Regular TVWriter™ visitors know how highly we value Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites. (Honest, we do!) But in the interest of fairness here’s another point of view, which we would’ve Kickstarted in a minute given the chance:
There’s always a fly in the ointment, as the old saying that makes absolutely zero sense to anybody under the age of 40, goes. Crowdfunding, as TVWriter™ has said many times before, can be a wonderful tool…and a great thrill ride. But sometimes that ride gets so stressful that the thrill, like the late BB King, is gone:
by Marc Alan Fishman
In case you’ve not been reading my articles religiously – and if you’re not, why aren’t you? – you know my li’l studio has launched our second Kickstarter campaign. The first time around, in 2011, we asked for a little cash to make a cosplay suit. We succeeded. It was a small goal, and it took every day of the campaign for us to eek out the victory. On Thursday evening, we launched again, asking for a lot more money, with a much bigger goal in mind. This time, we want to take over the world.
I kid, I kid. Actually, we’re just looking to be able to fund the printing of our very first graphic novel. With almost four years of work under our belts on the eventual collection, it was time we took the leap from floppy issues sold at comic conventions to big-boy-books.
And ever since launch, I personally feel like I’m losing years off my life with each successive day.
Why the consternation? Well, I’ve long held out from launching a crowd-funded campaign to cover the costs of being a business. When Kickstarter first became en vogue I’d associated it with funding fleets of fancy that otherwise wouldn’t be business-savvy. See: funding the creation of a suit of cosplay armor. But over time, crowd-funding has become the marketplace by which the indie creator is able to connect to the largest base of online business. Launch your book on ComiXology, and you are a pebble thrown into the ocean. Launch a Kickstarter, and for a short time you actually matter. And when your own ComicMix colleague successfully launches his own pet project, suddenly the notion of mattering for that short time feels like something worth being a part of. The shifting sands of the online economy successfully showed its evil greedy light to me. And now I’m right in the middle of it.
For months leading up to the launch, I built our campaign with a breezy confidence. “It’s a book about a Kung-Fu Monkey. Everyone will love it.” “We’ve been successfully selling individual issues of this for four years, and each year we sell more than the last. How could this not be an epic win?” “We’re gonna stuff 50 pages of bonus material in it, so old fans will come back, even if they own the issues already!” I have great friends who helped us make a video. I found a 3D artist to help make our first Samurnaut toy as a limited edition reward. I found great artists who agreed to make pin-ups for the book. It was all coming together with ease.
And then I sent out the preview to a few friends in-the-know….