ComixLaunch_Green2In this session, Tyler and Jeremy talk to Russell Nohelty of Wannabe Press about tapping into the power of Kickstarter and the techniques of successful online marketers to launch a new publishing venture.


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


Today’s Guest

Our guest today is a writer of film, TV, animation, comics, and novels.  After buying back the rights to all of his properties and going independent, he successfully funded his first Kickstarter in 2014, which he used to jumpstart the launch of his publishing company, Wannabe Press. Since then he’s successfully funded a second Kickstarter campaign all while running and growing his company.

Welcome to ComixLaunch, Russell Nohelty!

Today’s Topic:  Kickstarter as a launching pad for new publishers.

Guiding Questions

1) Decision To Go Independent.

Russell bought back all the rights to all of his properties to release them himself. Why did he make this decision and what did the process entail?

2) Using Kickstarter as a launching pad for your career in comics.

Part of the re-release was putting together a print run of Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter – which was previously published as a digital-only comic.
Were any obstacles to doing a Kickstarter for a book that had already been released, albeit digitally?

3) How to maintain momentum after the Kickstarter.

Let’s excavate some strategies he used to take support from his Kickstarter to Wannabe Press and his other titles.

4) Growth with a Second Kickstarter.

A year after Ichabod, he launched the Kickstarter for Katrina Hates the Dead.
He almost doubled his # of backers (from 162 to 294) and raised $3,000 more (~$5,500 to ~$8,800)

5) Key Tips

  • Build and Audience with Landing pages
  • Facebook ads
  • Webcomics
  • Built mailing list 0 – 1,300 people
  • Auto-responder sequence
    • How did he activate his past backers for this new Kickstarter?
    • How did he acquire new fans throughout the year?
  • SumoMe
  • Project Wonderful
  • https://www.krowdster.co/

ComixLaunch Lightning Round

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

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

“The absolute best way to launch your creative career.”

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?

“I love 99.9% of Kickstarter. I think they could be more transparent. How do you go about becoming a staff pick? How do you run the most successful campaign possible?”

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

“Buffer is probably the number one but Krowdster for a campaign.”

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

“Do not ask people to do anything for your next campaign until every single person has a book in their hand.”

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

“I’m going to say Shiver Bureau by Walter Ostlie.”

 


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 theDukes 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 – 026

In two sentences or less, describe your brand as a comic book creator. And if you don’t have one established yet, if you’re new, then tell me how you’d like fans to describe who you are and what you create.

If you’d like to share your comixlauncher with me, I’d love to hear it. [email protected] subject ComixLauncher 026.


Wrap Up

Where can our listeners connect with you?

Twitter: @russellnohelty

Facebook: Russell Nohelty

Instagram: russellnohelty

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


Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?

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

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

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

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

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

 

Is a Kickstarter project in the cards for you in 2016? If so, this session will give you 7 principles to guide your effective use of the Kickstarter platform, and help you set both outcome and performance based goals that make success inevitable.

 

ComixLaunch_Green025

 

 

 

 

 


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.


Session Table Setting

First Session in a brand new year of episodes. Committing to 52 more weekly episodes of ComixLaunch.
If this is the first time you’re listening, welcome. You’re joining an engaged, passionate, committed audience of creators serious about learning what works to move their careers forward… and come here specifically to learn about the mindset, strategies, and tactics.

Please dive into our archive:

  • Mindset — How having the right mindset toward Kickstarter determines success, Emotional rollercoaster,
  • Strategies — Social triggers at play, Retailer outreach, SWOT analysis
  • Tactics — Pros and cons of early bird rewards, promoting Kickstarters at conventions, how to create a great project image

For this first episode, we’re going to pull back a bit.  This is a mindset and framing episode, which is how I like to start the new year.  The idea of Transformation is an idea I’m kind of obsessed with.
At it’s heart, every great podcast, book, course, or training is a vehicle of transformation.
You’re going to spend the next 20-30 minutes with me…and for that to be time well spent and not time well wasted, a transformation needs to take place…

When I look back at my many years of formal (K-12, undergraduate, and graduate school) and informal (books, podcast, seminars, training programs) education, what separates the exceptional from the mediocre is that I was a different person at the end of the great courses than I was going in.
This podcast is meant to be informative, and educational, and hopefully a little entertaining now and again… but it’s true value is in the little transformations it can make in you, the ComixLaunch listener.
I hope to make this show something that equips you with the confidence, and knowledge, and skills, and resources to take action and build your creative careers.

So, stick with us this year. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Sticher, get on our email list at ComixLaunch.com, and if we do our job right, you can be confident that you’ll be a different, hopefully better creator by listening to this show.
Transformation… it’s powerful, and can be applied to everything… including your comics.
When you’re working on your stories, make sure you can answer the question, “How will a reader be different after reading your book?”
Will you make them laugh or cry? Will you make them angry? Will you make them think?

Today’s Topic

  • Share the ComixLaunch vision and Mission
  • Share our 7 guiding principles
  • Share our goals for 2016

ComixLaunch Mission and Vision
ComixLaunch was founded with a clear vision, mission, and set of guiding principles that drive how we approach the Kickstarter platform and building a career in comics.
The ComixLaunch Mission
To help comic book creators harness the power of the Kickstarter platform to fund their projects and advance their careers.
Guiding Principles
Our mission and guiding principles are interwoven throughout the podcast.
It is our hope that listeners will come to adopt these core beliefs and guiding principles as your own, and that they will positively impact your creative endeavors.

7 Guiding Principles

  • 1) Each of us is 100% in control of our own success or failure. We are responsible, accountable, and the buck stops with us.
    Make solutions, not excuses.
    There are millions of things outside of our control…
    But Our worlds are shaped by the things we focus on…
    Things are going to happen…
    Fufillment delayed more than two weeks at Customs. Full Cthulhu plush body cavity search? Checking beanie bums for meth?
    I’m not responsible for that… but I’m entirely responsible for how I communicate the delay to my audience. How I choose to make it right.
  • 2) Success on Kickstarter is not defined by hitting a funding goal or producing a product, but rather by satisfying every backer to the best of our ability and advancing our careers to the next level.
    50%, 9%, XX% fulfilled but left them financially, emotionally, or physically drained… more burden than blessing.
  • 3) Whether Kickstarter is a finite or renewable resource is not set in stone… it depends on how we use the platform.
    Session 2
  • 4) Hitting a Kickstarter goal is far less important than the person we become in the pursuit of that goal.
    Journey, not the destination.
    Two types of goal setters.
    1) Set a lofty goal, and then focus on how far away that goal is from their current reality.
    2) Set a lofty goal, then focus on how far they’ve come from where they started, and the very next exciting step along the path to that goal.
    Guess what… if the very next step in your career path, whatever it is, isn’t something that excites you… that thrills you to your very core, that’s a problem.
    JJ Abrams, pinnacle of his career… just relaunched star wars, GOAT franchise, biggest thing ever…
    Next logical step in his career.
    The thrill is not emotionally any bigger than any of the other projects he worked on… and the fact that he took on each project with passion and excitement, lead to him getting there.
  • 5) As creators, we need to believe it in order to see it. That makes us special, and the world needs people like us.
    We’re weird people. Most people are passive consumers of the world and what it has to offer.
    “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
    Year end review, looked over my planner and journal that I use to keep myself organized, and there (include in show notes) was a rough branstorming bubble outline of a Kickstarter for Comic Books and Graphic Novels podcast. Didn’t exist… so I built it.
    And less than a year later, we’ve got a show with 25 episodes, thousands of downloads, and a course with students soon to launch.
    A big reason why Kickstarter is successful is because people want us to succeed… and backers want to be a part of creating something, because most people lack the courage and conviction and resilience to create something new.
    But ComixLaunch listeners, we aren’t most people.
  • 6) When we must choose between doing what’s right and doing what’s easy, we’ll choose what’s right every time.
    There will come a time in your career or your Kickstarter campaigning where doing the right thing is going to be painful, costly, or uncomfortable.
    But in the long run, being known as a stand-up creator who does things the right way is going to pay off.
    It’s easier to stay in bed until 8 or 9 or 10 am… but its very rare that the easy path is the path to greatness.
  • 7) We are all stewards of the Kickstarter platform. We will not take it for granted, and we’ll leave it better than we found it.
    And this last one is really important… we are incredibly lucky to be living in the time we are. Hell, I’m sitting here in my office talking into a microphone… and being listened to around the world, by hundreds or thousands… on your way to work, at the gym, in the car, at the drawing table… now and in the future.
    I’m working with comic book creators all over the world, some of whom I’ve never met in person.
    There’s never been more great free resources out there online, and some tremendous paid resources as well.
    Every few months, a new tool comes out that makes my life, business, world a little bit easier or more manageable.
    And we have Kickstarter, a platform that’s helped the everyman creator, guys like you and me, raise millions of dollars to bring thousands of comic projects to life.

Two kinds of goals —

  • Outcome Based Goals 
  • The result
    Specific, measurable outcomes
    Not 100% in your control
    Performance based goals
    The actions
    behavioral and activity based
    100% in your control
  • ComixLaunch Outcome Based Goals 2016. By December 31, 2016…
    20K Downloads
    1K Subscribers on our Mailing List
    35 Students
    20 Successful Projects Launched — Most important one
  • Performance Based Goals
    Record and release 52 episodes of ComixLaunch
    Bring on at least 20 new guests.
    Create at least 4 great offers to incentivize email list sign-ups
    Run The ComixLaunch Course at least 3 times in 2016.

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 / C-o-m-i-xlaunch.com/kraken for 5% off your entire first print run.


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can 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 – 025
Write down your number one Outcome based goal for 2016

Make sure it’s specific, measurable, attainable but ambitious, and time-bound.
Now, right down 1-3 performance based goals… activities you will commit to doing that are 100% within your power, that will make achieving your Outcome based goal inevitable.
Sharing goals with others makes them more real, and more likely to be achieved, so if you’d like to share your with me, I’d love to hear it. [email protected] subject ComixLauncher 025


Wrap Up

This session has framed what ComixLaunch is all about in 2016.
I shared the 7 principles that guide how we see the Kickstarter platform, and our mission and vision.
And we talked goal setting… and I shared my personal goals both outcome and performance based for this show, the course, and for all of you guys out there.
If you’re listening, thanks for helping me get one listener closer to my goals for this show, and I hope ComixLaunch is returning the favor, by getting you one step closer to your next successful Kickstarter project.

Quote – Napolean Hill

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

I for one, can’t wait to see all the great things ComixLaunch listeners achieve in 2016.
Thank you so much for listening, and for letting me walk with you, as you taken another step forward toward your next successful ComixLaunch.


Closing Call to Action

Please subscribe!


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!

ComixLaunch_Green24Get a pen and a pad of paper ready because in today’s session, Tyler asks CPA Josh Bauerle everything you ever wanted to know about Kickstarter and taxes…but were afraid to ask. A must listen for creators who see their work not just as a hobby, but as a business.


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.


Session Table Setting

This is a milestone episode.

In mid-July, when the ComixLaunch podcast launched, I made a 24 episode commitment to you guys?

Why 24? Because I knew that would take me to the end of the year… a great time to assess where things were at, whether this show was living up to expectations, and whether people were responding to it.

24 Sessions in, ComixLaunch has earned…

  • More than 4300 downloads
  • 19 5-star reviews on iTunes
  • 100 subscribers to the ComixLaunch creators e-mail list. (Enter your e-mail at the top bar of this page if you’re not on and want great resources emailed to you regularly.)
  • A handful of quality sponsors
  • 10 students enrolled in the new pilot program The ComixLaunch Course
  • Most importantly, ComixLaunch is a sustainable endeavor, and primed for investment and big growth in 2016.

Big Announcement:

The ComixLaunch Podcast will continue as a weekly podcast for the entirety of 2016!

I’m committing to a full year’s worth of episodes.Hope you’re as excited as I am… Here’s what you can do to help the show. If you haven’t already, please give us a review on iTunes.

Go to: comixlaunch.com/review

And I want you to do this not for me, but do it for you and your fellow creators listening to this podcast… because here’s the deal: Reviews matter.

ComixLaunch will never be a huge blockbuster podcast… we’re a small niche (comics& graphic novels), of a small niche (Kickstarter) of a small niche (crowdfunding)… This is a show that’s never going to get millions of downloads like some podcasts out there…

We can’t compete on sheer size… but we can compete on quality. I’m working to improve, and I’d also love to improve the quality of the guests on my podcast… get the biggest names in comics and crowdfunding on this show for you to learn from.

This show gives me a platform to reach out and invite them… but what’s going to happen is they’re going to check us out… and one of the first things they’ll look to see is “is this show any good?”

Going to itunes seeing 20, 50, 100 positive reviews… that’s going to send a clear message that ComixLaunch is a show worth their time.

And today’s guest is an example of that…

I went out and got one of the absolute best people on the planet when it comes to clearly explaining the ins and outs of taxes

I reached out to him cold on behalf of you guys… and luckily enough, he said he’d love to come on the show.

Now, this episode is completely loaded with business and tax advice… it’s a jam packed hour, that anyone trying to make the leap from hobbyist to business person needs to hear.

So valuable, that I went out and paid to have the whole episode fully transcribed, so as not to miss any detail of the content.

Go to comixlaunch.com/taxes to get the full transcript of today’s conversation.


Today’s Guest

My guest today is a CPA, a series 65 licensed financial advisor, and creator CPA On Fire, a a tax and accounting firm focused on helping entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs, sidepreneurs  helping make their tax and accounting as simple as possible.

He is also a monthly recurring guest on Entreprepreneur on Fire, one of the most listened to podcasts on the planet, which is where I first discovered him and his incredibly helpful advice.

Welcome to ComixLaunch, Mr. Josh Bauerle.


What is Today’s Episode About?

Today’s session is a deep dive on Taxes and how they relate to Kickstarter.

Get the full transcript here — comixlaunch.com/taxes

Guiding Questions for Today’s Discussion

1.  How does the IRS view funds raised on Kickstarter… and what does that mean for Creators interested in using the platform?

2. While there has been a single million dollar comic book project on Kickstarter, and more than 50 that have raised over $100K, most crowdfunding campaigns (74%) raise less than $10,000. Many are run by comic book hobbyists or new creators, and the Kickstarter will mark the first time they’ve ever taken in anything more than beer money for their comics work.  Many might not even have set themselves up as an official business yet. Should they?

  • What are the advantages of formalizing your creative endeavors as a business?
  • Should creators set up their business BEFORE they launch their KS or after, or does it matter?
  • Many creative types get scared by this stuff… high level, what are steps that go into creating a formal business for the independent artist/self-publisher?
  • Any tips or best practices?
  • Any rules of thumbs for when it makes sense for a creator to formally incorporate or form an LLC vs. just being a sole proprietor?

3. Kickstarter funds raised are treated as income… however, if you are a business, your expenses of running and fulfilling the campaign will lower your tax burden, correct?

What kinds of campaign costs might a comic creator be able to deduct?
  • Book printing costs?
  • packaging costs?
  • Contractors (hired artists, colorist, editors, letterers)?
  • What about training – Take a local course to improve their skill as a colorist, or take the ComixLaunch Course to learn how to run and execute an awesome crowdfunding campaign?
What can’t they deduct?
  • What about his her time in the form of a page rate?

4. What kind of records should a Kickstarter creator keep and how should they keep them?

  • Ex. is a credit card statement with a record of the printing bill enough… or do you need to actually print out the invoice and save somewhere?
  • What about contractors invoices?
  • Any tips or best practices for creators to help track their project-related finances?

5. One of the most vexing things for a small publisher like myself (and one of the reason’s I’m super jealous of the EOFire business model which is mostly digital) is how to account for inventory when it comes to taxes?

What is my tax liability for excess/unsold physical inventory (books) left at the end of the year?

For example. Let’s say I raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to fund a print run of 1000 hardcovers.  I spend:

  • $6K on printing the 1000 books.
  • $2K on packaging and postage to send 500 books to the backers who supported the campaign.
  • $1K on advertising the campaign.
  • $1K on contractors – editor and colorist.
  • On balance in this scenario, my revenue raised was $10K and my total expenses after fulfilling the KS was $10K, so I’ve essentially broken even…
  • However, at the end of the year, I’m left with 500 books in inventory, which I can ideally sell online, at comic conventions, or to retailers the following year…
  • In this simple scenario, what is my tax liability for this year?
6. Many Kickstarter creators want to be able to budget their campaigns down to the dollar… yet there’s a lot of confusion around how to factor taxes into their budget projections.  Any tips for making budgeting and planning with relation to taxes easier for creators?

7. Taxes are filed annually, based on the calendar year.  However, many times a Kickstarter run at the end of the year might not be fulfilled until the following year.

For example, if I raise $20K in December of this year, and don’t pay for printing and shipping until March of next year, is there any way I can avoid paying taxes on the full $20K (my total 2015 revenue), when most of those funds might be allocated for real fulfillment expenses, but that just won’t kick in until next year?

Or, should I always try to make sure that my expenses offset my revenues in the same calendar year, to avoid paying more taxes?

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 024:

Schedule a meeting with a CPA.

Many of you will launch successful KS in 2016… could double or triple your revenues… make sure you’re prepared.


Wrap Up

Hope you enjoyed this session of ComixLaunch with Josh Bauerle.

Be sure to grab that PDF from comixlaunch.com/taxes


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.