Clay Adams of Fried Comics returns to the show to talk about jumping into Kickstarter commissions month, the best time to launch a holiday camera and how to cozy up to the camera for your Kickstarter video shoot.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Lessons learned from launching holiday themed Kickstarter projects.
  • A new way to look at your email newsletter that comic creators especially will love.
  • How to “make friends with the camera” to create more effective Kickstarter videos.
  • Plus: One simple habit that can make a huge impact on your bottom line.

Today’s Session is Sponsored by Luminous Ages a Surreal Fantasy Comic filled with dragons. Issue 1-3 is live on Kickstarter until December 1.


Listener Feedback

“I’ve been following the podcast for a while and you’ve got some awesome resources 🙂

You’ve actually been an inspiration to me in how you’re constantly giving back to the comics community so I wanted to do the same!

I made a guide to making comics that covers everything from idea creation to art to printing and more. In case you’re interested, you can check it out here:

http://www.evanjwaterman.com/guide “

Check out Evan’s guide!


Today’s Featured Guest: Clay Adams

Clay Adams is the publisher of Fried Comics / writer of Red Xmas: O Holy Crap on Kickstarter. He’s a professional voice actor, coach and instructor, and also works as TA for THE COMIXLAUNCH COURSE.

Sharing what he’s learned in that capacity, jumping onboard KS commissions month, tips for more professional audio and video, and more.

Check out some of Clay’s comics at friedcomics.com/free

Check out his Kickstarter here –> https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/900595556/red-xmas-o-holy-crap-a-yuletide-special-for-holida


Today’s Sponsor: Luminous Ages 1-3 Kickstarter

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

Luminous Ages is a comic book series with an expanding universe of dragons and dream magic

Imagine Captain Planet mashed up with Game of Thrones, The Labyrinth and Harry Potter.

THe first three issue of the series by Anthony Christou is complete and jam packed with characters, action, story and more.

The universe is filled with dragons, dream magic and surreal like wonder. Thirteen gods have been fighting for control and the nightmare forces crave power and dominance and threaten all existence.

The kickstarter is for Luminous Ages 1-3 with the possibility to unlock issue 4 is LIVE until December 1.

Here’s the link –> https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/luminousages/luminous-ages-a-dragon-comic-1-3-and-fantasy-commi?ref=discovery#

This is also a special commissions kickstarter where you ca have some original art with the comic and also be in the comic book itself in the labyrinth markets.

You can also follow the daily posts at https://www.facebook.com/LuminousAges/


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 [121]

Make a secondary offer.

The next time someone asks you for anything (con, online, in person) offer it and then offer them something else.

How does it feel? What was the results?

If you’d like to share your thoughts, please contact me @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

Horror writer Dirk Manning takes a break from his busy con schedule to talk his latest successful Kickstarter campaign, crowdfunding growing pains and more. Pull up a chair and dive in.


Dirk’s Latest Campaign


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • How Dirk’s latest campaign got off to a Rhee-ly strong start.
  • Launching dilemmas – How Dirk navigated the tricky business of launching a new Kickstarter while his previous Kickstarter is still awaiting fulfillment.
  • Keys to building longterm trust with a loyal audience.
  • Plus: What’s changing on the convention circuit and Dirk’s prediction for where shows are going.

This session’s featured resource is Bluehost.

Go to ComixLaunch.com/bluehost for a special discount on domain registration and website hosting.

Sponsor BLUEHOST

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

Let me ask you a question… are you master of your own domain?

No, this isn’t a dated Seinfeld reference… I’m talking about your web domain.

And Bluehost is an all in one web hosting solution that will help you master your domain.

I own the domains for ComixTribe.com, ComixLaunch.com and many more… but I know many of you are trying to save a few pennies a day by NOT paying for domains you’re trying to build brands around.

That’s a mistake.

Owning your own domain provides better branding

  • More professional.
  • More credible.
  • More memorable.

When you own the dot com for your brand, it’ll help you protect it.

If you’re building your empire on someone else land, your comic @facebook or @tumblr or remember @myspace God forbid… you don’t control those platforms.

Own your own domain…

You can use the ComixLaunch affiliate link to get a special introductory offer and 30-day money back guarantee at Bluehost by going to Comixlaunch.com/bluehost today.

Bluehost powers more than 2 million websites world wide and makes it super simple to get a WordPress hosted website up in just one click.

Master Your Domain, go to ComixLaunch.com/bluehost and lock it in today.


ComixLauncher [120]

  • What can you offer as Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE for your next launch?
  • Share your thoughts @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

In this awesome interview with Kevin Joseph of Kechal Comics, you’ll learn the power and importance of communication with your collaborators and your fans.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Importance of communication
  • Having the tough conversations — with collaborators and with supporters
  • Lessons from Launching
  • Plus: An inspiring action Kevin took to show his daughter that its okay to be bad at something at first, and that if you practice you’ll get better

ComixLaunch.com/patreon


Today’s Guest: Kevin Joseph

My guest today is the writer of Tart, UnderWars, Morte and The Poodles of Potter’s Peak.

As a creator, he’s successfully delivered on five Kickstarter campaigns, and is back with this SIXTH, for TART #6 which looks to be his biggest campaign yet!

He loves reading comics, writing comics and sharing comics… and I’m excited to have him on the ComixLaunch Podcast

Welcome, Mr. Kevin Joseph


This Session’s Featured Resource

Are you thinking about starting or upgrading your online shop so you can sell more of your art?

Are you tired wasting time and energy hacking together cheap, limited solutions that aren’t serving you or your potential customers very well?

Instead of spinning your wheels only looking at free or dirt-cheap store options, why not grab an affordable full-service online sales platform optimized for sales like Shopify?

With Shopify…

  • You don’t need Design skills. Shopify has dozens of beautiful, fully-customizable, mobile-friendly templates to get a perfectly branded look and an online stop you’ll be proud of.
  • You don’t Coding skills. With Shopify, setting up your store is simple, and you’ll be selling in no time at all, even if technology hates you.
  • And you don’t even need a Credit Card to get started. With this ComixLaunch offer, you can try Shopify free for 14 days. No risk, and no credit card required.

What you get with Shopify is a…

  • Fully customizable website, online store, and blog… your store can be your website!
  • Unlimited products!
  • Smooth integration to sell on channels like Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest.
  • 24-7 Customer support!

More than 500,000 creative businesses are powered by Shopify, including the CisforCthulhu.com store which I manage… and couldn’t be happier with it.

Stop messing around with subpar online shop solutions and try Shopify.

To start your 14-day free trial of Shopify, go to ComixLaunch.com/shopify


ComixLauncher [119]

  • What are three things you’re awful at that you’d like to get better at?
  • Could you pick one of them and carve an hour a day x 5 days a week to improve there?
  • Why So Important
  • Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

Keep Up With Kevin Joseph!

Kevin can be reached at @bnokj on Twitter, and you can read TART for free by checking out his email list at kechalcomics.com/readtart

Tyler answers great questions from inside the private ComixLaunch communities and shares the answers with all of ComixLaunch.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Best practices for turning backers into email list subscribers.
  • Is it a good idea to make a fool of yourself for pledges?
  • What’s the best day to END a Kickstarter campaign?
  • Plus: Why you want to grab this month’s Club ComixLaunch VIP resource!

Links Mentioned


Today’s Session is brought to you by…

“Today’s Session is Sponsored by Gorilla my Dreams, a Gorilla Noir webcomic by Ahmed Raafat and Big Tim Stiles. Issue 1 is live on Kickstarter right now! Check out Gorilla my Dreams at gorillamydreams.smackjeeves.com

It’s Batman: The Animated Series mashed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles if Saturday morning cartoons were on after 10pm.

In Struggle-Town the streets are protected by Knockaround-Guy, a talking gorilla who fancies himself a superhero.
When a street mime is found dead (asphyxiated inside an actual invisible box), Knockaround-GuyG soon finds himself wading through the ugly and dangerous underbelly of the city.
After meeting the beautiful Margot le Dieu, Knockaround-Guy’s investigation spread from The North Poles Strip Club, through a slew of colourful criminals, and finally leads to Lucifer Bim-Bom and his Killer Klown Syndicate.

The Kickstarter for issue 1 is LIVE RIGHT NOW! You can also follow Knockaround-Guy’s adventures for FREE at gorillamydreams.smackjeeves.com.”


ComixLauncher [118]

  • What’s something silly you could do as a stretch goal that would be free, funny and yet STILL on brand for your book and your audience?
  • Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

Quote

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

Kickstarter wants you to create with your fans in the month of November. Comissions month is coming on Kickstarter and in this session, Tyler lays out all the details you need to know to participate and offers strategies and protips to dramatically increase your commission sales.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • The 411 On Kickstarter’s Latest Themed Month focused all on Commissions
  • FAQs on How to Take Part in Commission Month
  • 4 Smart Commission Ideas for Comic Creators
  • Plus: 4 ComixLaunch Protips to Quadruple Your Commission Sales

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show

Commissions: Create Collaboratively

  • Kickstarter’s November Initiative — Invite backers into your creative process.
  • Use their input to inspire custom artworks, one-of-a-kind experiences, and more.

How to Take Part

  • Invite backers to collaborate on or customize a reward in a creative way
  • Launch your project between November 1 and November 30
  • Use “Commissions” in your project’s title or short blurb
  • Once your project is live, email it to [email protected]

This Session’s Featured Resource

Are you thinking about starting or upgrading your online shop so you can sell more of your art?

Are you tired wasting time and energy hacking together cheap, limited solutions that aren’t serving you or your potential customers very well?

Instead of spinning your wheels only looking at free or dirt-cheap store options, why not grab an affordable full-service online sales platform optimized for sales like Shopify?

With Shopify…

  • You don’t need Design skills. Shopify has dozens of beautiful, fully-customizable, mobile-friendly templates to get a perfectly branded look and an online stop you’ll be proud of.
  • You don’t Coding skills. With Shopify, setting up your store is simple, and you’ll be selling in no time at all, even if technology hates you.
  • And you don’t even need a Credit Card to get started. With this ComixLaunch offer, you can try Shopify free for 14 days. No risk, and no credit card required.

What you get with Shopify is a…

  • Fully customizable website, online store, and blog… your store can be your website!
  • Unlimited products!
  • Smooth integration to sell on channels like Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest.
  • 24-7 Customer support!

More than 500,000 creative businesses are powered by Shopify, including the CisforCthulhu.com store which I manage… and couldn’t be happier with it.

Stop messing around with subpar online shop solutions and try Shopify.

To start your 14-day free trial of Shopify, go to ComixLaunch.com/shopify

 


ComixLauncher [117]

    • Come up with Three Ideas for themed commissions you could offer your fans in November on Kickstarter
    • You’re invited to share ideas @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

Two habits. One is extremely common among creators and not only worthless… but actually will cost you. The other, far less common, though simple to practice, and yet is extremely valuable. Tyler unpacks them both and shares some great news at the end!


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • I’m going to share two habits with you… one is the least valuable and the other is the most valuable…
  • Daily Practices to eliminate the bad habit and strengthen the good one
  • Some book recommendations
  • Plus: A special announcement at the end of the show.

Links Mentioned

Facebook.com/comixlaunch


This Session’s Featured Resource

Are you thinking about starting or upgrading your online shop so you can sell more of your art?

Are you tired wasting time and energy hacking together cheap, limited solutions that aren’t serving you or your potential customers very well?

Instead of spinning your wheels only looking at free or dirt-cheap store options, why not grab an affordable full-service online sales platform optimized for sales like Shopify?

With Shopify…

  • You don’t need Design skills. Shopify has dozens of beautiful, fully-customizable, mobile-friendly templates to get a perfectly branded look and an online stop you’ll be proud of.
  • You don’t Coding skills. With Shopify, setting up your store is simple, and you’ll be selling in no time at all, even if technology hates you.
  • And you don’t even need a Credit Card to get started. With this ComixLaunch offer, you can try Shopify free for 14 days. No risk, and no credit card required.

What you get with Shopify is a…

  • Fully customizable website, online store, and blog… your store can be your website!
  • Unlimited products!
  • Smooth integration to sell on channels like Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest.
  • 24-7 Customer support!

More than 500,000 creative businesses are powered by Shopify, including the CisforCthulhu.com store which I manage… and couldn’t be happier with it.

Stop messing around with subpar online shop solutions and try Shopify.

To start your 14-day free trial of Shopify, go to ComixLaunch.com/shopify


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 [115]

24 Hour Challenge

Knock off ONE THING you’ve been procrastinating on.

Write down 10 things you’re grateful for.

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


Quote

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin

Discover the many benefits of planning, launching and funding a successful Kickstarter campaign working alongside a fellow creator who is doing the same with Ryan Kroboth (Sunmaker) and John Edingfield II (Rancidville.)


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • How launching alongside a fellow a creator helped make Kickstarter easier to manage for two first-time creators.
  • How John got over his challenge of creating a Kickstarter video.
  • An awesome Kickstarter page power-up tip that more comic creators should be using from Ryan.
  • Plus: This week only… The ComixLaunch Course is open for enrollment!

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show


Today’s Guests

Ryan Kroboth

Ryan is a comic writer and artist, as well as an alum from the Comics Experience School and The ComixLaunch Course. When not drawing or doing anything comic related, he’s an accomplished martial arts instructor.

John Edingfield II

John is an illustrator, painter and the creator of the all-ages comic Rancidville, available at rancidville.com. A proud husband, father and grandfather, John’s worked as a political cartoonist, graphic designer, and printer, and is happy to now be following his lifelong dream to make comic books.


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 [114]

  • Who could be your Launch Buddy?

Quote

African proverb…

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

 

In this session, Tyler crushes three persistent myths about crowdfunding on Kickstarter that will derail your launch. Plus, go behind the scenes on ComixTribe’s biggest one-day comic book sales on their online store…EVER!


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Inside ComixTribe’s insane direct market launch week for SINK #1.
  • 3 myths that once crushed will take your crowdfunding efforts to new heights.
  • One word to NEVER say when launching a Kickstarter.
  • Plus: There’s still time to sign up for the ComixLaunch.com/fallchallenge

Sponsor: The ComixLaunch 5-Day Kickstarter Challenge

Are you a writer, artist or publisher who could use some help launching a Kickstarter?

Up for a challenge that will make your first or next campaign your best launch ever?

Then join the free ComixLaunch 5-Day Kickstarter Challenge –> ComixLaunch.com/fallchallenge

The live challenge runs from Sep 18- Sep 22, 2017 and features daily lessons and actionable challenges designed to level up your Kickstarter project so you can fund your dream project.

Plan your next campaign, network with fellow creators, and get your Kickstarter questions answered!

Find out more and sign-up today at ComixLaunch.com/fallchallenge

 


Links Mentioned in This Session

SINK Kickstarter

Sink Landing Page to Build the Audience

Shop.ComixTribe.com

ComixLaunch 5-Day Challenge

The ComixLaunch Assessment – Find out if you’ll be a good fit for The ComixLaunch Course


ComixLauncher 113

5 Day Kickstarter Challenge, Inktober, 30 characters Challenge… what’s something you’re passionate about that you could someday build a challenge around? 

Share your ideas @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


Quote

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” – Charles Swindell

Ever had an idea for an anthology project? In this session, Tyler sits down with writer James E. Roche as he’s about to launch his first anthology project on Kickstarter, raise awareness for social issues.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • How to bring your idea for an anthology project to life and recruit creators to make it happen?
  • The challenges of organizing and launching an anthology project on Kickstarter.
  • How to make comics about causes and issues you’re passionate about.
  • Plus: A special invitation to the ComixLaunch Workshop!

New Live WorkShop – 7 Keys to Your Best Launch Ever!

Want to know what’s working on Kickstarter?

Then sign-up for my live workshop “7 Keys to Your Best Kickstarter Launch Ever” featuring new tools & tactics for 2017!

Register for free –> comixlaunch.com/workshop

In this training, you will learn seven proven steps to making your first or next Kickstarter launch a hit, as well as what’s new on the Kickstarter platform in 2017 that creators need to be aware of.

There will be TWO Live Online Workshop Sessions for you to choose from this month:

> Monday, September 11, 2017 | 3:00 PM EDT

> Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | 8:00 PM EDT

Attendees of This FREE Live Workshop Will Receive:

🚀 7 keys to running a successful Kickstarter campaign from start to funded.

🚀 Hard won insight from analyzing hundreds of successful campaigns.

🚀 Valuable resources that will save you time and money on your next Kickstarter campaign.

🚀🚀 Plus awesome crowdfunding bonuses for live attendees!

After the presentation, I’ll stick around for a live Q&A session to answer all of your outstanding Kickstarter questions and get you ready for your next launch!

Spots are limited to just 100 attendees per session.

Register Now at –> ComixLaunch.com/workshop

If you’re getting ready to launch, this is the workshop for you!

Hope to see you there and can’t wait to see what you launch next!

ComixLaunch.com/workshop


5-Day Fall Kickstarter Challenge

Are you a writer, artist or publisher who could use some help launching a Kickstarter?

Up for a challenge that will make your first or next campaign your best launch ever?

Then join the free ComixLaunch 5-Day Kickstarter Challenge –> ComixLaunch.com/fallchallenge

The live challenge runs from Sep 18- Sep 22, 2017 and features daily lessons and actionable challenges designed to level up your Kickstarter project so you can fund your dream project.

Plan your next campaign, network with fellow creators, and get your Kickstarter questions answered!

Find out more and sign-up today at ComixLaunch.com/fallchallenge


Guest Introduction

My guest today is a New Jersey-based Comic book writer. He’s successfully Kickstarted a sci-fi series called wretches and is a WRETCHES and has contributed to the Alterna comics IF anthology.

He’s currently organizing and about to Kickstart The 4th Monkey, a comic book anthology featuring stories to raise awareness about environmental and social issues.

Welcome to ComixLaunch James E. Roche


This session is sponsored by

Club ComixLaunch on Patreon.

Get your free Club ComixLaunch VIP Insider bonus Kickstarter resource at ComixLaunch.com/club.

ComixLaunch listeners, are you ready to take your crowdfunding game to the next level?
If so, I’d love for you to join me and your fellow creators inside Club ComixLaunch on Patreon.
I’ve opened Club ComixLaunch to help continue and expand on the ComixLaunch mission of increasing the number of creators equipped to harness the power of the Kickstarter platform to bring amazing independent projects to life.
As a Club ComixLaunch member, you’ll have access to a number of exclusive perks and privileges, such as:

  • A shout out on the ComixLaunch Podcast for you and your project.
  • Access to the ComixLaunch Club exclusive Patreon feed for even more mindset, strategies and tactics to get your project funded.
  • The ComixLaunch Club Insider Monthly Kickstarter Resource which might be a guide, checklist, cheat sheet, template, or bonus training video designed to help you launch.
  • Priority enrollment in ComixLaunch Courses
  • Discounts on Courses, Books and Upcoming Premium Products
  • You can even sponsor an episode of the ComixLaunch podcast through Patreon.

And as the Club Grows, so do the perks…
See, there is a direct correlation between listener support and the value ComixLaunch can provide, and as the club expands, we hope to offer:

  • Monthly Kickstarter Page Critiques
  • Club Exclusive Chats and Q&As
  • Bonus Sessions of the ComixLaunch Podcast.
  • Full podcast transcripts for every episode.
  • And much more!

For as little as a dollar a month, you can access Club ComixLaunch today, help keep the podcast going and improving, and take your crowdfunding game to the next level.
Membership has its privileges, and to get a taste of them absolutely free, please go to ComixLaunch.com/club and download a free Club ComixLaunch VIP Insider bonus resources today.

Let’s get you ready for your best launch yet!
I’ll see you inside the Club!


ComixLauncher [112]

What’s a social issue or cause you believe in that could inspire a story or piece of work?

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

Get in the know about some of the latest software updates relevant to crowdfunders, including recent developments at Dropbox, Kickbooster, Backerkit and Crowdox.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Why a change at Dropbox has Tyler scrambling to replace broken links all over his online presence. {Grrrr…}
  • Changes at Kickbooster that add power and a monthly recurring fee to that crowdfunding affiliate management tool.
  • What’s new at Backerkit and when survey management and add-on support tools make sense for Kickstarter creators.
  • Plus: An early report on my experience with CrowdOx, a lower-cost alternative to BackerKit.

This session’s featured resource is Bluehost.

Go to ComixLaunch.com/bluehost for a special discount on domain registration and website hosting.


Show Updates

We have a date for the next ComixLaunch 5 Day Kickstarter Challenge!

The new free challenge begins September 18!

Register today at: ComixLaunch.com/fallchallenge


Links Mentioned in Today’s Show


Bonus Video Tutorial -The Dropbox Change and Instant Download Trick


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

BLUEHOST

Let me ask you a question… are you master of your own domain?

No, this isn’t a dated Seinfeld reference… I’m talking about your web domain.

And Bluehost is an all in one web hosting solution that will help you master your domain.

I own the domains for ComixTribe.com, ComixLaunch.com and many more… but I know many of you are trying to save a few pennies a day by NOT paying for domains you’re trying to build brands around.

That’s a mistake.

Owning your own domain provides better branding

  • More professional.
  • More credible.
  • More memorable.

When you own the dot com for your brand, it’ll help you protect it.

If you’re building your empire on someone else land, your comic @facebook or @tumblr or remember @myspace God forbid… you don’t control those platforms.

Own your own domain…

You can use the ComixLaunch affiliate link to get a special introductory offer and 30-day money back guarantee at Bluehost by going to Comixlaunch.com/bluehost today.

Bluehost powers more than 2 million websites world wide and makes it super simple to get a wordpress hosted website up in just one click.

Master Your Domain, go to ComixLaunch.com/bluehost and lock it in today.


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 [111]

What one new tool will you invest in to help you crush the last third of 2017?

  • Protip: Every successful KS… invest in one new tool.
  • Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

Quote

“I don’t look to jump over seven-foot bars; I look around for one-foot bars that I can step over.” – Warren Buffet

Is it cool to reach out to Kickstarter creators whose projects you’ve backed in the past to ask them to help you with your project? Tyler answers this ComixLaunch listener question and more in this “Ask ComixLaunch” Q&A style show.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Is it considered bad form to contact creators of projects that I have backed to see if they will mention my project once it launches?
  • What happens when you get more money pledged than the amount you set up initially?
  • All of this sounds good but before all of this, you also have to make sure that the project is 100% ready to be talked about and presented
  • Do I need to have a finished book before a launch or is it acceptable to try to get funding to get the time to complete the book?
  • Plus: Can I really do this if I’m cash strapped?

This session’s featured resource is Shopify. If you’re ready to launch a professional, mobile friendly, high-coverting online shop for your creative business, go to ComixLaunch.com/shopify for a 14-day free trial.


Show Updates

We have a date for the next ComixLaunch 5 Day Kickstarter Challenge!

The new free challenge begins September 18!

Register today at: ComixLaunch.com/fallchallenge


This Session’s ComixLaunch Listener Questions

1) Is it considered bad form to contact creators of projects that I have backed to see if they will mention my project once it launches? – Will

2) What happens when you get more money pledged than the amount you set up initially? – Ross

3) Do you have to make sure that your project is 100% ready to be talked about and presented before you start building an audience for it? – Joey

4) Do I need to have a finished book before a launch or is it acceptable to try to get funding to get the time to complete the book? – Solomon


This Session’s Featured Resource

Are you thinking about starting or upgrading your online shop so you can sell more of your art?

Are you tired wasting time and energy hacking together cheap, limited solutions that aren’t serving you or your potential customers very well?

Instead of spinning your wheels only looking at free or dirt-cheap store options, why not grab an affordable full-service online sales platform optimized for sales like Shopify?

With Shopify…

  • You don’t need Design skills. Shopify has dozens of beautiful, fully-customizable, mobile-friendly templates to get a perfectly branded look and an online stop you’ll be proud of.
  • You don’t Coding skills. With Shopify, setting up your store is simple, and you’ll be selling in no time at all, even if technology hates you.
  • And you don’t even need a Credit Card to get started. With this ComixLaunch offer, you can try Shopify free for 14 days. No risk, and no credit card required.

What you get with Shopify is a…

  • Fully customizable website, online store, and blog… your store can be your website!
  • Unlimited products!
  • Smooth integration to sell on channels like Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest.
  • 24-7 Customer support!

More than 500,000 creative businesses are powered by Shopify, including the CisforCthulhu.com store which I manage… and couldn’t be happier with it.

Stop messing around with subpar online shop solutions and try Shopify.

To start your 14-day free trial of Shopify, go to ComixLaunch.com/shopify


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 [110]

1.) Go through the list of projects that you’ve backed.

2.) Flag the ones whose audience would most enjoy your book.

After doing this exercise, you’ll either discover a number of creators who you should try to engage and build connections with. Or you’ll realize you need to be supporting more projects and creators who are serving a similar audience as you.


Quote

“Things may come those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln

Tyler opens the ComixLaunch mailbag and answers listener’s biggest questions about launching an email list the right way.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • When you should start a list for your comic project… and when your list should be for YOU?
  • How to handle multiple different audiences on your list?
  • Comparing email list building tech tools.
  • Plus: What you should be doing even if you don’t have anything to promote right now.

Questions Answered in this ComixLaunch Mailbag Episode…

1.) Should I start my list for ME or my comic?

2.) What if I have multiple audiences I’m trying to serve?

3.) What websites should we try to gain an audience on that aren’t primarily artist based (like deviantart/tumblr)?

4.) What tech tools should I use? Can you tell me a better distinction between TinyLetter v Mailchimp?

5.) I live in Scotland. Is the list building advice the same for me?

6.) What if I might not be ready for this?

7.) What if I don’t have anything to promote right now?

8.) What if I don’t think it’ll work for me?

9.) Can you build my list for me?


Links Mentioned

ConvertKit – This is the email list service I use and recommend. Get a 30 Day Free Trial at ComixLaunch.com/convertkit


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Why good projections are necessary to run an effective creative business?
  • How the type of project affects your Kickstarter funding potential?
  • The elements of your platform and which areas will convert the best for your next campaign?
  • Should you expect to reach a new audience by being on Kickstarter? It’ll depend on this…
  • Plus: Get an exact projection YOUR next Kickstarter project by using the new free ComixLaunch Comic Book Calculator Tool at ComixLaunch.com/calculator


Sponsor

Today’s session is proudly sponsored by “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows”, two epic sci-fi graphic novels by Shane W Smith, remastered and relaunched on Kickstarter.

Get all one thousand pages for just five dollars by searching Kickstarter for “Peaceful Tomorrows” or visiting shanewsmith.com/TLEPT/

When war rips apart your world and your family, what becomes of your life and your dreams?

That’s the question facing the main characters of “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows”, two epic sci-fi graphic novels by Shane W Smith.

These books, opening a series twice shortlisted in the Aurealis Awards, have been remastered and are launching on Kickstarter until August 24.

Pick up “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows” – a total of a thousand pages – for just five dollars.

All backers will also receive a 30 page preview of Shane’s forthcoming work, “The Winds of Change”, years ahead of its publication.

This preview is Kickstarter-exclusive, and will not be available anywhere else.

Pre-order your copies of “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows” today by searching Kickstarter for “Peaceful Tomorrows” or visiting shanewsmith.com/TLEPT/


ComixLauncher

Take a minute and think about what creative projects you were working on 1 year ago? 3 years ago? And 5 years ago?

Check your journal, blog, Facebook, Twitter, or email to jog your memory.

What’s changed about your creative projects? What’s stayed the same?

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


 

Every year, creators are raising hundreds, thousands, even tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for their dream projects.

But who cares what’s possible for them… how much funding are YOU likely to raise for your crowdfunding campaign?

In this session, Tyler will share how to predict with “scary” accuracy, how much funding you’re likely to raise on Kickstarter and will give you access to a new free ComixLaunch tool to predict the funding potential of your next Kickstarter.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Why good projections are necessary to run an effective creative business?
  • How the type of project affects your Kickstarter funding potential?
  • The elements of your platform and which areas will convert the best for your next campaign?
  • Should you expect to reach a new audience by being on Kickstarter? It’ll depend on this…
  • Plus: Get an exact projection YOUR next Kickstarter project by using the new free ComixLaunch Comic Book Calculator Tool at ComixLaunch.com/calculator


Sponsor

Today’s session is proudly sponsored by “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows”, two epic sci-fi graphic novels by Shane W Smith, remastered and relaunched on Kickstarter.

Get all one thousand pages for just five dollars by searching Kickstarter for “Peaceful Tomorrows” or visiting shanewsmith.com/TLEPT/

When war rips apart your world and your family, what becomes of your life and your dreams?

That’s the question facing the main characters of “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows”, two epic sci-fi graphic novels by Shane W Smith.

These books, opening a series twice shortlisted in the Aurealis Awards, have been remastered and are launching on Kickstarter until August 24.

Pick up “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows” – a total of a thousand pages – for just five dollars.

All backers will also receive a 30 page preview of Shane’s forthcoming work, “The Winds of Change”, years ahead of its publication.

This preview is Kickstarter-exclusive, and will not be available anywhere else.

Pre-order your copies of “The Lesser Evil” and “Peaceful Tomorrows” today by searching Kickstarter for “Peaceful Tomorrows” or visiting shanewsmith.com/TLEPT/


ComixLauncher

Get an exact projection YOUR next Kickstarter project by using the new free ComixLaunch Comic Book Calculator Tool at ComixLaunch.com/calculator

Let me know what you think!

Behind every successful project is a great idea. And yet, many creators who launch on Kickstarter quickly discover that a great idea alone isn’t enough to get funded. In this session, Robots vs. Princesses creator Todd Matthy shares lessons learned after an unsuccessful first Kickstarter, and the action steps he’s taken to help make his relaunch a success.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • The unlikely origin of Todd’s graphic novel project.
  • What Todd didn’t know he didn’t know when he launched his first Kickstarter.
  • The road to relaunch: What Todd did to come back stronger the second time around.
  • Plus: ComixLaunch listener feedback!

Links Mentioned in This Session

Robots vs. Princesses Kickstarter

Comixlaunch.com/listlaunch

ComixLaunch.com/2017guide

ComixLaunch.com/course


Sponsor

Fight of the Century Is a 120 page biopunk, Mixed Martial Arts original graphic novel.

FOTC is a fist-flying, biopunk sports story on steroids.

Literally.

In a futuristic Brazil, performance-enhancing drugs have gone from behind-the-scenes banned substances to front-and-center game changers. The sports world as we know it has been revolutionized!

Nowhere is that more on display than inside Neo-Rio, a mega-city that serves as the home to the Fighters Ultimate Exhibition League (FUEL).

Men are becoming monsters in minutes as fighters are putting their lives on the line in the octagon.

FOTC is an action-packed drama that examines humanity’s desire to become bigger, faster and stronger; while exploring the price we’re willing to pay to reach our maximum potential.

With influences from ROCKY to AKIRA to FRANKENSTEIN, it’s a comeback story about a man whose unlikely return will inspire a nation.

If you’re looking for a book with Evil Pharmaceutical companies! An uphill battle for redemption! The future of Brazilian MMA on the line! You’re looking for the FIGHT OF THE CENTURY.

The project is now live on Kickstarter through August 11!

You can also follow their posts at facebook.com/FotCComic


ComixLauncher 107

Minute Mash-Up

  • Fold paper in half
  • Take 20 Seconds Write Down As Many MASCULINE Words as you can think of… GO!
  • Flip to the other half of the paper.
  • Take 20 Seconds and Write down as many FEMININE words as you can think of… Go!
  • Now, open it up so you can see both lists, and for 20 seconds, make connections between any words from each list that combine in an interesting way.
  • Any novel concepts or spark of an idea?

Activities like this “train the brain” and work the creativity muscule. Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

You’re invited to share results or great ideas @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]

Building a large and engaged email list is the key to launching successfully on Kickstarter and beyond. So why are so many creators still procrastinating on starting or growing their list? This mini-training episode will break down the myths and mistakes that are keeping you from a bigger fan list and a better relationship with your audience.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Why an email list beats social media when it comes to funding your projects?
  • If you don’t have a big email list, it’s probably one of these three reasons…
  • Three big mindset mistakes that paralyze creators from starting and growing their email lists… and how to crush them.
  • Do This Today! An easy email you can and should send right away to get you engaging with your list, no matter how big or small.
  • Plus: A special anniversary invitation to join ListLaunch!

Links Mentioned

ComixLaunch.com/listlaunch1


Sponsor

The Wild Cosmos is a sci-fi adventure comic. Issue 1 is live on kickstarter now until August 10th. Check it out at THEWILDCOSMOS.COM

The Wild Cosmos is a 6 issue Sci-Fi adventure comic series.

Think Firefly meets Avatar.

Set in a ‘wild west like’ version of space.

You’ll explore derelict space stations to lush alien rainforests with Captain Cooper and his crew of five scavengers.

Every decision Cooper makes carries weight, when it comes down to keeping his crew safe versus risking their lives to retrieve supplies that are essential for survival as he and his crew travel through the galaxy.

The book is 8×12 and softcover bound.

It’s live on kickstarter now until August 10th.

You can check it out at THEWILDCOSMOS.COM

While most listeners of ComixLaunch are willing to blaze their own paths to independently plan, launch, fund and fulfill their creative projects, that doesn’t mean they aren’t also open to the idea of working with publishers to reach a broader audience. In this session, comics lawyer Dirk Vanover returns with some sage advice on some things creators should consider before signing a contract with publishers.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Something that’s been popping up more and more in comic publisher’s contacts that Dirk HATES!
  • When it’s time to pull in legal help to review a contract.
  • Tips for entering into contracts you won’t regret in the future.

Today’s Session is brought to you by Fight of the Century a biopunk, MMA OGN. The project is now live on Kickstarter through August 11. Follow them at facebook.com/FotcComic/


Today’s Guest

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


Sponsor

Fight of the Century Is a 120 page biopunk, Mixed Martial Arts original graphic novel.

FOTC is a fist-flying, biopunk sports story on steroids.

Literally.

In a futuristic Brazil, performance-enhancing drugs have gone from behind-the-scenes banned substances to front-and-center game changers. The sports world as we know it has been revolutionized!

Nowhere is that more on display than inside Neo-Rio, a mega-city that serves as the home to the Fighters Ultimate Exhibition League (FUEL).

Men are becoming monsters in minutes as fighters are putting their lives on the line in the octagon.

FOTC is an action-packed drama that examines humanity’s desire to become bigger, faster and stronger; while exploring the price we’re willing to pay to reach our maximum potential.

With influences from ROCKY to AKIRA to FRANKENSTEIN, it’s a comeback story about a man whose unlikely return will inspire a nation.

If you’re looking for a book with Evil Pharmaceutical companies! An uphill battle for redemption! The future of Brazilian MMA on the line! You’re looking for the FIGHT OF THE CENTURY.

The project is now live on Kickstarter through August 11!

You can also follow their posts at facebook.com/FotCComic


ComixLauncher 105

Read your contracts!

‘Nuff said.

 

How do we get press coverage for our projects, especially if we’re not a big name in the industry or have the backing of large publishers or PR teams? In this session, writer and comics journalist Forrest Helvie (Newsarama, Marvel.com) shares actionable tips and strategies for getting more reviews, interviews and press coverage for your projects.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Step inside the shoes of a comic book journalist and learn how they think about who and what gets published?
  • Big NO NOs when it comes to reaching out to comics
  • Examples of creators who knocked their press outreach out of the park, and how you can model what worked for them with your projects.
  • Plus: ComixLaunch celebrates it’s 2 year anniversary! Look how far we’ve come!

ComixLaunch Turns 2!

This week, the ComixLaunch podcast is celebrating its 2-Year Anniversary

The success rate for the Comics Category in Kickstarter was 49.95% when we started.

Today, it’s 53.14%. That’s an increase of + 3.19%!

In that same time, the overall Kickstarter success rate has dropped from 38.02 to 35.83%.

Our community is making an impact and getting it done!  

That’s not me… THAT’S YOU!

Thank you for helping share the show. Our monthly downloads are up 220% since this time last year.

And since April 2017, the ComixLaunch Podcast’s costs have been 100% covered by Club ComixLaunch Patrons!

Whether you’re a $1, $4, $10, or $70 Club ComixLaunch Patron, thank you so much for keeping this show weekly. 


Today’s Guest: Forrest Helvie

My guest today is a CT based author and creator of Whiz Bang the Boy Robot and Amelia the Adventure Bear.

He is an English professor at Norwalk Community College and regularly writes for Marvel.com and Newsarama as a comics journalist in addition to serving as an academic editor and reviewer for various journals and publications.

He has also stacked up writing credits for indie publishers such as GrayHaven Comics, Red Stylo, and TPub, and is a contributor to the Eric Palicki-helmed project This Nightmare Kills Fascists – A Comics Anthology on Kickstarter as of this recording.


Guiding Discussion Questions

1) Put us in the shoes of a comics press journalist. What’s it like? What’s the best part? What’s the worst part?

2) What are some strategies creators can use to get the attention and interest of a comic or pop or geek culture journalist?

3) What are some big DO NOTs or common mistakes you see creators making?

4) What’s one or two examples of pitches that came your way, or that you’ve seen that really knocked it out of the park?

5) You were in the pilot version of the ComixLaunch Course… but you’ve also stayed very active in the community (which is awesome).  What’s been the biggest ahas or breakthroughs for you since joining the ComixLaunch Pro community?


Sponsor: Club ComixLaunch

ComixLaunch listeners, are you ready to take your crowdfunding game to the next level?

If so, I’d love for you to join me and your fellow creators inside Club ComixLaunch on Patreon.

I’ve opened Club ComixLaunch to help continue and expand on the ComixLaunch mission of increasing the number of creators equipped to harness the power of the Kickstarter platform to bring amazing independent projects to life.
As a Club ComixLaunch member, you’ll have access to a number of exclusive perks and privileges, such as:

  • A shout out on the ComixLaunch Podcast for you and your project.
  • Access to the ComixLaunch Club exclusive Patreon feed for even more mindset, strategies and tactics to get your project funded.
  • The ComixLaunch Club Insider Monthly Kickstarter Resource which might be a guide, checklist, cheat sheet, template, or bonus training video designed to help you launch.
  • Priority enrollment in ComixLaunch Courses
  • Discounts on Courses, Books and Upcoming Premium Products
  • You can even sponsor an episode of the ComixLaunch podcast through Patreon.

And as the Club Grows, so do the perks…

See, there is a direct correlation between listener support and the value ComixLaunch can provide, and as the club expands, we hope to offer:

  • Monthly Kickstarter Page Critiques
  • Club Exclusive Chats and Q&As
  • Bonus Sessions of the ComixLaunch Podcast.
  • Full podcast transcripts for every episode.
  • And much more!

For as little as a dollar a month, you can access Club ComixLaunch today, help keep the podcast going and improving, and take your crowdfunding game to the next level.

Membership has its privileges, and to get a taste of them absolutely free, please go to ComixLaunch.com/club and download a free Club ComixLaunch VIP Insider bonus resources today.

Let’s get you ready for your best launch yet!

I’ll see you inside the Club!


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 [104]

Reach out to someone in the comic book press using some of the tips in this episode to get coverage for your project.

I invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email to me at [email protected]

Friend of the podcast and author of Kickstarter for the Independent Creator Madeliene Holly-Rosing returns to the show to talk about what’s new in the updated addition of her crowdfunding book and lessons learned from recent campaigns.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • How quickly the crowdfunding environment changes and how Madeleine knew it was time to update her popular book.
  • A new crowdfunding platform that filmmakers are very excited about.
  • The top lessons Madeleine learned AFTER writing her first book.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show

Ready for Launch Workshop

Want to launch a comic book Kickstarter project? Wondering if your audience is big enough to succeed?

Then join me for my upcoming FREE online Kickstarter workshop and I’ll teach you how to get your project funded, even if you don’t have a large audience or a huge social media following.

CLAIM YOUR SPOT –> ComixLaunch.com/ready

On this FREE workshop, I’m going to teach you…

🚀 Why a big social media following is NOT a prerequisite to Kickstarter success… but what definitely is.

🚀 Where Kickstarter backers REALLY come from… and a step-by-step process to get them to support you on Day One.

🚀 The #1 mistake that 90% of most failed Kickstarters make… and what successful project creators do differently.

🚀 How to figure out how big your audience needs to be to have success on Kickstarter… and exactly what to do to energize them before you launch.

PLUS: I’ll give you my Top Tech Tool recommendations for building and engaging with your growing audience in preparation for your launch.

This online workshop is absolutely free and is packed with actionable tips from host Tyler James’ experience launching campaigns that have collectively raised over $325,000.00 in funding on Kickstarter, as well the best strategies from the top minds in comics and crowdfunding that he’s interviewed on ComixLaunch, the #1 crowdfunding podcast for writers, artists & publishers.

Stay for the full training and receive two special bonus resources to help you fund your dream project!

The next workshop is starting soon.

Reserve your seat now at ComixLaunch.com/ready


Kickstarter for the Independent Creator


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 [102]

What’s the area of running a Kickstarter campaign that you could level up?

Invite you to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email tyler.james @ comixtribe.com

Tyler picks the brain of Khierstyn Ross, host of the top podcast Crowdfunding Uncut, who shares lessons learned about building a winning Kickstarter launch team from successful projects that have raised over 2 million dollars in funding.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • How to building the right launch team to get your project funded.
  • The importance of the validating process before you launch.
  • Where creators go wrong with crowdfunding.
  • Plus: One book Khierstyn is obsessed with right now.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show


Have You Signed Up for the Beyond Kickstarter Master Class

Sell More Books and Reach More Readers After Your Campaign is Over!

Kickstarter is the #1 platform for funding creative projects in the world and should be a part of every independent creator’s business plan. But Kickstarter alone is not enough…

Are you ready to amplify your comics crowdfunding success BEYOND KICKSTARTER?

Learn how to leverage success on Kickstarter into increased sales on other channels and platforms, such as the direct market, online, conventions, Amazon, Patreon, and more so that you can reach a broader audience and sell more of your art during the 92% of the year when you aren’t launching a Kickstarter.

http://comixlaunch.com/beyond

Will eventually be its own full stand-alone course for sale…

But, because it’s the first time I’m presenting this material, and to celebrate you all who have kept me going for 100 episodes, I’m making the live session of the master class FREE to anyone who attends live.

Live Master Class | Thursday, June 29 7:30 PM EDT

Here’s Some of What You’ll Learn from This Master Class…

  • Where to start when it comes to building upon your Kickstarter success in other channels?
  • How to pick the right next channel to focus on for your creative business?
  • Why most creators online stores fail and what to do differently to see steady book sales in e-commerce?
  • What it takes to get your Kickstarter funded books into brick & mortar stores and the best plan to make that happen?
  • The pros, cons, common mistakes, and best practices for sales growth on channels outside of Kickstarter.
  • The exact next steps you should be taking to expand your sales and grow your audience in channels Beyond Kickstarter.

Now, if you can’t attend live, or know you’ll want access to this material, after the fact, there is a GOLD option that you can purchase that will give you access to the recordings, plus a number of bonus trainings that won’t fit into the 2-2.5 hour master class session.

http://comixlaunch.com/beyond

 


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 [101]

  • Who do you need on your launch team?

 

ComixLaunch celebrates its landmark 100th podcast episode by answering ComixLaunch listeners’ top questions related to Kickstarter, crowdfunding and building a creative career. Plus, details and an invitation to the upcoming Beyond Kickstarter Master Class.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • How Tyler manages to answer every question creators have before they know they have it? Is there a ComixLaunch crystal ball?
  • The Top 3 things a brand new property can do to maximize success on its first campaign.
  • What’s the best way to layout a Kickstarter page.
  • What’s the next model for indies beyond Kickstarter and Patreon?
  • Plus: How you can attend the new Beyond Kickstarter Workshop FREE!

Welcome Baby Madeleine to the World!

ComixLaunch Podcast editor Katie Nagengast (my talented sister) had a surprise in Baby Madeleine coming two months early!

I guess she just couldn’t wait any longer to bring that smile to the world. (We sure need it!)

Please have a good thought for Katie and Baby M.

This show would not have been weekly for 100 episodes without Katie’s hard work.


Have You Signed Up for the Beyond Kickstarter Master Class

Sell More Books and Reach More Readers After Your Campaign is Over!

Kickstarter is the #1 platform for funding creative projects in the world and should be a part of every independent creator’s business plan. But Kickstarter alone is not enough…

Are you ready to amplify your comics crowdfunding success BEYOND KICKSTARTER?

Learn how to leverage success on Kickstarter into increased sales on other channels and platforms, such as the direct market, online, conventions, Amazon, Patreon, and more so that you can reach a broader audience and sell more of your art during the 92% of the year when you aren’t launching a Kickstarter.

http://comixlaunch.com/beyond

Will eventually be its own full stand-alone course for sale…

But, because it’s the first time I’m presenting this material, and to celebrate you all who have kept me going for 100 episodes, I’m making the live session of the master class FREE to anyone who attends live.

Live Master Class | Thursday, June 29 7:30 PM EDT

Here’s Some of What You’ll Learn from This Master Class…

  • Where to start when it comes to building upon your Kickstarter success in other channels?
  • How to pick the right next channel to focus on for your creative business?
  • Why most creators online stores fail and what to do differently to see steady book sales in e-commerce?
  • What it takes to get your Kickstarter funded books into brick & mortar stores and the best plan to make that happen?
  • The pros, cons, common mistakes, and best practices for sales growth on channels outside of Kickstarter.
  • The exact next steps you should be taking to expand your sales and grow your audience in channels Beyond Kickstarter.

Now, if you can’t attend live, or know you’ll want access to this material, after the fact, there is a GOLD option that you can purchase that will give you access to the recordings, plus a number of bonus trainings that won’t fit into the 2-2.5 hour master class session.

http://comixlaunch.com/beyond


Sponsor

ComixLaunch listeners, are you ready to take your crowdfunding game to the next level?

If so, I’d love for you to join me and your fellow creators inside Club ComixLaunch on Patreon.

I’ve opened Club ComixLaunch to help continue and expand on the ComixLaunch mission of increasing the number of creators equipped to harness the power of the Kickstarter platform to bring amazing independent projects to life.
As a Club ComixLaunch member, you’ll have access to a number of exclusive perks and privileges, such as:

  • A shout out on the ComixLaunch Podcast for you and your project.
  • Access to the ComixLaunch Club exclusive Patreon feed for even more mindset, strategies and tactics to get your project funded.
  • The ComixLaunch Club Insider Monthly Kickstarter Resource which might be a guide, checklist, cheat sheet, template, or bonus training video designed to help you launch.
  • Priority enrollment in ComixLaunch Courses
  • Discounts on Courses, Books and Upcoming Premium Products
  • You can even sponsor an episode of the ComixLaunch podcast through Patreon.

And as the Club Grows, so do the perks…

See, there is a direct correlation between listener support and the value ComixLaunch can provide, and as the club expands, we hope to offer:

  • Monthly Kickstarter Page Critiques
  • Club Exclusive Chats and Q&As
  • Bonus Sessions of the ComixLaunch Podcast.
  • Full podcast transcripts for every episode.
  • And much more!

For as little as a dollar a month, you can access Club ComixLaunch today, help keep the podcast going and improving, and take your crowdfunding game to the next level.

Membership has its privileges, and to get a taste of them absolutely free, please go to ComixLaunch.com/club and download a free Club ComixLaunch VIP Insider bonus resources today.

Let’s get you ready for your best launch yet!

I’ll see you inside the Club!


ComixLauncher 100

What question would YOU ask me over coffee?

Let me know @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


Quote

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Take a walk with Tyler James in a totally different episode of the ComixLaunch podcast, pondering higher quality questions creators should be asking themselves.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • The simple power of asking the question “What if?”
  • How asking better questions is the key to getting better results.
  • Ways to reframing (and even embrace) rejection.
  • Plus: A few details about the upcoming BEYOND KICKSTARTER Master Class

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ghost Island a supernatural horror comic. Issue 2 is live on Kickstarter May 29th. Follow them at facebook.com/ghostislandcomic


This Show’s Sponsor

Ghost Island is a 5 issue supernatural horror comic series.

Imagine Jurassic Park… but with ghosts!

On a remote island a wealthy entrepreneur has secretly created a theme park full of imprisoned ghosts he has collected over time.

Before opening the attraction to the public he enlists the help of a small group of people to assist him.

One of them being Josh Evans a troubled psychic with a dark past.

Whilst he battles his own personal demons over the disappearance of his fiancé,Josh is scheduled the task of crossing over in to the spirit world & exploring some of the evil minds that are imprisoned on the island, but at what cost?

The kickstarter for issue 2 is going LIVE on May 29th! You can also follow their daily posts at facebook.com/ghostislandcomic

Will you take a visit to Ghost Island?


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 [099]

Go for a walk and generate what if questions that are relevant for your own life, projects, and creative career.

Share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


New Workshop: BEYOND KICKSTARTER

Are you ready to amplify your comics crowdfunding success BEYOND KICKSTARTER?

Learn how to leverage success on Kickstarter into increased sales on other channels and platforms, such as the direct market, online, conventions, Amazon, Patreon, and more so that you can reach a broader audience and sell more of your art during the 92% of the year when you aren’t launching a Kickstarter.

Interested –> ComixLaunch.com/beyond


Quote

“Creativity is Intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

Every Kickstarter project creator must include a professional bio with his or her profile. But all bios are NOT created equal. In this session, Tyler will give you four essential elements your Kickstarter biography MUST include.

Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Four easy to answer, yet critical questions you’ll need to tackle in order to craft an impressive and credible Kickstarter bio.
  • How to establish yourself as a trustworthy creator, even if you have no professional credits to your name.
  • Examples of great creator bios!
  • Plus: An update on the ComixLaunch Course and my biggest Kickstarter launch ever.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ghost Island a supernatural horror comic. Issue 2 is live on Kickstarter May 29th. Follow them at facebook.com/ghostislandcomic

This Show’s Sponsor

Ghost Island is a 5 issue supernatural horror comic series.

Imagine Jurassic Park… but with ghosts!

On a remote island a wealthy entrepreneur has secretly created a theme park full of imprisoned ghosts he has collected over time.

Before opening the attraction to the public he enlists the help of a small group of people to assist him.

One of them being Josh Evans a troubled psychic with a dark past.

Whilst he battles his own personal demons over the disappearance of his fiancé,Josh is scheduled the task of crossing over in to the spirit world & exploring some of the evil minds that are imprisoned on the island, but at what cost?

The kickstarter for issue 2 is going LIVE on May 29th! You can also follow their daily posts at facebook.com/ghostislandcomic

Will you take a visit to Ghost Island?


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 [097]

Check your public bios? Do they contain all elements? If not, give them a make over.


Quote

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray

Absolutely nothing wrong with working for others (publishers, teams, etc… but don’t put all your best work into someone else’s vision.

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

 

In this session of the ComixLaunch podcast, Tyler James shares 10 reasons why there’s never been a better time to launch a project on Kickstarter. If you’ve been on the fence about launching, this session might just give you the final nudge to take the plunge.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Never-Ending Battle, a superhero audio drama by Playwrights Haven on Kickstarter. Check it out at comixlaunch.com/NEB


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • Why it’s good to be a comic creator on Kickstarter.
  • Changes in the Kickstarter platform that make now an incredible time to launch.
  • The unexpected benefits of launching.
  • Plus: An invitation to an all new 5-Day Kickstarter Challenge at ComixLaunch.com/springchallenge

This Show’s Sponsor


Never-Ending Battle is an audio drama about two former sidekicks and takes place in a world where most of the greatest heroes and villains died in battle years ago.

The series will be five Twenty minute episodes and will be released on iTunes for free.

The Playwrights Haven team have already finished the first episode, but they need your help to create the rest of the series.

If you like comic books, supporting fellow creators, or listening to audio dramas, check out the Never-Ending Battle campaign on Kickstarter.

Just go to ComixLaunch.com/NEB

By pledging just $19, you’ll get a digital copy of the music created for the series, an eBook about the history and making of the show, and your name will be listed in the description of an episode on iTunes.

Higher rewards also include posters, t-shirts, and a chance to have your name appear within an episode.

Follow them on twitter @playwrighthaven and don’t forget to check out the Never-Ending Battle on Kickstarter at ComixLaunch.com/NEB. Tell them Comixlaunch sent you.

ComixLauncher [095]

 Join the ComixLaunch 5-Day Kickstarter Challenge at ComixLaunch.com/springchallenge

In today’s show, veteran webcartoonist Brad Guigar (Evil, Inc.) drops an onslaught of mega-ton knowledge bombs on everything from Kickstarter to Patreon to creating better comics. You’re going to want to listen to this session at least twice!


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • The state of the webcomics business model in 2017 from the guy who literally wrote the book on webcomics.
  • What Brad wishes he focused more on in the early days.
  • How Brad’s entire business almost went belly up a few years ago… and the crowdfunding platform that saved it. (Spoiler: He’s not talking about Kickstarter.)
  • Plus: The art of the pivot.

Today’s Session is brought to you by…

This is the next big phase of ComixLaunch, and I’m excited to be taking this next step… and in the process, getting a better understanding of the Patreon platform, which we’re currently diving deep into on the podcast.


CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CLUB


What Is Club ComixLaunch?

Club ComixLaunch is a way to help us continue and expand on the ComixLaunch mission, and add even more value for creators like you who are looking to harness the power of crowdfunding to bring creative projects to life.

Membership has its privileges, and Club ComixLaunch members may receive:

  • Shout outs to you and your projects on the show.
  • Access to bonus lessons on the Club Exclusive Patreon Feed.
  • A VIP INSIDER Bonus resource (Guide, cheat sheet, checklist, video, template, etc.) designed to help you launch.
  • Advance looks at future ComixLaunch books and resources.
  • Priority placement and discounts in ComixLaunch courses,
  • And much, much more!

Join the Club and Get Your Welcome Kit

As soon as you join the Club at any pledge level, you’ll be able to instantly download the Club ComixLaunch Welcome Kit, which includes:

  • 5 Things You Must Do Before You Launch a Kickstarter [Checklist – PDF]
  • How to Choose Paper Stock for Your Book with Kraken Print [Guide – PDF]
  • Kickstarter Update Guide: 19 Types of Updates That Add Excitement & Funding to Kickstarter Campaigns [Guide – PDF]
  • 7 Keys to Your Best Launch Ever [Workshop – MP3]

 

Click here to join the club!


ComixLauncher 88

Jot down 10 ideas for exclusive content that your audience might be willing to pay for?

It’s okay if you don’t know… Brad didn’t when he started.

What’s not okay is if you’re not actively trying to find out.

Share your thoughts with me @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]


Get More from Brag Guigar

Brad runs the community at Webcomics.com.

Buy The Webcomics Handbook at Amazon.

Check out Brad’s webcomic Evil Inc.

And check out Brad’s Patreon page.

And there are just a few days left in Brad’s latest Kickstarter campaign.

Evil Inc After Dark — NSFW comics with smutty superheroes project video thumbnail


April is Audience Building Month on ComixLaunch.

The biggest reason creators don’t launch is fear of failure.

The biggest reason projects fail is failure to build and ready an audience for the project.

(Brad has a great line about that in this episode.)

So, in the month of April we’ll do episodes and interviews focused building your audience in different areas and on different platforms.

There will also be audience building Facebook ComixLunch live streams over at Facebook.com/comixlaunch all throughout April.

There will be extra bonus strategies for Club ComixLaunch members, so if you’re not yet a member ComixLaunch.com/patreon.

And, I may even put together another challenge… Either late April or early May for those of you who want a little extra support in getting this thing rolling.

Either late April or early May for those of you who want a little extra support in getting this audience growth thing turbo-charged.

 

Want to Learn How to Easily Create a Kickstarter Page Backers Will Trust, Fund & Spread Like Wildfire?

Learn the step-by-step blueprint I use to create effective, eye-catching, pro-looking Kickstarter pages that include all the right information in exactly the right sequence to make backers scream “Take my money!”… WITHOUT costing a fortune or taking forever to build.

I’m teaching a live Master Class on Kickstarter Page Design Saturday, May 18, from 1-4 PM EDT.

Get all the details and sign-up at:

ComixLaunch.com/blueprintclass

Every Kickstarter campaign reveals multiple creative lessons and business breakthroughs. In this session, Tyler James shares the top lesson learned from each of his first 5 successful Kickstarter campaigns that raised over $100,000.00 in funding with the support of over 2,500 backers.


Highlights of this Session Include:

  • A Super Simple, Super Easy thing to do during every project or campaign you work on
  • 5 Biggest Lessons from my first 5 Successful Kickstarter Raised over $100K 2500 backers
  • Major wins, epic stumbles…
  • Plus: A few live Qs sprinkled in.

Today’s Session is brought to you by Club ComixLaunch

This is the next big phase of ComixLaunch, and I’m excited to be taking this next step… and in the process, getting a better understanding of the Patreon platform, which we’re currently diving deep into on the podcast.


CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CLUB


What Is Club ComixLaunch?

Club ComixLaunch is a way to help us continue and expand on the ComixLaunch mission, and add even more value for creators like you who are looking to harness the power of crowdfunding to bring creative projects to life.

Membership has its privileges, and Club ComixLaunch members may receive:

  • Shout outs to you and your projects on the show.
  • Access to bonus lessons on the Club Exclusive Patreon Feed.
  • A VIP INSIDER Bonus resource (Guide, cheat sheet, checklist, video, template, etc.) designed to help you launch.
  • Advance looks at future ComixLaunch books and resources.
  • Priority placement and discounts in ComixLaunch courses,
  • And much, much more!

Join the Club and Get Your Welcome Kit

As soon as you join the Club at any pledge level, you’ll be able to instantly download the Club ComixLaunch Welcome Kit, which includes:

  • 5 Things You Must Do Before You Launch a Kickstarter [Checklist – PDF]
  • How to Choose Paper Stock for Your Book with Kraken Print [Guide – PDF]
  • Kickstarter Update Guide: 19 Types of Updates That Add Excitement & Funding to Kickstarter Campaigns [Guide – PDF]
  • 7 Keys to Your Best Launch Ever [Workshop – MP3]

ComixLauncher [085]

  • What are you doing every week that you should be documenting?
  • What would you, two years ago, want to read about?
  • What would you, two years from now, want a record of?

Quote

“High-Quality Work = Time Spent x Intensity of Focus” from the book Deep Work by Cal Newport.

One of the drums I beat all the time to any creators who’ll listen is the importance of not creating your art in a vacuum.

Whether it be through social media, your email list, your blogs and websites, or even in-person groups…

It’s important to talk about projects well before you launch them, so that you have a receptive audience when you DO launch.

But, I realized that I’ve not been taking my own advice.

(I guess this is the wisdom that comes with age. Today is my 38th b-day after all.)

Now, I’ve mentioned a few times the Kickstarter Page Design Blueprint book that I’m working on. The book is pulling together my own experience, that of my brilliant ComixLaunch guests, as well as crunching the numbers on thousands of successful campaigns to crack the code on Kickstarter page design.
Now, while I’ll be working closely with 20 creators to build their Kickstarter pages inside The ComixLaunch Course this spring, I realized I should probably get some more input from the wider creator community.
After all, the time to get input on a book or a product is BEFORE, not AFTER it comes out!
So, I’d love to invite you to go to ComixLaunch.com/pagesurvey to answer a very short survey where I ask you a few questions about Kickstarter page design.

This survey is for all creators, not just those with Kickstarter experience, and I really want to hear from you.

 


Click here to Take the Short Kickstarter Page Survey


A Few Bonuses for Your Time

I always want to respect the time of my audience, so one of the things that I’m working on is a new for 2017 Kickstarter Page Design Checklist.
Everyone who fills out the survey will get my updated checklist free as soon as it’s ready.
And I’ll also pull one name from the survey participants and hook them up with a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Again, I appreciate your input.

I’ll consider you taking a few moments to knock out the survey as an incredibly generous birthday present. (Thanks in advance.)

ComixLaunch.com/pagesurvey

I want ComixLaunch to be the absolute best resource for writers, artists, & self-publishers looking to harness the power of the Kickstarter platform.
The only way to make that happen is to listen to you.

ComixLauncher

  1. Identify one creative decision you’re having trouble making (cover design, next project, title, character design, etc.)
  2. Poll your audience (any size audience will do) for feedback on the decision.

Join Tyler James and a small group of hardworking creators to learn to how to start, grow and energize an email list of fans big enough to successfully launch your project on Kickstarter.

Then learn how to harness the power of Kickstarter to fund your projects, expand your audience, and build the foundation for your career as a comic creator.

Click here to enroll for 2016-2017.

Does your creative output some weeks feel like this:

I think we’ve all struggled with the productivity demons at times.

There never seems to be enough time in the day…

(Are you sure we all get 24 hours? And what the hell do you mean it’s almost September?!)

Sometimes I think about changing the job title on my business card to“Professional Plate Spinner.”

With ComixTribe, ComixLaunch, game design, teaching, writing, publishing, podcasting, and also trying to have a family life and binge the occasional Netflix series (well done, Stranger Things) I’ve certainly had to learn a few things about being productive and getting things done.

Recently, I received an email from a ComixLaunch listener who wrote:

“In the beginning of the year, my goal was to work up to 1 page per week, but we’re half way through the year and I’ve gotten even slower with my updates. I think failing to meet this goal was bad for my psyche.”

Been there, right?

Is there anything more frustrating than setting what sounds like a reasonable, or even gimme of an output goal, and still not hitting it?

Well, the good news is, that creator was able to find some encouragement from a recent episode of the ComixLaunch podcast and is refocusing and revamping his goals for the rest of the year.

But it got me thinking… what else can I do to help?

So, I started writing a long email to send back to that creator, detailing some of my best productivity tips.

But then I realized, “Wait a minute…”

EVERYONE STRUGGLES WITH THIS STUFF!

So, that’s why, instead of a long email to one creator, I’m going to do a free LIVE online workshop sharing a framework I use for productivity that will help writers & artists get more done in the limited time that we all have.

And I’m inviting all the creators I know to be a part of it.

Wait, did Tyler just refer to himself as a bad ass?

Heh, no.

BADASS is actually an acronym for the framework I’m going to present.

A no-prize to anyone who guesses what it stands for. We have one entry so far:

(Nice try, Clay! But no dice.)

What I’m going to present on Wednesday night is:

  • A simple, memorable framework to help you know what to focus on when it comes to improving your productivity.
  • Loads of real examples of myself and other creators putting these principles into practice.
  • My top productivity tools, apps, and resources that I couldn’t get things done without.

This will be a live interactive workshop that will be video streamed with a built-in chat room, so that you all will be able to contribute to the discussion, and share your best strategies and resources as well.

As always happens with these things, the collective wisdom in the audience alone will be well-worth your time.


Click here to register for BADASS Productivity for Writers & Artists, a free online workshop this Wednesday at 8:30 pm EDT.


What if I can’t make it? Will there be a replay?

Look, there’s no sugar coating it…

You’ll get the most value from attending live, so you can mix it up in the chat room with the other attendees.

But if you can’t make it, the session, including all of the notes, links, resources mentioned, etc. will be archived inside of Club ComixLaunch, our Patreon site.

So, while the live workshop is free for all, the replay will be a Patron-only exclusive thing.

But whether you’re in the Club or haven’t joined yet, the best thing to do is to show up live!

And step one is to register here:


Click here to register for BADASS Productivity for Writers & Artists, a free online workshop this Wednesday at 8:30 pm EDT.


See you there!

Best,

Tyler

P.S. Already registered?

Help us get a few more creators to join us:

“Join me for the BADASS Productivity for Writers & Artists Workshop with @tylerjamescomic – www.comixlaunch.com/badass”

[Click to Tweet]

Tyler James here, and I wanted to shoot you a quick message letting you know that the doors to Club ComixLaunch on Patreon are now open!

This is the next big phase of ComixLaunch, and I’m excited to be taking this next step… and in the process, getting a better understanding of the Patreon platform, which we’re currently diving deep into on the podcast.


CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CLUB


What Is Club ComixLaunch?

Club ComixLaunch is a way to help us continue and expand on the ComixLaunch mission, and add even more value for creators like you who are looking to harness the power of crowdfunding to bring creative projects to life.

Membership has its privileges, and Club ComixLaunch members may receive:

  • Shout outs to you and your projects on the show.
  • Access to bonus lessons on the Club Exclusive Patreon Feed.
  • A VIP INSIDER Bonus resource (Guide, cheat sheet, checklist, video, template, etc.) designed to help you launch.
  • Advance looks at future ComixLaunch books and resources.
  • Priority placement and discounts in ComixLaunch courses,
  • And much, much more!

Join the Club and Get Your Welcome Kit

As soon as you join the Club at any pledge level, you’ll be able to instantly download the Club ComixLaunch Welcome Kit, which includes:

  • 5 Things You Must Do Before You Launch a Kickstarter [Checklist – PDF]
  • How to Choose Paper Stock for Your Book with Kraken Print [Guide – PDF]
  • Kickstarter Update Guide: 19 Types of Updates That Add Excitement & Funding to Kickstarter Campaigns [Guide – PDF]
  • 7 Keys to Your Best Launch Ever [Workshop – MP3]

Over the past year, I’ve received so many incredible reviews from creators like you who have received tremendous value from the ComixLaunch podcast:

“My campaign was successful because of ComixLaunch…”
– Josh Dahl (Rapid City)

“I have been following Tyler’s advice for years… with two successful Kickstarter campaigns under my belt, raising over $17,000, I can honestly say that Tyler’s advice has been the bible around which I planned my campaigns…”
– Russell Brettholtz (Sidekicks)

“Thanks to Tyler and his many guests, I’ve saved hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars, by taking their advice when it comes to publishing my comic…”
– James Haick (Solar Flare)

The ComixLaunch podcast isn’t going anywhere, and will always continue to be a free resource for creators.

However, joining the Club today will help keep the show going and help us deliver even more value to the creator community.


Click Here to Join Club ComixLaunch


I’ll see you inside the Club!

Best,

Tyler James

P.S. The ComixLaunch podcast started its new series “Patreon Launch”yesterday, featuring special guest Jason Brubaker (ReMind, Sithrah) talking about the difference between Kickstarter & Patreon and which is right for you.

Click here to listen to Patreon Launch #1.

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.

In this session, Jeremy Melloul interviews writer/artist Joe Mulvey and Tyler James about the Mummy’s Always Right Kickstarter project, and how Joe successfully pivoted from comics targeted at an adult audience to children’s books for little monsters.

MummysAlwaysRight.com


What’s this Bonus Session About?

In this is another special bonus case study version of ComixLaunch. No fancy intros or editing, just three creators talking Kickstarter… specifically the Mummy’s Always Right Kickstarter that Tyler is working on with Joe Mulvey.

Some topics covered:

  • The “why” behind this project… How “The most dangerous man in comics” found himself making a kids book?
  • Strategies for converting a built-in audience in one area to something entirely new.
  • Applying lessons from previous successes and failures into this new venture.
  • How the children’s book category on Kickstarter is different than comics… and some campaign adjustments made as a result.

Zoey_04

Be a fly on the wall of a conversation among creators who are in the Kickstarter trenches.

Note, this is truly a bonus episode and not a replacement for your regularly scheduled Sunday podcast. Session 48 will come out like clockwork as usual.


What’s the Project?

Mummy’s Always Right: A Board Book for YOUR Little Monsters by Joe Mulvey

MAR_Images_13

A high-quality children’s board book about a little monster named GAWS who learns to always listen to Mummy.

MUMMY ALWAYS RIGHT_640

Mummy’s Always Right is a gorgeously illustrated, premium board book, featuring a mischievous little monster named GAWS who learns all the many reasons he should listen to his MUMMY!

Workshop

Monday, April 25, 2016 – 7:30 PM EDT


In this live workshop, ComixLaunch host Tyler James will break down seven key steps to making your first or next Kickstarter launch a hit. Drawing on his personal experience successfully funding eight Kickstarter projects and an analysis of every comic book Kickstarter launched between 2014-15, this workshop is loaded with actionable information. Q&A to follow.


Click Here to Register for The ComixLaunch Workshop


Hello, ComixLaunch listeners!

You’re invited to a special live online workshop I’m going to doing on Monday, April 25th at 7:30 PM EDT.

You can register right now at ComixLaunch.com/workshop.

Next month, Tyler James has been invited to do a ComixLaunch Live talk at a small, local Boston area convention. Public speaking is not something I consider a strong suit of mine, but with the podcasting and more teaching and panels coming this year, it’s something I’m looking to improve.

To prepare for that talk, he’s giving a live online workshop covering similar material, and he’d love it if you could attend.

The workshop will cover 7 keys to making your first, or next, Kickstarter your absolute best launch yet.

Many of you know that over the past four years, Tyler has successfully managed eight Kickstarter projects that have all exceeded their Kickstarter goals.

Though formal ComixLaunch podcast interviews and less formal conversations, he’s also had the chance to pick the brains of many of the top crowdfunders in the comics space.

And the ComixLaunch team has also been pouring over a massive Kickstarter data scrape with an analysis of every comic book Kickstarter launched between 2014-15…

The ComixLaunch Workshop

This workshop is an effort to pull all of that together into a tight, 45 minute presentation loaded with best practices and actionable information for both new Kickstarter creators preparing for their first launch and savvy Kickstarter vets looking to take their game to the next level.

I’ll also have a couple special bonuses in there for attendees.

And then, after the presentation, I’ll stick around for a live Q&A session to answer any of your Kickstarter questions.

This workshop is totally free, but it will be a private event, so I do need you to register at comixlaunch.com/workshop to secure your seat.

The workshop will be live at 7:30 pm on Monday, April 25, 2016… but even if you’re not sure if you can make that time live, you should still go register because there will be a replay video after the even.

Once more, that’s comixlaunch.com/workshop for The ComixLaunch Workshop: 7 Keys to Your Best Launch Ever.

See you there!

ComixLaunch_Bonus001In this Bonus Session of ComixLaunch, Tyler shares 7 brand new Kickstarter strategies he’ll be implementing in the upcoming C is for Cthulhu Coloring Book Kickstarter Campaign, launching April 4, 2016. See the campaign in action at ColorCthulhu.com.


This session was original recorded live on Blab! (This was Tyler’s first Blab… he gives the platform a thumbs up!)


What’s this Bonus Session About?

Hello ComixLaunch Listeners, this is a special bonus case study version of ComixLaunch. No fancy intros or editing, just us talking Kickstarter, as I’m about to launching my 8th KS campaign on Monday.

Every campaign is a new journey. In this session, I’m going to go in depth into what I’m doing differently this time around, some new strategies and tactics I’m very excited about. Not to worry, though… this is truly a bonus, not a replacement for your regularly scheduled Sunday podcast. Session 39 will come out like clockwork as usual.


What’s the Project

C is for Cthulhu Coloring Book project with Jason Ciaramella & Greg Murphy.

16-9 KSCvr

 


C is for Cthulhu SWOT Analysis

What is a SWOT? (See this ComixLaunch Session for more on doing a SWOT Analysis for your own project — http://www.comixlaunch.com/session003/ )

Strengths

  • Built in Fanbase
    • 14K email list
    • 10K Likes on our FB Page
    • 4,300+ books sold.
    • First KS – 1,149 backers pledged $35,568
    • Second KS – 699 backers pledged $42,483
    • Store Launch – 191 for $8,900
  • Hot Product Category
  • Hot Genre
  • Crowdfunding Expertise

Weaknesses

  • Lovecraft oversaturation?
  • International shipping
  • Not all new
  • Low price point

Threats

  • What if International Fulfillment Gets Worse, not Better?
  • What if I Drop the Ball?
  • Middling Success – Run out of Inventory, Not enough to Restock
  • What if KS Backer Count Drops again?

Opportunities

  • Expanded Media Outreach
  • New Promotional Effort
  • New Tools and Partners for Better Fulfillment

7  New Strategies I’ll be Rocking

A few caveats:

Some of these are completely new, some of these are tweaks or variations on things I’ve done or tried in the past. My level of confidence will vary.
These are not beginner strategies! If you’re launching your very first Kickstarter, some of this might be relevant… but I wouldn’t say any of these would be where I would focus. In baseball, you need to consistently get a fast ball over the plate before you work on your knuckle curve… these are Knuckle Curves!

No guarantees… I’m a practitioner, not an expert. We’re trying to find out what works and what doesn’t… and I love the experimentation… once the foundations are solid.

1) The Daily Giveaway

Free Box of Crayola Crayons to a backer every day.

Amazon – $9 / piece Prime shipping

CrayonGiveaway

Rafflecopter.com is powering it.

Incentivize backing, sharing, FB posting, etc.

2) Kickbooster.me Partnership Campaign

You can check out my BoosterHub here –>

https://offer.colorcthulhu.com/boosters-hub

3) More Robust Facebook Ads

Warm – Cold – Warm strategy

Color_CthulhuFBads_Warm_05

4) Direct Mail (Old School)

Sending a Postcard to everyone in the US who’s ever bought something from us.

5) Upgraded Analytics

KS integrates with GA now.

What you measure, you manage — Know what’s working, what’s converting, etc.
http://www.spellforgegames.com/kickstarter-and-google-analytics-a-guide-for-kickstarter-campaigns/

6) BackerKit

It’s time…

https://www.backerkit.com/

  • Better Survey Management
  • Better Add-On Managment
  • Better After the KS Sale Management
  • Integrates with Fulfillment Partners

7) Overseas Fulfillment

Old Model is Broken
What Kraken Can Do
Ship to UK Warehouse
Ship to US Warehouse
Floship – http://www.floship.com/crowdfunding-fulfillment/
An International Fulfillment Plan


In Summary…

Very Excited. Building on a successful platform… see if we can’t take it to the next level

Again, these are advanced strategies… if you’re launching your first Kickstarter, there’s more important things to focus on.comixlaunch.com/5things

comixlaunch.com/5things

One of the best ways to build and grow a fanbase is to launch a product. When we launched or first Kickstarter, we had a couple hundred likes on FB and about 30 people on our mailing list. Thanks to Kickstarter, we’ve grown a large audience who’ll support us.

I may follow this up with a post-mortem… what worked, what didn’t, and perhaps even a mid-campaign progress report.

Let me know what you think of these special Bonus Case Study Episodes at ComixLaunch.com/voicemail

ComixLaunch_Green3-1The largest independent study of Kickstarter backers was released, with eye-opening findings about the fulfillment failure rates and much more. In this session, Tyler reviews the findings in depth.


Today’s Session is Sponsored by ComixTribe

Go to ComixTribe.com/subscribe for 5 Free Comics


Session Table Setting

To talk about the mindset, strategies, and tactics
You know I’m huge on mindset… and in today’s episode I’m going to tackle three mindset myths related to Kickstarter campaigns.
Table Setting

1) What You Measure You Manage Update

One of the things I’ve been measuring is this show.  Something surprising — Podcast metrics are pretty lousy.

  • I don’t know how many subscribers we have.
  • I don’t know how many people actually listen.
  • I don’t know when they listen, where they listen,
  • Don’t know if you’re listening weekly, or binging
  • Don’t know if you’re listening for half the show and peacing or staying to the bitter end.

Capture_podgraph

However, one bit of metric I CAN measure is downloads from Libsysn media host.

People who subscribe and autodownload.

People find an episode and listen to it.

So, I’ve been tracking monthly downloads…

  • July to August – Huge jump
    August to September – Steady growth
    Sept to October – We went down. (Was it because we were no longer in iTunes’ new and noteworthy section?)
    Mid-November – Were tracking down again…

How could that be? We had all almost 20 shows at the time, people who listen to one end up binging… 18 5 star reviews… even optimized my mic with a fancy pop filter to sound better..

WTF?

And then, I figured out what was going on…

After digging in to all the possible causes and doing a little detective work, I found the issue and it was a stupid simple fix.

What a new sub would find when they discovered or went to ComixLaunch on iTunes is that only the last 10 episodes of content were being made available for download.

You could get them all on the CL website, but I had marked a setting on my website feed to only have a maximum of 10 episodes available.

We had some great shows — invisible to peeps on iTunes.

Bumped that number from 10 to 150, and updated and shortly after, all episodes available.

November strongest month yet… and December on track to be even better.

What you Measure, you manage.

This show is important to me. The message and the wisdom and the lessons of ComixLaunch, to better equip creators

If I hadn’t been measuring… just recording and posting and hoping people are out there listening… who knows how long this would have gone on for… and how many episodes that I’ve spent a ton of time and energy and money to create and get out into the world, would be invisible, and unable to impact creators like you.

What you measure you can manage, guys. It’s not about tracking your numbers for numbers sake… it’s about tracking your numbers for the IMPACT you can make.

2) The ComixLaunch Course Update

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.

Last week, I said the course might be closed before the end of the year. This week, I will confirm that.

We closed enrollment on 12-12 at 10 pm.

I’d like to quickly share with you some application and enrollment stats from this pilot course launch.

24 total applications.

Of those six were not approved, in most cases it was simply a case of them not yet being ready for the course, because they weren’t far enough along on the creative side to be able to take full advantage of the course. So we recommended they focus on their comics for the next 3 months, and look for the next cohort of the course which will likely run in the Spring.

Of those, we approved 18 applications and invited them to enroll in the course.

And from those who were accepted into the program, 10 total students enrolled in the course, and will be working with Jeremy and I in January.

The cost was $379 for the 8 week pilot program, and we did make a couple of payment plan options available.

We did make a 100% money back guarantee to everyone who enrolled, that basically says that if, after the course is over, they don’t feel prepared to launch their KS with confidence, they deserve a full refund. It was important to us to put the risk on Jeremy and my shoulders, not on any of our students.

And so there you have it… in January, we take the ComixLaunch experience to a whole new level!

And I do want to say thank you to all of those creators who have enrolled, on behalf of Jeremy, myself, and on behalf of all the ComixLaunch listeners out there who are getting value from this show.

The fact that we were able to launch a full pilot course means we can invest even more resources into this show, and make it even better in 2016.


What is Today’s Episode About?

Earlier this week, The Kickstarter Fulfillment Report was released.

What is It?

An independent analysis by the University of Pennsylvania Professor Ethan Mollick, an expert in entrepreneurship and innovation who developed an independent study surveying nearly 500,000 backers about project outcomes and backer sentiment.

This is the largest study to ever examine the Kickstarter community.

KS had no influence over its findings.

Before research began, Wharton and Kickstarter agreed that we would co-publish the results, whatever was found.

Why is it important?

What you measure you manage.

Kickstarter is a powerful model — billions of dollars pledged, tens of thousands of successfully produced projects, Oscar and Grammy wins, trips to outer space, and beyond.

But how many projects fall short of delivering what was promised? It’s a question many have speculated on, but we want to know for sure.

High profile flops? Outliers? Par for the course? Trends?

This report sheds light on a lot of those areas.

What were the findings?

Finding #1 – 9% of Kickstarter projects fail to deliver rewards

  • 9% of Kickstarter projects failed to deliver rewards
    • 8% of dollars pledged went to failed projects
    • 7% of backers failed to receive their chosen reward
    • 65% of backers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that “the reward was delivered on time”

Professor Mollick wrote in his analysis:

“Project backers should expect a failure rate of around 1-in-10 projects, and to receive a refund 13% of the time. Since failure can happen to anyone, creators need to consider, and plan for, the ways in which they will work with backers in the event a project fails, keeping lines of communication open and explaining how the money was spent. Ultimately, there does not seem to be a systematic problem associated with failure (or fraud) on Kickstarter, and the vast majority of projects do seem to deliver.”

Finding #2 – Failure rates are consistent across categories

Technology, film & video, food, and crafts on the high end.

Comics actually on the low in, closer to 8%

Finding #3 – Projects that raise less than $1,000 fail the most often

Interesting Projects in the $10K-$50K (6%) were the least likely to fail. (6 of the 7 projects I’ve run were in that range.)

Finding #4 – There are good failures and bad failures

Approximately 73% of backers who backed a failed project agreed or strongly agreed that they would back another Kickstarter project.

However, just 19% of backers of failed projects would back another project by the same creator whose project failed.

He found that in 15-20% of cases, backers reported that failure was handled well by creators.

About 13% of backers of failed projects reported receiving a refund or other compensation from the creator.

And 17% agreed or strongly agreed that they understood why the project failed.

Click here for additional findings from the full report.

Older projects from 2012 were more likely to fail (13.9%) than newer projects.

“it is also likely that overall failure rates have decreased since 2012, as creators have climbed the learning curve of how to create successful projects, and backers have become more educated on which projects to support.”

The Effort Effect

Projects that showed signs of creator effort, by having videos or by posting updates before the fundraising deadline, were less likely to fail. These had relatively small effects, however.

Diversity

Given that one effect of crowdfunding is to increase the diversity of people who can get access to funds, there was also a notable non-finding in the analysis of failures – the characteristics of the project creator were not significantly related to failure.

There was no significant difference in failure rates between women and men, between highly educated and less educated creators, between teams and individual projects, between single or partnered creators, or between creators with children and those without.

Kickstarter’s View

“Kickstarter’s mission is to help bring creative projects to life. It’s a platform for ideas. Creative ideas. Big ideas. Weird ideas. But all just ideas that are looking to come to life.

Is a 9% failure rate reasonable for a community of people trying to bring creative projects to life? We think so, but we also understand that the risk of failure may deter some people from participating. We respect that. We want everyone to understand exactly how Kickstarter works — that it’s not a store, and that amid creativity and innovation there is risk and failure.

Thank you to the University of Pennsylvania, and the tens of thousands of creators and backers who took the time to answer these questions. And thanks to all the backers and creators who make Kickstarter what it is. We promise to always be a place where creative people of all stripes can aim high — and, yes, sometimes fail.”

ComixLaunch’s View

As a community, We can do better.

8 out of 100 is better than average on KS, but 1 out of 100 would be a lot better.

Kickstarter is a game-changer, a powerful platform.

But the comics community above all should know what comes with great power…

We have a responsibility as stewards of the KS platform, to run better campaigns, educate ourselves as best as possible, and deliver on our promises.

Our backers are counting on us.


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 – 023
Get on the ComixLaunchers List – ComixLaunch.com/5things


Wrap Up/ Quote

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford


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_Green022In this session with Jeff McComsey, the small press powerhouse behind the FUBAR historical zombie franchise, the elements of a successful Kickstarter project page are uncovered. Discover how Jeff’s beautiful Kickstarter pages have generated more than $150K in funding.


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.


Table Setting

If this is your first time, this is the show where we dive deep into the Kickstarter Platform that has raised more than $40M to crowdfund comics and graphic novel projects by creators like you… we talk mindset, strategy, and tactics.

I have an incredible guest and we have an awesome conversation… a Master Class if you will.

Before we get into it… Gotta say thank you.

Jeremy and I have been blown away by the interest and the applications to the ComixLaunch course.

We enrolled a couple new members today, and it’s looking like we’re going to have a full course.

I’m super pumped to be working directly with a several of you next January to build your first or next Kickstarter campaigns.

Note: Enrollment for the pilot session of the ComixLaunch Course is now closed.

 


Today’s Guest

My guest today is a writer/illustrator who has successfully funded 5 projects on Kickstarter that have collectively raised more than $150K.

He is the editor in chief of the New York Times Best Selling historical zombie anthology FUBAR now into its sixth volume.

His other work includes American Terror, Mother Russia, Flutter, and

He is the Generalisso of the Small Press Commandos, one of my favorite private facebook groups full of hardworking creators.

He latest project, HONCHO, which imagines a future world where a veteran of World War III is on a new mission to reunite a fractured America… through baseball, has just launched on Kickstarter.

Welcome to ComixLaunch Jeff McComsey


As a guy who has been in the trenches, survived 5 successful KS campaigns, and now just re-enlisted for a 6th… there’s so much we could talk about… wealth of knowledge.

One thing I’ve always admired about your projects is how great a job you do designing your Kickstarter pages. I know it’s something you put a lot of thought and effort into, and might be something novice KS creators don’t give all that much thought to….

So, I thought it would be great to really dive in deep on KS page design with a Master.

Guiding Discussion Questions

1) Great KS page starts with a great image. How do you go about choosing your KS project images? Tips, Dos and Don’ts?

  • Starts with strong cover
  • Two people who back
    • Fans of you
    • Fans of the product
  • KS Key Art – so important
  • Netflix – what stands out to you there?

2) Recommendations for what to include on your Kickstarter Page?

3) Any Copywriting tips? What’s the right balance of detail to include on your page?

4) What tools do you use to create your graphics and images? Any tips or recommendations for the graphic design challenge?

5) With the Honcho campaign… anything you’re doing differently than previous campaigns?


ComixLaunch Lightning Round

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

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

…the best place to build equity in yourself as a creator.

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?

So way to add a social media aspect to share booty and happy backer pics from fulfillment as great social proof for a creator’s ability to deliver.

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

my phone

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

Start with the reward with the most backers and get it out of the way, then find someone to help you for some of the time.

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

Barbarian Lord by Matt Smith. 

http://www.barbarianlord.com/


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

[Krakenprint sponsor ad full #2 – 30-45 seconds]


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 022:

Start a Kickstarter Page Design Swipe File.

A swipe file is a collection or curated archive of exemplar work to reference.

To be the best, you want to model the best.

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 them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #22.]

 


Wrap Up Questions

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

Plan your campaign like a bank robbery!

2) Besides the HONCHO KS, what’s the best place to keep up with you online?

Jeff McComsey 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_Green021“Early Bird” discount reward levels or “Day One Backer” bonuses can be an effective strategy to get your Kickstarter campaign off to a explosive start… but there is a downside. In this session, Tyler discusses the pros and cons of early bird rewards.

 


Today’s Session is Sponsored by

Johnny Bullet


Session Table Setting

 

Last week was a mindset episode, so this week, we’re talking strategies and tactics — one reward strategy specifically and that is offering special rewards or incentive for early backers or day one backers.

Before we get into it… I do want to update you on The ComixLaunch Course.

Applications are now closed!  

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.

Applications poured in, and as expected they are diverse:

  • Single issues, mini-series, trades, hardcovers
  • small campaigns under $1K to 5 figure campaigns
  • Creators who have been in the industry for 20 years or more, to creators working on their very first book.

The course is designed based around a framework of guiding principles that apply to all comic kickstarter projects and action items that every creator should take, regardless of the campaign they’re building.

But the framework will be fleshed out with details specific to each campaign, and every creator will be coached to create their own KS Masterplan.

There will be a private FB group for getting feedback on the elements specific to each KS, and there will also be live Q&A “office hours” with the coaches to handle individual issues… I’m excited about it.


Today’s Session

Today, we’re going to discuss whether or not you should offer early bird rewards.

What are they?

Early Bird rewards are essentially early incentives offered to encourage backers to support your campaign as soon as it launches.

Why?

The purpose of early-bird pledge levels is to give potential backers an incentive to back your pledge right away, usually in the first few days of the Kickstarter project.

I think most Kickstarters know that getting their campaign off to a fast start is important. After all, crowdfunding is stressful, even more so on an all-or-nothing funding platform. So, the sooner you hit your target to guarantee your funds, the better.

But one thing I’m not sure most people realize is that a fast start is also important to how Kickstarter displays and promotes your project. Remember, Kickstarter only makes money when projects get funded. Thus, it’s in their own interest to promote “winners” (by featuring higher on the page in search queries or making a featured project) and bury “losers.”

Clearly, coming out of the gate with a lot of activity day one is a good way to distinguish your project as a winner.

Hypothesis: In a crowdfunding campaign, early backers are more valuable than later ones. Therefore, they should be acknowledged, and rewarded.

So, if an early or a Day One Backer is more valuable to a campaign manager than one who signs on later in the campaign. Not only does their financial backing help your project get out the gate fast, but the earlier they join in on your campaign, the more they’ll be privy to your messaging throughout, and the greater their ability to help evangelize your project.

How?

So, how do you actually do it on KS? What does an early bird reward look like?

Kickstarter does not have any system built in that allows you to set up “Early Bird” reward options…

But there are two manual ways you can set up early bird reward levels:

1 – KS tracks when every backer enters your campaign (date and time) and #s your backers for you, in order of backing.

Makes it easy to see who backed on what days of the campaign.

Everyone who backs first day, first three days, first 200 backers, etc.

Can send individual messages to each backer, or when campaign is over, pull emails of all backers in order of back, and send digital or physical bonuses to them alone.

2 – You can set this in the reward level.

Example, let’s say you want to incentive early backer to back your hardcover GN.  You could set the standard price of the GN at $30, but could set up a limited EARLY BACKER reward tier at $20, and limit it to say, 50 backers.  So, once those early backer spots have been snagged… the $20 pledge is closed, and only $30 spots remain.

Likewise, if you wanted to do a time based reward, you could set up a pledge, and then once the time was over, you could change the pledge to a limited pledge, and then cap it at # of backers currently pledge for it.  This basically let’s no one else take that reward… unless one of your early backers drops out, opening up a spot.

My History

For my 2nd KS campaign for EPIC, I employed an incentive for DAY ONE BACKERS. Again, knowing the importance of getting out of the gate strong, I wanted to do something to encourage DO Backers.

Now, I’ve seen many other campaigns employ an early incentive system by releasing a limited number of their main product at a discounted pledge level, encouraging early bird backers. While that sort of incentive might work for a premium graphic novel, I don’t think the margins support it for a floppy campaign. But it is another way to incentivize early backing…

I had a COMIXTRIBE DAY ONE BACKER stamp made. I knew I was going to be mailing all copies to backers myself for this campaign, and thought I would acknowledge DOBs with a special stamp on their package. Small touch… but I know the psychology of backers…

Also included a bonus digital comic for all DOBs… didn’t cost me much in time or money to send, added value vs. lowering price.

Went fine… a little bit stressful worried I would miss a DOB stamp…  Fulfill by level, not by date backed…did add another thing to check.

I did hit 150% funding on Day One, so to that extent, it did its job.

However, I haven’t done DOB or EB rewards on my subsequent campaigns… and to discuss why, I want to talk about some of the cons of EB rewards.

The Cons of Early Bird Rewards

  • Tracking EB or Day One Backers is another thing you need to manage , and potentially makes fulfillment a bit more complicated, depending on how you’re rewarding things.
  • Outsourcing fulfillment — Amazon… no option for DOB stamp.
  • Early Bird Rewards create winners and losers. Great for people who get the deal… But make people who come to your page later feel like they missed out. If you had no opportunity to get the best price, you’re initial gut reaction is going to be negative. That may turn off more backers over the 30 day campaign, than you turn on in the early bird window.
  • EBR Creates a Discentive for Backers to Upgrade their pledge later on in the campaign. Good reward strategy may include rolling out new, higher level pledges throughout the campaign. However, if a backer locked in an EBR pledge level, say, for a discount, and then sees a higher level pledge reward he/she might be interested… has to way desire for that higher pledge, vs. losing his special EBR tier.
  • Backer psychology… should always be win win win… shouldn’t lose anything.
  • Causes confusion or complexity… do you want to create more reward levels for EBR backers, etc.
  • Shines a light on Cancellations. Every project will have backers drop. And yes, when a backer drops, # of backers and overall funding goes down… but as long as you add backers at a great rate than drop, most prospective backers aren’t going to notice.But when you have an early reward tier… that was filled up early, and then backers drop from it, and it’s later on in the campaign, and there are still spots open… it says either (not enough people were interested, or poeple dropped.)

Pros of Early Bird Rewards

They do provide a way to incentivize and reward your biggest fans.

First-time KS, without a large audience, might incentize fence sitters to take action now, vs later.

They do work… is it worth the cost.

5 better strategies than offering early backer rewards

Link: http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-62-early-bird-pledge-levels/

1. Other limited reward levels: Give backers a chance to be a part of your product. Early bird reward levels don’t increase engagement, involvement, or loyalty, but other limited reward levels do. If you price them correctly, they’re more compelling than early-bird levels (see here for more info).

2. Great product on a great project page: Let’s be clear, early bird pricing is a gimmick… and if you’re relying on gimmicks to move the needle at this point, you might be in trouble. Create a great product and display it on a great project page. Get people excited from Day One, and many will back.

3. Offer a fair price: Offer a fair price for your product and you eliminate the need for hijacking backers at an early bird price.

4. Friends and family: For a first-time project creator, friends and family can be an incredible asset over the first few days. Spend the first 2 days of your project writing individual emails to everyone you know.

5. MY Take – Reward early backers WITHOUT advertising it.  Stamp – Day One Backer!

My take: I agree with Jamie Stegmeiyer… Jamie is in the games space, which shares a lot of similarities with comics. Small niche market, but rabid, die-hard fans.  Most backers on KS aren’t looking for a big discount, rather they’re looking to be a part of something special.  While offering early backer rewards for an expensive tech product or something that needs to raise hundreds of thousands might make sense… I don’t think the pros outweigh the many cons in the comics space.

Focus on making a great product, designing a beautiful KS page, running a outstanding campaign, and then fulfilling like a boss… leave the gimmicks to people who are unable or unwilling to do those things, and you’ll stand out from the crowd. 


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 021

Brainstorm a list of three limited pledge reward ideas…other than time sensitivity.

Shoot me an email to [email protected] subject ComixLauncher 021.


Wrap Up

Where do you stand? Pros and Cons of early action rewards… what do you think? On balance, are they worth it?  Have you tried them in your campaigns? Will you employ them in your next ones?

Let me know… I’ve stated a discussion thread on the ComixLaunch FB page here:

Join the Discussion!


Quote

“In marketing, EVERYTHING is a test.” – Jay Abraham

Right or wrong… what works and what doesn’t… only way to do know is to try for yourself or learn from people who’ve done it.


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_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.

 

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


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


Today’s Ask ComixLaunch Questions

In this episode, we answer Kickstarter questions from creators!

Questions #1 – Piracy

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

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

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

Thanks for your time,

Lex M.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DRM is an illusion… focus on getting readers.

Question #2 – Printers

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

– Shawn

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

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

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

#3 – Platform

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

– Rich

Yes and Yes

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

Yes… love the wording… measurable audience. Because

The Avg KS pledge is around $25.

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

$1000 goal, need 40 backers.

10,000 goal need 400 backers

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

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

Yes, Kickstarter is a way to build a platform.

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

KS is a profit maximizer.

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

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

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


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.

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

This week’s ComixLauncher… 

Ask ComixLaunch a Question.

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


Closing Quote

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

– Mark Twain


LAST CALL for the COMIXLAUNCH SURVEY!

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

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

Comixlaunch_CLICK

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

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

And as a special bonus…

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

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


Today’s Session is Sponsored by ComixTribe

Go to ComixTribe.com/subscribe for 5 Free Comics


Today’s Session…

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

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

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

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

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

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


ComixLaunch Survey Reminder!

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

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

CLSurvey

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

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

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

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


The Tyler James Interview

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

General Discussion Topic

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

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


Today’s Sponsor – ComixTribe

5FreeComicsTwitterCardsA

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


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.

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

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

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


Final Quote

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

– Guy Kawasaki


SURVEY

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

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

Comixlaunch_CLICK

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

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

And as a special bonus…

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

 

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


This Session’s Sponsor…

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


This Session’s Guest…

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

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


Today’s Session… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Topics Discussed

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

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

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


ComixLaunch Lightning Round

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D4ve2 from Ferrier and Ramon.


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.

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

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

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

 


Wrap Up

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

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

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

http://tinyletter.com/ryanklindsay

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

Website – http://ryanklindsay.com/

Twitter – @ryanklindsay

 


SURVEY

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

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

Comixlaunch_CLICK

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

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

And as a special bonus…

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

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


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


Kickstarter News

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

Clearly ComixLaunch is working!

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


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

Join the KS Community 1-2 Months before Launching

Back 10 projects

Do your homework

Run a strong Pre-Launch Campaign

KS got off to a very slow start…

Social Media Teasers

Emails to List

Narrow the Focus of the Project and the Lower the Goal

ex. Life with Kevin digital campaign

Lower the goal to something more reasonable

Simplify… Everything

Simplify the reward structure

Improve Transparency

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

Clarify the costs

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


ComixLauncher

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

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

Tyler mentions his email, I give mine

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


Bonus Content: Lessons from Archie E-book

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

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

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

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


SURVEY

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

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

Comixlaunch_CLICK

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

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

And as a special bonus…

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

ComixLaunch_Green011Earlier this year, Archie Comics launched a massive Kickstarter campaign to help relaunch Riverdale for a modern audience. Just five days later, they shut the campaign down after backlash from the comic book industry. On today’s episode, Tyler James and co-host Jeremy Melloul discuss exactly what went wrong in Riverdale, and more importantly, talk about the important lessons creators can learn from Archie’s failed Kickstarter.

 


Today’s Session is Sponsored by ComixTribe

Go to ComixTribe.com/subscribe for 5 Free Comics


What is Today’s Episode About?

On May 10, 2015, Archic Comics launched a Kickstarter to accellerate the planned release of three series in there “New Riverdale” relaunch. The new series included Jughead, Betty and Veronica and Life with Kevin and featured fan-favorite creators including Adam Hughes, Sex Criminals and Howard the Duck’s Chip Zdarsky and Archie stalwart Dan Parent.

After an mixed reaction to the campaign, Archie canceled project five days later, with a little less than 10% funding of the massive $350,000 goald they set. ($34,5K, 642 backers).

Archie comics released the following statement when announcing the cancelation of the Kickstarter:

“While the response to these new titles has been amazing, the reaction to an established brand like Archie crowdfunding has not been… While we fully expected our goal to be funded, it was no longer about the books and how amazing they will be. We don’t want that. This is why we’re shutting the Kickstarter down today.”

So What went Wrong?

  1. Goal too high
    1. $350,000 seemed an excessive request for what they were trying to do.
    2. It was the highest goal a legitimate comic project has ever asked for.
  2. Failure to Join the Kickstarter Community Before Launching
    1. 0 Projects Backed
    2. Rewards structured to benefit them… rather than in line with expectations of comic KS community.
  3. Lack of Transparency:
    1. Unclear explanation of what the funds were for
    2. Issue of creator compensation was raised. Established creators complained about Archie’s history of low rates. If they had more clearly explained how they intended to use the money they would’ve avoided a lot of this.
    3. The story changed, to include filling a funding gap created by a big Wal-mart and Target retail push.
  4. Lack of Clarity Objective:
    1. If the comics were coming out anyway… why the Kickstarter?
    2. The KS focus was split over multiple different comics
    3. Offered an over-complicated reward structure
    4. They tried to position themselves as a scrappy publisher to justify them coming to the platform – knowing there would be backlash – but this only amplified people’s feelings against them

 

What did they do well?

  • Projects themselves looked great. Choice in creators and the books themselves.
  • Responsive to media inquiries and backer questions… (almost to a fault.)
  • Showed some courage in pulling the plug on a campaign that seemed to spin out of control.

Today’s Sponsor – ComixTribe

5FreeComicsTwitterCardsA

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


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.

 

Go find a Kickstarter ending soon that looks to be failing, 30% or less funding. Try to identify 3 things that the project did wrong.

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #11. and let me know what you found.


Bonus Content: Lessons from Archie E-book

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

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

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

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


Session Wrap Up

In summary, the key takeaways of things Archie got wrong in their Kickstarter launch include:

  • Failure to join the KS community
  • Goal too high
  • Lack of Transparency
  • Lack of Clarity

What they did well:

  • A strong product
  • Responsive communication

Have you Subscribed, Rated and 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!

  • Log into iTunes.
  • Search for ComixLaunch in the Podcast section of the iTunes Store.
  • Click SUBSCRIBE
  • Leave a ratings 1-5 stars.
  • Leave an honest review would be great.
  • Submit

All of that can be done in 2 minutes and it will make HUGE difference to the show.

Thanks for listening!

 

ComixLaunch_Green010Thousands of creators have had successful comic book projects on Kickstarter, and thousands more have had unsuccessful ones… but few creators have experienced both failure and success in the same month! Today, Tyler talks to writer Wes Locher about the agony and the ecstasy of Kickstarter, and how he turned a failed campaign into a successful one by changing 5 key things.

Today’s Session is Sponsored by The Warden Anthology on Kickstarter

ComixTribe publisher Tyler James, will be joined by a special guest today, who is a hard-working, up-and-coming comic writer and creator, most know for his Kickstarter funded Sci-Fi comedy Unit 44, and the upcoming self-published title Hipsters vs. Rednecks, Wes Locher.

Today’s episode is about turning a Kickstarter failure into a Kickstarter success in a short time.

Episode Outline:

1) Take Us Back to Your first KS… What were your goals, hopes, fears, etc.  Put us in your mindset before you launched.

2) Your First KS Failed… and You Identified 5 things You did wrong.  What were they?

  • Scope
  • Money
  • Audience
  • Words
  • Video

3) Story has a happy ending… You immediately relaunched and made some changes

  • Why did you launch right away?
  • What did you do differently?
    • Scope
    • Money
    • Audience
    • Words
    • Video

ComixLaunch Lightning Round with Wes Locher:

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

…eye-opening!

2) Let’s 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?

Kickstarter is solid, but add better built in tracking stats.

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

Showers! Where all the good ideas happen.

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

Know how much it costs to ship to Australia, because that can mess you up!

Recommended article:

DIY Crowdfunding Fulfillment – Ship Like a Boss

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

The Life After by Josh Fialkov and Gabo. (Oni Press)

Today’s Sponsor: The Warden Anthology

  • Set at the turn of the 20th century, The Warden is about a mortal man with an immortal soul. Science and industry are shining a light across the world, but casting deep shadows. No one knows the limits of technology or of the ancient magics slowly being forgotten. The Warden is one of the few that delves into the darkness and prevents the shadows from engulfing the light.
  • The Warden Anthology is heavily inspired by pulp comics like “Doc Savage” and “Conan the Barbarian”. Each story is a self contained one-shot like the early “Hellboy” stories. They often involve mythological creatures, American folklore, and close calls with apex predators.
  • The Anthology will include 5 short comics stories involving 12 collaborators, including ComixTribe’s Alex Cormack, Steven Forbes, and Jules Rivera.
  • It will also include 1 prose story by award-winning pulp author Barry Reese. Reese, who is most well-known for his pulp titles “The Rook” and “Lazarus Grey”, has also worked on several of Marvel’s encyclopedias, handling the Blade and Ghost Rider sections.
  • “Swamp Magic”, the first story of the anthology is available as a free download on the Kickstarter page. In the spirit of 10 cent pulps, a single story of your choice is being offered as the $1 reward.

ComixLauncher

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

This Session’s ComixLauncher: Reframe your next Kickstarter in your head for a moment by asking yourself this question… What am I testing? It could be you are testing your ability to connect with an audience, building a platform, selling, fulfillment, etc.

By framing KS in your mind not as some all or nothing high stakes endeavor, but rather as a test, it might be the breakthrough you need to get over your fear and launch.

We don’t think of Thomas Edison as having failed 1000 times to create a lightbulb, rather he simply took 1000 tests before he found the right material to light the world.

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #10. and let me know… what are you testing with your next KS?

Wrap Up Questions

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

Be fearless… go for it!

2) How can listeners best connect with you online?

Check out Unit 44 on Comixology, and find Wes at weslocher.com and for lettering go to http://www.westondesignstudio.com/letters.

Thanks for Listening.

 

 

ComixLaunch_Green008Today’s Guest: A Harvey Award nominated writer and artist who has published incredible work for IDW and Image Comics, most notably the hilarious series God Hates Astronauts. He’s a creator who has successfully used Kickstarter to raise more than $100K and counting to crowdfund his projects. And he’s taught this stuff, in the form of a one day Kickstarter seminar for the awesome folks at Comics Experience. He is one of the funniest and most-original voices in comics, Ryan Browne, welcome to ComixLaunch!

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.

What is Today’s Episode About?

Did you know 9 out of the top 10 most funded Kickstarter projects were webcomics first? In this knowledge-bomb laced session, Tyler James talks to Ryan Browne, creator of God Hates Astronauts and Blast Furnace, about the the potent combination of webcomics and Kickstarter.

Today — I brought Ryan on because I want to talk about the often potent combination of Kickstarter + Webcomics. 

Both of Ryan’s Kickstarter funded series, GHA & BF were first launched as webcomics, and very successful.

1) Why go the webcomic route with GHA and Blast Furnace?

What was your mindset/ strategy (to the extent that you had one)?

Pros and Cons of Webcomic First model

2) Webcomic to Kickstarter — How do get people to pay for what they’re already getting for free?

Keys or Tips to making that transition work?

How do you move your audience from your website to KS?

3) Lessons Learned from first two KS that You’re Applying to your lasted Blast Furnace?

GHA was a huge KS. $75,770 K, 1768 backers… more than 7X the success of your previous less than a year earlier.  What worked there?

Even the most success KS have room for improvement. 

Anything you’re tweaking, changing, etc. for your latest?

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

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

…an internet pre-ordering system.

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?

A way to change conditions of backer levels after they’ve been backed. Discovered errors after someone backs a pledge can be dicey.

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

My hand! (Eyes are second.)

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

  • Hire somebody!
  • Get good packaging… but avoid deluxe packaging. (Remember to factor in replacement costs, as books will be lost or damaged.)

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

Sabretooth Swordsman by Damon Gentry (Eerie) and Aaron Conley (Prophet) from Dark Horse.

ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.

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

Today’s ComixLauncher — Consider doing a webcomic as a precursor to a future Kickstarter.

Key Resources

Wrap Up

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

Do your homework!

2) Besides the Blast Furnace Kickstarter, which runs until Sep 23, how can listeners best connect with you online?

Ryan is especially proud of his Instagram account @ryanbrowneartCheck him out his Tumblr here.

Capture_Brown

 

Thanks for Listening!

ComixLaunch_Green008Comic book conventions are great… but are they a great place to promote Kickstarter campaigns?

Today’s Session is Sponsored 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.

Announcements and Table- setting

  • ComixLaunch Crossed the 1,000 download milestone
  • New Review:

“This podcast does nothing but reinforce my high opinion of ComixTribe. A group of successful, talented creators willing to share their experience, process, and insights.” – Mr_Roberts

Honestly that was the vision of ComixTribe… only get so far on your own.

You are the average of 5 people you spend the most time with. Want to be a better comic book creator? Then find a tribe of creators whose work you respect to get around.

You want to have a successful Kickstarter projects… spend some time with people who have done it.

Today — Promoting your Kickstarter at Comic Conventions

  • Recent Kickstarter coaching call with Michael Leal of DangerEntertainment… he was planning on launching his next KS for his series Curse of the Vessel, and ask me for my thoughts on comic book conventions as vehicles for promoting KS campaigns.

1) Are conventions a good place to promote your KS?

  • Pros
    • These are your people — highly concentrated group.
    • Chance to connect, win over — know, like, trust
    • People are in a good, buying mood — predisposed to say yes
  • Cons
    • Convention are best for three things
      • Selling comics and merchandise that already exists
      • Building your network — peers, retailers
      • Rekindling your passion /Fun
    • Conventions are and expensive and inefficient way to drive clicks to a website.
      • Costs — table fees, travel, parking, food, time, energy, health
      • $500 to promote on KS ads get you a TON more traffic to your site than the minimal bump you’d get promoting at cons
    • Competing not just vs. all the KS, but all the stuff people could take home with them right then
    • Pocket litter competition – When you get home
    • Having a Con be the primary thrust of your promotional KS strategy is inadequate.

2) Why you should be careful about promoting your KS as a con attendee?

  • Example — NYCC Zuda Competition – gave a few to people I knew, handed out to people walking by (and felt silly) and ended up leaving a stack on a table. Metrics?
  • Understand, creators pay good money to attend the cons for the right to sell / solicit. You setting up shop and hustling without paying is going to get you some eyerolls.
  • Webcomics convention — Guitar Case
  • Strike up conversation with people, mention it, hand out a card, okay.
  • But you’re probably going to be disappointed with just standing around handing out cards as a no-man.
  • CounterPoint — Episode of Funding the Dream.

3) Why launching your KS at a convention is a bad idea?

  • The most busy time of KS is first three days, second is last three days.
  • When you launch, you want to be available…
    • Field questions
    • Clean up mistakes or issues links, you missed that backers point out.
    • Potentially add rewards or make changes
    • Post your first update
  • Yes, KS has a mobile app — it’s okay, but not ideal for making big changes. If you’re at a convention, how do you stay on top of your campaign.
  • Splitting your focus will hurt both campaign AND your con performance.
  • Bad idea to plan your LAUNCH to conincide with a big con.

4) Why promoting KS at cons in the Deadzone is a great idea?

  • Still, I do love the idea of incorporating live events in your KS.
  • Remember, one of the great things about KS is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint… most run 30 days. You have time.
  • The place to do that is during the Deadzone — roughly time in the middle of campaign that sees least action.
  • Powerful message to backers showing you’re not just “cool online” and hiding behind a virtual wall, but you’re getting out into the world and engaging with real people with your books.
  • Social proof.
  • Gives content for your updates.

5) A Killer Strategy I’ve Used for Maximizing KS Promotion at Conventions

  • Still, all the challenges, how do you actually get people back to your KS page at a Con.
  • Use the Convention as Social Proof after the fact
    • Cosplayers
    • Tie promotion in with talk of the show
  • The Raffle  to collect email address, follow up after.

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, leian back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU.

1) Last week’s cl had you set a Date and Time for your KS. Now consider plugging in a live event during the deadzone of your campaign.

Check conventionscene.com for conventions, talk to local retailer, bookstore, library etc.

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [NA — What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #8.]

Quote

“Life is really simple. But we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

ComixLaunch is here to simply the world of crowdfunding for comic book creators.

SUBSCRIBE

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!

Log onto iTunes. Search for ComixLaunch -One word ComiXLaunch, Click on our logo.

Click SUBSCRIBE

Ratings 1-5 stars. Honest review would be great.

Review

Submit. Done in 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.

 

ComixLaunch_Green007Who is Kickstarter for anyway?

Special Guest Co-Host: Jeremy Mellou

The History and Evolution of Who Has Used Kickstarter for Crowdfunding Comics and Graphic Novels

  • Webcomics
  • Newer Creators
  • Anthologies
    • Womanthology 
      • Launched July 7, 2011
      • The first over $100k comic project.
  • Larger Webcomics
    • The Million Dollar Comic: Order of the Stick Reprint Drive 
      • Came after Womanthology. The next big success. Set the bar for success.
      • Launched January 22, 2012
      • Only comic project past 1 million. Next closest hasn’t even hit by half.
      • Laid the groundwork for everything that came after. 2012 was really the big year for Kickstarter in general and comics, especially.
  • Creators finding Enduring Success
    • Jimmy Palmiotti 
      • 8 Projects
      • First one Queen Crab in July, 2011 (~$11k)
      • 2 Projects in 2012 (~$55k)
      • 2 in 2013 (~$60k)
      • 3 in 2014 (~$145k)
    • Fabian Rangel Jr. 
      • First one Boss Snake in 2013 (after initial audience on Comixology) (~$7.5k)
      • 2 in 2014 (~$17k)
        • Doc Unknown Print Run
        • Reprint Six
      • 1 in 2015 so far ($12k)
        • Doc Unknown finish
      • Took him through indie into now producing Space Riders for Black Mask (other projects?)
        • Black Past (Dark Horse Presents)
  • Established Creators
  • Publishers
    • Publishers vs. Independent creators / The Zero-Sum Mindset
    • Top Cow’s Cyberforce Returns
    • Fantagraphics
      • Faced with difficulties due to unforeseen death of one of their partners
      • Able to turn to Kickstarter to finance their 2014 Spring-Summer Season
        • Raised ~$222k with almost 3,000 backers
      • Launched November 5th, 2013
    • Archie most recently
      • Kickstarter controversy
  • So, who is Kickstarter for?

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.

1) Set a Date and Time for your next Kickstarter project

2) Write it Down (on a calendar, planner, scheduler, etc.)

3) Tell Someone — (Need someone to tell? Tell me! [email protected])

The Holy Trinity of Action is: Thought, Word, Deed

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #7.]

Closing Quote

“If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.” – Sam Walton (Walmart, Sam’s Club)

SUBSCRIBE

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!

Log onto iTunes. Search for ComixLaunch

  • Click SUBSCRIBE
  • Ratings 1-5 stars. Honest review would be great.
  • Review
  • Submit. Done in 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.
  • Outro
    • You’ve been listening ComixLaunch with Tyler James. Visit ComixLaunch.com, C-O-M-I-X Launch.com, for this episode’s show notes and additional resources to help you crowdfund your comic book & graphic novel projects on Kickstarter… and Beyond!

“Image is Everything”

Today’s Session is Sponsored by Kraken Print comixlaunch.com/kraken

Today — Tips for Designing Your Project Image

Special Download — Project Image Swipe File – 25 Killer Comics Kickstarter Project Images 

Why is project image so important… important enough to devote an entire show about it?

  • Single most viewed Image of your Kickstarter Campaign
  • The image they’ll see on your project page… is it inviting enough to click play on your video.
  • Image that shows up in Kickstarter Widget
  • Image that shows up as a thumbnail on KS
  • Image that gets pulled by other sites Kicktraq, media ,etc.

10 Tips

1) Image Should be Representative of Your Project

Click on a banner ad…and feel deceived? Kate Upton nothing to do with your Robots vs. Ninja Zombies webcomic collection.

2) Belong to You… No copyright infringement

Idea of something like… not cool

3) Get the Image Format and Resolution Right

JPG, PNG, GIF, or BMP, 50MB Limit (way too big)

JPEGs are for photographs and realistic images.

PNGs are for line art, text-heavy images, and images with few colors.

Minumum At least 1024×768: 4:3 Aspect Ratio

Double It PNG or JPG – Good to Go 2048 x 1536, 72 DPI

4) Design for the 4:3 Aspect Ratio

  • Trips up a surprisingly large number of comic book creators, I suspect because most of the art we have for our projects is vertical, not horizontal, at standard comic book dimensions
  • Very little thought into it for most…
  • Sloppy re-purposing of good existing art one of the most common faux pas in comics space
  • Simply cropping verticle covers to horizonal space often looks bad
  • Just like comic readers judge books on their covers, they’re going to judge your project on your project image
  • First impressions matter
  • Story – Wife and I were looking at homes, nice one, but the front door wouldn’t close properly. Very first think I noticed, colored the rest of the walk-through negatively, didn’t buy it. Super happy where we are.

5) Even great comics logos can make lousy project images

Great that you love your logo… you should. Means NOTHING to backers.

First thing most creators do when they merchandise… make a shirt! I’ll use my logo!

Beauty of the comic book art form is the marriage of words and pictures. Why rely on one without the other?

Because project name is under image, may not need logo at all.

6) Kickstarter Branding is Unnecessary

Get too complicated with design… you do not need to brand your image with Kickstarter… Kickstarter brands itself quite nicely.

Why dilute the impact of your image, by sharing the very limited space you have with Kickstarter?

7) Avoid small copy on your image

No one likes to feel like they’re going blind

Squinting to try to read small text sucks.

Make sure all copy is legible at a very small size, say 200 x 150 pixels… cause that how your project will often be viewed.

8) Avoid Super Important Copy at the Center of your Image

Go to your Kickstarter page… Play Button in middle of the page right over your copy.

9) Make your image stand out

As of this recording, there are 154 Live Comics Projects on KS right this minute. What can you do to help yours stand out from the crowd?

Close-ups/ headshots/ Faces make it easy to connect

Use of Negative space, irregular boarders can make your image stand out

10) Generate Several Candidates and Test Them

Generate 3-5 Candidate Images

Poll your friends

Run a short Facebook Ad campaign – Spend $15-$20 running identical ads, only different is the image.

 

Tools for Creating Project Images

In general, most of us have an advantage. We’re comics creators, we’re used to creating compelling images, and we will generate a lot of them in the course of sequential work.

If you’re an artist… this should be one of the easy things for you… still get feedback, right in your wheel house

However, many KS projects are run by writers… and some of you don’t have a graphic design bone in your body. You don’t have fancy design/editing programs like PS. What do you do?

1) Ask Your Artist — to generate these image options for you. Provide them the aspect ratio and give them some direction… should be very easy for most. Photoshop or Illustrator

2) Hire a designer — Go to Fiverr.com (fiver-r) and find a pool of graphic designers more than happy to whip up an image in the right aspect ratio

3) Canva.com Online tool, super easy for non-designers to make compelling graphics for social media… can set up custom image for KS campaigns.

Sponsor – KrakenPrint

I am always being asked, “Hey Tyler, where does ComixTribe print its books?” The truth is, we regularly work with a number of different comic book printers…

One printer I can strongly recommend is Kraken Print… ComixTribe is doing more than $20,000 worth of printing with Kraken this year, and for good reason.  They 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…
  • That’s comixlaunch.com/kraken

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 – 006

1) Go to https://www.kickstarter.com/discover

2) Click COMICS (or whatever category you’re next project will be in

3) Scroll down to “Explore Live Projects” and click “View more” to look at all 150+ live projects

4) Skim the page, and make note of which project images on a quick scroll, jump out at you… what do you notice, what do you like.

5) Start your own Swipe File of the top 5 images live on KS now that really kick butt.

6) Then, for extra points – email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #6.

Wrap Up

Session Highlights

Quote

Ben Franklin — “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”

Take a chance on yourself. Stumble, fall, get back up… keep going.

SUBSCRIBE

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!

Log onto iTunes. Search for ComixLaunch -One word ComiXLaunch, Click on our logo.

Click SUBSCRIBE

  • Ratings 1-5 stars.  Honest review would be great.
  • Review
  • Submit. Done in 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.

Don’t even think about launching your crowdfunding project until you do these five things.

Today’s Session is Sponsored by PureButtons!
Go to comixlaunch.com/purebuttons for 10% off your entire custom button order!

There is a FREE CHECKLIST available that goes with this episode –

Comixlaunch.com/5things

There is a Lot That Goes Into Running a Successful Campaign. Can be overwhelming… gonna make things easy for you.
This is a show about launching. About taking action. Don’t want you to sit on the sidelines.
Some of you jump the gun.

5 Things You MUST Do Before Launching Your Kickstarter Campaign
1) Join the Kickstarter Community
2) Define your Minimum Loveable Product (MLP)
3) Put some Skin in the Game
4) Price Your Prototype
5) Confirm Your First Backer

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.

Join the Kickstarter Community

Create a Profile
Back 11 projects — Bumped your success rate over 50%

Follow all of your friends on Kickstarter — https://www.kickstarter.com/friends

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [NA — What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #4.]

“Fortune favours the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

Knock out those 5 things and you’ve laid a foundation for future success.

SUBSCRIBE

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!

Log onto iTunes. Search for ComixLaunch -One word ComiXLaunch, Click on our logo.

Click SUBSCRIBE
Ratings 1-5 stars. Honest review would be great.
Review

Submit. Done in 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.

“Turn your marketing into an event, and you will transform your results.” — Jeff Walker

What is Today’s Episode About?

Today

  • We’re going to look at why KS as a platform is so darn effective.
  • My personal history… Comics Revenues Tripled in 2012… same year I started using KS
  • Nearly 40 Million in Comics funding, more than $1 billion overall
  • First time creators on their very first book taking in easily 4-5 figures. (My first comic made $9.)
  • Why?

Core Lesson/ Parable

  • Jeff Walker
    • Quoted him last Session. Not a household name… unless you have an internet business, and launch online products… e-books, courses, membership sites, software.
    • Best Selling Author — Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams 
    • Guy has been teaching people not just how to sell products, but how to launch them, starting with nothing, no audience, no product even… since the early days of the internet when AOL was still mailing CD-ROMs to people’s houses.
    • Forbes — http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2012/09/11/why-jeff-walker-is-the-400-million-dollar-man-and-7-lessons-you-can-learn-from-him/
    • Created a Formula for Launching products online… I read the book and one of my biggest aha’s was… Holy Crap! KS essentially created a platform to make it super easy for anyone to implement this Secret Formula.

9 Mental Triggers that are At Work on Kickstarter

  • What’s a Mental Trigger?
    • Triggers directly influence how we act and make decisions, they act on a subconscious level.

1) Authority

  • People tend to follow people in positions of authority.
    • Doctors in white coats… actors in white coats.
    • Following “leaders” is a way our brains have evolved take stress off. “Be like Mike”
  • Kickstarter makes us look good.
    • Remember Myspace?
    • Kickstarter makes it super easy for technically unsavy to make a great looking sales page.
    • “Oh, you’ve got a Kickstarter?”

2.) Reciprocity

  • Powerful principle… if someone gives something to us, we will feel some obligation to give them something back in return.
    • X-mas Cards — Study sent to random strangers… got one in return from some 60%.
    • FREE E-books in exchange for an email. —
    • FREE bread at restaurants.
  • KS is founded on this principle of reciprocity. Not donation… it’s a pledge and reward.
  • Best designed KS always give something of value…even before people donate.
    • Ex. Free digital copy C is for Cthulhu book

3.) Trust

  • Supporting a PERSON as well as a Product
    • Why video is so important, and why Your voice and visage is important
    • All things being equal – buy Know, Like and Trust
  • Transparency – what the money will be used for
  • Build trust over time… how you run your campaign. Great campaigns get backers to increase pledges.
    • ComixTribe for Life example

4.) Anticipation

  • Trigger that grabs people’s attention
  • Campaign! There are stakes here… When is it going to launch? Is it going to fund?
  • Stretch Goals? What will they be? When will they unlock?
  • Reveals – New pledge levels.
  • Milestone bonuses.
  • Great campaigns all use this trigger to their advantage.
  • How high will it go?

5.) Likeability

  • Know like and Trust… like is a big thing.
  • Influence — “I like you.” Top auto-salesman example.
  • Good campaigns use that. John Lee’s THE STANDARD campaign… he’s a likeable guy.
  • Potato Salad guy — $55K on KS. Likeable.

6.) Events and Rituals

  • A campaign is an event… people love events. They get pulled into them, make them feel apart of something bigger than themselves.
  • Different than putting an item up for sale– anyone can do it.
  • Events have a start and stop time.
  • Group of people coming together…
  • KS rituals — the first day launch (being a day one backer)
  • Stretch goals unveiling
  • Campaign has Stakes
    • Elections are a huge business… winning and losing is on the line.
    • KS is ALL or NOTHING funding
      • Why it kicks indiegogo’s butt
      • Why its a faster funding method than Patreon
  • “Turn your marketing into an event, and you will transform your results.” — Jeff Walker

7.) Community

  • Community powerful trigger… by and large, we act like the people in our community tend to act.
  • KS allows for instant community building
    • Reading Rainbow campaign brilliant at that. Got tied up in the movement, changed their avatars on social media.
    • Team Mighty Titan – Joe Martino
    • Backer Pledges… means something to some people

8.) Scarcity

  • Scarcity – One of the most powerful triggers known to man.
  • When there is less of something, we want it more.
    • Why is Action Comics #1 worth $1,5 million (or more)
  • Fear of loss more powerful than the appeal of gain
  • KS builds in Scarcity
    • Time – There’s a clicking clock… you usually have 30 days to get in, and once that’s up, you can never get in.
    • Pledge levels — Set Limited Reward (good thing to do, they go QUICK!)

9.) Social Proof

  • The idea that when we see other people taking action, we’re more included to follow suit. “Monkey see, monkey do.”
  • “9 out of 10 doctor’s recommend” – Authority and Social Proof
  • 300 billion burgers sold
  • Sylvan Goldman , shopping cart, 1937 Piggly Wiggly
  • Amazon.com knows this — Highest correlation to sales is ratings and reviews.
  • iTunes knows this — Ratings and reviews. 
  • KS knows this
    • $ total funds raised
    • Backer Total
    • Backer comments
    • Social Shares
  • Best KS projects harness this — Cthulhu

 

ComixLauncher

  • How Have YOU been Effected by Mental Triggers?
    • Take 5 Minutes and see if you can think of one example for each of the nine triggers on how You’ve been triggered to take action you might not otherwise have been.
  • All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [NA — What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #4.]

Wrap Up

  • I hope you enjoyed this dissection of Kickstarter. Why it works so well, better think about how you might harness the the mental triggers built into KS and dial them up to an 11 for your own campaigns.
  • Thanks for Listening.
  • Tease future episodes
    • Guests coming up!

Quote

  • Jeff Walker — “One of the most important thing to remember about these triggers is that they are not isolated. Many of them are closely related, and they work synergistically. When used together, the impact is compounded.”
  • KS platform is greater than the sum of its parts. The more of these mental triggers inherent to the platform that you take advantage of, the more powerful your campaign will be.

Closing Call to Action – NEW!!!

  • SUBSCRIBE – 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!
  • Log onto iTunes. Search for ComixLaunch -One word ComiXLaunch, Click on our logo.
    • Click SUBSCRIBE
    • Ratings 1-5 stars. Honest review would be great.
    • Review
    • Submit. Done in 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Ben Franklin

ComixLaunch_Green3-1

In this session, Tyler share’s an incredibly valuable project planning tool that he uses to design all his successful Kickstarter projects. If you want to launch, you need to do a SWOT analysis, and this episode will teach you how.

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

Today:

  • Another strategy session but one you can put to work TODAY. A tool ALL creators should use for EVERY project they run, even if you’re a veteran, ESPECIALLY if you’re new.
  • There is a Special Download Worksheet that Goes with this episode. Get it at http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/
  • I’m going to introduce you to the SWOT analysis tool, a way to pull back and look at your project. sWOT
  • I’m going to walk you through an example for one of my projects
  • Give you loads of tips on how to do one of these for your own
  • Sound good?

Core Lesson/ Parable:

  • What is a SWOT? Why use a SWOT? Who Uses a SWOT?
    • SWOT Analysis or SWOT matrix a planning method to strategically evaluate SWOT involved in a new or existing project or business venture. (That’s what KS is.)
    • Works on products, places, industries, even people.
    • Focuses on both internal factors – inside our control, inherent traits
    • External factors – outside of control, market conditions,
    • Taught in every business school, consultants, etc.
    • Everything from a formal process, to a back of the envelope way of evaluating.
  • Why Use One for your KS?
    • Ben Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” SWOT is a planning tool.
    • Creative Entrepreneurship —
      • Right brain – Creative side – Rhythm, spatial awareness, colour, imagination, creativity.
      • Left side – logic, science, math, reasoning
    • KS is a platform to fund creativity… but fulfilling creativity, carrying a successful project, executing on all the fine details, requires careful use of both sides.
    • SWOT is great tool for creative people, who need to structure their more left-side of the brain activities, to not let right side take them away.
  • The 4 quadrants of SWOT as they relate to Kickstarter projects
    • Strengths – What are the characteristics of your KS project that give it a unique advantage over other projects. Secret weapons?
      • People
      • Platform
      • Product
    • Weaknesses – Characterists put you at a potential disadvantage to other KS?
      • Same set of Ps
      • Most common
        • lack of funds – Lack of money
        • small platform
        • never done this before
    • Opportunities – What are the unique elements of your KS project you can exploit to your advantage?
      • I always do this one last, because it’s the interplay of strengths, weaknesses and threats that allow me to craft my opportunities.
    • Threats – elements, both internally and externally that could spell trouble for your KS project.
      • For most newbies, this will come in terms of fulfillment…
        • What if the cost of international postage goes up 20%
        • What if my t-shirt vendor stops answering my emails?
      • For veterans, simply assuming there are no threats and “You got this” can be a threat.
    • Download Here — http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/
    • Now, to illustrate this concept —
  • Example SWOT – C IS FOR CTHULHU Board Book and PlushToy
    • About the Project – Cisforcthulhu.com or on Kickstarter search C is for Cthulhu
    • Strengths
      • People
        • Jason Ciaramella – Eisner nominated writer, lot of industry connections with authors in the space, Lovecraft bonifides.
        • Greg Murphy – 5 Tool Artist (Illustration, Animation, Graphic Design, Music, Photography)
        • Tyler James – Guy who thinks he knows what he’s doing enough to get up in your earbuds and proselytize this stuff.
        • Skelton Crew – experts in licensed stuff, Hellboy, BPRD, Locke and Key, Chew… not their first rodeo.
      • Platform
        • Building off the success of the last KS, which was the most successl I’ve run. 1149 backers, more than $35K raised.
        • FB Community, nearly 5K likes, very engaged, pictures etc. Social Proof
        • Email List – 6K subs
        • Get just 2% of the people we have to back this project, game over, we’re funded.
      • Product
        • C is for Cthulhu Plush – Prototype in Hand, and top notch.
        • Book – Already a winner, already in stock
        • Poster and T-shirts – Co-developed with our Community
    • Weaknesses
      • Not a New Property… Getting PR might be tough.
      • More Product = Less Focus
        • Plush, Poster, T-shirts, Books
      • PR Plan and Media Outreach
      • Pricepoint
        • $39 plush most expensive Cthulhu doll on the market it.
          • Amazon – between $10-$20
    • Threats
      • Internal — Bandwidth
        • I’m a busy guy.
      • External — Backlash
        • Lovecraft –
          • Haters
            • Lovecraft is supposed to be horrifying… Cuddling him up is sacrilege.
            • Lovecraft the Xenophobe and Racist
              • Liking the stories and stories inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft does not make someone a racist… Being a racist makes someone a racist.
    • Opportunities
      • Social Proof
        • Let our existing fans sell this for us
          • Video
          • Ads
          • Imagery
          • Compensated those who we were using prominently in marketing
      • #Cthulhugrams
        • Great doll in hand + Greg’s Photography Skills + Jason’s Lovecraft and Providence connection
        • Cthulugram was born – almost like weathered poloroids
        • Caption contest to build engagement
      • Compete on Quality, not Price
        • Most expensive doll on the market… but the ONLY doll that is based on the Cthulhu in the book
      • Facebook Advertising
        • Perfect product for FB
      • Keep Your Eyes Open – Working living doc
        • Pluto – Cthulhu named a region
        • NASA Found Cthulhu on Pluto …ComixTribe says you don’t have to go that far to get him.
  • SWOT works for All Projects…
    • My very 1st KS project had totally different stuff in those quadrants
    • Your project will be different, but all have SWOT.
  • Sponsor Mid-Roll
    • In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…
    • [Kraken sponsor ad full – 30-45 seconds]
  • 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.
    • SWOT Analysis
      • Download the Worksheet at http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/ or just grab a sheet of paper and divide it into 4 equal quadrants – SWOT
      • Set Timer for 5 minutes, and focus just on the S Quadrant — write down as many Strengths as you can. Focus on your People, Platform, Product… don’t over think it, just brainstorm.
      • Then, do the same, 5 minutes, and list all the Weaknesses of your project. Use the same categories… People Platform, Product.
      • Next, 5 minutes, tackle the THREATS. Both internal threats…ways you could sabotage the project yourself, and External, things outside your control that might hammer the project
      • Now, I want you to put that down. 15 minutes, you deserve a break. Go do something else. Get a drink, go for a walk, draw a page… get away from it.
      • When you’re ready, come on back, re-read each quadrant, and from those, generate some opportunities… things you can do to take advantage of your strengths and mitigate weaknesses and threats. In some cases, you’ll turn weaknesses into strengths (focus/compete on quality, not price).
      • When done, what you have is the backbone of your future successful KS campaign.
    • All of us our busy, but we all can spare 15-20 minutes to do this… half of all comics KS fail… doing the extra planning work of a SWOT analysis is how you get on the successful half.
    • What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #3.]
  • Wrap Up
    • Sum up highlights of session.
      • If the SWOT analysis was new to you, or if you never thought of applying it to a KS before, I hope you got a lot out of this episode.
        • All our projects have SWOT – these are things floating around in our heads… getting them down on paper in an organized fashion really helps take ownership and control over them. It’s powerful, and it’s foundational.
        • Remember, go to http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/ to get download the SWOT worksheet to help you successfully launch YOUR next KS.
    • Thanks for Listening.
    • Tease future episodes
      • Upcoming, we’re going to look hard at WHY Kickstarter is so darn effective. Really break it down, deconstruct it into its component parts, and see how together, its far greater than the sum of those parts.
      • Also, GUESTS! Won’t just be me doing this show gabbing at you… important to get other perspectives.
    • Quote
      • Guy Kawasaki — “Few things are right and wrong in entrepreneurship — there’s only what works and what doesn’t.”
      • I have no interest in teaching you guys right from wrong… that’s not my mission here. But what I am on is an ongoing journey to discover what works on Kickstarter and beyond, and what doesn’t. Let’s keep discovering that together.

 

SUBSCRIBE – If you’ve enjoyed this Session of ComixLaunch, please subscribe on iTunes to make sure you’ll never miss Session.

“The man who thinks KS is a finite resource and the woman who thinks KS is a renewable resource may both be right”

ComixLaunch Session 2: Is Kickstarter a Finite or Renewable Resource?

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.]

What is Today’s Episode About?

In Session 001, we talked about mindset. I asked you to think about how you would fill in the blank: “Kickstarter Is…”

One of the things I asked you to consider was whether you view Kickstarter as:

A) A finite resource, one that creators can and should use once or twice before moving on to “legitimate” platforms.

Or

B) A renewable resource, a that creators could go back to again and again and have success with.

Today, we’ll answer that question, and explore:

  • How my own mindset needed to shift on this.
  • What Was holding me back from getting into KS.
  • 3 Ways to Make Sure Kickstarter is a Renewable Resource for You.

My Kickstarter History

  • KS Launched in April 2009. (Think about that… If KS was a human, it’d just be entering Kindergarten… $Billion Dollar.)
  • I First Discovered — Early 2010, seeing creators post projects.
  • First backed- May 3 2010 – The Astonishing Tales of Kid Occult TPB by Jimmy Glenn – Unsuccessful
  • Backed 3 more projects before one successfully Funded July 2010 — “Healed” by George O’Conner.
  • Launched my first project July 2012 — More than TWO YEARS after backed my first project
What Took Me So Long?

It wasn’t because I wasn’t making and selling comics. (Convention, Webcomics, Online store, Paypal.) It wasn’t because I didn’t believe in or understand crowdfunding, as I “Crowdfunded” the printing of a webcomic graphic novel, raising $500 on my own webcomic site.

The Real REASON:

I didn’t want to waste my chance playing my Kickstarter Card.  (AKA I had a “Finite Resource Mindset” toward Kickstarter.)

I thought I might get only one shot at Kickstarter, so it had to be the right project… so I stacked the deck in my favor.

That project was the Oxymoron Volume 1 Anthology.

What I discovered

During the Campaign Kickstarter was like a 30 Day Online Convention. The KS Page is the table, backers come they buy, they chat, they share, the come back, ask question, talk comics, get cool art/specialty items…

Closed out with a big ComixTribe Live SuperShow, and ended more than 300% funded. (450 backers, $26,000.)

Put that in perspective, what do I know about conventions?

Comic book conventions are not a finite resource. Rather, my best convention customers are my past customers, people I sold a book to, who came back for more.

What I realized then, was that if I deliver the goods on my campaign, if I create a great experience both during the campaign, and then after the campaign is over, then KS is a renewable resource.

The data backs that up.

A recent comprehensive study of what happens when successful creators return to Kickstarter found:

  • Creators with one past successful project have a 73% success rate on their next project (vs 38% overall success rate.)
  • 2 – 80%, 3 & 4 – 87%, 5 – 91%
  • Average Number of Backers and dollars raised also goes up.
  • Comics far and away the most likely category to have creators return (almost 30% of projects are by people who have previously had successful Projects.

Clearly… KS is a Renewable Resource… for Some

But what if you DON’T Deliver the Goods?

I’ve backed a creator who’s ran a successful KS back in 2011… still no book. He’s considering doing another KS… this time to REALLY fund it. People extend a lot of good will… understand it… but when you abuse that trust, you’re going to spoil the platform. 

KS is an incredibly powerful fundraising tool, but it’s not an ATM.

3 Ways to Make Sure KS is a Renewable Resource and Not a Finite One

Need to get in your head that your KS isn’t successful until every pledge delivered. The most stressful time is AFTER KS is over. Every backer pledge unfulfilled is a weight on your shoulders.  So, keeping that in mind, some tips include:

1. Under promise, Over-deliver

  • It’s easy to get caught up in a campaign and start promising the moon, especially as you get overfunded. Don’t get stretched by stretch goals or make promises you can’t keep.

2. Communicate

  • Keep in contact after.
  • Use Your Updates
  • Communicate Delays
  • Don’t let comments sit or questions go unanswered.

3. Show Gratitude

  • Thank You — Two of the most powerful two words in the English language.
  • KS Quantifies things — Backer #s, Dollar #s, Pledge Level tiers, but behind every number and ever pledge is a real live human being with a name, a life, a family, hopes, dreams aspirations, and quite literally a MILLION other things he/she could do with the money they’ve pledge to you.
  • Show gratitude before, during, and after your campaign.

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. 

This Session’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.

Thank 5 People

Take 5 Minutes and make a list of at least 5 people who have helped you in some way, big or small, in your comic creating journey, and dash them off a quick thank you note — IM, email, tweet, public or private, doesn’t matter.

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

Wrap Up

You know the old Henry Ford quote “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right”? 

Well, the man who thinks KS is a finite resource and the woman who thinks KS is a renewable resource may both be right… It all depends on the creator and how he or she uses the platform.

By under-promising and over-delivering on your campaigns, by being an excellent communicator, and by showing gratitude, you’ll be well on your way to making KS a renewable resource for you for years to come.

Final Quote

“The world will conspire to distract you… Your most scarce resource is focus.” – Jeff Walker

It’s so true.

Our most scarce resources isn’t money, talent, or even time… it’s focus.

But the secret to getting more money, talent, and time is through focus.

Please Subscribe

If you’ve enjoyed this session of ComixLaunch, please subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or Android to make sure you’ll never miss session.

 

ImageTest_000

I’m declaring war on a number, and that number is 49.95%.

Want to know what that number is? Well, I’m gonna tell you…

49.95% is the current success rate of comic book projects on Kickstarter as of May 16, 2015.

And it’s not high enough. Not by a long shot.

See, I know how much time, effort, planning, ink, sweat, and tears go into creating a comic book or graphic novel, and then running a Kickstarter campaign to help bring it to life.

The fact that right now, more than half of all projects fail is gutting to me.

While statistically, comic books success rates are much higher than the Kickstarter average of 38.02% for all projects, I believe they could and should be higher.  

And I believe this podcast, and you, can help make that happen.

Who am I?

My name is Tyler James, and I wear a lot of hats.

I’m a 36 year old designer and producer of educational video games living in Newburyport, Mass. I’ve built award-winning games for companies like National Geographic and McGraw-Hill.

I’m also a writer and artist, and the co-creator of ComixTribe, which is a small-press publisher of comics, graphic novels, and children’s books that parents actually want to read.

ComixTribe is also an online resource with the mission statement: creators helping creators make better comics. You can find out more about us at ComixTribe.com.

I’m an educator, and have a Master’s degree in Technology, Innovation and Education from Harvard, and I have a passion for sharing what I’ve learned with the world.

I’m a husband to a beautiful and supportive wife, and an incredible 14-year-old step-daughter, who I’ve recently recruited to the illustrious position of ComixTribe shipping manager.

And last but not least,  I’m Papa-Dog to arguably America’s #1 pooch, a loveable rescue named Charlie, who also answers to Charles, Chaz, Chuck, Chuckie Cheese, Charlie Cheese, Chaz Cheese, John Wayne, The Duke, the Muffin, the Muffin Man, and McStuffins.

Now’s about the time you are probably asking yourself, okay, why should I listen to this guy talk about Comics and Kickstarter?

That’s a question you should ask about any advice you hear from anyone — teachers, mentors, podcasters, bloggers, so-called experts, or the crazy guy on the subway.

Let’s get it out of the way… I don’t have all the answers. I’m not a guru. And I don’t proclaim to be an expert on all things comics or all things Kickstarter.

But I have been making comics since I was 12 years old, and been treating creating comics as a business for a decade. More than 200,000 copies of comics I published are out there in the world. (Considering my first comic ever was a 9 copy print run done on my step-father’s work xerox machine and sold out of my backpack at school, those numbers are crazy to me.)

I have also had a lot of success on the Kickstarter platform.

To date, I have managed six successful Kickstarter campaigns that have raised more than $120,000 in funding from over 2500 backers.

My projects have ranged from single issues, to trade-collections, to oversized hardcover anthologies to children’s books.

I’ve also consulted on a number of other successful campaigns, I’ve been a guest several times on Funding the Dream, the most-listened to Kickstarter Podcast in the world, and written extensively on Kickstarter at ComixTribe.com.

I don’t have all the answers… but I do have a natural passion and curiosity for finding them, and then sharing what I’ve discovered with people like you.

And that’s what this show will be about.

Who is ComixLaunch for?

The ComixLaunch Podcast will be a show that serves comic creators interested in harnessing the power of the Kickstarter platform to further their careers and bring their books to life.

This show is for creators who right now are where I was four years ago… Creators who have been watching the Kickstarter platform evolve with increasing interest as they’re working on improving their skills and creating comics worthy of a broader audience.  Creators who have been watching other creators, even creators much newer to the medium than themselves, launch successful projects on Kickstarter… maybe with a tinge of envy.  Creators that have been hesitant to pull the trigger on a campaign of their own… mostly out of fear. Fear that they’re not ready. Fear that it’ll be too much work. Fear of failure.

Does that sound like you? If so, this is your podcast.

But this show is also for creators who right now are where I was two years ago… Creators who have launched a Kickstarter campaign or two, and maybe even had their project funded. Creators who have already experienced the rollercoaster ride that is a Kickstarter campaign, and then dealt with the stress of fulfillment.  Creators who saw the great things Kickstarter could do for their careers, but also recognized that if they were ever going to do a Kickstarter again, they’d need to do it better and smarter.

Does that sound like you? If so, you might as well hit that subscribe button now. This is your podcast.

And finally, this show is for creators who are right now where I am right now… Creators who are having success on Kickstarter. Creators who recognize that Kickstarter, when used properly, can be a renewable resources, an extremely powerful force-multiplier that can be used to rally your superfans, attract new readers, and further your careers.  Creators who understand that Kickstarter is a platform that is still evolving, one that changes frequently, and one where the rulebook is still being written.  And Creators who recognize the need to stay up-to-date with what’s working there…. and what isn’t.

Does that sound like you?  If so, this is your podcast, too.

Look, you are busy and so am I.

For that reason, ComixLaunch will be a short, focused podcast.

I’ll be capping shows that are just you and I to no more than 15 minutes long.

From time to time, we’ll have guests on the show, and those episodes will be capped at 25 minutes long.

A new episode of ComixLaunch will go live on Sundays and there will be at least one show per week.  I will reserve the right to post more than one show a week, should I be so inspired.

I am committing to an initial run or “season” of 24 episodes of this show. I hope to do more, and as long as I feel that I’m bringing value to the comics and crowdfunding community, ComixLaunch will be on the air.

This show may feature a curated selection of sponsors to help offset the cost of hosting and producing this show.  However, any and all products, services, or companies mentioned on this show will be one’s that can bring value to you, the ComixLaunch audience, and ones that I can vouch for myself.

Finally, I want to say a word about why I’m doing this show…

It’s certainly not because I have extra time on my hands. With both a 9 to 5 and a 5 to 9, and a family whose company I actually enjoy, I have no shortage of things I could be doing.

I’m doing this because it’s important.

Over the past year, I’ve had a number of people tell me, “Hey, Ty, you should write a book on Kickstarter.” And yeah, maybe I will someday.

But I’ve gotta tell you… I don’t want to write a book!

I don’t have the passion for it. The thought of sitting down for months on end and writing and revising and writing and revising, only to put a book out in the world that might or might not get read… yeah, I don’t have the passion for it.

But I do love talking about this stuff.

And over the past few months, I have been binging a number of great podcasts… on my way to work, when walking the dog, while working on comics… and these podcasts have, in a very short time, immensely improved my life.

I know having a successful Kickstarter will improve all of your lives, and if I can be a part of that in some small way through this show… yeah, that’s something I DO have the passion for.

I’ve heard it said that all action stems from one of two emotions — love or fear.

I’d like to think I’m doing this show entirely out of love.

I genuinely love creating comics.  And I genuinely love sharing my knowledge with others.

I believe I’m am the highest version of my best self when I’m doing those two things.

But, if we’re being completely honest… and honesty and transparency will be a non-negotiable hallmark of this show… there’s a small part of me that’s doing this show out of fear.

Kickstarter has been a game changer for myself and thousands of creators. It’s allowed us to dream bigger, grow faster, and reach a wider audience than would have ever been possible before its existence.

It’s become an integral part of my business… and the business of so many optimistic creators out there…

…and I’m afraid it could all go away.

Now, the prognosticators all say crowdfunding will continue to grow rapidly over the next five years, with some saying it’ll be a 20 Billion with a B dollar industry in 2020, and with Kickstarter a big part of that.

In my mind, the biggest danger to Kickstarter remaining a viable platform in the years to come is us, the creators who use it… and could potentially abuse it.

I’ve called Kickstarter a powerful tool, and like all powerful tools, when used improperly, it can do damage… to careers, to relationships, and to the tool itself.

So, this podcast is a hedge against that fear.  

I believe everyone who listens to ComixLaunch will come to see themselves as a steward of the Kickstarter platform.

If you apply the lessons learned and avoid the mistakes discussed in this podcast, your own Kickstarter campaigns will be better for them.

And the more great campaigns there are, the stronger Kickstarter will be for everyone.

So, humbly, with a lot of love, and just a tiny bit of fear, I welcome you to the ComixLaunch podcast.

There are a few episodes available for you to listen to right now.

But if you’ve made it this far, I’m thinking you might as well just hit that subscribe button so we can make this a regular thing.