, FB ads, etc… none of that is possible on personal page.
At first, you will get less engagement on your business page than on personal… but you need to power through that for the long term benefits.

2) You need an attractive profile image and banner

Canva.com has FB page banner designer as one of the templates.
Change this in advance of a promotion.
a week to a month before Kickstarter
Kickstarter opens
Final week

3) Sweeten the Banner with an Attractive Offer

Ex. ComixLaunch: Click here for free Kickstarter resources

4) Recognize that Facebook does not Treat all Content Equally

Image Post > Post
Canva for Social Media Images
Set up a Template
Do them in batches
CHUM six word surf noir
Video Post > Image Post
Add a bit of text to the opening of your videos… FB auto plays on mute
Live Video Post > Video Post
Don’t expect your live numbers to be huge… at first.
But know that your video will live on and get pushed into the feed… and far more than just about anything else you publish.

5) Native video. Don’t post links from YouTube.

6) Avoid exclusively Auto-posting.

Context over Content.

7) Use your Call to Action Button

Send them to your website
Your online store
Your Kickstarter

8) Post Daily… but don’t worry

OPC
Don’t have to all be your content.
In fact, many of the biggest FB pages share more of OPC, other people’s content, than their own.
Who are the people and pages your audience would like?
Who’s radar do you want to get on?
Your Content
Quotes
Videos
Concept Sketchs
Offers

9) Micro-feedback Posts get sick engagement

Sometimes you’ll post and it feels like you’re shouting into the void… no comments, few likes.
Try asking for feedback… but make it STUPID simple.
A or B
Color
Cover Layout
Mulvey – Mummy Sequence
You’ll get a lot more comments and FB…
Which tells FB, hey, people like this guy or gals stuff… show more of it.
The name of the game on FB is ENGAGEMENT (Click, Like, Share)
Calls to Engagement help…

10) When they LIKE your posts, invite them to like your PAGE.

C is for Cthulhu Page is currently at over 14K likes.
Added about 4K likes over the past couple of months.
We were stuck below 10K for MONTHS… couldn’t understand it… we had ads running, the adds were getting a ton of likes and shares and leading to sales… but page likes were flat?
Why?
Because a Like on a Post isn’t a like on a Page.
But, if you click on a very popular post, you’ll see who liked it underneath
Ex Charlie B, Billie Jo and 6 others Like your Post
Click on that, and you’ll have the opportunity with a click to invite everyone who liked your post, but not your page, to like your page.
Then, when they do that… they’re more likely to see your stuff in their feed.


Sponsor Mid-Roll

In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…

Last year, ComixTribe spent nearly $85,000 on printing.

While we rely on a number of printers to get our books to market, one printer I can strongly recommend is KrakenPrint

Our friends Jacob Way and Sam Amborn at Kraken Print offer:

  • Competitive pricing.
    Great customer service, especially for your first offset print run.
    Monthly storage if you do not want to store hundreds or thousands of books at home.
    Distribution options, including breaking down orders and shipping direct to Diamond or comic stores at their specially negotiated discounted rates on shipping.
  • And NOW they even offer Kickstarter fulfillment!
  • Kraken will pick, pack, and ship out orders for your backers.

If you want to unleash the Kraken, go to comixlaunch.com/kraken, mention the ComixLaunch podcast, and they’re going to knock 5% off your first print run…and they’re going to hook us up with a 5% credit.

It’s a classic win/win/win/win – You get a great price on printing, your backers get a beautiful offset printed book, you help the podcast out, and Kraken gets your business.

That’s comixlaunch.com/kraken for 5% off your entire first print run.

 

ComixLaunch Featured Resource: FreshBooks

Are you keeping good track of the finances for your creative business?

And if so, are you trying to do it with rough spreadsheets you created yourself in Excel that you’re undisciplined about keeping up to date?

Take it from me, who did that for waaay too long, you need to stop wasting time and start using Freshbooks.

Accounting can be frustrating… but FreshBooks makes it EASY.

FreshBooks_1-300x300FreshBooks is specially designed for small businesses and creative entreprenuers like us.

Freshbooks saves you TIME by letting you Import expenses automatically from linked accounts and attach receipts to invoices so that come tax time, you’ll be organized and ready, not scrambling and in a full on panic.

FreshBooks also makes you look more professional and gets you paid faster with their fast branded invoicing options, and the ability to accept payments online.

FreshBooks keeps you up to date on your numbers, with beautiful automatically generated profit and loss statements, tax summaries, expense reports and more.

If you believe you add the most value to the world when you’re spending your time creating your next masterpiece rather than bean counting, then you owe it to yourself to give Freshbooks a try.

I’ve secured a special offer for ComixLaunch listeners…

Go to ComixLaunch.com/freshbooks and you will enjoy a 30-day free trial—no credit card required to try it out.

To get your time back and take control of your creative business finances once and for all, go toComixLaunch.com/freshbooks for a free-30 day trial, and I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can do 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 and your projects.

ComixLauncher [054]
Run a FB Content Experiment
Post one of each, one post each day:
– A Text Only Post
– An Image Post
– A Video Post
– A Live Video Post

Let it roll for a few days, and then check the organic reach of each type of content.
Which reached them most people?
Likes, Shares, comments?

Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


Wrap Up

I hope those 10 FB Tips were super helpful to you.  Whether you love or hate Facebook it’s undeniable that it is a powerful tool and platform.  When you’re building an Audience (and you need an audience to have success on KS), FB is a great place to find more people who are interested in what you’re doing.  You need to FISH where there FISH are swimming, and FB is the most stocked ocean in the world.
So maximize that channel…

Quote
“The basis of our partnership strategy and our partnership approach: We build the social technology. They provide the music.” – Mark Zuckerberg

You’re providing the music… and today, FB is still one of the absolute best places to share it.

Thanks for Listening.

We’re going to go even deeper into both mindset, strategies and tactics for making KS work for you.
Thank you so much for listening, and for letting me walk with you, as you taken another step forward toward your next successful ComixLaunch.


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_Green008Many creators don’t give much thought to their Kickstarter project title… and that’s a big mistake. In this session, Tyler shares a great project naming formula that many successful creators have used to maximize funding for their projects, and loads of examples of projects with strong titles. Listen to this show, and you’ll know how to title your project for maximum funding.


Today’s Session is brought to you by

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.


Session Table Setting

We’re in the midst of a Two Part series on Titling your projects.  In part 1, I shared 5 Elements of an Effective title for your comic, book, webseries, etc.

ComixLaunch.com/session052 “Million Dollar Title”

Today, in part 2, we’re going to crack the code on Kickstarter project titles.  Many of you simply title your campaigns with the title of your book.  I’ve done that myself in the past.  What I’ve discovered, however, is that is a mistake… and likely leaving attention and funding on the table.
Today, I’m going to teach you what to do instead.
Sound good?

Listener Feedback
Daniel Bishop of Tiger Crab Studios

Hi Tyler,
I wanted to update you just to announce that our Kickstarter has been 100% funded with 4 days to go. A huge credit for that goes to you for your podcast, interviews and advice, so thank you for producing those resources. If there is anything I can do for you in the future please let me know.

Thanks Daniel and My reply
Definitely give session 44 a review as you head into the final stretch to finish strong.
044 – 5 Killer Tips to Crush the Last 48 Hours of Your Kickstarter
comixlaunch.com/session044
As far as anything you can do, reviews over at iTunes are always appreciated if you haven’t left one already. ComixLaunch.com/review

Suggesting the podcast to creators you chat with when Kickstarter comes up is the best thanks I can get. Word of mouth is the best way we grow.

 

Show Updates / Shoutouts
ComixLaunch.com/supershowbundle

What is Today’s Episode About?

Why Your Project Title is So Important
The project title is a crucial element as it’s what will be shared all over the internet
Project Image is most important image.
Project title most important piece of copy.
and is the first point of reference to what your project is about.
It’s your headline… paired with project image, it’s what will get the click or not.

Catheryn Lavery of LittleMight.com teaches “The Kickstarter Project Name Formula”

Catheryn was a past guest – ComixLaunch session 38

038 – Scaling Up Your Crowdfunding to Six Figures with Cathryn Lavery of BestSelf.co

Most Funded Kickstarter Projects

COOLEST COOLER: 21st Century Cooler that’s Actually Cooler ($13,283,275)
Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android ($10,266,844)
OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console ($8,587,035)

After spending many hours researching best practices, what works and what doesn’t, I’m going to share with you how to share how to write the best pitch for your idea.
Cathryn looked at the most funded projects on Kickstarter
To start I looked at the top most funded ever projects on Kickstarter. They all went well beyond their funding goal, some by 26.56k%… crazy).
That’s why the most funded projects crafted their titles carefully.
The Everyday Messenger: A Bag For Cameras & Essential Carry ($4,869,472)
ZANO – Autonomous. Intelligent. Swarming. Nano Drone (£2,334,946)

The Formula:
Product name: Unique Selling Point + Value Proposition

 

The Fiction Author’s Challenge? What the hell problem are we solving?  Is my comic or graphic novel really solving a problem?  Yes!  The problem of boredom.  The problem of offering up a specific kind of entertainment.  The more specific, the better.

Questions we can ask:

Who is our book for?
How do they identify themselves?
What’s unique about our book?
What are they getting from our book that they can’t get anywhere else?
What the most valuable benefit from reading this book?

Example:
Mummy’s Always Right
Mummy’s Always Right Board Book
Mummy’s Always Right: A Board Book for YOUR Little Monsters
Mummy’s Always Right: A New Board Book for YOUR Little Monsters (too long)
Sharkasaurus
Sharkasaurus: Creationists vs. Shark Horror Comedy GN


Sponsor Mid-Roll

In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…

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 toComixLaunch.com/purebuttons. 


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can do 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 and your projects.

ComixLauncher [053]
Apply the Project Naming Formula to the project you’re currently working on…
Come up with THREE names.
60 characters or less.

Bonus Points: Poll your peers, friends or fans.
Double Bonus Points — Share with ComixLaunch.

Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]
Seriously… what do you want? More people to know about the work you do… when people put offers out to share their platform TAKE it!
Hundreds to thousands of listeners who have backed collectively many many thousands of Kickstarter projects…
#JustSaying


Wrap Up

Check out Cathryn’s stuff at LittleMight.com

Her Project Naming Formula again is:
Product name: Unique Selling Point + Value Proposition

What is Unique about your book and what’s the value it’s bringing to what audience?

Quote

“Be clear first and clever second. If you have to throw one of those out, throw out clever.” – Jason Fried

Thanks for Listening.

We’re going to go even deeper into both mindset, strategies and tactics for making KS work for you.
Thank you so much for listening, and for letting me walk with you, as you taken another step forward toward your next successful ComixLaunch.

Podcast Plug
Comicsexperience.com Podcast


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.

business-861325_960_720Hard to believe it, but 2016 is more than half over already! In this bonus session, Tyler peels back the curtain and reviews ComixLaunch’s progress towards its yearly goals. He also opens the books and breaks down every dollar that came in and went out for the ComixLaunch business in Q1 and Q2 2016.

Also covered: the 3 levers any creative business can play with to improve profitability. Finally, he shares his action plan for making Q3 &Q4 even more successful, and a bonus featured resource creators should check out.


Why share these income reports?

Embracing transparency is a core principle of ComixLaunch… and being a creator in today’s landscape.

See our previous income report here — Session 32: Embracing Transparency

I know I appreciate looking at real numbers, opening up the books, and seeing how other businesses work… and I know creators do too. What you measure you manage…and what you manage you can improve. Doing this keeps me accountable…

Sometimes it’s easy to keep hopping a long head in the clouds, not paying attention to numbers… But that’s not the way to be a responsible business person.

I’m sharing these without attaching a value judgment to them… numbers and metrics aren’t inherently bad or good… they’re just what they are.


Progress Toward ComixLaunch 2016 Goals

Remember the difference between Outcome Based Goals (the specific measurable result, not 200% in your control) and Performance Based Goals (Actions that lead to the result, 100% in your control).

  • Green Light (Achieved)
  • Yellow Light (Not Achieved, but Progress on Track)
  • Red Light (Warning Not on Track)

Outcome Based Goals 2016. By December 31, 2016…

20K Downloads (16,729 – Yellow Light)
1K Subscribers on our Mailing List (431 – Yellow Light)
35 Students (25 – Yellow Light)
20 Successful Projects Launched — Most important one (4 – Red Light. *However, if you count ComixLaunch listeners… probably already hit 20.)

Performance Based Goals

Record and release 52 episodes of ComixLaunch (28 – Yellow Light)
Bring on at least 20 new guests. (50+ Thanks to Episode 50 – GREEN Light)
Create at least 4 great offers to incentivize email list sign-ups

KrakenPrint Guide –  www.comixlaunch.com/printchecklist/

50 Tips – ComixLaunch.com/50tips

SuperShow Bundle Giveaway – comixlaunch.com/supershowbundle

Run The ComixLaunch Course at least 3 times in 2016. (1 of 3 Red Light Only going to do it 2 times.)

However, I will teach 3 courses this year. More on that later…

What about you?

Did you set goals for 2016?

Did you set outcome based goals? How are you doing?

Dig you set performance based goals? More important.

Are you on track?

If so, congratulations.

If not, what’s one new habit or routine or action that you can add to your Performance based goals in order to hit it?

Not too late! A ton of time on the clock in 2016.


Month by Month Events on the Inside of ComixLaunch

January

  • Launched the ComixLaunch Course

February

  • ComixLaunch Course underway
    Added the ComixLaunch Voicemail service – ComixLaunch.com/voicemail

March

  • ComixLaunch Course Wraps

April

  • First Course project launches – Gamer Girl and Vixen by Kristi McDowell
  • ComixLaunch Workshop

May

  • ComixLaunch Live Talk at Haverhill Comic Con
  • Gamer Girl & Vixen Funded – $11,430
  • Lost Dogs MC Launches by Joshua Janes

June

  • Lost Dogs MC Funded $3,500
  • Meraki by Michelle Palmer launches
  • Margo Intergalactic trash collector launches
  • Tyler Launchs Pilot for a New Course with 17 Students
  • ComixLaunch 50 Milestone – 50 Tips from 50 Creators

ComixLaunch Income Report 2016 Q1 & Q2

Income Breakdown (Jan 2016-June 2016)

2016 Gross Income YTD: $1,881

Product Sales – The ComixLaunch Course: $1,536 (81%)*

Sponsorship: $160.00 (9%)

Affiliate Income : $185 (10%)*

KrakenPrint Credits Coming
Andrew Taylor – Galaxy girl
Magnis Aspli – Spiral
A whole lot more in the hopper.
ComixLaunch.com/kraken 5%

Expenses Breakdown (May 2015-December 2015)

2016 Total Expenses YTD: $1,948

Website/ Hosting: $12 (<1%)

ComixLaunch.com Domain renewal: $12

LibsynPodcast Media Hosting: $105 (5%)

April – Costs rose from $15/month to $20/month based on audience growth and download volume

VA: Editing: $1,170.00 (60%)

Advertising: $40 (20%)

Refunds: $576 (30%)

30 day money back guarantee
Two creators requested refunds prior to course starting.
Were able to fill those spots with people on the waiting list.
0% refund rate for people who actually take the course so far.

Transaction Fees (Stripe): $45.11 (2%)

Net Income (Profit) 2016 YTD: -$67

I’ll have some closing thoughts after our sponsor.

ComixLaunch Net Income 2015 (Profit): $1,078

ComixLaunch Overall Net Income (Profit): $1,011

No value judgments on numbers. However, when you’re running a creative business, being Profit-minded is key.

Okay to run deficits… put skin in the game, go into the hole, spend money to make money…

But do you have a plan to get an ROI?

In a minute, I’ll share tips to improve the profitability for you creative business, and share the action plan for how ComixLaunch will have a much more profitable second half of 2016 than first half. But first…


ComixLaunch Featured Resource: FreshBooks

Are you keeping good track of the finances for your creative business?

And if so, are you trying to do it with rough spreadsheets you created yourself in Excel that you’re undisciplined about keeping up to date?

Take it from me, who did that for waaay too long, you need to stop wasting time and start using Freshbooks.

Accounting can be frustrating… but FreshBooks makes it EASY.

FreshBooks_1-300x300FreshBooks is specially designed for small businesses and creative entreprenuers like us.

Freshbooks saves you TIME by letting you Import expenses automatically from linked accounts and attach receipts to invoices so that come tax time, you’ll be organized and ready, not scrambling and in a full on panic.

FreshBooks also makes you look more professional and gets you paid faster with their fast branded invoicing options, and the ability to accept payments online.

FreshBooks keeps you up to date on your numbers, with beautiful automatically generated profit and loss statements, tax summaries, expense reports and more.

If you believe you add the most value to the world when you’re spending your time creating your next masterpiece rather than bean counting, then you owe it to yourself to give Freshbooks a try.

I’ve secured a special offer for ComixLaunch listeners…

Go to ComixLaunch.com/freshbooks and you will enjoy a 30-day free trial—no credit card required to try it out.

To get your time back and take control of your creative business finances once and for all, go to ComixLaunch.com/freshbooks for a free-30 day trial, and I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.


Tips to Improve Profitability in your Creative Business

sales revenue – expenses = profit

Three levers to play with:

Expenses – lower expenses, all things being equal, profit goes up

Sales revenue is a factor of:

Units sold

Sell more of existing products

Sell new products

Price

Raise your prices


Action Plan for a More Profitable Second Half of 2016 for ComixLaunch

Expenses – Not much to cut. Won’t focus there.

Sales

Sell more of existing products:

– The ComixLaunch Course will launch again this fall.

Sell new products:

  • ListLaunch Course

A New course launched this summer, going on right now, awesome group of creators

This is a course that’s smaller than the ComixLaunch Course… It’s a primer… I have no doubt every creator will benefit from it, and if they do this course and then upgrade to the CL course, they’ll see maximum returns.

This course is basically about how to figure out how big a fanbase you’ll need to find your next KS project, and then a step by step system to get an Audience of raving fans that’s precisely that size.

Working with 17 creators, all ComixLaunch listeners that I personally invited to join the course for s pilot version.

  • Club ComixLaunch on Patreon opening next month

Don’t think of crowdfunding as a product… But maybe you should. Business fundamentals.

ClubMembers will be getting things of vale in exchange for their patronage.

Membership has privileges

Ideally, it brings a bit more consistency to the revenue side…

Doing a podcast, the expenses are very consistent… Monthly recurring expenses.

A best practice is to find a way to get consistency in revenues as well… Monthly patronage through a site like Patreon makes a lot of sense.

Raise prices

Prices will be going up. ComixLaunch course pilot was the cheapest it will ever be when we ran it last year. Course will be better, more material, stronger for having creators gone through it.

We now have success stories.

That said, next time will be a beta… Still pieces that are works in progress, and I’m restructuring it after the first go around. So the price will be higher next time, but again, the best price we’ll ever offer, and it will go up again in January for the winter session.

So, that’s the profitability plan for ComixLaunch in 2016

  • Keep expenses stable or raise them slightly for more advertising to grow listenership
  • Launch new products
  • ListLaunch Course
  • the ComixLaunch course beta group
  • Club ComixLaunch on Patreon
  • Raise prices from pilot group, but still less than where they’ll ultimately go

ComixLauncher

Take stock of your creative business in 2016.

Are you profitable so far this year?

What can you do to boost profitability in the second half of the year?

Which levers will you focus on?

  • Cutting Expenses
  • Increase units sold
  • Increase Sales of Existing products
  • Launch new products
  • Increase prices

WrapQuote

“Money is a truth serum.”

– Noah Kagen (App Sumo, SumoMe, former Facebook)

Not all about the money… but when it comes to a creative business, money’s the oxygen that keeps things moving.

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

Thank you so much for listening, and for letting me walk with you, as you taken another step forward toward your next successful ComixLaunch.

A great title can do wonders for your project and career. In this first of two sessions on titles, Tyler money-1428594_960_720shares his “Million Dollar Title” checklist. If you’re having trouble giving your next series a name, this session will help!


Today’s Session is brought to you 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.


Session Table Setting

Are you struggling to name your next book or series?  Or are you starting to work on your next Kickstarter project and not sure exactly what to write for your project title?  Titles are INCREDIBLY important; Important for you book success… and your Kickstarters.
I have an in-depth training queued up for you today that’s going to cover them both!

Course Updates / Shoutouts

Banner Day Yesterday… 2 more ComixLaunch Course participants finished their KS.

  • Jim Whiting crushed his second Kickstarter for Margo: Intergalatic Trashcollector #2. More than doubled the Backer
    Jim a great guy, creator from my hometown Albany, NY!
    Raised $2,607 pledged of $2,000 goal… more than doubled the # of backers for his first KS. (Any of you who’ve put out a #2 issue knows how hard it is to get anywhere close to the #s you do on #1… so great job there by Jim.
  • Michelle Palmer kicked major but on the Meraki campaign…
    Raised $8,136 pledged of $5,000 goal for her first KS.
    Snuck a sweeeet silver foil stretch goal upgrade in there right at the very end.

Love telling the stories of these creators running great campaigns, getting their projects funded and taking their careers to the next level.  That’s what we’re all about here at ComixLaunch.
ComixLaunch.com/course to get on the interest list for the next time we open our doors.

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

Titling Master Class Part 1: Titling Your Next Book or Series

A Million Dollar Title

 

Your Million Dollar Title Checklist

1.) Is it Ironic?
2.) Does it Say What Your Story Is?
3.) Can it be Shorter?
4.) Is it memorable?
And Then Emily Was Gone
5.) Does it Pass the Internet Test?
Google?
Amazon?
Domain Name?

Example:

Sharkasaurus
by Spencer Estabrooks

Tremors meets Jaws! Sharkasaurus vs creationists and paleontologists; a bloody hilarious graphic novel.


Sponsor Mid-Roll

In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…

Last year, ComixTribe spent nearly $85,000 on printing.

While we rely on a number of printers to get our books to market, one printer I can strongly recommend is KrakenPrint

Our friends Jacob Way and Sam Amborn at Kraken Print offer:

  • Competitive pricing.
    Great customer service, especially for your first offset print run.
    Monthly storage if you do not want to store hundreds or thousands of books at home.
    Distribution options, including breaking down orders and shipping direct to Diamond or comic stores at their specially negotiated discounted rates on shipping.
  • And NOW they even offer Kickstarter fulfillment!
  • Kraken will pick, pack, and ship out orders for your backers.

If you want to unleash the Kraken, go to comixlaunch.com/kraken, mention the ComixLaunch podcast, and they’re going to knock 5% off your first print run…and they’re going to hook us up with a 5% credit.

It’s a classic win/win/win/win – You get a great price on printing, your backers get a beautiful offset printed book, you help the podcast out, and Kraken gets your business.

That’s comixlaunch.com/kraken for 5% off your entire first print run.


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can do 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 and your projects.

ComixLauncher 052
Take a Title for a Project You’re working on… how does it do on the Million Dollar Title Checklist?
Does it have at least 3 out of 5 elements?
If not… do you still think it’s a million dollar title?

Why So Important
Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


Wrap Up

Show Summary / Final Lessons

Ironic
Says what it is
Short
Memorable
Passes the Internet Test
One more…
Does your title evoke something bigger than you and the book itself.

Bitch Planet
Black
C is for Cthulhu

Quote

“You can cling to a bad idea, you can re-pitch it six different ways or go get a bigger hammer in hopes of pounding it into place, but sooner or later it’s clear you either have to rethink it, or let it go.”

-Blake Snyder

We’re going to go even deeper into both mindset, strategies and tactics for making KS work for you.
Thank you so much for listening, and for letting me walk with you, as you taken another step forward toward your next successful ComixLaunch.


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.

In today’s session, Tyler brings on Dirk Vanover of Vanover Legal to talk comics, Kickstarter, contracts and more. Legal issues aren’t something that law-1012473_960_720many creators pay much attention to… but as high profile cases in the comic and crowdfunding space demonstrate, it can be costly not to.


Today’s Session is brought to you by

Split Lip

Today’s Session is sponsored the Split Lip 10th Anniversary Kickstarter. 350 pages of dangerous stories for curious minds. Learn more at ComixLaunch.com/splitlip


Session Table Setting

Thanks for the great feedback on ComixLaunch 50! Very excited to have pulled that piece together for you, and equally excited to start fresh on the next 50 sessions of ComixLaunch!

Do you have questions about contracts? What about your legal liability of fulfillment as a Kickstarter creator?
It’s funny, over the past several weeks, I’ve been emailed by quite a few creators looking for legal advice on one thing or another… and I’ve been sending them directly to today’s guest.  Yes, I’m thrilled to announce that ComixLaunch now has a go to legal expert… who will hopefully be a recurring guest on the show, as I know legal questions often trip creators up.

 

Listener Feedback

Don’t let the title keep you away, it’s more than comics! – Created4HisGlory
“This podcast isn’t just for comic “fans”. I am working on a campaign that is in a completely different category and this podcast has helped me more than anything. Every time I hear the word “comic”, I just insert my own word. It’s truly a very helpful podcast.”

Thanks so much…
Super glad to hear that…

And yes, I recognize that the name ComixLaunch might make it harder to win-over people outside of the Comics, Graphic Novels and publishing space…
But it’s positive reviews like yours that definitely help.
Why the name ComixLaunch then? Why not something broader?  A mistake a lot of us make is we go too broad because we don’t want to turn anyone away, and as a result we don’t attract anyone particular.  If right now I have the #1 Kickstarter podcast for Comics Creators, it’s a small niche, but I would rather be #1 in a small niche and expand out from there, than be unremarkable in a big niche.
Now, at some point, I may revisit this, if it does seem like growth as capped by the name, but no plans on a brand change any time soon.
But just like Comic-Con has expanded to cover so much more than just comics, ComixLaunch was always meant to have tremendous value to creators of all stripes looking to bring their projects to life.
So if that’s you, inside or outside of comics… you’re in the right place and I’m thrilled to have you here.

 

Reminder —
Session 50 is in the rear view mirror, but there’s still time to enter the SuperShow Book Bundle Giveaway… 7 winners will be chosen, great odds.
ComixLaunch.com/supershowbundle to register to win.

What is Today’s Episode About?

Guest Introduction

My guest today is the founder of Vanover Legal, LLC, a company committed to delivering legal advice and guidance to clients quickly and effectively, and without unnecessary expense.  He’s also an avid comic book fan, and loves diving deep into trademark, copyright, and right of publicity issues, which we all know pop up often in the world of comics.  He also blogs about business and legal issues affecting the comics and entertainment industries at ComicsLawyer.com

Welcome to ComixLauch, Mr. Dirk Vanover

I need to thank you for reaching out to me… I get a lot of questions posed to me from listeners that have to do with the law, and I want to help them… but don’t want to send them in the wrong direction.  I know you’ve been a Guest Lecturer at the International School of Comics and have spoken on panels… so I’m really excited to have you on to talk to my audience today.  When people think of the Law, they don’t really think of comic books… but maybe they should.  I know two comic retailers, Carmelo Chimera of Chimera’s Comics and Ernie Pelletiere who also practice the law. Writer Charles Soule is also a lawyer…  Before we get into the heart of today’s episode, I’d love to hear how you got interested in comics?

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

Now, the topic of The Law… it’s a little scary and it’s a BIG topic. There’s so much we could cover, and definitely more than what we could cover well in the time we have, so I wanted to pick a topic that will be relevant to my entire audience, and one you know well, and that’s the topic of Contracts.

Guiding Discussion Questions

1) Before we dive in deep in the topic of Contracts as it relates to comics and Kickstarter, can you start by giving us some basic things we should understand about contracts? What’s the legal definition of a contract, what makes a contract binding or legitimate, and so forth… what should creators know in general, before we dive into specifics?

2) Okay, let’s dive into a little more specifics for creators and my listeners in particular… while many creators will be offered contracts by publishers, licensors, and so forth… the most common contracts will be between creators and other creators… and this is problematic because most creators aren’t legal scholars and many don’t have (or don’t think they can afford) the resources to higher a lawyer before they get started collaborating to make a book. What are some best practices independent creators should employ or things to think about when they enter into contracts with other independent creators?

3) Protecting IP is a big deal for a lot of creators… but also something that holds a lot of people back… waiting Trademark protection for toys, video games, and a movie before you’ve written a single page of your next great idea clearly isn’t a smart thing to do… What are the basics creators should know or do before they go bigger with their projects on KS.
4) Comics has actually seen it’s fair share of famous legal disputes

i. McFarlane v. Gaiman (Angela)
ii. Alan Moore v. DC (reversion of rights to Watchmen/V for Vendetta)
iii. Moore v. Kirkman (The Walking Dead)

Besides obviously the spectator value of these things… what should creators take away from these famous cases?

5) While Kickstarter has been tremendously successful at bringing amazing projects to life, there have been some spectacular failures as well. While it’s infrequent, some of these big failures have resulted in lawsuits. What should ComixLaunch listeners know about their liability and responsibilities to deliver from a legal perspective?
Bonus Question: One of my students is working on a project he’s describing as a satirical art book which is a comment on our modern desensitization to violence where Super Mario gets killed on every page by one of his enemies. He’s hoping to be able to bring this to Kickstarter next year. Now, this immediately sends up warning bells for me… Is he in danger of getting sued for copyright infringement? What should he keep in mind and is there a way he can do something in the spirit of what he’s trying to do… while not running afoul of the law?


Sponsor Mid-Roll

In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…

Split Lip

Sam Costello started Split Lip in 2006 to bring a new kind of horror to comics, a horror based on unsettling ideas that leave you so scared you’ll never want to turn the lights off.
Now, for Split Lip’s 10th anniversary, he’s got a Kickstarter for a 350-page deluxe, limited-edition hardcover.
The book features 13 stories and 50-plus pages of all-new bonus material. The stories are drawn by artists like Kyle Strahm, who draws Spread for Image, and Sami Makkonen, artist for Deadworld at IDW.
Check out the Kickstarter at ComixLaunch.com/splitlip.
As a special bonus, ComixLaunch listeners who back Split Lip receive Bringing Your Webcomic to Print, 10 lessons Sam learned from 10 years making comics that can save you time, aggravation, and money.
Every Split Lip story is complete and self-contained. So, whether you’ve been reading it since 2006 or starting now, the 10th anniversary book is for you.
If you enjoy dangerous stories for curious minds, check out the Split Lip 10th Anniversary Kickstarter at ComixLaunch.com/splitlip.

ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can do 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 and your projects.

ComixLauncher 051
Give Dirk’s Comics Startup 101 Article a Read.
Comics Startup 101 – http://www.comicslawyer.com/2016/05/comics-startup-101-beginning.html

Important we treat our business like a business.
Please share your results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions

1) What’s one book (comic or otherwise) more people should be reading?

Dan Doherty “Touching Evil”

2) One parting piece of advice for the ComixLaunch audience?

 

3) If there’s one post over at ComicsLawyer.com that the ComixLaunch audience should check out that I can include in the show notes, what would it be?

Fan Art article at comicslawyer.com and Comic Startup 101 article

4) What’s the best way to connect with you?

[email protected]

vanoverlegal.com

comicslawyer.com

 


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.