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 Crowdfunding?

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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Crowdfunding?   Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:28 pm

I've been doing some research into crowdfunding. I'm not seeing the advantages. I mean other than if you have no money to fund your project. But it means adding a middleman, paying back jnvestors, or in the donation model you still have to paya percentage and you end up providing premiums to the donators. How is this better than funding your self, if you fund yourself you maintain control over everything and iwe no one anything. What am I not seeing?
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edquinby001

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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:23 pm

Hunter had a pretty good reply for this, Joe, in another thread. I haven't used any of the crowdfunding sites and Ness and I are likely not going to use one on the current project after all, but we are a small group here, so I'll take a stab at this.

First, you can't diminish the funding your project aspect. It's maybe the major factor in publishing for a lot of us. These days, anyone can self-publish on a shoestring, but, if you had the money, you might do it very differently.

In Kickstarter, people aren't actual investors, they don't get a percentage of the project's ultimate net profit. Really, I look at them as pre-sales. The premiums are purchases not 'good faith gifts'. If the project is a publication, the premiums are usually PDF's and copies and signed copies of the pub. Of course, you can get more creative with them, sell off some original art as well, but I perceive them as sales.

You're also building your brand and customer base. When you do go to press, you'll be a bit ahead of the game promotion-wise, because, well, you've been promoting for a couple months already to a group that's at least a little personally invested in the book. I would think these customers are more likely to pass the book along to others and talk it up because they are part of the book's success and in it from the ground floor. I could be over estimating this effect though.

You won't lose any control over the creative process, unless you deliberately plan it that way. I've seen some Kickstarter pubs that offer appearances in the book as a premium, either as yourself or a character of your own invention. Well, if that's what they want to do. It could even become a 'group project', but only if you let it.

Lastly, you might win the lottery! Well, not really, but some projects do go over goal. It's my understanding that the money is yours to do with as you please as long as you fulfill your obligations regarding premiums. The trick is to make some money on your premiums, but not to gauge customers either as that's a premium very few would be interested in.

If you don't make goal? With Kickstarter, the project is off and no money has changed hands yet, so you are out the time and effort that you put into the campaign, but not much more than that. Oh well, now it's time to self-publish!
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:23 pm

edquinby001 wrote:
Hunter had a pretty good reply for this, Joe, in another thread. I haven't used any of the crowdfunding sites and Ness and I are likely not going to use one on the current project after all, but we are a small group here, so I'll take a stab at this.

Just to bring it all together here in one thread...

J.M. Hunter wrote:
First, you can't diminish the funding your project aspect. It's maybe the major factor in publishing for a lot of us. These days, anyone can self-publish on a shoestring, but, if you had the money, you might do it very differently.
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:24 pm

I'm not saying it isn't a good alternative for people seeking project funding. I was just asking what advantage is there to crowd sourcing IF you have adequate funding for your business model.

I had mentioned I was tentatively planning on publishing an anthology book through my business. There are several benefits to me for doing this, some of which I would be giving up by using outside funding. Especially if the goal is to make the book a charity anthology. So I wasn't being flip, I was just looking for a cost benefit analysis.

From what I've read, both Kickstarter and Indie-go-go, operate under the donation model, not the investor. But Indie-go-go, collects 4% and Kickstarter collects a 5% fee from the project's funding. So there is a cost, one easily built in to the goal amount, to be sure but it's a cost.

It would seem to me the biggest benefit you mention is the motivated investor/salesperson. By donating to the project they become invested in the success of the project. One marketing book I've read calls them "Motivated Sneezers." This is a good benefit.

The way I was hoping to achieve this in the anthology model was by the opening submissions to the general public. By having anywhere from 150-200 pages of public submissions each being anywhere from one to ten pages, you get a decent number of initial sales, as well as motivated sellers.

With the kickstarter you have to provide premiums..

edquinby001 wrote:
If the project is a publication, the premiums are usually PDF's and copies and signed copies of the pub. Of course, you can get more creative with them, sell off some original art as well, but I perceive them as sales.
You can perceive them as sales, but they are costs. And with some of these premiums being PDF/ebooks or actual printed copies or even signed copies, that might cut into initial sales from your investors. They would still be motivated sellers, but their premium is still a cost, but again one that can be factored into the goal figure, when putting together your proposal, so not necessarily a negative but it goes to pointing out the marketing isn't free. Still I think having the group of motivated sellers is a great advantage.

edquinby001 wrote:
Lastly, you might win the lottery! Well, not really, but some projects do go over goal. It's my understanding that the money is yours to do with as you please as long as you fulfill your obligations regarding premiums. The trick is to make some money on your premiums, but not to gauge customers either as that's a premium very few would be interested in.
It doesn't seem like A bad alternative, the percentage chance for comics is over half. One source I read showed a chart with the percentage of successes of the various types of projects. It had comics at 54%


How Crowdfunding Works: Pros And Cons Of Each Model
http://blog.sprinklebit.com/how-crowdfunding-works-pros-and-cons-of-each-model/


edquinby001 wrote:
If you don't make goal? With Kickstarter, the project is off and no money has changed hands yet, so you are out the time and effort that you put into the campaign, but not much more than that. Oh well, now it's time to self-publish!
But doesn't the project now have the stink of failure on it? Do projects come back from this kind of thing? Wouldn't most people consider that a sign from the marketplace. Maybe I'm over-thinking it here but I'd rather take a finished book and try to build an audience, let it stand or fail on it's actual merits not a few sample pages and a proposal.

I agree with you there are a couple of benefits, and it would seem crowdfunding can be a good option for people who are in search of funding, in certain cases. I'm just not convinced there is a case to be made that it's significantly preferable to self-funding, when you have that option available. It has some benefits to be sure, but nothing you can't duplicate in other ways.
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:04 am

I was wondering, crowd funding would probably make a llot of sense for a monthly comic, monthly, bi-monthly whatever, regular series. If you didn't want to risk any capitol just testing the market for a character or property, are there sny examples of ongoing books having started that way? I would imagine there would have to be a lot given the over 50% success rate, or do they get scooped up by publishers?
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:18 am

I think that has happened. At least I read somewhere on the internet, maybe it was Sequential Workshop not sure, that some comics creators whose real goal is getting an Image Comics contract begin with a Kickstarter campaign and that a successful campaign increases their chances with Image. Whether this is reliable or not, I don't have a clue, I haven't read an Image book in about 10 years.

As far as the real benefits of going Kickstarter though... that's the problem. There's no guarantee. There could be real benefits or you could be wasting your time with it. If you spend your own money, you get what you're paying for, or should anyway. It might be nice to be like a 1 percenter for a change, be like the rich and never spend your own money.

More seriously, one thing about Kickstarter is its flexibility as to the type of projects it can potentially fund. I checked it out for just a few minutes today and found interesting, ordinary and off-the-wall projects. Two that would interest folks on a comics forum were from Penny Arcade and Dave Sim. I'm not sure I completely understood it, but the webcomics website Penny Arcade is offering to take down all of its onscreen advertising for an extended time if backers will fund them 250 K. The amazing thing is they've gotten 528 pledged already! For the most part, the premiums they're offering are costless silly things like the owner will shout out your name during sex or name a fart after you. Ok I made the second one up, but not the first. For a $1500 pledge, one of the Penny Arcade artists will draw you an original sketch. Damn, I guess so! Like I say, I can't really understand it or know whether their success is due to a very staunch PA following or it's because they have produced a funny, engaging campaign. Hard to see where they would have procured 500 grand by any other means though, I think a bank's loan officer would have shown them the door, as soon as he stopped laughing.

Another comics related Kickstarter project that was interesting to me was funding for a digital Cerebus. We can be pretty sure someone is running this for Dave Sim as his indifference of things online is well known. The goal was 6K and it was funded over 63K, so I guess a digital Cerebus is in our future. The plan is for it to include Dave's audio and video performances of all the characters for every issue, really I'm not making it up!

As to the real point of this, maybe it's just that Kickstarter has become this vast thing. Most of the projects looking for funding could find it by other means, or if they have the capital they don't absolutely need to do Kickstarter. Then again, there are some projects that could only find success on Kickstarter I think, and some that it's hard even to find a name for.
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:25 pm

Check out my buddies kickstarter campaign. He just put it up:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nixcomics/nix-comics-2013-its-the-big-ask-baby


Annnd...

For a suplremely, extremely successful comics anthology kickstarter campaign read this:

I mean read all of it, look at their pledges etc, the stuff they promised for as low as 1.00 pledges.

I've got more to say on this subject, just busy now.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/renaedeliz/womanthology-massive-all-female-comic-anthology?ref=live



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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:55 pm

Both cool projects, Hunter. I sent a story in to Nix Comics about a year ago and got a definite 'maybe, it all depends'. If they double their comic output, maybe it will tip things far enough to include me? All praise to the Kickstarter gods!

Wow, the upper level premiums for Womanthology are almost completely sold out. Most are worth at least the pledge amount too. For instance, a $1500 pledge (1 backer only) gets your 22 page script drawn, colored and lettered by Marvel professionals. That's less than $70 per page. It's a real opportunity for someone, but it's also obvious that Renae De Liz has plenty of loyal excellent friends in the industry and probably that the big companies really like this project. She posts all the time at Digital Webbing, but now I know that my mind's ear should hear them in her cool British accent.
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:21 pm

edquinby001 wrote:
Both cool projects, Hunter. I sent a story in to Nix Comics about a year ago and got a definite 'maybe, it all depends'. If they double their comic output, maybe it will tip things far enough to include me? All praise to the Kickstarter gods!

Wow, the upper level premiums for Womanthology are almost completely sold out. Most are worth at least the pledge amount too. For instance, a $1500 pledge (1 backer only) gets your 22 page script drawn, colored and lettered by Marvel professionals. That's less than $70 per page. It's a real opportunity for someone, but it's also obvious that Renae De Liz has plenty of loyal excellent friends in the industry and probably that the big companies really like this project. She posts all the time at Digital Webbing, but now I know that my mind's ear should hear them in her cool British accent.

Yea, I got rejected this last time around too. My art chops just weren't up to snuff. I've lost a few steps honestly.

I'm just focussing on BAM TOO! right now. Thinking.....hoping that if I get this monkey off my back maybe, just maybe I'll get some of my old or new, I like new! magic back!
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:49 pm

I just picked up a GN at the LCS that has a publisher logo that reads "KICKSTART" even had a website, http://kickstartcomics.com, I saw lots of coming soon info but i couldn't see if they were affiliated with kickstarter.
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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:44 pm

Here's the Kickstarter campaign from comics creator Eric Powell for an animated feature film of his character The Goon. He's off to a good start, but 400 grand is a steep mountain. Hope he makes it though, I think I'd like to see a Goon movie.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/624061548/the-goon-movie-lets-kickstart-this-sucker?ref=live


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PostSubject: Re: Crowdfunding?   Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:05 pm

I can't believe they can't get studio money for this, the animation is awesome. Great job with all the characters. Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown are perfect.
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