Rethinking How to Run a KickStarter

johnson and sir kickstarter art

One of the people I met at 3 Rivers Comic Con this year mentioned a podcast called ComixLaunch and recommended I give it a listen. So I did.

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.

So I kinda’ got hooked after four episodes.

One episode in particular, Episode 95, is about why now is the best time for comickers to run KickStarters. It got my attention about halfway through the episode for one reason:

The host, Tyler James, talked about the idea of a KickStarter campaign running for only 7 days.

This idea strikes me as phenomenal – usually when you see a KickStarter campaign it runs for 30 days/1 month. I’ve seen some KickStarter campaigns run 3 months, which is just bananas to me. I’ve run 3 KickStarter campaigns before (one for Seeing Him, one for Johnson & Sir, and one for Thoughtful Dinosaur), and all of them were 30 days long.

But a 7-day KickStarter campaign? …I like this idea.

Even though you’re taking the energy of a 30-day campaign and condensing it into 7 days of absolute panic, I imagine it would be relatively easier to do a short campaign. You can ask for less funds up front, and the funds you get will help you make the next product (whether that’s a short comic book, a T-shirt, a set of prints, etc) to take to your next convention. There’s still the issue of waiting two weeks for money to get into your account, but still, if your campaign succeeds, you have a paycheck to work with. That’s less money to take out of your own funds, because debt is dumb. (This statement was said in the podcast, but I like it and agree with it.)

Here’s the big question, though: what can you raise funds for within only one week?

Here’s some other questions: What would be a reasonable amount to ask for given only one week of fundraising? How much media and social media flurry do you need to muster to make a 7-day campaign work?

I have a lot of different ideas floating around in my mind in regards to what I want a 7-day KickStarter to raise funds for: T-shirts (maybe I can finally move forward on some T-shirt ideas?), zines, buttons?

I could make a 7-day KickStarter to fund a comic, but I’d rather build up for a comic launch over a longer period of time.

But I just thought of another question: Can you take this energy of running a short-term KickStarter campaign…and use it to fund your next goal on Patreon?

Patreon works differently from KickStarter – the latter is a one-time-payment-and-you’re-done set up. Patreon has recurring charges. My own Patreon page is set to charge my patrons once a month, and in exchange they get rewards like early comic updates and a subscription to my minicomics.

How do you get people interested in contributing to your Patreon, a regular subscription service, to fund your next goal? What could you offer to them?

I’m going to end this blog post here, because I could ramble ideas about this stuff all day trying to find an answer. Let me think about this stuff a little more – but if you have some ideas, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

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