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Screwtape Jenkins 03-31-2013 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Walther (Post 1792405)
Ah, but Renae, there in lies the rub. Kickstarter is NOT for people that have no means to get their creative vision funded. Sure, Kickstarter is a great tool for people who have no other means to get their creative vision funded, but please show on their website, where they say that's their intended purpose.

That is the cult of personality that has been built up around Kickstarter because there are plenty of overnight success stories, but they are still a for profit company. Their express purpose is to change the way an artist, rich or poor, interacts with the market, and to take a cut of the profit.

I'm sorry if this sounds blunt, but complaining about rich or famous people using Kickstarter when there are poor or unknown people who *need it more* is sour grapes.

A person's time would be better spent studying successful Kickstarter campaigns and finding a way to emulate them.

Calling my opinion sour grapes makes it sound like I begrudge these folks their success. I do not.

I also never suggested that kickstarter refuse to allow rich and/or famous people to use their service. I realize how kickstarter gets paid and I realize that would be an absurd thing for them to do.

What I'm saying is fairly simple. Rich people shouldn't beg poor people for money. Established, successful professionals shouldn't monopolize a platform which offers the only real opportunity newcomers have to finance their work.

I'm saying if I was ever fortunate enough to be a very successful creator, I wouldn't go begging my fans for money. If I knew damn well that I was better off than 99% of the people I was asking for money, I wouldn't ask them for money.

In my opinion, begging for money from the less fortunate is just a sketchy thing to do, period. That's just how I feel. But calling it sour grapes makes it sound as if the only reason I object is because I'm not in a position to do the same. That's not the case. The reason I object is because I wouldn't do the same, even if I was in that position.

Aaron Walther 04-01-2013 12:04 AM

You're turning it into a weird class war thing. 99% of the people on Kickstarter are less fortunate than successful artists? Just because I have more money than someone, I should feel guilty for asking them to pay for my product? Fortune has nothing to do with it. It's a market and everyone's a customer. Rich people donate money on Kickstarter, too.

Just because someone is well off doesn't mean they have or want to use their money as investment capitol. Even if they're investing in themselves, that's not always good business.

Is a successful creator begging when he tries to get a publisher to invest in his project? Of course not. He's trying to make a deal. Why then is it begging when the same creator cuts out the publisher and tries to get the fans to invest in the project directly?

Rich or poor, it's all deal making. You can be as altruistic as you want in hypothetical situations. That doesn't change the fact that "rich" people aren't monopolizing Kickstarter. Even if they were, it's not the only real opportunity newcomers have. People made comics before Kickstarter.

CHWolf 04-01-2013 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Renae De Liz (Post 1792404)
Hey Wolfy so you're accepted now? :D That's awesome! So was that for Project Breakthrough?

Oh, yeah, that was waaayyyy back in the beginning. Unfortunately I can't use the site on my setup.

Screwtape Jenkins 04-01-2013 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Walther (Post 1792411)
You're turning it into a weird class war thing. 99% of the people on Kickstarter are less fortunate than successful artists? Just because I have more money than someone, I should feel guilty for asking them to pay for my product? Fortune has nothing to do with it. It's a market and everyone's a customer. Rich people donate money on Kickstarter, too.

Just because someone is well off doesn't mean they have or want to use their money as investment capitol. Even if they're investing in themselves, that's not always good business.

Is a successful creator begging when he tries to get a publisher to invest in his project? Of course not. He's trying to make a deal. Why then is it begging when the same creator cuts out the publisher and tries to get the fans to invest in the project directly?

Rich or poor, it's all deal making. You can be as altruistic as you want in hypothetical situations. That doesn't change the fact that "rich" people aren't monopolizing Kickstarter. Even if they were, it's not the only real opportunity newcomers have. People made comics before Kickstarter.

Whatever I'm turning it into isn't really your concern. We see it differently, that doesn't mean that one of us is wrong in the way we see it. Please, desist from your attempts to "fix" my outlook. I think it's great that you don't see it the way I do. (And by "I think it's great" I mean "I don't care.")

But let's look at your point about the money from kickstarter being comparable to "investment capitol". It very much isn't "investment capitol." If it was, the people who invest would have a chance to monetarily gain from the success of the project. In that case, I'd have no objection to it. But on kickstarter, the backers function as investors but have none of the rights or protections the law grants investors. And in exchange for giving up these rights, they're offered an autographed copy of the comic book they just funded in lieu of a dividend payment worth 50 times that comic's value.

When we're talking about struggling beginners being given chances they wouldn't otherwise receive, I'm fine with that model. When we're talking about people raising millions of dollars under that model, I'm not okay with it. I mean, let's say the Veronica Mars movie goes on to make one hundred million dollars, and all the people who financed it got out of the deal was a T-shirt apiece. If I'm a movie producer, that sounds like a sweet deal to make at the public's expense. Why sell foreign distribution rights when I can raise the same amount of money selling a few hundred t-shirts to the hoi polloi? If I had to ask for money from established sources of money, those established sources would expect some sort of value return for their capital.

No, a creator isn't begging when he goes to a publisher, because that publisher will share in the profits of the end product. If the creator went to the publisher and offered them a signed T-shirt in exchange for funding their book, then yes, he'd be begging.

I'm all for rich people not using their own money as capitol. I'd be fine with them using poor people's money as capitol, too. Because people who put up capitol are entitled to share in the profits. But that's not what kickstarter is. Kickstarter as practiced by rich and famous creators is for-profit fundraising. It's making oneself into a charity. The whole idea is to offer rewards that aren't worth the money people pay for them - otherwise it wouldn't work.

The way I see it, it is a form of class warfare. It's (predominantly) working and middle class people functioning as stockholders while not being given the rights and protections of stockholders. And again, I'm fine with that if we're talking about projects that could not have otherwise been funded. But when large corporations and famous creators who could have gotten funding through other means start crowding in, I find that morally objectionable.

I understand that you disagree, so if you're next response is merely repeating the fact that you disagree, let's just stop it here.

Aaron Walther 04-01-2013 01:30 AM

Very well then. I don't think there's anything immoral about two people entering into an agreed upon contract, and that is the basis of what I'm saying.

I will say that I think you are fundamentally wrong when you say this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792419)
The whole idea is to offer rewards that aren't worth the money people pay for them - otherwise it wouldn't work.

There have been plenty of Kickstarter campaigns who have failed precisely because they didn't offer rewards that were "worth" the money people were putting in, such as this campaign from a famous person.

Kickstarter is not a charity. It is a new marketplace.

Evan Henry 04-01-2013 02:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792419)
The whole idea is to offer rewards that aren't worth the money people pay for them - otherwise it wouldn't work.

You can say that about literally any successful product ever. This sentence is pretty much the dictionary definition of "profit."

Renae De Liz 04-01-2013 02:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792406)
Well, my first issue cost me around $3,000 for 25 pages. Issue 2 is gonna cost me about the same. I can handle it, but not in a timely fashion. If I could afford to pay all my guys to be working simultaneously, I could just about make a monthly deadline. But I can only ever afford to have them working one at a time, so what should take a month takes like 3 and a half.

So, anyway, let's say issue 3 and 4 cost about the same, that would be $6000. Issues 5 and 6 are 32 and 40 pages, respectively. So, issue 5 will cost around 3300, and issue 6 about 4000, I'm guessing.

So, let's say 13, 300 altogether. Something like that. And that's with me taking zero dollars for myself, which I'm fine with.

I guess I could go a book at a time, and just try to get each one done before kickstarting the next. That's what russbret said he was going to try to do and maybe that's the best idea.

Okay, based on that then for one full issue you should have a $6000 funding goal. I usually have a general rule of thumb to double your creative costs (along with any other certain costs, which don't apply here) to give you the approximate funding goal (fine tuning may yield a slightly different number.

$6,000 would cover creative costs, production, shipping, fees, a buffer (for dropped pledges, returns, re-shipping).

If your Core Reward is your physical book copy, and it costs around $7 to fulfill completely to a US backer (printing, shipping to you, shipping/packaging to backer) Then I would put your physical book at $15 tier with a digital download of it (and any other perks that are low/no cost to add).

In that case, if you sold nothing but that $15 tier (which you'll get pledges higher than that, but just for estimates sake) You'd have to sell 400 copies.

I'd offer something like:

$1 Thank You
$5 Digital Download
$15 Physical Copy + All of the above
$25 Sketchbook (or writers book, whatever you want to call it) + All of the above
$50 Signed copy with bookmarks/magnets (flat merchandise that is easy to ship with the actual book)
$125 Cameo in book plus all of the above
$250 Help you write a scene/create a character/creature, etc (anything that includes a personal experience. OR offer up a sketch from the artist)


That's really all you need to get started. You can add in more later if you wanted.

In case it's an issue, it's okay to charge more for items on Kickstarter if it's necessary (it's more like Etsy than Amazon. There's more time, effort, and care that goes into the process, so it is worth the money) just try and make it worthwhile for your backers (add some digital content. Pin ups/Wallpapers). People have common misconceptions that they MUST charge according to what publishers charge per book. In your case it's impossible, but people just want to see your vision come to life)

I would start with 1 issue (or even fund the last half of the first issue for a 3K campaign) and just see how it goes from there. If you do great with Issue 1 reaching backers in time, Issue #2 (or a smaller 48 pg GN) will be that much easier. If that goes well, you can step up to a GN.

Full on funding goal for 3 issues would be 18K and for all 6 would be around 30K, which are riskier until you get a following. 3-6 K are completely possible though, as long as you do a great job with that video and representation on the page.

Anyway, whichever method you decide on, I really hope your title is super successful! :)

Renae De Liz 04-01-2013 02:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CHWolf (Post 1792413)
Oh, yeah, that was waaayyyy back in the beginning. Unfortunately I can't use the site on my setup.

Oh really? That's too bad! :(

BTW, now they do the "Approval" stage after you're all done putting your page together and are ready to launch, instead of at the very beginning. I didn't realize this with Peter Pan and it almost lost me a few days.

CHWolf 04-01-2013 03:03 AM

Can I hire you to run my Kickstarter campaign?

I'm willing to pay you [fee built into Kickstarter campaign].


XD

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperMonkey (Post 1792427)
You can say that about literally any successful product ever. This sentence is pretty much the dictionary definition of "profit."

Fond memories of the LCS, saying "Sir, we can't buy that at what we'd sell it for. Think about it."

Hanzou 04-01-2013 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperMonkey (Post 1792330)
I obviously need to work on my sarcasm. :whistlin:

I know you were being facetious, but it is pretty sound advice. I'm seeing guys dropping a couple grand just to put out a single issue comic, and that's pretty crazy because there's a close to zero chance they will ever get that money back.

Meanwhile, artists who who can also write and plot have almost no upfront costs when they produce a comic. That gives them a huge advantage over people who have to pay for a creative team.

If I had a writer friend trying to break into comics, I'd tell him to write a novel instead. Much less of a headache.

Screwtape Jenkins 04-01-2013 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Renae De Liz (Post 1792428)
Okay, based on that then for one full issue you should have a $6000 funding goal. I usually have a general rule of thumb to double your creative costs (along with any other certain costs, which don't apply here) to give you the approximate funding goal (fine tuning may yield a slightly different number.

$6,000 would cover creative costs, production, shipping, fees, a buffer (for dropped pledges, returns, re-shipping).

If your Core Reward is your physical book copy, and it costs around $7 to fulfill completely to a US backer (printing, shipping to you, shipping/packaging to backer) Then I would put your physical book at $15 tier with a digital download of it (and any other perks that are low/no cost to add).

In that case, if you sold nothing but that $15 tier (which you'll get pledges higher than that, but just for estimates sake) You'd have to sell 400 copies.

I'd offer something like:

$1 Thank You
$5 Digital Download
$15 Physical Copy + All of the above
$25 Sketchbook (or writers book, whatever you want to call it) + All of the above
$50 Signed copy with bookmarks/magnets (flat merchandise that is easy to ship with the actual book)
$125 Cameo in book plus all of the above
$250 Help you write a scene/create a character/creature, etc (anything that includes a personal experience. OR offer up a sketch from the artist)


That's really all you need to get started. You can add in more later if you wanted.

In case it's an issue, it's okay to charge more for items on Kickstarter if it's necessary (it's more like Etsy than Amazon. There's more time, effort, and care that goes into the process, so it is worth the money) just try and make it worthwhile for your backers (add some digital content. Pin ups/Wallpapers). People have common misconceptions that they MUST charge according to what publishers charge per book. In your case it's impossible, but people just want to see your vision come to life)

I would start with 1 issue (or even fund the last half of the first issue for a 3K campaign) and just see how it goes from there. If you do great with Issue 1 reaching backers in time, Issue #2 (or a smaller 48 pg GN) will be that much easier. If that goes well, you can step up to a GN.

Full on funding goal for 3 issues would be 18K and for all 6 would be around 30K, which are riskier until you get a following. 3-6 K are completely possible though, as long as you do a great job with that video and representation on the page.

Anyway, whichever method you decide on, I really hope your title is super successful! :)

Thanks, Renae. That seems like a doable plan. Couple of questions:

1) By "thank you", you mean a thank you in the book?
2) I can handle the bookmarks, but where does one acquire branded magnets?
3) Are people as into scripts as they are into artwork? All the sketches my artist sent me are very low res and I'm not sure he has the originals anymore (he moved recently and left a lot of stuff behind, I think)
4) I would probably include "stretch goals" for raising enough money to do the whole thing. What kind of rewards do people give out with those things? Probably more expensive ones, right? That's the other source of my hesitation with kickstarter - I don't have the cool swag to give to people. Also, I'd have to hire somebody to fulfill all the orders, since I presently don't have anything close to the time.

But you've helped me a lot in considering actually doing this. Thanks. You really should be getting paid for all the advice and stuff you give in the forums. I'll send the money to your kickstarter. ;)

Screwtape Jenkins 04-01-2013 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperMonkey (Post 1792427)
You can say that about literally any successful product ever. This sentence is pretty much the dictionary definition of "profit."

The margins on kickstarter though go way beyond normal profit margins. If I took Renae's advice, I'd be selling a book that cost me 3 bucks to make, plus a .pdf that costs me nothing, for 15 dollars. That's a 500% profit margin. Most businesses would be elated to see 15% returns.

If kickstarter is a new business model, that model is gouging the consumer. And again, when it's basically fundraising for a struggling, new artist? Great. When it's an established or wealthy professional getting 500% profit margins off of their fans? Not so great, IMO.

MBirkhofer 04-01-2013 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by russbrett (Post 1792380)
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...ng-megalopolis

Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore

They raised over $117,000.

This is probably the quintessential example of what Screwtape is talking about. These are famous creators using Kickstarter for a creator owned project.

Could they have taken it to Image? Of course. But should they have to? I don't think so. Could they have formed their own publishing label? Of course. But should they have to? Again, I don't think so.

Also, take a look at some of the rewards: Get yourself drawn into the book; Portfolio review by Jim Calafiore, Script Review by Gail Simone.

These are not things that publishers tend to offer when they sell their books.

Could they have set up a web site and done all of this themselves? Sure. But why should they go through the hassle of creating a web site to do exactly what Kickstarter is already doing?

As has been stated, there's not a finite amount of Kickstarter pledge dollars. The overwhelming majority of KS backers are driven to the site specifically to fund a particular project. So it's not like Gail and Jim are stealing potential pledge dollars from us small folk.

And their stretch goals are reasonable. and real things, with real development costs.
Increased pagecount, hiring a colorist. Adding a 6-8 supplement, adding 6 more pages to supplement.

Renae De Liz 04-01-2013 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792464)
Thanks, Renae. That seems like a doable plan. Couple of questions:

1) By "thank you", you mean a thank you in the book?

Yes. Usually people give it a name personal to your title. Peter Pan was "Your name in the Lost Girls and Boys" section. My friend's fantasy book had a "Wall of Heroes". Just a little suggestion to give backers a slightly cooler place for their name.

Quote:

2) I can handle the bookmarks, but where does one acquire branded magnets?
Bookmarks and Magnets are just 2 of the things you could go for, and I haven't done either of those things yet, but I have heard of Vistaprint.com Zazzle.com doing great with those things.

You could choose to offer regular merchandise that requires it's own separate shipping, but be aware of the extra shipping/packaging costs involved and price the reward accordingly ( I usually say to AT LEAST double to fulfillment cost to get the reward price, because you NEED enough money to go towards creative costs/fees, etc to make it worthwhile). So a T-shirt may end up being WAY too expensive for a backer.

Quote:

3) Are people as into scripts as they are into artwork? All the sketches my artist sent me are very low res and I'm not sure he has the originals anymore (he moved recently and left a lot of stuff behind, I think)
Not that I'm aware of. I actually just had this conversation with another Kickstarter that wanted to put the script as it's own reward. (he decided to do it anyway, and not one backer has gotten it)

I would suggest putting your script, production notes, sketches, etc into the "Sketch Book" (or whatever you choose to call it) and make the books on CreateSpace.com. The books should cost you around $2 each to get to you (that's for 100+pages w/color cover). I did the Womanthology sketchbook with them, and it turned out great.

Quote:

4) I would probably include "stretch goals" for raising enough money to do the whole thing. What kind of rewards do people give out with those things? Probably more expensive ones, right? That's the other source of my hesitation with kickstarter - I don't have the cool swag to give to people. Also, I'd have to hire somebody to fulfill all the orders, since I presently don't have anything close to the time.
Just my own personal opinion, but I'd exclude the stretch goals until you pass your first goal amount. Putting them up beforehand just takes away from the BIG goal of people wanting to help you succeed. Afterwards is cool though.

Don't worry too much about the swag, I personally find that people that put up too much merchandise looks like they don't have much confidence in main project. The core item will be the physical book, and that should be the highlighted item that people want to get, but if you want to include more swag, you can. Just shop around on Vistaprint or Zazzle and find things that you'd like to offer.

As for hiring someone to ship, that cost needs to be known to add it to the overall funding goal. My personal advice is to AVOID third party shippers. They can create delays and hassles like you can't believe (I've seen this happen to others too). Because you likely won't have too many backers to reach your goal, a third-party shipper COULD work because the margin for errors/returns/missed mailings will equal a much smaller amount, just be wary of them. If you can hire a competent friend or family member for the weekend for a couple hundred bucks, that's a lot better. The BEST option though is to try and take a weekend off an do it all yourself, because then you know exactly what's going on with shipping.

Also I ABSOLUTELY get the "no time" thing. But be aware too that a Campaign is very time consuming. You need to spend time setting up interviews if you can, talk to blogs to highlight you, emailing people, networking, etc. Also consider buying Facebook Ads if you have funding now to put towards your campaign. But all of this is secondary to using time to making the BEST video you can make. That is the most important aspect.

Finally, be aware that all that I suggest is just ONE way to do things. Kickstarter successes have different avenues of approach. So if your gut instinct says to do things different, just go for that instead :)

Quote:

But you've helped me a lot in considering actually doing this. Thanks. You really should be getting paid for all the advice and stuff you give in the forums. I'll send the money to your kickstarter. ;)
You're so sweet! :) I just want to help, I don't expect money for it. I like to see DWers especially succeed with their projects. Kickstarter I think would be good for you to try if you can make time for it, because there's little risk and a lot to gain if it succeeds.

Renae De Liz 04-01-2013 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CHWolf (Post 1792434)
Can I hire you to run my Kickstarter campaign?

I'm willing to pay you [fee built into Kickstarter campaign].


XD



Fond memories of the LCS, saying "Sir, we can't buy that at what we'd sell it for. Think about it."

I'd love to help run it with you, but then I'd have no time to draw comics!:D

But of COURSE I'll help you with the setup, and give input (if you want it). I don't want money though, just want to help! Are you thinking about giving it a try? If you give me a few details I can help lay out a scenario as an option too.


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