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!

It’s ComixLaunch mailbag time again! Tyler answers questions about print, the best way to send digital files to your backers, and the challenges of ComixLaunch_Mailbag
crowdfunding second issues. Plus, we have a survey winner!

 

 

 

 


Today’s Session is Sponsored by

Today’s session is sponsored by the ongoing comic series Solar Flare by James Haick and Branko Jovanovic, currently on Kickstarter.

Download the first issue for free at www.solarflarecomic.com/store using the coupon code comixlaunch (all one word.)


Session Table Setting

Welcome back to ComixLaunch! Today, we’re answering ComixLaunch listener questions, but first…

Kickbooster Survey WinnerAndrew Pawley takes home a copy of the Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide by Jamey Stegmeier. Congrats, Andrew!

Today’s Ask ComixTribe Questions

Question 1: Joshua Janes (Lost Dogs MC) – Working on schedule for delivery dates, when it comes to printers, will they lock your project into their schedule, even if your campaign isn’t successful? How are you able to guarantee your fulfillment dates, if the printers aren’t locking in your printing scheduling?

Answer

When doing an offset print run, there is a set up cost. Create the plates, schedule time on the printing press, time to run, etc. So, the question makes sense, that needs to be schedule, but you can’t absolutely lock down that time until you’ve secured funding.
Good news — don’t need to worry about it. Most of us aren’t doing print runs that will take much time at all. A couple of days to get on the schedule, compared to the long boat ride from overseas won’t make much of a difference.
Contact your printer early!
Kraken wants to hear from you even if you’re just at the idea stage —http://krakenprint.com/quote/
About a week before you launch, confirm with them that the quote is till good, and let them know you’re launching.
Ask them to be on hand for any questions you might have during the campaign.
The one caveat — Chinese New Year
End of Jan, early February… things literally shut down for a couple of weeks, take a bit to get spun back up.

 

Question 2: Hi Tyler what is the best way to do a pdf comic so that kooks don’t go out and print copies of it, or is it even worth bothering with? And what is the best way to send the pdf comics out to backers? David Reiner of Rescue Cats

Answer

First, yes, PDFs are totally worth doing.
First KS campaign, sold about $500 worth of digital copies of the OXYMORON volume 1 collection. 90% profit, no fulfillment cost, besides my monthly dropbox fee, which I was paying for already.
Current KS, $253 in digital only PDF sales… small fraction of $10K+ in funds, but again, 90% profit.
Compare that to Comixology sales… ComixTribe currently has about 20 titles for sale on Comixology, and we’re netting only about $500 per quarter in Comixology revenue… 50/50 split with Comixology.
Kickstarter is also the most lucrative digital distribution platform for independent creators.
Second, don’t spend a minute worrying about Kooks going out and printing copies of your book.

First, if they have the files, sure, they can print them if they want to waste their printer ink.

Second, you don’t have to worry about them printing salable versions, because you’re not going to send them a print resolution file of your comic! That would be way too large anyway. I recommend sending a 200 DPI version. High enough to look good on a mobile device, low enough that they couldn’t print.

Third, it’s hard enough for YOU who’s living breathing your comic to make a profit off it… think of how difficult it would be for a “kook”

Fourth, even if it was possible, wouldn’t they be much better off printing and selling, say, The Walking Dead or Spider-man, than some little known indie book.
It’s not a concern.

Third part, what’s the best way to send a PDF to backers?
Create Your PDF
How to create a PDF of your Comics?
Make sure it is a reasonable size…
Web resolution, not print resolution.
200 DPI
Comic ~ 8-20 mb
Trade ~ 30-50 mb
In Photoshop or other Adobe Programs
Ask Your Artist
Fiverr
Tools to Deliver Digital Rewards

Dropbox
I use Dropbox.

1) create the PDF
2) put it in your DropBox public folder
3) copy the public link to that file
4) share that link with your backers
There are plenty of other services out there, but Dropbox provides the best experience.

Google drive
Box
Gumroad
Comixology

How to Share Digital Rewards with Backers
Via private Kickstarter Update (restricted by pledge level)
Via Kickstarter Direct Message
Via email collected via Kickstarter survey

 

Question 3: How best to tackling issue #2s on Kickstarter to avoid the dreaded #2 sales drop.

Answer

Comics has the most successful and frequent repeat Crowdfunders.
Serial nature of Comics
Cliffhangers
A few weeks back Ryan K Lindsay sent me his campaign for the second Deer Editor Kickstarter project with Sami Kivela.
My biggest piece of feedback to Ryan was to change his project image, project description, and project name to downplay the #2 aspect of the Kickstarter.
So, instead of calling the campaign Deer Editor #2, he called it Deer Editor: Fearless, which was the story tightly.
Why? Why do this?
To avoid the dreaded Issue #2 drop… which is one of the most powerful negative forces in all of comics.
In comics, issue #1 is often the highest ordered issue of the entire series.
It’s an easy jumping on point.
It’s new, and gets the most (easiest) coverage from media.
Often gets the biggest push from the creators.
Collectibility factor.
#1s are awesome.
Inevitably mean that #2s… are less awesome.
Often significantly less… 40-50% order drops are very common.
11/2015: Dark Knight III #1 of 8 — 440,234 [449,099]
12/2015: Dark Knight III #2 of 8 — 158,188 (- 64.8%) [163,238]
Affects indie folks too… and Dealing with it with Ryan and Sami on CHUM, which will be out in a couple weeks.
Issue #1 orders were decent. Always want them higher
Issue #2 orders down 45%
Part of that is all those #1 reasons for order spikes aren’t valid.
In the direct market, retailers by on a non-refundable basis, and often on a monthly series, have to order #2 BEFORE they even get delivered issue #1. So, even if they take a chance and order heavy on #1, they will often go conservative on #2.
But what about Kickstarter? Are Kickstarter #2s susceptible to the same #2 drops?
Some might say no…
After all, data shows that success rate, funding, and backer counts for creators returning to Kickstarter after having a successful campaign tend to go up on average.
Plus, creators often are able to offer issues #1 & #2 together to welcome new to the Kickstarter backers, which is different than the reader showing up
I haven’t done a hard analysis on this… and it’s one of the things I’d like to number crunch with my KS data set.
But, still, I think there’s enough psychological and anecdotal and historical evidence to suggest that #2 might be a challenge for creators.
A #1 sends the message that I can get on board right now… #2 sends the message that the party has already started.
#2 also sends the message that what I’m getting is just a piece of a larger whole, which turns away the trade-waiters.
#2 is very much a comic book industry term… and one of the things we can do with KS is play by new rules.
So, for those reasons, Ryan took my advice, and changed the title of his project from Deer Editor #2 to Deer Editor: Fearless, and downplayed the #2 in the imagery and project description.

The results
Deer Editor: Fearless had 20 more backers than Deer Editor, a nice 6% increase.
Deer Editor: Fearless raised $1,045 AUS more than Deer Editor, a significant 45% bump.
Clearly, Deer Editor: Fearless reversed the #2 curse.

Caveats and Recommendations
No way to know the exact impact this change had on the campaign. We didn’t do a side-by-side.
Second, calling it Deer Editor: Fearless made sense as a title, because it’s a stand alone story, that while picking up on the threads and style laid out in #1, could be read and enjoyed on its own.

If you’re going the more traditional comic book serial storytelling approach, similar to James Haick Solar Flare, where you’re launching a KS every 3 months with a new issue, then maybe serial #ing still makes a lot of sense.

But, if you’re going to have a year or more gap between issues, from a marketing standpoint, I’d suggest downplaying the #2.


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

Solar Flare is an ongoing comic series that takes place in a world very similar to our own. The only difference is that Earth was just hit by an x-class solar flare wiping out all electronics, similar to an EMP.

The main protagonist of the story, Jake Clifford, has to travel from Florida to Tennessee in this new electronic less world. He not only wants to reunite with his young daughter Mazzy, but to also help his scientist friend get to a facility that will act as ground zero in reestablishing the country’s electrical infrastructure.

Solar Flare is a post apocalyptic, sci-fi story that has been described as Y: The Last Man meets The Walking Dead without zombies.

James and his team of creators have successfully raised enough money 4 separate times now on Kickstarter and the 5th campaign launched on March 1st.

All 5 issues are available for sale on their website, www.solarflarecomic.com/store. Comix Launch listeners can download the 1st issue of Solar Flare for free using the coupon code:comixlaunch

Also, if you could, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/solarflarecomic.

 


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
Today’s ComixLauncher — Ask ComixLaunch a Question

I love doing these Ask ComixLaunch episodes… but need your questions to do them.
Best is when we can here your voice, like we heard from Joshua Janes earlier in the show, The ComixLaunch voicemail line is open at ComixLaunch.com/voicemail
Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #40.]


Wrap Up

Thanks so much for your questions! I really do like it when this show is interactive… it’s the kind of advice I’d dish over lunch or a cup of coffee. Keep ’em coming.
Anything to add, or challenge, want to hear that on the ComixLaunch voicemail line as well.
Thanks everyone for filling out the ComixLaunch Survey, and Congrats to Andrew Pawley who won the Crowdfunding Strategy Guide by Jamie Stegmeier.
Even if you didn’t win, you should totally get that book, and I’ve included a link to it in the show notes — [link]

Quote
“People of accomplishment rarely sat back back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Get out there and make things happen guys. To paraphrase Ghostbusters, you’ve got the tools, you’ve got the talent. And you’ve got me in your corner.

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

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


Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?

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

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

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

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

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

In this session, Tyler talks to the creator of Hyperstarter, a new diagnostic tool for crowdfunders. Plus, ComixLaunch_Green039a new change to Kickstarter image sizes, and ComixLaunch listener voicemail.


Today’s 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

Hello, and Welcome!
Today we have voicemails from Richard Clark and Ray Chou.
In Kickstarter News there is a change in project image size:

New Project Image: 4:3 to 16:9 starting April 6
Expect video will move to 16:9 widescreen as well.

This is a good thing. Creating a 16:9 version for YouTube, 4:3 for KS
This could be a challenge for comic creators who take the easy route.
Even harder to take your comic cover and simply use that for your project image.

Today’s Episode is all about a new, Free tool for Crowdfunders.

Welcome back to ComixLaunch!


Guest Introduction

My guest today is an English artist and entrepreneur living in China.
He’s the creator of the website GiftsandCoupons.com. a digital coupon and gifts marketplace.
And he’s now the creator of Hyperstarter, a new crowdfunding marketing and analytics tool that instantly analyzes a Kickstarter creator’s project page, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. He also has services to help creators promote their projects, find backers, and connect with influencers in their niche.
Welcome to ComixLaunch Mr. Giles Dawe.

What is Today’s Episode About?


Guiding Discussion Questions

1) What’s the story behind Hyperstarter? How did you come to be interested in the Crowdfunding space?

2) I’ve had the chance to preview the Hyperstarter tool, and from what I’ve seen, it’s pretty cool. But I’d like you to give a bit more detail on it. What’s the problem it’s trying to solve, and how does it try to solve it? What are the key features and benefits?

Does it work for:

Current Projects?
Projects in Draft or Preview Stage?
Past Projects?
Doesn’t appear to analyze the video? Is that on the horizon. (Tech difficult)
Ideal # of Words?
Rewards? Stuff in Mind there?

3) How do you see Hyperstarter in comparison to other tools and services out there? How are you keeping up with what else is out there in the ever expanding crowdfunding space?

4) What’s the business model behind Hyperstarter? The tool is free, how do you make money to keep the lights on and keep improving the tool?

5) You wrote a great linked in Post called “100 Crowdfunding Influencers to Boost Your Campaign”? I’ll link to the post in the show notes, but what kind of advice do you have for listerners when it comes to finding and reaching out to influencers?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/100-crowdfunding-influencers-boost-your-campaign-giles-dawe


HyperStarter Screen Shots

hyperstarter-animation

cl-hyperstarter-big01

cl-hyperstarter-big03

 

 


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can 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 39
Today’s ComixLauncher — Go to Hyperstarter.com and plug in a Kickstarter Project to check.


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions

1) If ComixLaunch listeners are interested in finding out more about Hyperstarter.com, what should they do?

 Check out hyperstarter.com!

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

Hyperstarter.com

3) Do you have one final piece of advice for Kickstarter creators to keep in mind when launching their campaigns?

Focus on testing it out.  Promote to someone who has never heard of you and what you’re doing. If it  doesn’t work out cancel your campaign and try again. 

Thanks for Listening.

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


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_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

In today’s session, Tyler talks to Cathryn Lavery of BestSelf.co, who recently launched a crowdfunding ComixLaunch_Green038campaign that raised more than $300,000 on Kickstarter in the publishing category. How to achieve 6-figure crowdfunding success is talked about at length, including plenty of actionable strategies creators can apply to their own campaigns.

 


Today’s 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

Welcome back to ComixLaunch!
We try to find the best minds in Crowdfunding space. If they’re in the comics world, awesome, but sometimes the best Kickstarters are found in other crowdfunding categories…
Ideas that work in one area can be tweaked and adapted to work for us.

Take the survey for a chance to win a book — comixlaunch.com/kbsurvey


Guest Introduction

My guest today is a graphic artist who focuses on the intersection of design and entrepreneurship. She’s the cofounder of BestSelf.co, a company on a mission to create meaningful products that help people become their best self.

She shares her creative and entrepreneurial journey on her blog LittleMight.com.

Her last Kickstarter Launch for the Self-Journal raised over $300,000, and did so many things right that I just had to get her on ComixLaunch as a guest.

Cathryn Lavery, welcome to ComixLaunch!


Guiding Discussion Questions

1) You have a very compelling personal story of how, in a little over three years, you’ve been able to leave your job as an overworked architect and launch your own business creating products you’re incredibly passionate about… and Kickstarter has played a major role in that process. Can you tell us more about your story?

2) I know you’re a firm believer of validating an idea before investing too much time, money and resources into it. (Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms are essentially idea validation platforms.) And I completely agree with you. At the same time, I often tell the people listening to this podcast that simply having an idea isn’t enough to take it to Kickstarter… and that they need to put some “skin in the game” in order to get backers on board. So, where do you draw the line between how much time, money, energy to invest in a project before validating it on a platform like Kicstarter? Are there other validation steps before launching that you recommend?

3) Now, the Self-Journal project was a massive success, and raised over $15K in the first 28 hours? How did that campaign get off to such a rock-solid start?

4) One of the most brilliant things you did, and something not a lot of creators are savvy enough to do, is that you had a sweet Joint Venture deal, partnering with Blinkist, to add tremendous value to your campaign. I was a campaign watcher who became a backer… that was an offer too good to pass up. Can you tell me a little bit about how that came about? What advice might you have for KS creators looking to create a similar win/win scenario for their projects?

5) Finally, I wonder if you could talk a little bit about your approach to the packaging and designing of your product… I’ve heard you on other shows talking about wanting to provide “the Apple Experience” to your backers, and the unboxing of the Self-Journal was in fact a great experience. Yet this is something so few project creators give much thought to.


Speed Round

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

An awesome tool to turn an idea into a real thing.

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?

To make fulfillment easier.

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

Evernote, A Text (costs $5 in the app store)

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

Just being organized about it, getting someone detail oriented involved to help with fulfilment

5) Can you recommend one book (other than the Self-Journal) more people need to check out?

Zero to One by Peter Thiel


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ComixLauncher

It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can 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 38
Today’s ComixLauncher — Take this short ComixLaunch Survey – ComixLaunch.com/kbsurvey
Three short questions

One of you guys or gals is going to add an awesome resource -The Crowdfunders Strategy Guide by Jamey Stegmier to your library.


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions

Any final piece of advice?

Download Cathryn’s Kickstarter Prelaunch Playbook here –

http://www.littlemight.com/welcome

Where to connect?

Twitter @cathrynlavery

Thanks for Listening.

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


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.

Serialization has been a fundamental aspect of the comic book medium. This session with new writer ComixLaunch_Green037James Haick explores the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities Kickstarter provides creators to crowdfund comics one issue at a time.


Today’s Session is Sponsored by

Luminous Ages, a fantasy comic and art book now on Patreon. Visit ComixLaunch.com/luminous to find out more.


Session Table Setting

Welcome back to ComixLaunch!

Guest Introduction
My guest today is success financial advisor and a lifelong comic fan, who, in 2015 finally got into the game, writing successful career as a financial advisor for
Welcome to ComixLaunch, James Haick
Anything else you want to tell the CL audience about you and your work before we dive in?

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

Guiding Discussion Questions

1) Tell us a little more about Solar Flare? Where’d the idea for it come from, and what led you to the decision to take issue #1 to Kickstarter?

2) Take us back to that first KS… Jan 28, 2015, you launched SF #1 KS. You set a $3,800 goal, and hit it on the day before your campaign ended, raising $3,874 in funding.

Was that first campaign as nerve wracking as I imagine it was?
You had a very specific 4,000 copy print run in mind for that goal… where’d that number come from?
What were your big lessons and takeaways from your first KS?

3) Okay, let’s talk about funding the second issue. Three months later, April 28th, you launched the KS for the second issue.

What did you change for #2?
More backers, less funding… thoughts on why?
Decision to launch KS for #2 prior to #1 getting in backers hands. Risky?

4) Now, for #3, #4, #5 you’ve been coming out almost like clock-work, every three months. However, you’ve been playing with the goal amount. Dropped to $2K for #3, down to $1500 for #4, and back up to $2K for #5. What’s your thinking there?

5) Reader attrition is something every publisher has to deal with…

What are you doing to keep backers coming back for each issue?
What are you doing to bring new readers on-board?

 

Speed Round

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

A chance for all us independent creators to create something. 

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?

To eliminate double emails for backers who have backed more than once.  

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

The Art of Comic Book Writing by Mark Kneece

Fiverr.com

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

The customer is always right.

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

Unfollow by Rob Williams


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

Luminous Ages

photo-original

Luminous Ages is a fantasy comic set in a universe where dragons, humans, gods, titans, demons, angels and beasts have the ability to control dream magic!
Created by Australian writer/artist Anthony Christou, the adventure begins with a young farm boy, Thrakos, going through a painful transformation to become a Mage of the Mark. What path will he choose? What secret has his father been hiding from him? And why are dragons hunting him in the dreamworld?

It’s a full-color paperback comic available now on Kickstarter, and includes a bonus concept art book full of dragons and magic, that expands on existing and future characters and environments in the comic!

The first issue of Luminous Ages and the Concept Artbook is finished and can be ordered now.

Go to ComixLaunch.com/luminous to find out more.

Be sure to leave Anthony a comment so he knows that we sent you!

 


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
Today’s ComixLauncher — Share a resource with someone who could use it.

James shared a lot of his favorite resources, and talked about how helpful people in the comics community have been to him, and he’s interested in returning the favor.
It’s one of the special things about our community… that we help each other.

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 #37.]

 


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions
1) One thing we didn’t talk about was ?
2) What’s the best way to keep up with you online?

Thanks for Listening.

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

 


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.

Tyler investigates BackerClub, a community of frequent crowdfunders that offers promotional Image036opportunities for Kickstarter creators. Is BackerClub a legitimate marketing vehicle for creators, or is it scam creators and backers alike should avoid like the plague? This session will help inform you in order to make your own intelligent decision.


Today’s Session is Sponsored by…

Solar Flare

Today’s session is sponsored by the ongoing comic series Solar Flare by James Haick and Branko Jovanovic, currently on Kickstarter.

Download the first issue for free at www.solarflarecomic.com/store using the coupon code comixlaunch (all one word.)


Session Table Setting

Welcome back to ComixLaunch!
The podcast to learn about mindset, strategies, and tactics…

Buckle up for this one… a little investigative reporting.
But first, a little housekeeping…
Thank you for the voicemails that are coming to to the ComixLaunch hotline. We’re going to have fresh session of “Ask ComixLaunch” coming up, and I’d love to get as many of your voices on the podcast, asking your KS questions as possible.

ComixLaunch Course — Hard to believe it, but Monday is my last lecture of the pilot session of The ComixLaunch Course.
It will be a another month or so before first graduates launch their KS, so excited to see how they put the lessons into action.
Jeremy and I are learning a ton by pulling together this course — about the things creators are and aren’t doing, where the pain points and course corrections are needed, etc.
It’s helping me gear up for a few new Kickstarter projects I’ll be managing in the coming months as well.

And I’m excited about going back through the course from top to bottom and making it even better for the next group, based on the valuable feedback from our brave pilot course members.
Still not sure exactly when the next group of the course will run, but if you’re at all interested, please get on our interest list at www.comixlaunch.com/course

What is Today’s Episode About?

Is BackerClub a Scam?
What Sparked my Interest
Post in a FB Community

Here is another trick and spam from the people at BackerClub that I am now firmly filing them under never participating and actively speaking out against… my last campaign I got into a fight with the guy who spammed me 3 times. Now this deceptive email comes across my desk:

Cool campaign, [creator name]! Congratulations on yet another great campaign opening. What an awesome design and concept! I want this for game night! Realistically I can’t join you on this venture as I’m a new dad since last month (!) and I can’t justify the expense for something I don’t need right now. Despite this I can’t help but be tempted even with the weak Canadian dollar…let me discuss it further with the wife!

Have you ever considered adding it to Backerclub? It is a community of frequent backers. Backerclub helps projects get high yield exposure to people that back a lot! I am just a member but I love seeing excellent campaigns like yours in the community. You do not need to provide any payment information until after you get accepted so it really is no risk to apply! Actually, you don’t even get charged until your campaign has been fully funded AND Backerclub has provided you with enough pledges to cover the entrance fee of $379! It would be so amazing to see you join.

If you are interested and want to put [Project Name] in the lineup, look up backerclub! Here is a link for your convenience:
[Link]
Looking forward to hearing from you. I can help you with coming up with perk ideas!
[Name]

I’ve received this same email or one very similar… and usually I just ignore them, and everyone else interested in taking my money in exchange for providing me access to mystical backers.
Most of the comments
But not all…

“BackerClub is legit. There are a lot of parasites in the Kickstarter ecosystem but BackerClub is not one of them. They can help your project a lot if you’re a good fit for them.”

I don’t know the commenter, but I have seen his comments elsewhere, and found them to be good advice…

The reality is… I don’t know if BackerClub is a SCAM or not… I don’t know much about them at all.

I’m dismissive.

I’m skeptical.

My warning bells are ringing… but I don’t know.

But you guys listen to this show to find out about this stuff.

So, it was my duty to find out more.

In this episode, I’m going to take you with me on my journey inside BackerClub.
What is it?
How does it work?
What’s in it for Backers?
What’s in it for Kickstarter Creators?
How does BackerClub make money?
Is it a legit deal for Creators looking to crowdfund their projects? Or is Backerclub a SCAM.

Now, I’m going to tell you upfront, I won’t be able to answer this question in full in this session… and there will be a part two required.
My goal for this session is to really dissect BackerClub, mostly from the Backers side of the equation.
But to truly understand whether it’s worth considering for you, the creator, I’m going to need to use it in conjunction with a KS project… So, I will commit to using Backerclub for my next KS project, and then reporting all the details… good, bad, ugly, in the part 2 follow up.
If you are a ComixLaunch listener and have any past experience with BackerClub, either as a backer or a creator using their service, please, please, please chime in over at comixlaunch.com/voicemail and share your experience with the rest of us. I’ll add your voice to the part two BackerClub follow up session.
And finally, if you would like to check out BackerClub yourself and do your own investigation, please go to ComixLaunch.com/backerclub and click our special referral links on that page, which will help us mitigate our risk in testing the service out. Again, ComixLaunch.com/backerclub for the links for creators and backers alike.

Okay, What is BackerClub?

Let’s start by letting BC tell you —

Becoming a BackerClub Member (Free)
Signed up as a backer
Name and Email and password to Sign Up
Complete Registration
Asked for Forum Name
Kickstarter or Indiegogo Profile
Required me to add “Member of BackerClub.co” to my biography.
Submit
Email to Confirm my account
“Welcome to the club! You are a big-time backer and have qualified to be a part of our community. Congratulations! Please login to your account to get started.”

Log in and the set up is:
Projects
Heart of the site, a 4 projects across filterable projects section.
Filter by Site
Kickstarter or Indigogo
Filter by Category
Standard KS categories
Find Project
General Search
What’s on There?
Featured Top Row
DanverBag – Sports Bag
SoapBerri – Soap made from berries
The Ultimate Pet Carrier for Scooters & Bikes
Plantsitter – Worlds smartest plant monitoring system.
Pretty random.

What about Comics?
1 live comic book project on BackerClub. 206 projects live, so less than .5% of comic projects on BackerClub.
Heroes: Ignited – 56 Page Anthology Comic

Reward for BackerClub Members
BackerClub members who pledge $20 – $35 will get an automatic upgrade to the next tier reward beyond what you pledge (up to the $50 pledge level).
10 BackerClub supporters
224.00 USD 5 Days to Go (4% of pledged total, $22.40 avg pledge)
Overall – 110 backers $6,048 pledged of $6,000 goal ($55 avg pledge)
7 Other Past Comic Projects in the Search
6 of 7 projects were ultimately successful on Kickstarter.
1 of 7 did not get a single BackerClub pledge.
Those Six that got BackerClub pledges
7 backers for $81
— Less than $379 guarantee
35 backers for $1443
– $379 = Net $1,064 (280% ROI)
12 backers for $410
– $379 = Net $31 (8% ROI)
25 backers for $384
– $379 = Net $6 (1.6% ROI)
9 backers for $10
— Less than $379 guarantee
6 backeers for $6
— Less than $379 guarantee
Project Failed

So, over the 7 projects in this small sample.
1 project was significantly helped by BackerClub, with a 280% return on the $379 spend.
3 projects weren’t charged, by failing to hit the BC minimum of $379.
2 projects lost money using backer club… as their ROI was 1.5%, 8%.
Cost of those pledges would be such that they lost money on every BackerClub backer.

So, overall, for this small sample size, only 1 out of 7 projects was BackerClub a good idea… and 2 out of 7, it was a bad idea.
3 live publishing projects on BC of 577 total projects on KS. .5%
39 Tech Projects on BC of the 746 live on KS. 5% of Tech projects… clearly, Tech sector takes BC more seriously, and more aware of it, than comics and publishing.

 

Profile
As a 2 Star BackerClub member you have earned the badge displayed to the left.
Click the button below to download your BackerClub badge so you can update your crowdfunding profile images to proudly display it.
Show the world that you are an influential backer.
For Backers:
How do you know what rank you are? How many backed projects do you need to promote to the next rank?

BackerClub Intern: 5-49 backed projects
1 Star Member: 50-74 backed projects
2 Star Member: 75-99 backed projects
3 Star Member: 100-249 backed projects
4 Star Member: 250-399 backed projects
5 Star Member: 400-549 backed projects
6 Star Member: 550-699 backed projects
7 Star Member: 700+ backed projects

 

Lounges
BackerClub private lounges are special rooms that only members at certain star levels (or above) can enter. On any given day, week or month, you don’t know what you’ll find in these rooms.
It could be a giveaway (like a free t-shirt)…
It could be a contest to win free Kickstarter rewards…
Or, even money to use in pledging for more Kickstarter projects!
Check out the forum to see our recent BackerBucks drawing winners. We’re prepping the lounges for more great ideas to come. Check back soon!

 

Recruiting
Leaderboard of backers by Month
Member Level
Backed Projects
Members Recruited
Projects Recruited
Backer Bucks earned.
Learderboard Example
Ex. #1 Pontus Eriksson has backed 1,025 projects, recruited 1 member and 21 projects, earning 1,135 “Backer Bucks” in March.
#2 $595 , #3 $229, everyone else sub $100.

BackerBucks

You can earn BackerBucks in a number of ways in the BackerClub community. These are tracked on your Profile page showing your account balance. You can withdraw BackerBucks to a Paypal account anytime you want. If you have more than $50 in your balance that you are withdrawing, then there is no fee. If you want to withdraw less than $50 in BackerBucks you may do so, but there is a $10 fee.

Referral Program

Projects – $70 (Kickstarter) or $50 (Indiegogo)

Whenever you recruit a project and they are approved for entrance into BackerClub you’ll get a referral fee! You can get credit two ways:
by having the creator mention that they heard about BackerClub from you on their submission form or
the project creator uses your recruiting link (see below) in the process of applying to BackerClub. If more than one member recruits a project, then the fee will be divided between those members evenly.
http://backerclub.co/project-submit.php?i=6rp

CrossPromote.co – $10
If you invite a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project to join CrossPromote.co and they pay to use the site’s service you will get a $10 credit in your BackerBucks account. To recruit the project please use the link below:
http://crosspromote.co/?i=6rp

Members – $4
When you invite a new member (5+ projects backed) to join the Club you’ll earn $4. There is no limit to how many people you can invite so share away! You must use the link below so we can track that you were the one who referred this member:
http://backerclub.co/member-join.php?i=6rp

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please DO NOT post your referral link or any comments about BackerClub on a project’s comment sections about BackerClub. This frustrates the project creators and often causes issues for them with their other non-BackerClub members who are not getting a special perk. Posting any comment about BackerClub in the comments of a project is not allowed and will result in suspension of your Club membership and forfeit of any accrued BackerBucks in your account.

Getting Special Perks:
When you pledge for a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project that is featured on BackerClub you will automatically qualify for the special perk the creator is offering (assuming you pledge at the correct tier). Each project creator has a BackerClub dashboard that shows them a list of all of their BackerClub supporters. This allows them to easily fulfill any special perks they need. So, just pledge and enjoy the special perks. It is also a good idea to mention you are a BackerClub member when you are filling out your survey at the end of the project.

Other Items:
We will notify you each morning of new BackerClub projects that have been added to the site. These notification settings can be changed on your Profile.
Please leave feedback for the creators. Your input to them will be very helpful.
Even if you do not want a reward, please consider backing BackerClub projects for $1 just to help them gain momentum in their first 24 hours on the crowdfunding site. The first day often makes all the difference in a projects ultimate success. As a community we want to support BackerClub project creators!

 

Promoting Your Project with BackerClub
At BackerClub You Only Pay If We Produce RESULTS!
No upfront fee…
No fee if you don’t reach your goal…
You only pay after we get you new backers…
You won’t find an opportunity like this anywhere else!
Found Money
This is an opportunity to connect with new backers and always come out ahead!
Our listing price is $379 and we guarantee you will get at least $379 in new pledges.
If not, you don’t pay!
This is a classic “Risk Reversal” offer… No risk guarantee.
The average projects (sic) gets over a 300% ROI from BackerClub and the best ones get $5K, $10K or even $25K in new pledges!
See the Highest Supported projects at the bottom of this page.
Plus read reviews from recent project creators about BackerClub.
Submit your project to see if you are one of the lucky ones who gets admitted entrance into this exclusive Club of repeat backers!


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

Solar Flare is an ongoing comic series that takes place in a world very similar to our own. The only difference is that Earth was just hit by an x-class solar flare wiping out all electronics, similar to an EMP.

The main protagonist of the story, Jake Clifford, has to travel from Florida to Tennessee in this new electronic less world. He not only wants to reunite with his young daughter Mazzy, but to also help his scientist friend get to a facility that will act as ground zero in reestablishing the country’s electrical infrastructure.

Solar Flare is a post apocalyptic, sci-fi story that has been described as Y: The Last Man meets The Walking Dead without zombies.

James and his team of creators have successfully raised enough money 4 separate times now on Kickstarter and the 5th campaign launched on March 1st.

All 5 issues are available for sale on their website, www.solarflarecomic.com/store. Comix Launch listeners can download the 1st issue of Solar Flare for free using the coupon code: comixlaunch

Also, if you could, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/solarflarecomic.


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 — Share a Kickstarter Project you think is cool.

Do it not to make money.
Not to hit them up when you launch.
Not to keep score.
Do it because it might make someones day — the creator or the person who discovers their new favorite book.

Today’s ComixLauncher
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 #36.]


Wrap Up

So, that’s their offer…

We found out what we could about BackerClub from the inside…

But to truly understand it fully, I’m going to have to use it myself.

So, I’m committing to you all to submit my next KS campaign to BackerClub.
Giving it an honest go…

Reporting back to you in Follow up BackerClub Session to discover whether or not it worked for me.

Now, if BackerClub sounds interesting to you, and you might want to check it out from either the Backers side — find out about new cool products and get exclusive bonus pledge perks for every project — or, if you’re a creator and you think it might be worth dropping $379 to get your project in front of their community of backers, go to ComixLaunch.com/backerclub

There you’ll find a short video where I poke around my new backerclub dashboard.
You’ll also find BackerClub referral links for Backers and Creators.

Full disclosure

For every one of you who create a free Backer account, ComixLaunch will get $4 in backer bucks, as long as you have backed 5 or more Kickstarter or Indiegogo projects under your profile.

And if you’re a creator who decides to bring your Kickstarter or Indiegogo project to BackerClub for their $379 service fee, we will get a $70 referral commission.

So, again, if you’re going to check it out, please use those ComixLaunch.com/backerclub referal links, as it will help us pay for our BackerClub experiment, which we’ll be reporting back to you on.

And again, if you plan on running your own Backerclub experiment, please tell us how it went, by leaving a voicemail at ComixLaunch.com/voicemail and you’ll be apart of our follow up session.

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


Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

In 2016, there’s no one way to launch a new comic series… in fact, the options are more varied than ever.ComixLaunch_Green035 In this session, Tyler discusses Chris Lewis’ experiences publishing on Comixology, in the direct market through IDW, and on Kickstarter, as well as his experience with Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience.

 


Today’s Session is Sponsored by

Solar Flare – James Haick

Today’s session is sponsored by the ongoing comic series Solar Flare by James Haick and Branko Jovanovic. Download the first issue for free at www.solarflarecomic.com/store using the coupon code comixlaunch (all one word.)


Session Table Setting

Welcome back to ComixLaunch!

Great guest — great conversation with hardworking creator, Comixology, Comics Experience, working with pubs vs. self-publishing, and where KS fits in the big picture of building a career in comics.
Before I bring on my guest, share a few things going on in my world… this year is just flying by…
Only have two more Training Sessions for the pilot version of CLC.
Most launching campaigns April, May, June… super exciting
Supporting, feedback, etc… in 3 weeks, they’ll be presenting their KS plans to the group for comment and FB, and excited to see them, and go live.

In the next three months, I have two KS campaigns I’ll be involved in running, so been starting to build those project pages and getting ready.
Obviously, pre-launch awareness building has been underway for some time now… never too early to build an audience.

Getting my printer quotes, and logistics planning. With each KS I do, I try to get better and better at pushing more and more of the fulfillment to others, so I can focus on what I do best… or at least where I add the most value:
Creating New Products
Making Existing Products Better
Marketing

I have script to finish… the 10th issue of 10 of THE RED TEN, a superhero murder mystery series I’ve been working on since 2010… one script left to finish, Cesar is just about done with art on 9th issue, and that’ll be a wrap.

So, that’s what’s going on with me… I’d love to hear what’s going on in YOUR world, your projects, your wins, your triumphs, your struggles, and certainly your Kickstarter tips and questions — ComixLaunch.com/voicemail and leave me a 90 second message fit to play on the show.

Guest Introduction

My guest today is a writer whose first mini-series, DRONES, was released in 2015 as a part of the first wave of the Comics Experience / IDW publishing alliance. His work has appeared in the Imaginary Drugs, and GrayHaven Comics The Gathering anthologies, and is the founder of the self-publishing imprint Epigamics. He just launched his third Kickstarter, Karma Police, which is a murder mystery that spans lifetimes, and is more than 50% funded with a little more than three weeks to go.

Welcome to ComixLaunch, Mr. Chris Lewis!
Anything else you want to tell the CL audience about you and your work before we dive in?

What is Today’s Episode About?

I’m looking forward to talking to you, a KS veteran, with a few campaigns under your belt, about a bunch of things… specifically. I want to talk Karma Police, I want to talk about your Comics Experience experience, and the decision to go digital first and KS the trade. But first…

Guiding Discussion Questions

1) What’s the why behind Karma Police? Why was this a story you had to tell?

2) I hold Comics Experience in very high regard… many of the creators I’ve worked with over the past few years have been involved in the classes Andy Schmidt offers, and have been involved with their new publishing initiatives. What has your experience been like with CE, both the workshops and the publishing initiative?

3) Okay, let’s talk the release strategy for Karma Police. Karma Police is a 4-issue mini-series. You published issues #1-2 as a digital first through Comics Experience, and now you’re going to KS to fund the trade collection. Was this always the plan?

4) What are your thoughts on Comixology as a distribution platform for creators? Pros and cons?

5) How do you make the Kickstarter experience a special experience, even for readers who have already read and loved Karma Police in digital?

Speed Round

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

A lot of work.

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?

If a backer has backed multiple times or projects only send out one email of updates etc. and omit double emails.

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

A pen and paper. Jotting down ideas as they come up.

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

Just how many ways there are now to fulfill (Amazon, Kracken etc.)

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

“Turncoat” by Ryan O Sullivan, “Dear Editor” by Ryan K Lindsay, “Past the Last Mountain” by Paul Ahler and Louie Joyce


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

Solar Flare

Solar Flare is an ongoing comic series that takes place in a world very similar to our own. The only difference is that Earth was just hit by an x-class solar flare wiping out all electronics, similar to an EMP.
The main protagonist of the story, Jake Clifford, has to travel from Florida to Tennessee in this new electronic less world. He not only wants to reunite with his young daughter Mazzy, but to also help his scientist friend get to a facility that will act as ground zero in reestablishing the country’s electrical infrastructure.

Solar Flare is a post apocalyptic, sci-fi story that has been described as Y: The Last Man meets The Walking Dead without zombies.

James and his team of creators have successfully raised enough money 4 separate times now on Kickstarter and the 5th campaign launched on March 1st.

All 5 issues are available for sale on their website, www.solarflarecomic.com/store. Comix Launch listeners can download the 1st issue of Solar Flare for free using the coupon code: comixlaunch
Also, if you could, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/solarflarecomic.


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 35 –
Write down one thing you will do in the next 30 days to build your network of creator peers.

Send an email of introduction.
Take a course.
Attend a convention.

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 #35.]


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions
1) One thing we didn’t talk about was ?
2) Where will Kraken be next at cons, and what’s the best way to keep up with you online?

Thanks for Listening.

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


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.

All your comic book printing questions are answered, as Tyler talks to the KrakenPrint Team about whenComixLaunch_Green034 to choose offset vs. POD printing, what are the real drivers of cost when it comes to printing, paper quality and much more. If you’re printing a book this year, you need to listen to this session.

Note: this episode contains a special listener bonus:

How to Choose the Right Paper Stock for Your Comic or Graphic Novel Project 

Click the link above to get the free guide courtesy of ComixTribe and KrakenPrint!


Today’s Session is Sponsored by

Luminous Ages, a fantasy comic and art book now on Patreon. Visit ComixLaunch.com/luminous to find out more.


Session Table Setting

Welcome back to ComixLaunch!
The podcast to learn about mindset, strategies, and tactics… today, we’re going to touch on all three.
If you’re listening to this show, good chance you’ll be taking a book to print in the not-to-distant future.

Guest Introduction

My guests today are the Customer Service General Manager of KrakenPrint, a Chicago-area print brokerage firm, specializing in comics, graphic novels, art books, childrens books, gaming and much more.
Jacob Way, who is the Customer service and General Managerer, who handles marketing, management, and business development for Kraken.
Sam Amborn, who is the graphics and operations manager, handling graphic design, prepress and printing operations, with more than 10 years in the printing industry.
If you’re in small press or artists alley at major cons such as C2E2 or NYCC, don’t be surprised if he comes by to introduces themselves.

Welcome to ComixLaunch Jacob and Sam!

Before we get into answering some of the most common printing questions that creators have, I’m wondering if you could tell the ComixLaunch audience a bit more about yourself and how you got into the printing business?

What is Today’s Episode About?

Guiding Discussion Questions

1) Kraken is a print broker… not a printer. Can you clarify the difference, and talk about the advantages of dealing with a print broker vs. the printer?

2) Now, I know (and you probably know) that printing can be very intimidating for creators, especially the first few times they do it. Often times, thanks to a successful Kickstarter creators will finally have the means to do a larger, off-set print run… but filling out a print quote can be confusing, and writing that big check can be very scary. Ideally, my goal for listeners of this episode is that by the end of the show, knows what they needs to know to confidently request a print quote from a printer like Kraken… and feels a little more comfortable with the process. Sound good?

3) Before we get to the print quote, let’s talk about when a creator is ready to work with a printer like Kraken. Is there a certain print run size or minimum budget that you’d need to see to work with a creator?

4) Okay, let’s start with the print quote… What’s the key information that YOU (kraken) need to know in order to quote a book?

We can work on any level of knowledge.

Have an idea of what you want to do?
Like Marvel? Fantagraphics?

There’s industry standards, but different publishers use different standards.

Knowing Paper Weights
Samples available 70 lbs standard
A lot of options
Good to know what you’re trying to make
Paper Finish & Coating
Everyone has their own terminology.
Paper can be uncoated.
Coated papers, mixture of plastics, give a smoother finish, more saturated look.
Finish – Matte (no sheen)
Gloss – Sheen.
Coating finish on covers – a varnish or lamination or UV

5) What are the biggest drivers of cost on a quote? Tips for budget conscious creators?

Color vs. black & white — B&W much cheaper. 1 color on each side. 50% or more in savings.
Off-set printing – metal sheets aluminum.
Perfect bound, hardcover, saddle stitch. Don’t be afraid of hardcover, but be conscious of weight.
A whole plate = signature 25 inches by 30 inches. 1 plate, front and back is a signature.
1 signature = 16 pages
Covers will be their own thing. To save money, inside cover blank on perfect bound.
When you do multiple variant covers, can save some money by doing gang-running… work with printers. Put multiple covers on one plate.
Price breaks come at 500s

6) What are the biggest mistakes you guys see creators make that slow down the process of getting books printed… and how to solve.

1) Resolution Issues
300 pixels per inch, or greater.
Can’t bump a resolution in PS.

2) Color issues
Color modes — Creating files usually in RGB (Red Green Blue) mode – anything with digital display is RGB
Off-set Printing – Uses CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black) mode – Additive color. Colors combined and overlaid.
Black and White – Convert Files to Greyscale. Will look B&W but actually a mixture… not a true grey.
I can easily change it on my end, but there is a color ship from RGB to CMYK.

3) Bleed Issues
What is Bleeds? An extension of printing beyond the finished product trim size. Any graphics meant to touch edge of page should be extended beyond the edge.
Needed to account to subtle difference in machinery.
Not having bleed margin can have white sliver of edge.
InDesign and Illustrator will let you include it.
Export your files to PDF, use the Press PDF settings. Will make sure everything is converted to CMYK and Bleed amounts.

7) Getting the books printed is only part of the challenge… fulfillment is required to actually get books in backers hands. I know you’ve done a lot of work when it comes to fulfillment solutions for creators. Can you tell me what Kraken offers?


SPECIAL COMIXLAUNCH BONUS

If you’ve ever felt stuck or unsure about how to choose the paper stock for your next project, then worry no more!

This handy guide, courtesy of a conversation with Jacob Way, General Manager of KRAKENPrint, will help you never have this problem again!

Download the guide by filling out the form below.

Get the Guide!


77307058-d4a3-4e20-b4e6-24e312cd7576
Need help choosing paper stock for your comic or graphic novel project?We’ll email you a free guide from ComixLaunch and KrakenPrint!






We respect your privacy.
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Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

Luminous Ages

photo-original

Luminous Ages is a fantasy comic set in a universe where dragons, humans, gods, titans, demons, angels and beasts have the ability to control dream magic!
Created by Australian writer/artist Anthony Christou, the adventure begins with a young farm boy, Thrakos, going through a painful transformation to become a Mage of the Mark. What path will he choose? What secret has his father been hiding from him? And why are dragons hunting him in the dreamworld?

It’s a full-color paperback comic available now on Kickstarter, and includes a bonus concept art book full of dragons and magic, that expands on existing and future characters and environments in the comic!

The first issue of Luminous Ages and the Concept Artbook is finished and can be ordered now.

Go to ComixLaunch.com/luminous to find out more.

Be sure to leave Anthony a comment so he knows that we sent you!


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
Today’s ComixLauncher — Submit a Print Quote to Kraken

You’re likely in one of three positions:
You’ve a print project coming up and you know your specs, you know exactly what you want, exactly what you need.
You’ve got a print project and have a good idea what you want, but want to talk over some options, and maybe aren’t quite sure how many books you need.
You have an idea for project, and but need help with the next steps when it comes to printing.
http://krakenprint.com/quote/

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 #34.]


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions
1) One thing we didn’t talk about was ?
2) Where will Kraken be next at cons, and what’s the best way to keep up with you online?
Thanks for Listening.

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


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.

Issues of diversity in comics and finding the big why’s behind the comics and projects you create is ComixLaunch_Green033the focus of this session with special guest Kwanza Osajyefo. Plus: ComixLaunch listener voice mail!


Today’s Session is Sponsored by

Rocketbook Wave, a Cloud Connected Microwavable Notebook currently on Kickstarter. Get yours at ComixLaunch.com/rocketbook

RBwave


Session Table Setting

Welcome back to ComixLaunch!
We have a great show and a great guest today, and we’ll be talking about the bigger why’s behind our work, diversity in comics, and a whole lot more.

But before we get into that, I want to start by saying thank you.  I want to say thank you for joining me and for all the feedback, emails, reviews, re-tweets and so on.
I’ve said it before that creating, even in a collaborative medium like comics, involves a lot of time being alone, staring at a computer screen or our desks… in the winter especially, when conventions less frequent, days are shorter, nights are colder… it’s tough! But making connection, even virtually, is one way to keep at it and keep going… and you guys definitely keep me going.

SpeakPipe – Last episode, I shared news of a new ComixLaunch feature, that makes it super easy for you to become a part of this show. I’ve installed SpeakPipe on the ComixLaunch.com website, and now, with a couple of clicks, you can leave me voice mail…

Jim Whiting, creator of Margo – Intergalactic Trash Collector
“I recently received a mixed review from an online comic site, it wasn’t all bad. After my initial hurt and rejection, I listed his points and looked at them as teachers. I emailed the guy and asked to quote him and to exchange banner ads. Now he is gung-ho to promote my up coming book and will run my press release as is.”

Hey, I love the idea of banner exchanges. I also love how you turned what could be a negative (a critical comment) into a positive — constructive crits to learn from, an opportunity to engage a fellow person in the industry further expanding your network, and a banner exchange!
A ton of lesson’s there!

When you share your own vulnerabilities, transparencies, struggles… a funny thing happens. Other people are drawn to it, share their similar experiences, and how they handle them. Yet another part of the ROI of being transparent.

Check out http://margocomics.com/ for more of Jim’s work.

One more SpeakPipe message, this one from a creator named – Daniel Brodie
Thanks for the tips, Daniel, and congrats on your KS success and good luck finishing strong.

If you’d like to leave us a message and be a part of the show, go to ComixLaunch.com/voicemail and follow the super easy instructions there. I look forward to hearing from you.

Now, let’s get to the heart of today’s show and an awesome conversation.


Guest Introduction

My guest today is a former digital editor at Marvel and DC Comics – best known for launching DC’s Zuda imprint, which published series like the award-winning Bayou, High Moon, Night Owls, Superton, Celadore, Black Cherry Bombshells, Bottle of Awesome, and I Rule the Night. He is also the Creator and writer of BLACK, his first Kickstarter project with art by Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, and Khary Randolph, which is currently crushing it on Kickstarter, having raised more than $53K from the support of more than 1500 backers.

Welcome to ComixLaunch Mr. Kwanza Osajyefo
Anything else you want to tell the ComixLaunch audience about yourself?


What is Today’s Episode About?

Guiding Discussion Questions

Black has a strong, “get it instantly” high concept — “In a world that already fears and hates them – what if only Black people had superpowers?” that seems to have really resonated with backers. Were you surprised at great start to your campaign?

One of the exercises I have my students do prior to launching Kickstarter projects or new comic series is really hone in on the “Big Why?” behind their work. I’m interested hearing about your why? Why tell this story, why tell it now, and why are you and your creative team the right people to tackle this story?

Have you received any backlash for tackling issues of racial injustice, police brutality, etc. since launching?

You seem to be taking an unconventional approach with Black. What’re your plans with it post Kickstarter?

Now, in a past life, you were an editor at Zuda Comics, which was a short-lived DC’s webcomic imprint and initiative. (Zuda was also the first time I cashed a check for my comics work, having finished with the bronze in two Zuda competitions…so thanks!) While Zuda was a somewhat controversial initiative… in a lot of ways I see Kickstarter as a spiritual successor to Zuda, at least in terms of opening up opportunity for new creators that wasn’t there before. Thoughts?

When it comes to diversity in mainstream comics, are things getting better, worse, or about the same as they were five years ago? It seems like every single year, when asked what they want to see more of in the comics industry, “more diversity” is almost a stock answer, lauded by most. Five years from now, what has to happen to definitively say the industry has made true progress?

Speed Round

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

“Awesome.” 

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?

“Being able to determine when your project starts and finishes.”

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

“Google Docs and Messenger.”

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

“Definitely understand who your audience is.”

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

“Brian K. Vaughn’s Paper Dolls.”


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

RBwave
The way you take notes might be about to change…

You’ve got to check out the Rocketbook Wave, a Cloud Connected Microwavable Notebook which is currently on Kickstarter.

The Rocketbook Wave provides the freedom of a traditional pen and paper notebook, while instantly blasting your notes into the cloud using your smartphone.

When you use Pilot Frixion pens with the Wave notebook, you can erase your notes using your microwave oven and reuse your notebook.

Machine Vision

The Rocketbook System is the combination of a special notebook and a free mobile app. Write notes and create designs in your notebook with a pen. Then, using patent-pending image capture technology, the Rocketbook app accurately and quickly captures and sends your notes to pre-configured cloud services.

IMAGE PROCESSING

In an instant, the Rocketbook app crops and enhances each page so your digital notes are more crisp and vibrant than the real thing.

Possibilities are endless

Daily Warm-up Sketch pumped out to social media or your tumblr in record time.
Layouts and cover concepts sketched by hand, and then lightning synched to dropbox to share with your team.
Combines the freedom of sketching anywhere, with the comfort of a digital archive.

Get yours at ComixLaunch.com/rocketbook which is our Kickbooster affiliate link.


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 33
Today’s ComixLauncher — Three Whys?

Why this project?
Why now?
Why are you the one to make it happen?

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 #33.]


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions
1) What’s one thing that creators do when interacting with editors that drives editors crazy?
2) What’s the best place to keep up with you online?

Thanks for Listening.

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


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.