Sunday, September 21, 2014

Crowdfunding Your Comic Book Project: Here's What Works
Plus, New Episode of the Everything Geek podcast!

By +Tim Beyers

One of my editors recently assigned me to take a look at some of this year's top crowdfunding campaigns. The story was an eye-opener for me.

All told, the 14 crowdfunding pitches I studied raised over $52 million for creative entrepreneurs. Rooster Teeth's Lazer Team movie made the list, as did Wil Wheaton's Indiegogo campaign for season 3 of TableTop.

Why should you care? Because I run across a lot of would-be comics creators who believe that Kickstarter and Indiegogo are legitimate alternatives to self-publishing or submitting to the slush piles at the big publishers.

If you're in that group, good luck. Here are the four things I learned from studying winning crowdfunding campaigns:

1. The biggest winners start on Kickstarter. All seven of the most-funded campaigns originated on Kickstarter, while the top earner on that platform took in six times as much as the top earner on Indiegogo.

2. They also leverage a known brand. Wheaton headlined the TableTop campaign. Had he not, I suspect the results wouldn't have been as impressive.

3. Some deliver an "a-ha!" moment. It's a basic rule of storytelling, right? Build to a big reveal to keep your audience (or, in this case, your would-be backers) engaged with the narrative.

4. Others tap into a cause. Projects with societal import or uncommon emotional resonance can have an easier road to funding.

A quick review of still-open comic book projects that are seeing some success shows that these principles are as true in comics as they are in other areas. For example:
  • Exiles from Christianne Benedict and Rachel K. Zall is a collection of transgender-themed comics stories that hopes to educate as well as entertain. They've raised $1,189 of their $1,700 target as I write this.

Picks of the week

Other things you should be reading and listening to:
You can also find new stories at my feed, "The Business of Comics."

Paying the bills

Publishers like it when you read and comment on my work. Here's a couple of my most recent:

My most surprising genre entertainment find is ...

Green Lantern: The Animated Series. I tuned in after hearing Jason Spisak (the voice of Razer) on a recent episode of The Nerdist Comics Panel and I've been loving it. Lots of emotional resonance and well-developed characters. If only the live-action movie had been as good.

And that's +The Full Bleed for this week. Have a comment or a story idea? Leave it below or find me on Twitter and Facebook.

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