Creator Confessions: How Finished Should A Book Be Prior To Kickstarter?

by Frank Martin

Making comics is difficult for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which is the expense it takes to complete a book. But it has become tremendously easier in recent years thanks to crowdfunding. Platforms like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter were started with the mission of allowing creators to raise funds needed to complete projects that might be too expensive on their own. But in order to attract backers, you first need to show the type of product you were planning to create. To do this, you need to have a sample of the product so that people know what they are funding and what they will be getting when the campaign is over. This leads creators to wrestle with a very important question: how far along a project needs to be finished before launching a campaign.

While there is no one right answer to this question, there are generally two schools of thought to rally behind. The first is the bare minimum approach. Obviously, this option is more attractive if you are really strapped for cash and desperately need the money in order to complete a project. For a comic book, the bare minimum should be considered a cover and the first five pages of the book itself. This will allow backers to not only see a finished portion of the product, but also get just enough of a sample to know if it is something that they will be willing to back. Any less than that shows a lack of commitment on your part to see the project to its completion.

The other school of thought, and the one I usually attest to, is to complete the book in its entirety. This might seem contradictory if you are launching a campaign in order to finance it. But having the book completely finished has a lot of benefits. It shows backers that you are serious in your project and they won’t have to wait too long to get it. This also helps if you are planning to launch more than one project as the quicker you turn it around, the quicker you can start a new one. Really, it all comes down to having confidence in hitting your funding goal. If you know for a fact that you can hit that goal and recoup costs for the project, it becomes a lot easier to front the money yourself because you know you will only temporarily be out of that cash.

Ultimately, though, each creator for each individual project will have to decide which is the right approach for them.

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