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Old 05-06-2015, 04:02 PM   #1
Troy Dye
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Can I Pick Your Brain?



What’s wrong? Your Kickstarter Analysis Needed. For Reals!

First off, this is not a sly, yet blatant, attempt to advertise (for reals … okay, maybe a smidge smadge). All kidding aside, I'm not asking you to back this project, I’m genuinely interested in getting your opinion. My buddy, Skipper Martin, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for his graphic novel, Bizarre New World. I’m helping him out with it. Unfortunately, the way it’s trending, it won’t meet its goal. If you want proof of our plight, check out Kicktraq. We’re scratching our heads on this one. We think we’ve done all the right things, but wanted to get your opinion on what we’re doing wrong and how we can do better.

Skip has gone above and beyond to promote his campaign, including:
  • A free shot story campaign, which features exclusive stories across many comic books sites
  • Banner ads on CBR
  • Ads on several fanboy podcasts
  • He even has a positive quotes from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and comic book genius Terry Moore

Despite the praise and all of the marketing dollars spent above, he won’t hit goal unless he gets a serious sales spike.

I’d love to get your input. I'm a long-time DW user and have always loved DW for its awesome community . In fact, there are many DW alumni in the anthology, including letters from DW founder Ed Dukeshire (thanks Ed!).

We are truly puzzled by this one. We think we have a good book. The first story arc got critical acclaim when it was first published. We’ve spent a pretty penny on advertising. What are we doing wrong? Or better yet, what can we do to help? Did we miss any Kickstarter “best practices”?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts!

LINK TO KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN

Last edited by Troy Dye; 05-07-2015 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:25 PM   #2
Michael Ford
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A lot about this kickstarter is very impressive, so it is disappointing that it isn't doing so well. But, that being said, I think I have a few ideas why it isn't doing so hot.

First, the goal is a little intimidating. From what I've noticed, 10,000 dollars seems to be the mark that scares away a lot of comic-fans from pledging. People are afraid that the project will never reach such a high goal and won't pledge, even though if they pledge and the project doesn't make it then they haven't lost anything.

The second thing is the title for the project. Simply put, it is too bland. I think 'Bizarre New World - Graphic Novel' would have been better since it is shorter and to the point. The current title actually doesn't tell anyone what the project actually is, so their eyes drift away and onto other projects.

And third, there isn't much of a plot summary for the story. I looked through the pitch and skimmed the video and I didn't find much other than a bunch of people can randomly fly. It makes me wonder what the conflict is, how does it actually affect the world, and what themes are in the story. The background and creator information is nice, but the goal should be to sell the story.

Although, there are a lot of great things about the project and it clearly has been well done. If my budget allows, I think I'll pledge to it myself. The mistakes it has are few, but those mistakes are the ones that are suppose to draw people's attention, which might be hurting it.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:38 PM   #3
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High goal, which looks intimidating, especially now that you haven't gotten the push you needed in the beginning.

The reason, imo:
You're selling TWO projects - but you're NOT selling a story. People react to stories. They are emotional and evocative. Projects are... nothing.

If this fails I'd suggest you do a Kickstarter for the graphic novel only - pitch the story and sell it, not the project.

(Depending on how much you need to set the goal at, perhaps doing the anthology first, then doing the graphic novel campaign afterwards...)


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Old 05-06-2015, 05:23 PM   #4
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Thanks Michael and Magnus. Awesome feedback, gentlemen!

These are the kinds of suggestions we're looking for. We're too close to the project to see its flaws. It's nice to get an unbiased opinion.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:35 PM   #5
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Has is been featured on any comic news sites or any blogs? I know that when my buddy's Tokyo Wonderland was featured on Bleedingcool.com, support increased like 1000%
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick View Post
Has is been featured on any comic news sites or any blogs? I know that when my buddy's Tokyo Wonderland was featured on Bleedingcool.com, support increased like 1000%
We have had a handful of short stories featured exclusively across many sites. We thought it was a great plan to feature free short stories in order to drive people to the Kickstarter campaign, and while we're grateful for the coverage, it didn't move the needle as much as we had hoped.

Here is our short stories page. If you mouse over a thumbnail, it will display which site it was featured on. We've also submitted an article to BleedingCool. If we can get a 100% boost, that wouldn't suck.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:26 PM   #7
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I think the thing against everyone right now is timing. For some reason there are a LOT of great Kickstarter projects being offered this month. I'm even struggling with mine (Fist of Justice TP Vol 2).

10g is intimidating. That's what I wanted on my very first Kickstarter and I felt like putting a gun to my head at how difficult it was to obtain. The cool thing is, Skip can keep modifying his campaign while it's running. Try to adapt to what's working and what's not. I changed all kinds of shit during my run and I'm even doing so on my current one.

I'll zap Skip a note and see how he's holding up. Kickstarters are the main cause of stress.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by eDuke View Post
I think the thing against everyone right now is timing. For some reason there are a LOT of great Kickstarter projects being offered this month. I'm even struggling with mine (Fist of Justice TP Vol 2).

10g is intimidating. That's what I wanted on my very first Kickstarter and I felt like putting a gun to my head at how difficult it was to obtain. The cool thing is, Skip can keep modifying his campaign while it's running. Try to adapt to what's working and what's not. I changed all kinds of shit during my run and I'm even doing so on my current one.

I'll zap Skip a note and see how he's holding up. Kickstarters are the main cause of stress.
Just gave FOJ some Kickstarter love. Yeah, Skip is getting a little stressed. It's more work than anticipated. There does seem to be an overabundance of campaigns right now. But on the flip side, I'm buying all sorts of cool stuff. My wife is soooo pissed.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:35 AM   #9
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Thanks brother! I also wrote Skip and he wrote back to tell me he'll write back when he gets home. Sometimes you have to stay away from KickTraq. Their graphs changed in an instant. Mine was rolling under goal for several days and now it's showing we'll do goal. But you know how that goes, it'll change in an instant. The only time it REALLY matters is towards the end. I have some ideas I'm gonna toss Skip's way. This book has to come out. I really think it's a solid project and I was so glad he let me work on it.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:49 AM   #10
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Speaking as an outside who has not used Kickstarter for anything as yet... I have to imagine there's a fine line you have to walk for your own sanity. Keeping track of how it is going and trying to be proactive to keep it progressing VS micromanaging and getting bogged down in the day to day crawl.

I liken it somewhat to people with a newborn being concerned their baby is gaining enough weight. I see the baby once a week and every week that goes by the baby looks bigger to me, so I'm not worried... but the parents are there every day, and weighing multiple times a day... some days the baby loses weight, and the parents freak out because they are concerned.

Sometimes you probably have to pull yourself back and try to stay clear a few days and not get pulled into the roller coaster. I have to think support does come in waves rather than a constant flow of pledges for most projects.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:34 AM   #11
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Troy, those sites aren't big enough to really pull traffic. Keep pushing towards getting press attention on bigger sites. One place might tip the needle for you.


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Old 05-09-2015, 10:26 PM   #12
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I don't know. This seems to be a project very well made.
Why the Kickstarter campaign is not working?
Maybe the goal is too high?
Maybe not too many people was aware of it? I'm learning of it just now.
Having a good material in hand sooner or later you and your team may find a good sponsor for publishing it. IMHO.

You are in the middle of the campaign. Many things could change from here to the end of it.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:44 PM   #13
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Thanks guys. We're still chugging along. Boy, this is exhausting.
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