Not gonna lie – I’ve had 11 successful KickStarter campaigns. Once you’ve had so much success, you fall into a rhythm.
But I HAVE had one KickStarter campaign fail. I learned a lot from that failure, which makes it true that you learn more from your failures than your successes. Because when you’re successful, you develop a groove.
The thing about grooves, though, is that it’s easy to get comfortable inside of those grooves. It’s like when you walk in circles in the dirt – after a while, there’s an obvious path of where you’ve tread.
And if you want to grow, you have to take a step outside of that dirt circle.
Ever since the demise of Project Wonderful, I’ve written off the power of ad spots on blog sites and webcomic sites. It’s easy to write it off, since it can be difficult to make money from posting ads in this era of ad-blockers.
Yet the original reason these became ads were to signal-boost SOMETHING. Someone wanted their product known, so they made a promotional image and paid someone to post it.
Well, I don’t (yet) have a network of peeps to reach out to and ask about posting an ad on their site and paying them for it.
So I made a button to promote the KickStarter, posted it on the sites, and VOILA – insta-ad. I’m still getting traffic on these sites, so the ad spots are seen by the peeps who go to these sites.
Reach Out to Folks Who Are Adjacent To What You Do
I have to thank Jamie (no relation to Jamie Roberts) for this one. I had almost written off this particular tactic.
The Legend of Jamie Roberts is about a genderqueer pirate. So Jamie (no relation) suggested I reach out to LGBTQ centers, and ask for their help promoting this KickStarter campaign. He sent me a list of LGBTQ centers in Ohio (which you can find here). This resource includes contact information for these sites.
I also had a flier for another LGBTQ center, from when I went to Flaming River Con. (One of the few positive things to come out of that show). So I reached out to this center, as well.
All told, I reached out to 5 or so of these centers, and only heard back from 1: the center whom I had a flier for. I think it helped that the contact spoke with me at the show, so they had a face to connect to the email.
So while perhaps blind contacting doesn’t work – what DOES help is keeping your rolodex of peeps you meet at comicons, festivals, and other shows. Reach out to those who are adjacent to what you do and ask if they can help signal-boost you.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Fliers
I made a flier for my local comic shop to promote my KickStarter campaign. Then I sent it shortly after launch. I asked if they could print up copies and set them with their other fliers, and make a social media post, as well. And they agreed to help (I’m very fortunate that the folks at my local comic shop are cool dudes).
I DID notice that a few days after I did that, the number of backers and money raised went up a good 20-25%. Pretty dang good!
So don’t underestimate the power of fliers. Share them with comic shops. They’re usually more than happy to help indie comic creators succeed. If not? Find someone else who’d be happy to share your flier.
Those are what I’ve re-learned in promoting a KickStarter campaign into success. Next time I’ll make a post about how to run a successful campaign. I just realized I don’t have a post about that (yet).
This KickStarter campaign launched to get funding to help Christian and me make the final pages of the webcomic Validation.
Let me make one thing clear: yes, we have a Patreon page. But keep this in mind:
Christian has been paying me out of her own pocket to make comics every week for the last 5 years. The Patreon has helped give Christian a small writing stipend, but it’s not enough to cover the full cost of this comic (from paying me, to web hosting, etc.).
So, we started the KickStarter campaign to get us over the edge.
And over the edge we went!
Because holy dang, our initial asking goal was $500 and you met that goal within 2 HOURS of launch!
We made our first stretch goal of $1000 before the weekend started! As I’m writing this, we’re right on the cusp of making the $1500 stretch goal!
I think it helps that the rewards are fun. At least two of them include getting drawn in one of the final pages of Validation!
Another thing is that some of the prints available have been out of print. One of these prints is “In Her Wildest Dreams.”
This baby has been out of print for quite some time. But now it’s available for KickStarter backers as a reward.
If you’re interested in helping this KickStarter camaign, there’s still time to pledge. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one who helps us reach that next stretch goal!
If you’re broke, please share this campaign with your friends. Every share helps more than you know.
“Hold on a second,” you might be thinking. “You just had a KickStarter campaign, and you’re running another one so soon?”
Yes – the previous KickStarter was to get funding for Validation buttons, to have something for sale at conventions. That KickStarter ran in June for a week and raised just a little over $800 (holy banana pants!). Since that campaign was so short, the rewards were not super hard to fulfill. In fact, all the rewards for the backers are taken care of for that campaign.
I like to make sure loose ends are tied up before moving to the next KickStarter, thank you.
So, with previous campaigns taken care of, I’ve launched a new one: Witches: The Sketchbook is looking for $500 to get its first print-run going.
Witches: The Sketchbook is a compilation of sketches I made during Inktober, featuring nothing but witches. Why? Well, in promotional posts on KickStarter I say “because I love witches” and leave it at that. But there’s a little more to it than that.
The reason I drew witches is not just out of a fascination for them, but because as a Pagan person, I like seeing witches of all stripes and backgrounds. There’s not much representation of witches, Wiccas, neo-pagans, or the other branches of Paganism in art unless they’re super-sexy or the Macbeth variety of wrinkled cautionary witches.
I wanted to see something different – witches rooted in the old Gaelic traditions, witches of African descent, witches that could spring from old lore, modern-day witches, and witches of other backgrounds. And my method is usually, “Huh. I can’t seem to find anything like that. Time to draw it myself!”
There was also the desire to have a book of character designs and concept art, because I love those types of books and wanted to make one of my own. And a book of witch concepts is a good place to start, I think.
The KickStarter is still running – in fact, it has 11 days left in the campaign and ends on November 21st. Check it out and see what you would like. (Also there’s a ton of original sketches left to claim and they’re priced reasonably well, so be sure to get those before they run out).
If you can pledge, that’s fantastic! If you’re broke, please share the link with your friends. Every bit helps.
This is going to sound like product placement or a sponsorship, but let’s be clear, it isn’t. ComixLaunch is a podcast entirely about making comics and art, and running successful KickStarters to fund said comics and art, and how you can make a living as a working artist.