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Hanzou 03-31-2013 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MBirkhofer (Post 1792341)
"the customer is always right" Blaming fans is just completely missing the point. its not their fault.
They are fans not experts on the field. We can not expect them to have the knowledge of what goes into the creation of works. and we can not expect them to have the time, or resources to research every one of these with the due diligence required, to prevent fraud.

I'm not blaming anyone. I'm pointing out that the customers/fans have every right to spend their money anyway they see fit. I'm also pointing out that there isn't some mass deception going on here. Diaz is pretty transparent in what he's offering and selling. Do you honestly believe that 7k + people can't figure out that this isn't new material? Do you honestly believe that all of those people don't realize that they can just go to the store on his site and order those books for cheaper? I figured all of that out in less than 5 minutes.

I'll go a bit further; They know all of that and they don't care. They WANT to spend money on this guy because they like him and the work he does. In other words, this guy has a very loyal fanbase. It's really that simple.

And yeah, in sales the customer is ALWAYS right.

Quote:

Asking them to protect themselves is absurd. and it is our responsibility to look out for them. If we see them getting taken advantage of, we damn well shouldn't be taking notes on how to fuck them over ourselves, we should be calling that shit out, and letting them know, they are being used.
What the heck are you even talking about? Protect them from what? Who is taking advantage of them? Who is fucking them over? Again, these people know EXACTLY what they're paying money for. They know EXACTLY what risks are involved in supporting this guy. Diaz isn't trying to pull any type of deception here. He isn't doing anything he isn't capable of doing. He isn't tricking anybody. These are adults who are fully capable of reading everything on that Kickstarter page, not a bunch of ignorant children getting bullied out of their lunch money.

You'll have an argument if Diaz takes the money and vanishes into thin air. Until that happens, this sounds more like a personal issue with the creator than anything malicious on Diaz's part.

Renae De Liz 03-31-2013 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792302)
But famous does mean a lot more power to do what they want than most people have. It means they have access to avenues of getting their work out there that unknowns don't have. And instead of availing themselves of those, they're pushing the little guy out of the way and shoving their way to the front of the digital bread lines. And when they're done there might not be any bread left for people who actually need it. And that annoys me.

I suppose I must respectfully disagree :) I truly do understand your perspective, but I'm not sure you realize just how close minded most publishers are to creator owned books, even from "famous" creators. Creator Owned often equals less profit. Even if they went with your book, you're counting on that publisher to fund the creative process, which means they get an even bigger cut, not to mention since they fund the process they have a say into how many pages they're funding, and sometimes say into the creative process.

Put that against Kickstarter offering 100% creative control, with no relinquishing of profits. Unless these well known creators are rich enough to fully fund their own time, KS is often the only option to move away from the monthly work on OTHER peoples books. If you're talking RICH people that go to Kickstarter, then I understand that better, but well known creators are often caught in their own creative difficulties in which KS is their only option to be creatively free.

Some well known artists that went to Kickstarter

Jamal Igle: Molly Danger

Humberto Ramos: Fairy Quest


Thanks for the thoughts, everyone! It's always interesting to read.

Renae De Liz 03-31-2013 07:14 PM

Quote:

Asking them to protect themselves is absurd. and it is our responsibility to look out for them. If we see them getting taken advantage of, we damn well shouldn't be taking notes on how to fuck them over ourselves, we should be calling that shit out, and letting them know, they are being used.
I can see what you're trying to say. May I ask though, if he would have taken money from a Publisher to print the physical copies, wouldn't that be okay by you?

If so, then why is it so bad that he chose to go straight to the readers himself to sell the book, and keep the money that would have gone to a middle man (a Publisher)? I would think that more money to the creator is better than a big cut to a publisher. I think he made a good choice.

The people obviously had a demand for a physical copy of the book, despite it being for free online. He's not taking advantage of people if they want what he's selling.

I do respect your opinions on things, I just feel it's unfair to call projects names and saying people are scammers when they are only in fact trying to rely less on Publishers and be more in charge of their own sales. This is not much different than putting the book up for pre-sale on his own site, except this way he is able to reach out to a lot more people.

I do understand that people don't like the pre-done work on Kickstarter though. If I had a choice it would go to people who need it to complete their work rather than those who have already done it. So I get that side of the argument. So far though, KS seems capable of supporting all endeavors. Hopefully that aspect won't change.

Screwtape Jenkins 03-31-2013 07:30 PM

To be clear, Renae, and no offense intended, but I'm not talking about well-established professionals like you and the people you mentioned. I'm talking about downright FAMOUS comics creators. People who write two or three DC, Marvel, or Image titles a month. There's only 20-25 of those people on the planet. One such name was mentioned in this thread, and the thought of a name that big on kickstarter makes me upset.

And whatever trials or hardships a truly famous comic book creator might have getting a creator-owned book made, you can multiply that for the unknown creator by a thousand. The type of people I'm talking about can pick up a phone and any editor in the business will give their pitch serious consideration. Whereas a guy like me has to hope an editor doesn't immediately throw my submission in the trash.

Even if a full-time comic writer (and this point is specific to writers) isn't rich with money they're rich with time, contacts, networks, and access. Even if you write 3 comics a month, that doesn't come close to the time commitment of most normal full-time jobs. And such a person would know tons of working professionals and their name is enough to entice very talented people to be willing to collaborate with them. If schlubs like me can find talented people willing to work for back-end pay, why can't one of the most famous comic book creators in the world do the same?

I'll trade places with any of those guys any day. I'll take their contacts and their networks and their access and the power of their name, and in exchange they can hoard all the kickstarter dollars they can muster without those things. And we'll see who gets a project done first.

At at the end of the day, the kind of people I'm talking about ought to be, if not rich, then more than capable of financing production costs on a comic book. Much more capable than most unknown people. If you've been in the business for 20 years and have been working for the big boys the whole time on books that sell and you can't even cover production costs on a creator-owned comic, then something's very wrong.

russbrett 03-31-2013 08:11 PM

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.

Hanzou 03-31-2013 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792377)
To be clear, Renae, and no offense intended, but I'm not talking about well-established professionals like you and the people you mentioned. I'm talking about downright FAMOUS comics creators. People who write two or three DC, Marvel, or Image titles a month. There's only 20-25 of those people on the planet. One such name was mentioned in this thread, and the thought of a name that big on kickstarter makes me upset.

And whatever trials or hardships a truly famous comic book creator might have getting a creator-owned book made, you can multiply that for the unknown creator by a thousand. The type of people I'm talking about can pick up a phone and any editor in the business will give their pitch serious consideration. Whereas a guy like me has to hope an editor doesn't immediately throw my submission in the trash.

Even if a full-time comic writer (and this point is specific to writers) isn't rich with money they're rich with time, contacts, networks, and access. Even if you write 3 comics a month, that doesn't come close to the time commitment of most normal full-time jobs. And such a person would know tons of working professionals and their name is enough to entice very talented people to be willing to collaborate with them. If schlubs like me can find talented people willing to work for back-end pay, why can't one of the most famous comic book creators in the world do the same?

I'll trade places with any of those guys any day. I'll take their contacts and their networks and their access and the power of their name, and in exchange they can hoard all the kickstarter dollars they can muster without those things. And we'll see who gets a project done first.

At at the end of the day, the kind of people I'm talking about ought to be, if not rich, then more than capable of financing production costs on a comic book. Much more capable than most unknown people. If you've been in the business for 20 years and have been working for the big boys the whole time on books that sell and you can't even cover production costs on a creator-owned comic, then something's very wrong.

Just to piggyback off of this; I was pretty surprised to see Top Cow utilizing Kickstarter to relaunch Cyberforce. That really bothered me, because I'm pretty sure that Top Cow doesn't need Kickstarter to launch a title, it's a pretty popular and strong publishing company.

Granted, the stuff they were offering was pretty sweet, but still....

Screwtape Jenkins 03-31-2013 08:51 PM

I'm not talking about forcibly defenestrating them from kickstarter. I'm just saying in the name of fair play and giving unknowns a chance, they should voluntarily recuse themselves from kickstarter. Even if it doesn't take dollars away, it takes away website real estate and attention. If the people supporting them are their own fanbase, then they can raise the money on their own website. They wouldn't do that, (ask their fans for money on their own website) because it would look flat out gross. And to me, it's no less gross for being on kickstarter. It's famous rich people asking for money from unknown, not-rich people.

And to make a pedantic, technical point, there is a finite supply of money on kickstarter because there's a finite amount of money in the world. Even if only 17% of people are repeat backers, I don't want any of their money going to people who don't really need it.

I suppose I'm just too much of a progressive for this. In the case of the video game companies I've seen do this, the people going to kickstarter are literally millionaires. They're millionaires, and they're panhandling. It makes me want to get my torch and my pitchfork, quite frankly.

amon 03-31-2013 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by russbrett
But why should they go through the hassle of creating a web site to do exactly what Kickstarter is already doing?

Paypal takes a smaller percentage than KS.

Renae De Liz 03-31-2013 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792377)
To be clear, Renae, and no offense intended, but I'm not talking about well-established professionals like you and the people you mentioned. I'm talking about downright FAMOUS comics creators. People who write two or three DC, Marvel, or Image titles a month. There's only 20-25 of those people on the planet. One such name was mentioned in this thread, and the thought of a name that big on kickstarter makes me upset.

And whatever trials or hardships a truly famous comic book creator might have getting a creator-owned book made, you can multiply that for the unknown creator by a thousand. The type of people I'm talking about can pick up a phone and any editor in the business will give their pitch serious consideration. Whereas a guy like me has to hope an editor doesn't immediately throw my submission in the trash.

Even if a full-time comic writer (and this point is specific to writers) isn't rich with money they're rich with time, contacts, networks, and access. Even if you write 3 comics a month, that doesn't come close to the time commitment of most normal full-time jobs. And such a person would know tons of working professionals and their name is enough to entice very talented people to be willing to collaborate with them. If schlubs like me can find talented people willing to work for back-end pay, why can't one of the most famous comic book creators in the world do the same?

I'll trade places with any of those guys any day. I'll take their contacts and their networks and their access and the power of their name, and in exchange they can hoard all the kickstarter dollars they can muster without those things. And we'll see who gets a project done first.

At at the end of the day, the kind of people I'm talking about ought to be, if not rich, then more than capable of financing production costs on a comic book. Much more capable than most unknown people. If you've been in the business for 20 years and have been working for the big boys the whole time on books that sell and you can't even cover production costs on a creator-owned comic, then something's very wrong.


Don't worry, you're not offending me! I like you, and I appreciate the discussion! :D

Maybe we just disagree, and that's okay. I feel that if a creator of ANY status has a legitimate need for Kickstarter (which in my mind would be a funding need, or creative freedom and control away from the publisher), then it's okay to use it. Creative Freedom was a HUGE aspect for me with Peter Pan. There was no other option to get the book made the way I meant it to be unless I did a Kickstarter. I feel if a guy has been working 20 years at a comic publisher, and has no means to get his book made (despite having connections and being considered), he should not be looked down upon for using KS just because he has contacts (which as a side note, he probably earned from years of work in the industry).

If there comes a day when only big names are getting funded, and the little guys are not, then I'd be right with you championing to that the big guys make room for those who need it most. But right now 1 in 2 KS comics get funded, and that includes MANY people who are newcomers.

And it leads me to ask you out of genuine curiosity, what is it that holds you personally back from going to Kickstarter NOW with your project? I know you said that you could do it yourself over time, but I personally feel for you, KS would make it so much better for you especially in the way that you would depend FAR less on a Publishers whim and if they want your book or not.

Renae De Liz 03-31-2013 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hanzou (Post 1792384)
Just to piggyback off of this; I was pretty surprised to see Top Cow utilizing Kickstarter to relaunch Cyberforce. That really bothered me, because I'm pretty sure that Top Cow doesn't need Kickstarter to launch a title, it's a pretty popular and strong publishing company.

Granted, the stuff they were offering was pretty sweet, but still....

You need to understand Publishers minds. They do NOT like to put money on something that is not CERTAIN to sell. They probably wanted to relaunch Cyberforce, but for some reason could not take the financial risk on it. They COULD have, but wouldn't have. So for Cyberforce fans it's pretty awesome that they did this, because it likely wouldn't have happened otherwise. Also wasn't their purpose to just get it done, then give it away for free? That cool.

I've been trying to get DC to let me do this with AMETHYST for a loooong time (I know, barking at the wind :p ) But MAN it would be awesome if they let me do that!

CHWolf 03-31-2013 09:40 PM

KickStarter, more like GutPuncher am I right?

...

For what it's worth, I say let the big publishers and the big people create their own in-house Crowd Funding sites and let people submit their own projects to fund using their properties. It's as simple as downloading and installing a pre-made clone. That way they keep 100% and keep their swanky asses out of the public pool. :)

Aaron Walther 03-31-2013 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792385)
I suppose I'm just too much of a progressive for this. In the case of the video game companies I've seen do this, the people going to kickstarter are literally millionaires. They're millionaires, and they're panhandling. It makes me want to get my torch and my pitchfork, quite frankly.

It's all panhandling. Whether they list the book in Previews, take pre orders on their website, or use Kickstarter, it's all asking for people to commit to buying a product ahead of time.

This sort of entitled, "we got to stand up for the little guy" attitude is dangerous. I think the proper name for it is Sour Grapes.

Kickstarter is nothing but a recognizable brand that is offering an "all in one go to location" for people to raise interest and money for their product, and the only reason "customers" use it is because they want to support "creativity" without supporting evil, big business corporations.

Personally, I think the "freedom from corporations" attitude is asinine, but it feeds into the "we got to stand up for the little guy" attitude that so many people have about Kickstarter projects.

Kickstarter is just as big business as Image Comics. Kickstarter cuts out some of the middleman costs because it places all the responsibility on the creator, and as far as I know, provides a more instant access to the money (for better or worse).

Kickstarter is not going to start turning away famous people who are guaranteed to bring in big bucks because that would destroy their whole business model and would loose them money.

Rich famous people have just as much a right to make money as the rest of us poor saps do. There's nothing about the Kickstarter model that says they are specifically for poor, unknown people. Sure, Kickstarter has done a good job of selling that concept, because that's what the customer market wants to hear, but they are in no way obligated to start restricting who can and cannot use their model.

I think there are steps Kickstarter needs to take to make the crowdfunding experience better, but limiting the number of people who can use the platform is not one of them.

Screwtape Jenkins 03-31-2013 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Renae De Liz (Post 1792391)

And it leads me to ask you out of genuine curiosity, what is it that holds you personally back from going to Kickstarter NOW with your project? I know you said that you could do it yourself over time, but I personally feel for you, KS would make it so much better for you especially in the way that you would depend FAR less on a Publishers whim and if they want your book or not.

I feel like I don't really know enough people or have enough contacts. I don't even have 40 likes on facebook. If I were to raise the money, I'd want to raise it for the entire 6 issues. And even though I've already finished an issue and a half, we'd be talking about around $15,000. I just don't feel right about asking for that kind of money, even if I thought I could raise it. Plus, I don't really know what I'm doing with kickstarter, or what I could offer as rewards. I may have to give it a shot one day soon, as I don't know how I'll get issues 3-6 done any other way. Was Womanthology your first KS?

Screwtape Jenkins 03-31-2013 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Walther (Post 1792394)
It's all panhandling. Whether they list the book in Previews, take pre orders on their website, or use Kickstarter, it's all asking for people to commit to buying a product ahead of time.

This sort of entitled, "we got to stand up for the little guy" attitude is dangerous. I think the proper name for it is Sour Grapes.

Kickstarter is nothing but a recognizable brand that is offering an "all in one go to location" for people to raise interest and money for their product, and the only reason "customers" use it is because they want to support "creativity" without supporting evil, big business corporations.

Personally, I think the "freedom from corporations" attitude is asinine, but it feeds into the "we got to stand up for the little guy" attitude that so many people have about Kickstarter projects.

Kickstarter is just as big business as Image Comics. Kickstarter cuts out some of the middleman costs because it places all the responsibility on the creator, and as far as I know, provides a more instant access to the money (for better or worse).

Kickstarter is not going to start turning away famous people who are guaranteed to bring in big bucks because that would destroy their whole business model and would loose them money.

Rich famous people have just as much a right to make money as the rest of us poor saps do. There's nothing about the Kickstarter model that says they are specifically for poor, unknown people. Sure, Kickstarter has done a good job of selling that concept, because that's what the customer market wants to hear, but they are in no way obligated to start restricting who can and cannot use their model.

I think there are steps Kickstarter needs to take to make the crowdfunding experience better, but limiting the number of people who can use the platform is not one of them.

I never suggested any of the things this post pretends I have.

Renae De Liz 03-31-2013 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792395)
I feel like I don't really know enough people or have enough contacts. I don't even have 40 likes on facebook. If I were to raise the money, I'd want to raise it for the entire 6 issues. And even though I've already finished an issue and a half, we'd be talking about around $15,000. I just don't feel right about asking for that kind of money, even if I thought I could raise it. Plus, I don't really know what I'm doing with kickstarter, or what I could offer as rewards. I may have to give it a shot one day soon, as I don't know how I'll get issues 3-6 done any other way. Was Womanthology your first KS?

Is the 15 k for JUST the creative costs for 6 issues? What would be creative costs for each issue, respectively (if I may ask)? If you can tell me that I can try and offer you a scenario for Kickstarter to consider (funding goal, reward types, etc). Basically, while current fanbase is needed for optimal funding (like 10k and up), it's completely possible to earn less than that with no following if you present your project (especially in the video) juuuuuust right. :)

Womanthology was my first. It was a um, crazy experience to say the least. :laugh: I saw the lows and highs a Kickstarter can offer. I learned a lot from it.

Renae De Liz 03-31-2013 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Walther (Post 1792394)
It's all panhandling. Whether they list the book in Previews, take pre orders on their website, or use Kickstarter, it's all asking for people to commit to buying a product ahead of time.

This sort of entitled, "we got to stand up for the little guy" attitude is dangerous. I think the proper name for it is Sour Grapes.

Kickstarter is nothing but a recognizable brand that is offering an "all in one go to location" for people to raise interest and money for their product, and the only reason "customers" use it is because they want to support "creativity" without supporting evil, big business corporations.

Personally, I think the "freedom from corporations" attitude is asinine, but it feeds into the "we got to stand up for the little guy" attitude that so many people have about Kickstarter projects.

Kickstarter is just as big business as Image Comics. Kickstarter cuts out some of the middleman costs because it places all the responsibility on the creator, and as far as I know, provides a more instant access to the money (for better or worse).

Kickstarter is not going to start turning away famous people who are guaranteed to bring in big bucks because that would destroy their whole business model and would loose them money.

Rich famous people have just as much a right to make money as the rest of us poor saps do. There's nothing about the Kickstarter model that says they are specifically for poor, unknown people. Sure, Kickstarter has done a good job of selling that concept, because that's what the customer market wants to hear, but they are in no way obligated to start restricting who can and cannot use their model.

I think there are steps Kickstarter needs to take to make the crowdfunding experience better, but limiting the number of people who can use the platform is not one of them.

I agree that people should not be excluded either (at least not RIGHT NOW where every level seems to find success). But on the other hand I do see how people could view a millionaire going on a site that's intended to help those that have no means to get their creative vision funded could be irksome. So I get that side too. Happily KS seems really good at balancing attention towards ALL types of projects, and all types find success. I have hope it will always stay that way.

CHWolf 03-31-2013 11:03 PM

I was actually excluded from KS after my pitch saying what I was planning to do. I only got accepted in a follow-up letter where the person said they went and looked up who I was.

Dunno, just felt like adding that.

Renae De Liz 03-31-2013 11:09 PM

Hey Wolfy so you're accepted now? :D That's awesome! So was that for Project Breakthrough?

Aaron Walther 03-31-2013 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Renae De Liz (Post 1792401)
I agree that people should not be excluded either (at least not RIGHT NOW where every level seems to find success). But on the other hand I do see how people could view a millionaire going on a site that's intended to help those that have no means to get their creative vision funded could be irksome. So I get that side too. Happily KS seems really good at balancing attention towards ALL types of projects, and all types find success. I have hope it will always stay that way.

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.

Screwtape Jenkins 03-31-2013 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Renae De Liz (Post 1792399)
Is the 15 k for JUST the creative costs for 6 issues? What would be creative costs for each issue, respectively (if I may ask)? If you can tell me that I can try and offer you a scenario for Kickstarter to consider (funding goal, reward types, etc). Basically, while current fanbase is needed for optimal funding (like 10k and up), it's completely possible to earn less than that with no following if you present your project (especially in the video) juuuuuust right. :)

Womanthology was my first. It was a um, crazy experience to say the least. :laugh: I saw the lows and highs a Kickstarter can offer. I learned a lot from it.

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.

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.

Screwtape Jenkins 04-01-2013 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Renae De Liz (Post 1792479)
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.

Hmmm.... since my book is religious-themed, perhaps I'll sell indulgences.

"When a coin in the kickstarter coffers sings, a soul to heaven springs!"

Screwtape Jenkins 04-01-2013 03:01 PM

Little mid-afternoon Reformation humor.

DaveyDouble 04-01-2013 04:52 PM

Renae - I think you may have just set yourself up for a massive amount of email/PM goings on.
Id really like to pick your brain about Kickstarter myself if its ok with you?

The basic campaign outline is already incredibly useful and I'd like to say a big personal thank you for posting it!
Seeing it broken down has given me a little more confidence and impetus to get the ball rolling on my own book (which is still about 6 months away from getting properly underway)

Evan Henry 04-01-2013 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins (Post 1792467)
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.

You are aware that you have completely failed to account for shipping, international shipping (which is a whole category of its own, as anyone who has had to deal with it can tell you), advertising, and compensating the creative team, yes? These are things that every company accounts for when talking about "profit margins."

Now you could very well be right that some Kickstarter teams (not all or even necessarily most of that half who get funded) are pulling down a proportionately greater net profit than major publishers -- I wouldn't know, as I'm not privy to anyone's financial records -- but it's not as simple as taking two numbers and saying that one is x times bigger than the other.

Screwtape Jenkins 04-01-2013 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperMonkey (Post 1792494)
You are aware that you have completely failed to account for shipping, international shipping (which is a whole category of its own, as anyone who has had to deal with it can tell you), advertising, and compensating the creative team, yes? These are things that every company accounts for when talking about "profit margins."

Now you could very well be right that some Kickstarter teams (not all or even necessarily most of that half who get funded) are pulling down a proportionately greater net profit than major publishers -- I wouldn't know, as I'm not privy to anyone's financial records -- but it's not as simple as taking two numbers and saying that one is x times bigger than the other.

I'm pretty sure every comic book sold has advertising costs, shipping costs, and production costs. Despite that, I've yet to see a 22 page comic book priced at $15 outside of kickstarter. Have you?


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