What Does a KickStarter Scam Email Look Like? Well…

You come across a LOT of junk mail and bull-crap whenever you run a KickStarter campaign, whether it’s your first time or your tenth.

As it turns out, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is my tenth campaign on KickStarter. And, true to form, I’ve been getting messages from total strangers saying that they “can help boost this campaign to millions of people” and that they know “the best outlets to promote this KickStarter to” so I should “reply to this email ASAP to jump on this unique opportunity.”

But there was ONE email that I got recently that stood out to me… for all the wrong reasons.

First, this is not the first time this guy emailed me. He had sent a previous email starting with, “I get it. You’ve seen thousands of messages from people saying they can help your campaign” (which I have). But the difference was this NEW guy emailing me called himself “a guru in crowdfunding.”

Pro tip: never call yourself a guru of anything. You sound pretentious and it’s step number 1 of making sure I delete your email.

But shortly after that one, he sent me a NEW email.

Here, I’ll show you a screencap of this thing. Don’t worry, I’ll censor out the guy’s email, name, and face. Just pay attention to the email text:

In case you can’t see it, the email says, “we’ve chosen The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 as our weekly “what could this campaign be doing better?” round table discussion.”

Already off to a bad start. I know what I can do better. This is my TENTH campaign. And I already made the fixes before this dude sent me this message.

And he adds, “We choose one very lucky campaign and go through it top-to-bottom to see what you can do better.”

This is the most slimy sentence I’ve come across.

And I’m saying this as someone who’s sat through brutal art class critiques and read thousands of pages of copy other people have written to promote their work.

I’m saying this as someone who studied marketing and promotional materials during college AND after. That sentence is slimy.

Why is this sentence slimy? Because it is preying on the email recipient’s insecurity about their campaign.

Whether you’re running your first campaign or your hundredth, there will always be a bit of insecurity that you feel when you launch. Will this thumbnail stand out? Did I make enough rewards? Did I overprice one of these tiers? Etc.

That sentence in that email is designed to snag onto that insecurity and make the email recipient feel like they NEED help.

Trust me: you do not need help from a guy like this.

I’ve had better luck getting help from ComixLaunch, and I found that program to be very hit and miss for me. Again, I’ve run ten successful KickStarter campaigns, and The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is looking to be my eleventh successful one.

Never trust a dude who would use sentences like that, no matter how professional or “well-meaning” the rest of the email sounds.

I hope this helps you if you’re looking to start crowdfunding – or even if it helps you spot similar emails in the future. I hope this blog post has helped you spot what kind of language to watch out for and what to avoid.

Best of luck to you, and thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

NOW ON KICKSTARTER: The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1

HOLY BANANA PANTS, it’s finally here – The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is now on KickStarter, looking for funding to get to print!

Patreon support has helped make the production of each individual page possible. But KickStarter will help cover the gap to get this first issue to print.

The book will include a never-before-published short comic about Captain O’Malley (just how DID she lose her arm?). Plus there will be behind-the-scenes sketches showing how pages for the comic are made.

Among the rewards available for backers, there’s commissions, WANTED poster-style mini-prints, and even a new 11 x 17 inch print!

So if you can back this KickStarter campaign, please do so BEFORE JUNE 20.

Broke? Share this campaign with your friends. Every share helps.

Want to back the campaign, but don’t see a reward you like? Hit me up via email at kelci(at)kelcidcrawford.com and I’ll work with you.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.

Featured Artist Friday: Interview with FalconHyrste creator Melissa Capriglione

Falconhyrste is a young adult, coming-of-age story set in a world with magic, mystery, and a rainbow of characters. It’s also charming as heck.

Today I got one of the creators of the story, Melissa Capriglione, to answer some questions for me about the inspiration and process behind making this webcomic.

Not only is this a return of an old segment on my blog called Featured Artist Friday – it’s also the launch date of Falconhyrste on KickStarter! Let’s celebrate by taking a peek into Melissa’s creative process:

What inspired you to make this comic in particular?

Initially, I wanted to make a comic because I needed experience in making comics! I was in my sophomore year of college at the time and, wanting to be a comic artist when I graduated, I realized I had little to no experience at making comics. So I went with the most accessible option- a webcomic! Anyone can make one, and you can host it on a variety of platforms.

The story itself was inspired by love for everything supernatural, and I brought in a lot of inspiration from various anime and comics.

You make this comic with another artist. What prompted the collaboration?

In December of 2015, I went on social media and asked if anyone wanted to collaborate on a webcomic. Clara (now my co-author) responded out of the blue and then we began brainstorming the story and swapping sketches. Both of us were beginner comic artists and didn’t have set styles at the time, so it was tumultuous.

I wanted to collaborate on the comic because we planned for it to be a larger project and I couldn’t see myself taking it on my own. We also act as each other’s beta readers, so the collaboration helps us figure out the plot and make sure our writing sounds good. It also just helps to have an extra set of eyes around for general feedback!

How was the collaboration process when you started out? What kinks in the system have you had to work through?

It was pretty rough in the beginning! We had no idea how long it would take us to make a page, so we were scrambling to finish our first handful of pages. It took us about an entire two weeks to make just one page, but now it takes us about a day or two.

Since then, we learned a lot about formatting pages, setting them up so we’re not using 50 layers, and general streamlining of the process.

This comic has been online for 4 issues now. How long do you intend for Falconhyrste to last?

Since we’re printing issue four, we plan on printing issue five sometime mid 2019. The pages for issue five (and half of issue six) are all done and on the website (falconhyrste.com), so we hope to have those in physical form soon!

As for the story itself, we’ve been doing this for about three and a half years now, and we’re not even a third of the way through our story! But the reason why it took us all these years to do barely 200 pages was because of our busy schedules. We were both in school when we were beginning, so we had to skip a lot of updates and take mini hiatuses due to exams and work schedules.

But now I’m full-time freelance so I can dedicate more time to the story, and hopefully Falconhyrste won’t take another ten years to finish!

Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? (A plotter outlines the story in advance, a pantser makes up the story as they go along. It’s ok if you’re somewhere in between!)

Definitely somewhere in between! The entire script is written out in its entirety, but it’s mostly still the first draft from early 2016, so it’s not that great! We’ve kept a few parts but we’ve added and edited stuff since then. We usually try to plan a chapter ahead, though.

Dang near everybody in this comic is somewhere in the LGBTQ+ rainbow – which I’m not complaining about! I also saw in your portfolio website that you call yourself a “queer artist.” Now, there are (I have discovered) LOTS of LGBTQ+ comics and creators out there. What is it about Falconhyrste that makes it special to you?

Both of us are LGBTQ+, so we wanted to make a story that included people like us, as well as many other people in the community. It’s important to have queer stories available to younger audiences (Falconhyrste is classified as young adult) so that it can be more normalized.

Falconhyrste is special, I think, in that we enjoy just having queer characters existing happily in a world without bigotry and adversity, and use magic! Lots more comics these days are going that route, and it’s certainly refreshing to see, and I’m glad to be a part of this movement.

To create my own stories from my perspective and make the queer comics world even more colorful is one of my goals.

Falconhyrste will be on KickStarter November 16 (that’s today)! Is this your first KickStarter campaign or have you run previous ones? If you’ve done it before, what have you learned from previous campaigns?

This is our first Kickstarter, yes!

Before this, we did a pre-order for issues one through three, and the response to it was far greater than expected, so managing all of that by hand was kind of overwhelming. I figured Kickstarter would be our next best bet because it’ll be easier to manage rewards and stretch goals, as well as communicate with our supporters on a better level.

Obvious question: What tools do you use to make your comic? Is it purely digital?

Yes, 100% digital! I use a Wacom Cintiq 24HD with Photoshop CC, and Clara uses a Wacom Intuos with Clip Studio Paint.

Falconhyrste is a coming of age story if I’ve ever seen one. Are there other coming-of-age stories you want to write, or do you think your next story idea will be in a different kind of genre?

I think coming-of-age stories are my main focus. Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of stories I could relate to and ended up being uninterested and bored by most stories. Nowadays it’s so inspiring to see comics reaching a much wider variety of audiences than they did just ten years ago!

Lots of comics makers (and aspiring comics makers and other artists) read my blog. Is there anything you would like to say to them?

Start where you can!

If you have a story that you just need to create, don’t wait until you’re “good enough” to create it. You’ll get better through the process. It takes time, practice, and effort, but it will all pay off eventually.

Thanks Melissa!

You can find Falconhyrste at falconhyrste.com.

Be sure to follow Melissa on Twitter at @mcapriglioneart and co-creator Clara at @tenhousandbeez.

Be sure to pledge on KickStarter to claim issue #4 of Falconhyrste (as well as other rewards).

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Gods & Spirits: RE-LAUNCHED

On Monday, the initial campaign run for Gods & Spirits: A Sketchbook on KickStarter did NOT meet the goal.

And I know why.

I set the asking goal too high, and I incorporated rewards that should not have been part of the initial asking goal.

So I went back, made some tweaks, and re-launched Gods & Spirits on KickStarter, to take advantage of the demand for the book that WAS STILL THERE.

And within 2 days, WE MADE OUR INITIAL GOAL!

So now Gods & Spirits: A Sketchbook WILL be going to print once the campaign wraps up.

Now the next goal is to raise extra funding to get stickers printed.

There are 3 designs available, plus new reward tiers that include stickers as part of the package.

If you haven’t pledged to the KickStarter yet, I hope you take the time to check out the rewards and claim the one you like.

Thank you if you pledged to this campaign (again) – your support for this project is MARVELOUS!

Broke? Share this campaign with your friends and family searching for unique gift ideas!

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.

Validation’s Final Push on KickStarter

Those of you who are on my email newsletter, as well as on Facebook and Tumblr, know that Validation’s Final Push launched June 1st.

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.

The campaign ends MONDAY, JUNE 11.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.