Setting your funding goal is one of the most important decisions when launching a Kickstarter campaign. In this special MasterMind style session of ComixLaunch, writer/artist Sebastian Chow gets advice from the round table on how to nail the funding goal for his next launch.
Highlights of this Session include:
How to know when you’re ready to kick up your Kickstarter funding goal?
Ways to “stack the deck” so getting funded is inevitable.
Key questions to ask yourself before locking in a Kickstarter goal.
Plus: An Update on the ComixLaunch MasterMind experiment
This Session’s Sponsor:
The ComixLaunch MasterMind. If you would you like to meet once a month with a group of serious, like-minded creators to talk about your projects and creative business for mutual support and accountability in the new year, go to ComixLaunch.com/mastermind and get on the interest list.
New Groups will be forming in December and start meeting in January!
In the Mastermind Hot Seat:
Sebastian Chow is a comic creator from London, with one successful Kickstarter under his belt. His comic CATAPULTED tells the story of a cats journey to space and beyond. He’s currently working towards a second Kickstarter in 2019 that will finish off the CATAPULTED story in a trade paperback collection.
In the Mastermind Round Table:
Darryl Jones is a comic book creator, designer, and creator of the successful fantasy board game Dobbers.
Shaun Manning is a writer and creator of historical graphic novels such as MacBeth: The Red King, and has written short comics for for Star Wars Adventures, Dark Horse Presents, the Thought Bubble anthology, and more.
Ryan Summers is a Chicago-based director, designer, animator and educator… and soon to be podcaster.
Carmelo Chimera is a lawyer and comic shop owner by day, and a comic book creator by later in the day.
A few years ago, Roye Okupe of YouNeek Studios went all in on his dream to become a successful comic book publisher. In this podcast, Roye shares his journey from watching American super hero cartoons as a child in Nigeria to moving to the States and developing a line of books showcasing heroes inspired by his culture, and all the many lessons he’s learned along the way.
Highlights of this Session include:
Roye’s incredible journey from living inNigeria to becoming a Washington, D.C. based comic book publisher.
Roye’s strategies to get featured on major press outlets such as The Washington Post.
How Roye grew his Facebook page to over 13,000+ fans
Plus: Tips for working with overseas creative teams.
Roye Okupe is the CEO and Creative Direct of YouNeek Studios, a Washington D.C. based publishing company which produces graphic novels and animated stories inspired by African history, culture & mythology.
Jeremy Melloul is a marketing consultant who specializes in working with artists and creators, with a true passion for the comic book industry — how it works, where it’s going, and and what it could be. If you’re a longtime listener of the podcast, you’ve heard him on this show several times, and he was instrumental in helping ComixLaunch get off to to a strong start.
The long middle stretch of a Kickstarter campaign, where funding and new backers seem hard to come by, can be one of the most difficult parts of a crowdfunding launch. In this session, Tyler explains why the Kickstarter “Dead Zone” happens and what to do about it.
Highlights of this Session Include:
What is the Kickstarter Dead Zone exactly? What does it look like, feel like, and how does it affect your launch?
What causes the Kickstarter Dead Zone and why it’s not your fault?
How to think and what to do when you find yourself in the Dead Zone.
Hey, are you getting ready to ship rewards to all your awesome backers?
With more than a decade of publishing under my belt, I’ve shipped my fair share of comics and graphic novels over the years… so you bet I was SHOCKED to realize I’d been doing it all wrong!
One of the most overlooked aspects of the Kickstarter process is your shipping materials, which is a shame, because how your package arrives is often the last impression your campaign will make on a backer, and will be a big factor in whether they choose to support you again.
And yet, I can’t tell you how many creators out there are disappointing their backers by shipping comics and graphic novels in shoddy packaging.
For the longest time, I was using and recommending rigid stayflat mailers for comics shipping… only to hear back from upset fans that their packages were decimated by a mail carrier who must hate them.
No more though.
I now use COMIC FLASH MAILERS from Gemini Comic Supply and the shipping complaints have all gone away.
COMIC FLASH MAILERS are engineered specifically to secure your comics and graphic novels.
They are constructed with high quality durable corrugated paper, while still being lightweight to reduce shipping costs.
Each mailer has a flexible capacity and is perfect for shipping single bagged and boarded issues or up to 12 comics or a few graphic novels in a single package.
And here’s a pro-tip: COMIC FLASH MAILERS slip comfortably into a FLAT RATE LEGAL envelope, which can save you 50% or more on the cost of shipping domestically, depending on the weight.
I reached out to Bryan Kelly at Gemini, told him I was a huge fan of his company, and secured a special deal for ComixLaunch listeners looking to upgrade their shipping game.
Just use COUPON CODE “ComixLaunch” at checkout at geminicomicsupply.com for 10% off your very first order at Gemini and treat your books and backers with the care they deserve.
Decide now how you will capture all of your thoughts, ideas, feelings, ups, downs, etc. during your next launch?
Special journal? daily blog or vlog? fav note taking app?
“Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
How do you get everyone on your creative team rowing in the same direction when it comes to promoting a big Kickstarter launch? And what does it take to build a strong collaborative relationship to create something truly unique? Those topics and more are up for discussion when L.U.C.H.A. writer C.W. Cooke and artist Travis Hymel stop by the ComixLaunch Podcast.
Highlights of this Session Include:
Tips for a productive collaborative relationship with your creative partners before, during and after a Kickstarter launch.
A frank discussion about roles of writers and artists when it comes time to promote a crowdfunding launch.
Tips for mashing genres to create something truly innovative.
Plus: How to get access to a new training featuring 13 Days of Proven Kickstarter Dead Zone Busting Strategies
ComixLaunch listeners, are you ready to take your crowdfunding game to the next level?
Comic book writer CW Cooke. CW has been writing comics for over a decade, with credits at Big Dog Ink, Devel’s Due, Image, Action Lab and more. His first Kickstarter funded super hero prison drama, Solitary, is currently in development for film and television. His current project L.U.C.H.A, a wrestling sci-fi thriller, is funding on Kickstarter.
Travis Hymel is a Colorado based graphic designer, illustrator, and comic book artist and the co-creator of L.U.C.H.A.
I’ve opened Club ComixLaunch to help continue and expand on the ComixLaunch mission of increasing the number of creators equipped to harness the power of the Kickstarter platform to bring amazing independent projects to life.
As a Club ComixLaunch member, you’ll have access to a number of exclusive perks and privileges, such as:
A shout out on the ComixLaunch Podcast for you and your project.
Access to the ComixLaunch Club exclusive Patreon feed for even more mindset, strategies and tactics to get your project funded.
The ComixLaunch Club Insider Monthly Kickstarter Resource which might be a guide, checklist, cheat sheet, template, or bonus training video designed to help you launch.
Priority enrollment in ComixLaunch Courses
Discounts on Courses, Books and Upcoming Premium Products
You can even sponsor an episode of the ComixLaunch podcast through Patreon.
And as the Club Grows, so do the perks…
See, there is a direct correlation between listener support and the value ComixLaunch can provide, and as the club expands, we hope to offer:
Monthly Kickstarter Page Critiques
Club Exclusive Chats and Q&As
Bonus Sessions of the ComixLaunch Podcast.
Full podcast transcripts for every episode.
And much more!
For as little as a dollar a month, you can access Club ComixLaunch today, help keep the podcast going and improving, and take your crowdfunding game to the next level.
Membership has its privileges, and to get a taste of them absolutely free, please go to ComixLaunch.com/club and download a free Club ComixLaunch VIP Insider bonus resources today.
Let’s get you ready for your best launch yet!
I’ll see you inside the Club!
Write down your expectations for what your collaborators will do during your next launch. Then share those expectations with your team to see how well they match with what they had in mind?
You diligently researched and planned your crowdfunding campaign.
You took your time and built a slick looking Kickstarter page you were proud of.
And even though you were nervous, you took a deep breath, summoned up all of your courage, and hit that green Kickstarter launch button…
And it worked!
The funding started rolling in!
Your core fans and supporters came out Day One and you even saw some names you did not recognize on your list of backers.
You felt amazing and even started to let yourself think about cool ideas for stretch goals or even your next Kickstarter launch.
Everything was going great.
And then… it stopped.
It’s now day five of your campaign.
You haven’t had a new backer in 48 hours.
And the Kickstarter launch that was going so great is somehow already a distant memory.
It was simply too good to be true, you think.
And now every fear and insecurity you had about launching suddenly start creeping back into your head…
What if you don’t get another backer for the rest of this campaign?
What if it was only friends and family who were ever going to support you… and you’re all out of friends and family?
What if everyone has moved on to the next shiny project and no one cares about your campaign any more?
What if there’s too much competition on Kickstarter this month and all that funding is going to projects better than yours?
What if the Kickstarter bubble finally burst… and of course that coincided with the week YOU decided to launch?
The worst part is that up until now, you felt like this Kickstarter campaign was evidence that you were finally taking control of your creative career.
You worked damn hard on this project!
Step by step, brick by brick, you took action day after day, week after week to put this launch together.
You were in control.
And yes, it took longer than you thought to launch.
And yes, it was more work than you thought it would be, but you didn’t shy away from that challenge, you leaned into it…
And when that first surge of funding came in, you finally let yourself breathe a sigh of relief because it was validation that it was all going to be worth it.
Now, you’re back to feeling powerless again.
You feel like the Kickstarter campaign you worked so damn hard on is slipping out of your control…
You were counting on more backers coming from Kickstarter itself, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
Your confidence is waning…
Maybe you won’t raise nearly as much as you thought you’d raise
Or even worse, maybe you won’t fund at all.
And if this campaign that you put weeks, months, maybe even years into planning fails…
…then what hope do you have to succeed at anything?
What does a public failure like this going to say about you?
What are people going to think?
How are you going to face your creative team if this launch goes bust?
How is your family going to react when when they see that all the time you spent away from them to create this project was a pointless sacrifice made in vain?
The negative thoughts in your head are relentless…
You’re trying to stay positive.
You know you should roll up your sleeves and get back to promoting your campaign, but all you want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head.
Because frankly, you’re exhausted from all the work you put into the initial launch…
And secretly, you’re afraid that you simply don’t have anything left in the tank to get things moving again.
Where did it all go wrong?
You, my friend, have entered the Kickstarter Dead Z💀ne.
And how you deal with this part of your Kickstarter campaign will be one of the main determinants in whether Kickstarter propels your creative career forward…
Or whether it sets you back physically, mentally and emotionally.
What is the Kickstarter Dead Zone?
Well, my ComixLaunch Listeners have described it as…
A “midway slump in your campaign.”
Or “the draggy middle stretch” of your launch.
Or probably my favorite, “that goddamn middle dip dead zone!”
The Dead Zone is real, and the truth is… it can even get worse.
After 48 hours of no campaign activity, your phone buzzes again with an update from Kickstarter.
But when you check it, it’s not a new backer at all, but a message letting you know that one of your high level backers is lowering their pledge by $50…
Or even canceling their pledge all together!
At its worse, I’ve had creators confess to me that it’s during the dead zone of a Kickstarter launch they’ve experienced aggravation of mental health symptoms of depression and anxiety.
I know of at least one creator who had to check himself into the hospital after a grueling nail-biter of a campaign with a long, nerve-wracking dead zone.
Let’s get real for a minute here…
No Kickstarter launch is worth hospitalization, I don’t care how much funding you raise.
Something Is Terribly Wrong Here…
As, host of THE COMIXLAUNCH PODCAST, a show dedicated to helping writers, artists and publishers crowdfund their dreams projects on Kickstarter, I’m one of the Kickstarter platform’s biggest advocates.
So you might be wondering why I’m scaring you about one of the less discussed aspects of crowdfunding, the Kickstarter “Dead Zone.”
First, because it’s Halloween, which is always a good time for chills.
But second, and most importantly, it’s because it doesn’t have to be that way.
During my first few Kickstarter campaigns, I struggled through the Kickstarter dead zone just like most creators.
I think the dead zone actually felt worse on my second campaign… because somehow I had forgotten what it felt.
I think it’s a bit like buried trauma that resurfaces that way, but many creators I talk to have the same experience, where their second campaign’s dead zone feels even harder than the first.
But through the process of launching again and again and again, I’ve gotten to the point where the Kickstarter dead zone is not a problem for me at all.
I do not fear it.
And when analyzing my past Kickstarter campaigns, the truth is, I’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars during the so-called “dead zone” of my Kickstarters.
And yet, for many, the dead zone remains the single worst part about launching.
What I’ve discovered is that:
We fear that which we do not understand.
And we fear that which we do not control.
And that’s why the dead zone can hit us like a ton of brick.
Most creators enter their campaigns unprepared for what lay ahead during the dead zone.
As a result, they bring the wrong mindset, strategies and tactics to the dead zone and they struggle.
But if you have the right mindset, strategies and tactics to conquer the dead zone, it won’t seem scary at all.
Kristie McDowell, creator of Gamer Girl & Vixen, was one of the first creators in the pilot program of THE COMIXLAUNCH COURSE that I taught my dead zone strategies to.
She raised over $11K to fund her first graphic novel, and said “knowing about the dead zone and how to conquer it made that part of the campaign way more bearable than my first Kickstarter.”
These dead zone strategies work for me, they worked for Kristi and I believe they’ll work for you, too.
So, if you’re a creator planning your first Kickstarter campaign and didn’t know the dead zone was coming…
Or if you’re a veteran Kickstarter creator and everything I described about the dead zone hit home with your past crowdfunding experience…
Or especially if you’re currently running a Kickstarter and in the midst of the terror of the dead zone right friggin’ now…
I WANT TO HELP!
Starting Friday, October 26, I’m putting together a special, all-new, 13-part training.
It’s called RAISE THE DEAD ZONE! 13 Days of Proven Kickstarter Dead Zone Busting Strategies.
In this training series, I’m going to teach you how to maintain crowdfunding momentum, steadily attract and convert new backers, and stay confident during the difficult middle stretch of a Kickstarter campaign, without hustling until your eyeballs bleed or becoming repetitive or annoying to your followers.
Each day for 13 days this Halloween season, I’m going to shine a light on exactly how to stay positive and maintain your motivation so that the funding keeps coming in, through short, easy-to-implement, actionable strategies.
Nothing I share during this training is conjecture or “this might work” stuff.
Rather, everything I share in this training series will be proven strategies that have worked for me and the dozens of creators I’ve helped raise more than $500,000.00 in funding for their dream projects.
How to Do You Get Access to the “Raise the Dead Zone” Training?
But, I’m going to change that up for the next two weeks during thisDead Zone Patreon promotion, because much like PBS or NPR, we need the support of our listeners to continue to thrive.
For some of you, it’s a no brainer, and you’re already heading over to ComixLaunch.com/patreon and becoming a Patron, not just to get access to this upcoming 13-Days of training, but also because of everything you’ve learned from this podcast already.
For everyone else, before you make a decision, I want you to ask yourself three questions…
First, have you received value from the ComixLaunch podcast over the past year?
Second, do you believe in supporting monetarily the things you value?
Third, and finally, would you miss this podcast if it went away?
But I do want to make sure that you, as a loyal listener, understand that right now 100% of all funds raised on Patreon go entirely to support the free weekly ComixLaunch podcast.
The funds go to support things such as:
The monthly Media hosting cost on Libsyn, a cost which has continued to rise as the show’s downloads continue to grow. (We had our biggest download month in August, on on track to eclipse that again this month in October… not complaining, but growth does come with a price tag.)
Podcast Editing – The only reason this show comes out weekly is through the talent and dedication of the editing team.
The “Just Launched” Section of the podcast –> One of the services I’ve offered to ComixLaunch listeners and literally every creator who’s launched a comic project on Kicstarter is our Just Launched Section… that’s organized, managed by my assistant Fred, and again, is a lot of work every single month.
And I do it happily, I do it unreservedly, and I’ll keep doing it as long as I can, because this show and the results it’s generated in the comics Kickstarter community is probably the thing I’m most proud of that I’ve ever created.
But I want to invite more of you to own a piece of our success by taking the next step and becoming a Club ComixLaunch Patron on Patreon.
And to make it a no-brainer for you and everyone else listening to this, we’re going to finally solve the biggest pain point of running a Kickstarter…
An Alternative Way to Support ComixLaunch and Get the Training
Now, I know that there are some of you out there who are thinking, Tyler, I’d love to get this training, and I’d love to support the ComixLaunch podcast, but for whatever reason, you don’t believe in Patreon or don’t like the ongoing funding support model.
I get that…
I want you to have and option to access to the training as well… so I’m providing another option.
If you go to comixlaunch.com/deadzonebook you can pre-order the e-book version of this training which will be ready in November for just $13.
You’ll also get the same daily posts as our Patreon supporters delivered via email.
Yes, it’s a slightly higher investment than on Patreon, but I wanted to give an option for those of you who, for whatever reason, do not support Patreons to still get this training and still show your support for the ComixLaunch podcast.
Let’s Defeat the Kickstarter Dead Zone Once and For All!
I’m excited to share with you the best of what I’ve learned staring down the barrel of 15 Kickstarter dead zones myself and coming out of the other end with 15 wildly successful crowdfunding campaigns.
I’m also excited to share with you the dead zone stories and strategies of dozens of creators that I’ve worked with on their successful Kickstarter campaigns.
You too can learn how to survive and thrive during the Kickstarter dead zone without hustling until your eyes pop out or pestering your fans…
You can do it.
You will do it.
13 Days of Dead Zone strategies are all yours starting Friday.
Have you noticed the Kickstarter Follower Conversion Rate metric on your project dashboard? A ComixLaunch listener has, and wants to know what a good conversion rate is, plus more great questions from the ComixLaunch mailbag!
Highlights of this Session Include:
What’s a good Project Follower conversion rate?
What kind of Kickstarter video should I make?
Kickstarter changed it’s reward creation interface to not allow time based reward limits. How do we create early backer rewards now?
Plus: How, for the second year in a row, ComixTribe’s best sales day at New York Comic Con was not actually at New York Comic Con
Successful Kickstarter creator Simon Amadeus Pillario stops by the ComixLaunch podcast to share lessons learned bringing a massive passion project of Biblical proportions to life through Kickstarter.
Highlights of this Session Include:
Top Kickstarter tips from a seasoned graphic novelist crowdfunder.
How Simon found a unique take on bible comics to stand out from the crowd.
Finding unique sales channels outside of Kickstarter for your niche comics.
Plus: The Winners of recent ComixLaunch Contests Announced!
This Session is Sponsored by
Today’s session is brought to you by CrowdOx, software that helps you take control of your crowdfunding campaign, save time and raise more funding. ComixLaunch listeners get 10% off per backer pricing at Crowdox.com
Today’s Featured Guest
Simon Amadeus Pillario is a UK based professional illustrator with degrees graphic and 3D Design. He’s worked on Children’s Book covers and magazines, and has successfully funded three Kickstarter projects for his epic Word for Word Bible Comic project, a passion project tied to his high view of scripture and faith.
In 2016, 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:
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.
In every creative life and business, there are some aspects that are less then perfect. Check that… that are straight up broken, messy or not working at all. In this behind the curtains episode of ComixLaunch, Tyler shares five areas in his creative life that are far from perfect, and what, if anything he plans on doing to correct them in the near future.
Highlights of this Session Include:
One thing that completely changed Tyler’s life for the better that he has stopped doing
Something that Tyler has completely neglected… for well over a year!
The myth that a day job is holding your creativity back.
Plus: Have you entered the ComixLaunch.com/win contest with a $600.00+ grand prize yet?