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Old 04-02-2013, 12:49 AM   #91
Evan Henry
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Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins View Post
The market has firmly decided on this - no brand-new 22 page book is worth $15
It has? Because if so, you're going to need to inform the market that this is the case. It probably isn't aware at the moment, since many Kickstarter campaigns have reached and surpassed their funding goals at exactly that price point.

The point being: a 22-page comic is worth $15 if (and only if) people are willing to pay $15 for it. If I managed to convince some gullible individual to buy a bag of my lawn clippings for fifty grand, then that is, by definition, a bag full of $50,000 worth of primo dead grass.

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If your business model requires you to sell a 22 page comic book for $15, your business model is utterly broken.
Now, this is an opinion, so I can't tell you you're objectively wrong about that. Let's keep the goalpost exactly where it was -- I told you you were wrong that Kickstarter creators are rolling in 500% returns. Until you can point me in the direction of someone who knows for certain and can tell me that that's the case, I'm going to go with the balance of the evidence and assume it isn't. You can draw whatever conclusions you like from the facts, but you can't just pull facts out of thin air.

Personally, I can't really equate the idea of successful, funded projects with the concept of a "broken" business model, but that's just me.

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Such a model would of course fail, except for the fact that most consumers know that kickstarter is, in most cases, essentially a charity.
Eh... it is? I'm not too sure about that one. If Kickstarter is essentially a charity, how are all these one-percenters you're going on about managing to get their books funded? Obviously not out of sympathy or from altruistic contributors, so...?

If rich (comic book rich, which is a little different from regular rich) and famous people are moving product on Kickstarter, then this very strongly implies that it isn't a charity. Despite what you may wish, consumers have decided that Kickstarter is just another marketplace. Ultimately. they are the only ones whose opinions matter.

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the margins on kickstarter go FAR BEYOND the margins of a simple sales transaction.
I don't think you've established that, unless you're operating under a different definition of "margin" than the rest of the world.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:00 AM   #92
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Jenkins, as you've probably been able to infer from our previous interaction, I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you think of Kickstarter as charity.

People want to feel like they are supporting an artist and maybe even be a part of the creative process, but like any "traditional" investor, they expect a reasonable return on their investment, which in this case is a desirable product.

You can't just throw up a Kickstarter and ask strangers to support your dreams without having something that people would pay money for.

I'm not making a judgement on your comic, I haven't seen it, but by your own admission you don't have a fan base to support you. That means it's going to take a lot of work to get the word out about your Kickstarter. You're not going to have a large amount of people that know you and want to support you the way, let's say...Gail Simone has.

Renae has given tons of great advice, which I know you're going to follow. The only advice I would add is that it would be better to start thinking about your Kickstarter Campaign as a business investment rather than a charity.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:03 AM   #93
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A successful kickstarter campaign is not a successful business model; it's a successful charity event masquerading as a successful business model. It succeeds not because KS is producing comic books that people think are worth 5 times what they for a Marvel or DC book, but because they were willing to pay 5 times what those books cost to support the artist.

If you think it's a successful business model, try producing a book to put on shelves with the same production costs and the same print run, and see how well you do without the understood charity component of KS.

Go ahead. Spend $3000 on a 22 page book you only expect to sell 400 copies of, then sell that book for $15, and see how well you do on the open market.

We both know you'd fail anywhere outside of KS, because KS is a charity. It's not people buying a product, it's people supporting a cause. And because they're supporting a cause, they're willing to pay prices the open market wouldn't bear.

That's why I think it's just kind of gross when rich people use that system. I don't care if the margin is 500% or 50% (and that point's not worth arguing about for serious people). If you're not a proper target of charity, you shouldn't use a system which is structured like a charity. That's all I'm saying.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:10 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins View Post
not because KS is producing comic books that people think are worth 5 times what they for a Marvel or DC book, but because they were willing to pay 5 times what those books cost to support the artist.
Those two things are the same. An objective measure of value does not exist. The closest thing we have is a rough average of what people are willing to pay for a given item. Whether they're paying that additional cash to support an artist, to feel magnanimous and generous, or because they feel like blowing their money for no reason, they are getting something out of it that, for them, is worth the investment.

Kickstarter is not a charity. Charities have no profit margin, 15% or 500% or any other number.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:11 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Aaron Walther View Post
Jenkins, as you've probably been able to infer from our previous interaction, I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you think of Kickstarter as charity.

People want to feel like they are supporting an artist and maybe even be a part of the creative process, but like any "traditional" investor, they expect a reasonable return on their investment, which in this case is a desirable product.

You can't just throw up a Kickstarter and ask strangers to support your dreams without having something that people would pay money for.

I'm not making a judgement on your comic, I haven't seen it, but by your own admission you don't have a fan base to support you. That means it's going to take a lot of work to get the word out about your Kickstarter. You're not going to have a large amount of people that know you and want to support you the way, let's say...Gail Simone has.

Renae has given tons of great advice, which I know you're going to follow. The only advice I would add is that it would be better to start thinking about your Kickstarter Campaign as a business investment rather than a charity.
It's just silly to say that seeing something for what it actually is has a downside. If I didn't see it as a charity, I might be stupid enough to think I could use the model I used there outside of kickstarter and make a go of it.

You could only see it as dangerous to view KS as a charity if you think running a charity is easier than running a business. I've run charities, so I know that's a load of bull. Running a successful charity is probably harder than running a successful business.

I know if I do a KS I'll have to work hard for it. But as a rational human being, I can recognize that just because I'm working hard for it doesn't mean it's not in some essential ways a charity. I know offering incentives with essentially no market value is not an excuse for charging 5 times the established market value of my product outside of a charitable environment.

Sorry, I'm a rational human being, and I can't shut that off to convince myself I'm such a genius that my books is really worth 5 times as much as a book from Brian Micheal Bendis. Even if I'd like to, I can't. If you can? Congrats. Must be nice to be able to pull off those kinds of mental gymnastics.

By any reasonable measure, you are engaging in the much more dangerous activity by convincing yourself that KS is a legit business model. If you try to turn a profit using exactly the same production costs and print runs as on KS, you'll utterly fail. Everyone in this conversation knows that.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:16 AM   #96
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Those two things are the same. An objective measure of value does not exist. The closest thing we have is a rough average of what people are willing to pay.
If it were the same, you could sell your 22 page book for $15 at a comic book store. But you can't.

Just because your high school and college friends and the people at your church and your hometown are willing to pay $15 for a book, that doesn't mean your book is worth $15 on a real open market.

If that's not immediately obvious, this conversation is going to go nowhere.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:22 AM   #97
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And by the way, Super Monkey, we do have an accurate way to measure what your initial purchase was worth. It's called the secondary market. Try reselling a 22 page book you bought for $15 on kickstarter. What you will be able to resell it for to someone with no connection to the campaign will show you what that book was worth. I can guarantee you it won't be worth $15.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:29 AM   #98
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Kickstarter is not a charity. Charities have no profit margin, 15% or 500% or any other number.
You're confusing charities with non-profits. You think there's no profit margin on girl scout cookies? You think those boxes of girl scout cookies are really worth $10? You think you could take the girl scout label off those cookies and sell them for that much next to an identical amount of Oreo cookies that cost 3$?

That's what kickstarter is. It's the comic book version of girl scout cookies.

That's why I'm fine with it when the people selling them are the comic book version of girl scouts. But when it's the comic book version of the Oreos corporation (Nabisco or whatever) doing it, I think it's gross.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:58 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Screwtape Jenkins View Post
A successful kickstarter campaign is not a successful business model...
Sure it is. These guys just took preorders for their product. They could have gone to a bank and gotten a loan, then paid for the product, then sold the product, then paid back the loan, then kept the profit. The whole point of Kickstarter is that it's a new business model that puts the creator in direct business with the customer.

It may not be the best business model for a sagging comic market, but that doesn't mean it's not a successful business model entirely. It's not Kickstarter's fault that spending 3000 bucks on product that only sells 400 units is a bad model, that's the comic market's fault.

Regardless, when I said "business investment" (not model), I meant an investment on your part. You need to have something to offer that is more than "the nice feeling donors get for supporting an artist". And despite everybody's semantic arguments and grandstanding, I've no doubt you understand that.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:53 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Aaron Walther
I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you think of Kickstarter as charity.
Some people may leverage it into other things, but that's precisely what it is. It's not pre-ordering of a product, as there is no guarantee the product will ever exist and no refund if it doesn't.

At the very best, a KS promotion could be viewed as a garage sale, if the incentives are actual things.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:58 AM   #101
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there is no guarantee the product will ever exist and no refund if it doesn't.
I think you've misunderstood how Kickstarter works. No money changes hands until the project is funded. If you don't get what you paid for, you have the same recourse you have with any other product at any other marketplace.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:20 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by SuperMonkey
No money changes hands until the project is funded.
We're presuming the funding goal is reached. Duh.

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Originally Posted by SuperMonkey
If you don't get what you paid for, you have the same recourse you have with any other product at any other marketplace.
I seriously doubt that. But please continue, governor.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:59 AM   #103
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Please elucidate.
I don't see the point, honestly. I assume you've had a bad experience purchasing something at least once in your life, so there's nothing I can tell you that you don't already know. You run the same risk of not getting your product buying from Amazon Marketplace or eBay or anywhere else. Kickstarter is inherently no different from those places, and I find it puzzling that you insist on pretending it is.

You seem to be running a scenario through your head where some master criminal comes up with Teh Coolest Comic Idea Ever (TM), funds it through Kickstarter, and makes off with millions in ill-gotten gains. I have a feeling you already know that the odds of that happening are very close to zero, not to mention that it would be highly illegal.

Now tell me about how I "dodged the question" because I can't answer it and am intellectually inferior to you. Maybe you'll get to mention Nazis!
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:24 AM   #104
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I'd hate to see the thread get closed, but I'm exhausted from reading posts from those who seem to be willfully ignorant, as well as those who continue the conversation with the willfully ignorant without adding anything new.

Is there another facet to this conversation to mine?

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Old 04-02-2013, 06:56 AM   #105
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I'd hate to see the thread get closed, but I'm exhausted from reading posts from those who seem to be willfully ignorant, as well as those who continue the conversation with the willfully ignorant without adding anything new.

Is there another facet to this conversation to mine?

-Steven
It would probably help if we gave as much space as possible to people who actually know what they're talking about, rather than bickering amongst ourselves (myself included in the "we" category, obviously).
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