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View Full Version : What Has and Hasn't Worked in Promoting My Kickstarter


crognus
04-16-2015, 06:28 PM
http://i.imgur.com/Rtv0SZh.jpg
http://kck.st/1IBzxRk

I am currently running a Kickstarter for the third issue of my comic Super. I still have 24 days left of my 30 day campaign, and have raised about 10% of my goal with 27 backers. There is still a chance that it will succeed, but it hasn't gained the traction I would have hoped. Why is that? Here is a list of things I have done so far to promote my Kickstarter:

1. Sold my Comic at Coventions and Gathered Emails.

I have traveled to various cities in the US to promote my comic. I have sold over 3000 copies and gathered over 1000 emails from people who bought the comic. Here's why I think it hasn't worked. Momentum. My comic started in September, however due to the fact I needed to run a Kickstarter for my Second Issue, the release of my Second Issue wasn't until February. That's a long time to wait for 24 pages.

The truth is, it is hard to maintain interest in a comic that is released so sporadically. However, considering the cost it takes to draw and publish comics, it is difficult to maintain a regular release. It takes a month to run a Kickstarter and then another month to illustrate everything, and if you want cheap prints you have to order from China, which can take another 6 to 8 weeks to arrive. If I was to start again, I probably would have saved the money myself to illustrate the first 3 issues on my own, and only ran the Kickstarters to fund prints.

Unless I'm just giving out free stuff, like digital copies of my comic, my open rate for emails to my mailing list is about 20-25%, click rates are about 3-5%, and translations to actual backers are only about $1.

2. Sent Out PR Blasts to Multiple Blogs and News Sites

Some of them have been worked and some haven't. While I was traveling, I gathered business cards and networked with various bloggers, podcasters, and other journalists. The problem is, meeting people isn't enough if you don't stay in contact. Without personal contacts sending out PR blasts is sort of like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping something sticks.

I should have spent more time staying in touch I probably would have had an easier time getting them to feature my comic. There are plenty of reviews for the first issue of my comic, all of which have been positive, but I didn't take the time to respond to them.

I am currently trying to reach out to local newspapers, sites, radio, and TV channels. We'll see how that works out.

3. Given out free comics at local comic shops.

I currently have more than 1000 copies of Super: Issue One set out to take for free at about 10 local comic shops in the state, along with posters on the doors promoting my Kickstarter. I have yet to see any big turn around on the Kickstarter. I think what is lacking is personal contact.

4. Promoted my Kickstarter on Social Media.

I have posted promoting my Kickstarter and Tweeted about it as well. So far more than 50% of my backers were directed to my Kickstarter through Facebook and just over 1% through Twitter. I don't think twitter will ever be as effective as Facebook in directing traffic, but the fact that I am just not active enough on twitter probably isn't helping.

Final Thoughts

There are some other things I am doing to try and gain more traction emailing the Kickstarter staff to try and get staff pick again (it helped a lot last time), I still have an upcoming Comic Convention in Las Vegas, and signings for Free Comic Day coming up that I hope will gather more backers. We'll see how that works out. If anyone has any other ideas or experience running comic Kickstarters let me know of any other ways you have found to promote your work!

You can find my Kickstarter here. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/753985167/super-issue-3)

Schuyler
04-16-2015, 08:29 PM
Dude, I haven't even had a chance to read issue one and two yet!

As a physical copy guy, I have been waiting and just got them last week.

crognus
04-16-2015, 08:36 PM
Haha, well I hope you enjoy it. I know I think they are pretty darn good. But you know...I could be wrong.

Scribbly
04-17-2015, 12:36 AM
Clicking in your website link we read CONTINE to main site instead CONTINUE.
I like the concept of the book, the artwork is cool.
But it need a more enticing-dramatic title, as SUPER ARMAGEDDON or SUPER APOCALYPTIC or Super... something. Super something big and dangerous.
Super itself has no grip for this story. IMHO.

HouseStark
04-17-2015, 03:40 AM
Here's a few problems I see ... and I'm only speaking from my POV as a potential backer who doesn't know you. I'm not trying to be a d**k here, just giving you my opinion. Please take it in the spirit in which it's intended (to hopefully help):

1) $5 for a digital book. Too rich for my blood. That's more than most comic book cost from top publishers, including Marvel or DC, print or otherwise. People who know you may support you at this price point, but as an impulse buy, which I do al the time on Kickstarter, the price is a bit too steep for me. $15 for three digital books from a new creator? Even if I knew you, I would probably balk at that. Wait a minute, I went back to view the campaign and noticed you have another $15 reward tier and you get both physical and digital copies (still too high for me). I never got past the first $15 tier. It already turned me off. Why two options and you get less with one over the other? That's a turn off.

2) It's #3. As a impulse buyer, this is a huge barrier to entry. If #1 were free, I would have given it a look see. I may be being cheap here, but I'm not going to spend a buck to get a taste of what's to come. I can download an app for $.99 and get hours of entertainment. Give me a free issue. If I like what I see, then maybe I'll bite. I see that you posted a preview, but I don't see the hero until the last panel (at least I think that's him). Before this pane,l I'm seeing things I've already seen ... in real life. This doesn't sell me. Show me the hero in action. Show me your best pages ... the ones you would show to a publisher if you sent them a submission package. And give me some of issue 2. Not the whole thing, just enough to get to a cliffhanger.

3) This is minor, but you're telling me that you screwed up in your last campaign. I didn't know that until you told me. It's only a minor turn off, but when you tack on other stuff, it may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

4) No video? I'm not sure if it's my browser, but I'm not seeing one. Out of principle, I won't buy anything without a video. Anyone with a phone can make one these days. Just about everyone has one. I rarely see a campaign without one. Always start with your best foot forward. If people expect a video, you best have one. Even a crappy one.

5) Forby edited your book? Kiss of death. Just kidding ... sorta.

6) $10 for a Kickstarter exclusive cover? If it was a alternate Superman book, which might have some value later, then I might buy something like this. But for a new book and creator? No way. If I knew you and wanted to support you, then maybe ... or maybe not. Your campaign should appeal to the casual backer as much as it does to friends and family.

7) The "Premise" you've written doesn't tell me about your protagonist. All I know is that he has superpowers while no one else does. Okay, interesting concept, but you're still not selling the book to me. Why should I care about your hero? You're telling me about how you hate formulaic superhero, that's nice, but I really don't care. I'm here to buy some s**t. The book is good, you say? It's nice that you thinks so.

Your premise section is essentially your pitch. Sell, don't tell.

I hope this helps. I'm no Kickstarter marketing guru. My comments above are from someone who's been buying shite on Kickstarter for many years. Good luck with your campaign!

crognus
04-17-2015, 03:52 AM
Clicking in your website link we read CONTINE to main site instead CONTINUE.
I like the concept of the book, the artwork is cool.
But it need a more enticing-dramatic title, as SUPER ARMAGEDDON or SUPER APOCALYPTIC or Super... something. Super something big and dangerous.
Super itself has no grip for this story. IMHO.

Thanks for pointing that out about the webiste! I'll hop on it tomorrow.

About the name, It's already 3 issues in, so it's kind of hard to change now...

crognus
04-17-2015, 04:38 AM
Here's a few problems I see ... and I'm only speaking from my POV as a potential backer who doesn't know you. I'm not trying to be a d**k here, just giving you my opinion. Please take it in the spirit in which it's intended (to hopefully help):

Thanks for your input. I don't think your a dick at all, it's really helpful to see what people are thinking!

I understand your point of view, and I want to give an explanation of my thoughts as well.

1.)Yes, I realize $5 is more than retail; however, realistically to recover costs for art, printing, and shipping, I would have to sell 3000 copies at the retail $3 to break even. The average amount of backers that donate to a successful comic on Kickstarter is about 300 to 350. So I'm not going to lie, yes I'm looking for extra to pick up the financial slack. When you are Marvel/DC and selling tens of thousands of copies, a few grand on art isn't a biggie. But on an indie comic that art budget is a big deal.

If you look at most comics on Kickstarter the prices are actually almost always higher than MSRP for this reason. I looked at previous successful Comic Kickstarters and tried to model myself accordingly.

On Kickstarter (at least for comics), I have always there to be a kind of unspoken agreement between the creator and the backer. I have backed 27 projects on Kickstarter, and I always ended up paying more for an issue of a comic than I would for an issue of something Marvel/DC. However, I am happy to spend more because I get a say in what I want, instead of a big company shoving something down my throat telling me what I want. It's a sort of, "Yes, I know I'm paying more, but I'm tired of regurgitated stories until the end of time. So I'll pay you instead."

2. The $15 tier with physical rewards is $15 plus shipping, so the price varies based on where you reside. Depending on where you are, it can be a lot or a little more than $15.

3. I just wanted to be upfront and honest. I had a small hiccup due to switching to a different printer, who didn't deliver on time. I wanted to show I learned. I think it's more grown up than pretending to be perfect all the time, like Enron.

4. I uploaded a video a day before the campaign, then I took the campaign live. I figured it would be done uploading by now (because that's how I did it last time), but Kickstarter still says it's being "encoded". Don't know why it's taking them longer.

5. Sorry, I don't really get your point on this one...

6. Like I explained...I'm pricing things as realistically as I can. I know people have to pay more to make this happen than a retail price for a Marvel/DC book. If I can't give them cheaper prices, then I can at least give them something special to thank them for making it happen.


7. I can't tell too much about the protagonist and keep the pitch short. There's a reason why the pitch for Image Comics Sex Criminals pitch says, "Two people find out they can freeze time when they orgasm, so they rob banks."

The characters have so much more depth to them, and there's so much more to the book, but you can't say it all. Anyway, I agree that I could make the pitch better.

Anyway, thanks for your input. It's very helpful.

crognus
04-17-2015, 04:47 AM
Anyway, you're totally right about the pages I chose to preview. The pages I chose seem to target repeat backers more, instead of new backers....and most of my backers so far seem to be previous backers...hrm correlation?

I'll try and include more preview pages to give a better idea of the comic. I should probably take some excerpts from other people's reviews too, to show maybe I'm not the only one who thinks it's good. Haha.

russbrett
04-17-2015, 09:07 PM
1) $5 for a digital book.

This is perfectly in line with other comic books on Kickstarter.

However, it is higher than what most people are willing to pay for a digital comic. You get past that by offering a little something extra. (which you did for the Issue #2 campaign).

With Sidekicks #1, I included a 12 page Bonus comic (cost me nothing since it was produced with an artist buddy). Adding the Backer's name to a "Thank You" page is also a nice extra at this level.

2) It's #3. As a impulse buyer, this is a huge barrier to entry. If #1 were free, I would have given it a look see. I may be being cheap here, but I'm not going to spend a buck to get a taste of what's to come.

Putting the Issue number in the title is absolutely a barrier to entry. Casual backers now have an excuse to skip over your campaign. Perhaps try changing it to "Super: Issues #1-3" so potential Backers immediately know they can get all 3 issues.

$1 for Issue #1 is fine. It's what you charged in the previous campaign. Reducing costs for subsequent campaigns just trains backers to not back first issues (since they can just wait and get it cheap or free in the future).

4) No video? I'm not sure if it's my browser, but I'm not seeing one. Out of principle, I won't buy anything without a video. Anyone with a phone can make one these days. Just about everyone has one. I rarely see a campaign without one. Always start with your best foot forward. If people expect a video, you best have one. Even a crappy one.

Yes. You should have a video.

6) $10 for a Kickstarter exclusive cover? If it was a alternate Superman book, which might have some value later, then I might buy something like this. But for a new book and creator? No way. If I knew you and wanted to support you, then maybe ... or maybe not. Your campaign should appeal to the casual backer as much as it does to friends and family.

Agreed. I am of the opinion that ALL Kickstarter rewards should have some measure of exclusivity to them (even if it's just the Kickstarter Bug on the cover).

Nothing wrong with charging extra for a variant cover, but I don't think a Kickstarter Exclusive cover is a selling point for a new creator.

The only other thing I would add is that I would include the cost for shipping in the US in the actual Reward cost. I can't think of any other Kickstarter campaigns I have backed from US creators where the shipping was added after. From a purely psychological view, I am prepared to Back your project at $5 for a physical copy, but then I click on it and all of a sudden it's $11. My cost has just more than doubled! It's a turn off (even though I might be perfectly willing to make the exact same pledge if the Reward tier was initially priced at $11).

Just my thoughts.

crognus
04-17-2015, 10:07 PM
I 100% agree that I should have done a better job targeting new backers, instead of just previous backers. It was a big mistake. Well, you live an you learn. I am going to make adjustments to the current Kickstarter, and if that fails I can always relaunch.

Ace Corona
04-17-2015, 10:28 PM
3. I just wanted to be upfront and honest. I had a small hiccup due to switching to a different printer, who didn't deliver on time.



What was the name of the printer you had a problem with? Was it a U.S. company, or in another country?

ponyrl
04-20-2015, 06:26 PM
I backed the third issue after I had read the first two issue I backed before.

The idea is interesting and the execution is pretty good. The writer's going to have fun exploring the moral ramifications and trying to keep interest in one super powered human in a world whose governments with DEFINATELY try to use, own, or destroy him, or, the MC can go to a country and become a God. :)

Gonna be a b*tch to resolve or continue a whole series.

Personally, I'd work in 6 issue arcs to maintain reader interest

Schuyler
04-21-2015, 10:43 AM
I just read the issues I purchased. The story is really good and I will back issue three.

I have one problem with it, and that is the time travel in issue 1. Present day, three years ago, present day, three years ago, present day, less than one year ago. This is not an exaggeration. Six time jumps, back and forth between two times mostly. Felt wrong.

-Sky

maverick
04-22-2015, 06:42 PM
Why do you need $8000+ for a single issue of a comic book?

StevenHudkins
04-22-2015, 10:34 PM
I've got a couple thoughts on your project as well.

I'm backing the project, simply because I'd like to support Forbes' work. Nothing against you (because I'd never heard of Super before), but I've enjoyed The Proving Grounds and Bolts & Nuts.

However, I was almost turned off by the added shipping. Going from $25 to $31 may not be a huge difference, but mentally, it's like being bumped up a tax bracket. I'd have been happier to pay $29 without the extra bump for shipping. Or at least, mention the cost of shipping in the rewards tier. I know you can't change it now, but something to keep in mind for later campaigns.

I also didn't understand why it is $15 for all 3 issues? I receive a digital copy of #1 for $1 and a digital copy of #3 for $5. So why is #2 worth 9 dollars? I'm understand you wanted a $15 reward tier, but I didn't quite get the math on this one.

Also, I'd like to see more updates for the campaign. You've been live for 12 days and only have 2 updates? I feel more comfortable backing a campaign that is active, because it shows you're involved and dedicated.

Overall though, your campaign did seem very professional and trustworthy. I feel like professionalism is what most indie comic campaigns are lacking. Good luck with the campaign and I hope you make it!

Ace Corona
04-28-2015, 09:44 PM
What was the name of the printer you had a problem with? Was it a U.S. company, or in another country?


????????????????????????

Do I get an answer?

joshm
05-01-2015, 11:56 AM
Looks good to me. For 21 I get 3 issues and the digital copies. I think this is a good deal. Good luck.