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BLACK WHITE & READ: Ep. 67

Posted On Wednesday, June 10, 2015





The laughs abound aplenty in this week's episode!  I don't know what happened, but Ryan and I were clearly in our LESS mature frames of mind!  (LOL!)  But besides our taste for debauchery, we share our love for some pretty spectacular comics!

WeirdWorld #1 (Marvel) - Jason Aaron (w) and Mike Del Mundo (a)
Batman #41 (DC) - Scott Snyder (w) and Greg Capullo (a)
Chrononauts #4 (Image) - Mark Millar (w) and Sean Murphy (a)

Honorable mentions:
All Star: Section 8 (DC) - Garth Ennis (w) and John McCrea (a)
The Mantle (Image) - Ed Brisson (w) and Brian Level (a)

Kickstarting: A Road Less Traveled...?! Pt. 1

Posted On Thursday, June 4, 2015

Last round of edits.  Survey responses.  Printer follow-ups.  I am in the midst of an aftermath!  As announced just a few days ago, our Kickstarter campaign, From Bits to Books, successfully ended at 1074% of our funding goal!  (Yaaaay!)  More than anything, I owe a great deal of thanks to the 44 very GENEROUS backers who lent their support financially (and the scores of others who diligently shared it!) to put this venture on top.  Your efforts are responsible for all the joyous feels I have, right now!
I just CAN'T figure it out!

It took me quite a while to build up the courage to launch this project.  Previously, I've written about my absolute FEAR of Kickstarter and other like crowd-sourcing programs.   While curious and admittedly envious about the multitude of other campaigns that have literally broken molds over the last few years, I had settled on spying them from afar, unsure of how to stick my toe in those proverbial waters.  They were creatures I couldn't quite wrap my head around -- I couldn't see how they worked, at least within the scope of my own publishing ideals.  And it wasn't just the "WHAT TO FUND" question that plagued me, but also the "what does it all mean" questions in the realm of production responsibility, customer service and brand building.  I'll be the first to admit that maybe I was over thinking it a bit...

CONFESSION TIME...if you've run a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, I've probably judged how you did it.  Even if I put in on it.  Sorry.

I've had my own thoughts and theories about how to navigate business in this wonderful world of self-publishing comics.  And for a time, those ideas seemed to make me stand out (in very specific instances) from a lot of my publishing peers.  So when I saw countless of creators asking for THOUSANDS of dollars -- no matter how clever the campaign or how awesome the team behind it, I couldn't help but think, "No, no, no...you're doing it all wrong."  

Lol.  I know -- how can someone whose only other KS venture was a half-hearted plea for money that didn't do diddly, possibly know what he's talking about?!  Well, here was my concern, laid out and made plain: longevity.  With the sums that quite a bunch of these campaigns were going for, I couldn't fathom anyone needing to return to that well for some time!  But sure enough, those same creators would be back at it, months later either for the next installment or some other measure.  To me -- and take that for what it is -- that shows a lack in forward thinking or planning, and that doesn't make for long-term business.  Again, take that for what it's worth.

Imitation is the HIGHEST form of flattery...or so they say!
But I couldn't ignore the numbers.  Kickstarter has funded thousands (if not millions) of comic book projects at this point and while I might have had apprehensions for myself, it was quickly looking like I was the ONLY one.  So I decided to take action and launched a private campaign, aimed at piggybacking on the rewards concept crowdfunding seemed built around, Kickstarted Forever.  By offering a series of prominent rewards, but eliminating the based funding goal aspects, I thought I had THE most clever marketing campaign that would allow for me to slowly fund upcoming projects through the open promotion of existing ones.  For two years I ran it on this very website and the results were ABYSMAL!  Lol!  I think I MAY have collected a sum total of $50, even after assigning projects like Wonder Care and Ol' Crazy as the financial goals.

Still, all was not loss and I found new inspiration in the most unlikely of places.  The infamous "Potato Salad" campaign, which seemed all at once both utter genius and a mockery of the ENTIRE crowdfunding process, locked in the notion of what I thought was necessary to truly do this thing right: MARKETING.  With PS, the goal was a minuscule $10, which I'm sure it made in a matter of minutes.  But due to word of mouth, tomfoolery or whatever you attribute, it had garnered some $70,000 before the public tide began to turn on it (and still ended somewhere above the $50K mark).

That was my hook right there!  Just like with Kickstarted Forever, my focus wouldn't be to build capital to launch new works...at least not yet (;-P).  First I had to shine some light on what V:IP had already managed to eek out into existence.  And using Kickstarters VAST outreach of some 2M (that's TWO MILLION) users -- I thought that maybe...just MAYBE...I might be able to pull off a marketing campaign of Potato Salad like proportions!  And thus, From Bits to Books was born...

To be continued.

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