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Crowdsourced projects - Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Pledgemusic, etc


#1

Thread for interesting crowdsourced projects. Previously we had a separate comics and "everything else" thread but let's try an all-in-one thread to start with.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/con-man

A new comedy from Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion produced by YOU!


#2

This looks interesting for established along with up and coming comic pros.

http://kck.st/1MycEh6


#3

Hmm...

.kickstarter.com/projects/prtyny/disco-dog-the-smartphone-controlled-led-dog-vest

Disco Dog - The smartphone controlled LED dog vest


#4

Starting to get a little frustrated with a project on Kickstarter. The creator is 9 months late, hasn't posted an update in 3 months and missed a pushed back "hard deadline" they set for themselves over a month ago. They're now refusing to communicate despite obviously being active on other parts of Kickstarter and maintaining several social media accounts. This was all for a project that only needed minor tweaks to print. I'm starting to wonder if there's something else going on that they're not saying.


#5

I am definitely backing this. The only decision is which level of pledge to make:

The interesting this about it is that issue #1 is printed already, so if you pledge at that level you're guaranteed the reward, and #2 appears almost ready so that's a pretty sure bet too. I'm not sure if it's really in the spirit of kickstarter to sell stuff that already exists, but what the hell, it's a model that works for me in this instance.


#6

@James - The video in your post keeps autoplaying. Is there any way to stop that?


#7

Not sure, didn't realise it was doing that.

I've just edited the url down, that should stop it.


#8

Thank you. Oops. I guess I should have specified. It was only the dog vest one that was autoplaying. Not sure why the other one didn't too.


#9

I just discovered Inkshares by way of the Garry Whitta interview that the Chief posted. Anyone used this site? I'm going to have to dig into and see whats up.

https://www.inkshares.com/


#10

I've been looking through the Inkshare site and it looks pretty cool if a bit underused right now. If I were going to write a book, I think I would try their site. Anyway, here's a referral link for Gary Whitta's book Abomination that is available for preorder.


#11

The Thunderbirds kickstarter successfully funded (not that there was ever any doubt, it passed its goal in the first day I think) and reached literally dozens of stretch goals. Anyone who funded to a certain level was promised to get every expansion in the stretched goals no matter how many there were. I'm not sure if this is how stretch goals normally work, but what it means is that my initial pledge is now worth about four times its actual value. It was a lot of money to pay for a game, but I am ridiculously happy with what I will get for the money.

https://www.kickstarter .com /projects/modiphius/the-thunderbirds-co-operative-board-game-by-matt-l

Edit: I've broken the link because it was autoplaying a video and I didn't know how to stop it.


#12

The whole kickstarter/pledging thing is weird. I've been pre-funding CDs for more than a decade, and it didn't need an intermediary like kickstarter or pledge music to do it, bands just asked their fanbase nicely and got sent the money to do with as they wished.

But in the "old days" (a decade ago is the "old days"!) you would plonk your money down, wait six months, then get a CD through your letterbox. The behind-the-scenes business end of it remained behind the scenes.

The big difference the crowdfunding web sites make is that now the business side isn't hidden, it's completely transparent and constantly updated.

Like, just this morning I found that Emily Portman's new CD is 50% funded after only four days:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/coracle

(If you autoplay a video, I shall kill you.)

In a way it's really cool and exciting. But also, I can't help thinking that I shouldn't have that information, that the businessman behind the curtain should remain behind the curtain, and the first I should know about it is when the CD drops through my letterbox.


#13

I think a lot of people use Kickstarter for an advertising venue as much as a funds gathering venue. I still like the idea but I'm starting to figure out that it's really not for everyone. I was a originally a little more liberal with which projects I would back. Then, I became kind of a last mile backer. However, I've been burned by a couple last mile projects recently. So I'm a little more reticent to back even those now.


#14

From what you've said before, I'm guessing you actively search the kickstarter site for projects that look interesting? In which case, yes I can see how the advertising potential is a pretty big deal and would bring a lot of people to your campaign who would never have heard of it if you just put a request on your web site.

In the kickstarter music projects I've backed, I have always learned about it from the band's web site and gone to kickstarter (or Pledgemusic in this case) because of that. I would guess that in the case of someone like Emily Portman that's the way it's always going to work, and there is no larger audience being reached by the Pledge site -- because who puts down money for a CD by a person they've never heard of just because the name comes up in a kickstarter search? (Hands up, who's ever heard of her?)

My feeling is more that people who might think twice about sending cash directly and personally to someone they don't know for a product that might never exist feel a much greater sense of security sending it through an "official" web site like kickstarter. Whether that security is real or not is another matter, but I'm sure the perception is there.

I'm not knocking kickstarter or Pledge, I think they're great, but I do find the whole exposed-business model a weird way to do business.


#15

This project looks interesting. I would like to own a small 3D printer someday.

http://kck.st/1FdVeTn

Note: Even just posting a full Kickstarter link posts an autoplay video now. That's a bit annoying.


#16

I posted a while back about a KS project I was having some trouble with. At this point the project is just over a year late but backers are starting to see products arriving so this will be a case of better late than never.

On a KS card game that I backed the designer/publisher has just declared bankruptcy. there is a huge amount of confusion over what that means for those of us who have paid for a game, the copies exist but are being held by the manufacturer as fees owing to them have not been paid. The designer/publisher has said they will be distributed via a different company but that shipping will need to be paid. The company in question however has said they know nothing about this.

It's not all bad though, got my copy of Oddball Aeronauts 2 a few days back with the pair of custom cards I ordered, one for each of my boys. Hopefully they will appreciate them when they are old enough to play the game.

It is a shame that between the project funding and now we have stopped calling Theo Wriggles but I'm sure he won't mind.


#17

I thought I'd share the link for my new Kickstarter. Currently funded and with 24 days to go but with a number of stretch goals in mind, the new book features:

  • A cover collaboration between artist Eryck Webb and World of Warcraft artist Tony Washington
  • Stories by Brian Augustyn and Tom Peyer, building on the core story of Ungrounded and expanding the cast of characters with some new creations

I've run two successful Kickstarters and one that didn't make funding. This is a reworking of the one that didn't hit its target, which I've been continuing work on. The immediate stretch goals center on extra pages for updated character profiles and a printing upgrade but I have more stretch goals planned beyond those.

http://goo.gl/lVdlmC


#18

Thanks for the link, Patrick. Sounds like it's going well, you even got Kickstarter staff pick.

I wondered if you'd be willing to share your experiences of what went well with your successfully funded projects, and the one that didn't reach it's target?

I'm interested in what seems to hit and miss with comics projects that are crowdsourced, and we have a few people on the board that have tried using kickstarter for their own projects who might be interested.


#19

The first key: Don't ask for too much. Be ready to ask for less than 100% of what you need. Set your goal at exactly the funding level that is make or break for your project. (But be sure to set it high enough to cover the actual rewards as well.) If a comic takes $15k to produce on a reasonable budget and you can comfortably put in $5k, set the goal at $10k. If you don't hit the goal, you don't get funded.

About one in five Kickstarter backers, I find, comes from a country where American style comics are not that big. The backers are more diverse than what you might find in the average comic shop, in terms of ethnicity and gender as well. Many are more familiar with web comics. If you have a name collaborator or two from the comics industry, this is good and can help with getting press at places like Comics Alliance or Bleeding Cool or CBR but it won't make a huge difference to people who organically discover your campaign. It is honestly about the product there.

Big, dumb ideas travel farther and more effortlessly on the internet. Your treatise on the duality of man is going to be a much harder sell than zombies Power Rangers piloting mech suits. A big, dumb idea can trump name recognition. Find the big, dumb (but enjoyable and uncynical) angle into what you're doing.

Think of your project as 75% product and 25% charity. As far as that goes, especially when creating low priced reward tiers, you can get away with maybe 25% higher than standard market prices unless you really sell your product as being somehow handcrafted and artisanal. For high dollar rewards, I recommend some bulk-ish orders (Kickstarter has rules about this) for the price sensitive and some really high margin rewards for affluent backers. If you don't offer that variant cover for $200 a piece, the affluent backer has no excuse to shower you with extra money and you may wind up using that money to cover unexpected shipping increases to Abu Dabi on another reward.

Your perks represent paths to funding and different combinations of people pledging for them may lead you to your goal. You want as many paths as possible but avoid things that stray too far from making your product while allowing for enough different levels of reward such that maybe 10 high rollers can fund you completely or 200 small backers can.

Hard reality: A pretty successful campaign has no more than 200 backers and averages between $15 and $50 per backer with an average of around $25. About 75% of backers for Kickstarters discover projects through the site. Your dreams of more than $10k are unrealistic unless you have a legion of social media followers. $2-3k is modest and realistic. Many projects don't get dramatically more than they ask for so don't set a goal of $50 and expect to get more and very low funding goals fail to attract attention. Between $2k and $10k is a good range.


#20

Also $2k is a good goal for an unknown. $10k is a good goal (and maybe ambitious in the current climate) if you have a few Marvel or DC credits to your name or regularly do Boom/IDW work.

$20-50k is a good goal for a comics superstar. A goal of over $100k won't happen although you may raise that much if you go viral.

The absolute best time to launch if you're an established pro is when you get fired from a book or company or when something you were working on gets canned.

These numbers are largely length independent. Doesn't matter if we're talking a single issue or a 500 page trade. The same numbers apply and are largely about the campaign. Shoot for those extra pages because they get an extra collaborator in who brings a different audience of backers but length isn't going to play a huge role in how much you can raise. Kickstarter is well suited to anthologies. LGBT and feminism can be big boosters for a campaign.

I see three big audiences: Genre anthology fans (western/sci-fi/fantasy/horror), fans who like a bit of extra sexuality in their books (whether highbrow or lowbrow; XXX stuff and artsy sexual memoirs alike have power on Kickstarter), and your Deviantart/Tumblr fan who I think of as a Fraction Hawkeye, Stewart Batgirl, or Ellis Nextwave reader. That last group is who I imagine as my bread and butter.

EDIT: Manga and webcomic fans can also be big influences, particularly comic strip-y web comics full of serial soap opera plots. I'm not as familiar with many of these aside from David Willis' stuff but there is an audience for stuff that draws from Japan or the sunday funnies or some mix of the two. Also, obviously, anything that works as a basic screenplay (ie. buddy cop, supernatural thriller, animated fantasy epic) turned comic if the art is good but I see these as a bit riskier since they're kind of general audience. The other stuff I mentioned has a motivated audience looking for it.