ComixLaunch | 055 – Bringing Kickstarter Backers Back for More with Stray’s Vito Delsante

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


Today’s Session is brought to you by

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


Session Table Setting

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

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

 

Listener Feedback

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

RJ Samonte – Shades of Arca ShadesofArca.com

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

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

Mines of Moria
Game of Thrones
Wheel of Time

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

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

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

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

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

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

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

Welcome to ComixLauch, Vito Delsante.

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

 

What is Today’s Episode About?

The challenge of bringing backers back to future Kickstarter campaigns.

 

Guiding Discussion Questions

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

Update #66 For backers only: Honest Question Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Speed Round

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

A young and growing platform for new creators. 

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

More due diligence with respect to the projects they approve.  

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

My wife. 

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

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

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

Pluto based on Astro Boy


Sponsor Mid-Roll

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

The Untold #1 Kickstarter

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

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

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

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


ComixLauncher

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

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

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


Wrap Up

Wrap Up Questions

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

SuperShow Bundle

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


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