Tips On Kickstarting Your Comic From NYCC 2018

by Tito W. James

At NYCC I attended a panel on how to use Kickstarter to help fund your comic. After funding my first graphic novel on Kickstarter last year I was curious as to what other people’s experiences were while using the platform.
The panel was moderated by Oni Press editor Tristan J. Tawater and featured comic creators Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota (Lucky Penny), Tess Stone (Not Drunk Enough), Kel McDonald (Can I Pet Your Werewolf?) and Kickstarter admin Camilla Zhang .
The following are five things you can do to run a successful Kickstarter and have it featured as a “Projects We Love” by Kickstarter admins.

Clarity And Focus:
Communicate what your project is about, who your project is for,  and why you created it. Create a log-line: a 1-2 sentence description of your story.
Engaging Imagery:
It’s said that your pitch video can make or break a project. Be enthusiastic in your video. If you don’t care about the project than don’t expect anyone else to care.
Have plenty of images beyond the video because not everyone watches the pitch video. It should be like flipping through a comic to see if you like it. Most people can tell by the art alone if the project is for them.
Welcoming And Generous Tone:
Don’t beg people. Make backing a Kickstarter feel like a party that you want to be invited to. Be the first to get in on this awesome project!
Know Your Community:
Tailor the way you pitch you project to your intended audience. Know your audience where they hang out online and speak directly to that community.
Have Realistic Expectations:
Start small and make the goals simple. Only promise what you can deliver.

Further Advice From The Panel:
Make your project relate to the rest of the world. Something that’s bigger than you. Create meaningful art.
Watch out for shipping costs because they can bite you in the butt. To that end add 2,000 or 3,000 to the goal as the “screw up” money.
Print a sample (6-10 pages) of your comic before your kickstarter and exhibit at small shows to build community. Collect email addresses and set up a mailing list.
Learn how to do a press release. People who write articles need content. Research places online that would post about projects like yours. Send out your press release at least a month before your Kickstarter launches.
Get familiar with spreadsheets. Have a way that you’re tracking your expenses. That way you know how much money you will need for the Kickstarter. And it lets you play with the scope of you campaign if you want to add extra rewards.
Kickstarter is a way to prove to yourself as an artist. What you create is worth while and other people think so too. If you have a project that’s too weird for traditional publishing weird you can still make it. It’s scary and there’s a lot that can go wrong, but with every failure there comes a success. Kickstarter allows for unique voices who wouldn’t be heard otherwise. Don’t let intimidation stop you from creating.

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