Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Using Kickstarter to Raise Funds

Eventually you are going to want to gather your comic together, print out a large number of copies, and sell the hard copies at a convention or every comic book shop you can think of, or even through a website. Odds are good that You are going to use something like Kickstarter. Setting up a Kickstarter campaign can be a lot easier than you think, but it does require some planning. There are three major considerations:

1) Make sure that the idea is solid. First off, make sure that someone is going to buy your book. In general, less than 1% of your fans will buy your book; most people just reprint the webcomic, maybe with just a new piece of art as the cover. Add in a few extras, such as roughs, concept art, or information on how you create the comic, and you get more buyers. You need to think: "What can I do to make people interested in this book?"Oh, and let's go back to that 1%: Base how many book you will need printed based on that figure, and you should be okay. If you have less than 100,000 fans, think long and hard if you really want to sell a printed version.

You also need to debate the tiers. They should be cumulative, and you should have at least four tiers. The book by itself should be the second or third. The first tier should be a couple of dollars and be something cheap, such as bookmark or sticker pack. You should also have a tier that is the book and a piece of good swag, such as a tee-shirt or hat. You can also use sketches, posters, and any other swag you can think of. Just debate what you think will help sell the main item; some items are simply not appropriate, so have fun but think it through.

2) Know what you are going to do with the money. This means that you need to know not only how much you need, but also to make sure that you have enough for the product itself. Also keep in mind that sites like Kickstarter charge a fee, so that needs to be allowed for as well. If you are going to pay for any marketing that needs to be allowed for as well. Lastly, do not forget to charge enough to make a profit; a good mark-up is 50% to 100% of the price it takes you to produce each item (this allows for your production price as well as marketing and the site's fee).

3) Make sure that you market it. No one will buy what you have to offer if they don't know about it. Not only can you use social marketing, but it also means to possibly pay for advertising as well and promoting it on discussion boards as well. Project Wonderful is great for anything comic-related, so make sure you spend some money there.

In short:
1) Make sure your idea is solid.
2) Make sure you know money you'll need to make.
3) Make sure you market it.

Do that, and your Kickstarter project should do well!

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