CROWDSOURCING YOUR COMIC PART 1

by Matt Russell - Posted 1 month ago



Welcome, my CryptoComic Compatriots! We here at CryptoComics love a good Kickstarter or Indiegogo Campaign. Today we take our first steps in teaching you everything you will need to know about a good Crowdsourcing campaign for your comic book.


Kickstarter Kickoff Events

Before we really jump into the hows, I wanted to give you a little tidbit about our Kickstarter Release Party videos. When a creator that is on our system decides that they are starting a Kickstart or Indiegogo campaign, we often jump at the chance to work with them.


During those videos, we often do some shirt giveaways, give out badges, and host a killer party. All of this is live. We are shouting out (often from the top of our lungs) that you need to support these creators. 


We talk about how we have personally supported these creators in the past. We showcase their track records, direct our viewers to their new campaigns, and talk with the creators.


I want to let everyone know that we are not getting paid for these. 


These are fun videos that we get to do. We don’t make any money from these as a promotional tool. We don’t make any money from sending viewers to the various campaigns. 


CryptoComics pays for the creation of the shirts. We create the badges ourselves. We schedule the videos and heard all the cats into the right place (yes, sometimes that is the most accurate description). A lot of work goes into this, and we don’t actually get any money from these.


So, why do we do it? For me, it’s because I love working with the various creators. I love watching them succeed. I love reading the comics that they provide. I love watching their faces when they get funded. I love being a friend to them during these stressful times.


Now, I know some of you are thinking about going through the process, yourself. Some of you may seem mystified or even stupified. Don’t worry uncle Matt is here to help. Now let’s take a look at what crowdsourcing really means. 


What is Crowdsourcing?

Have you never heard of a crowdsourcing campaign before? According to Wikipedia “Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and alternative finance.”


What does that mean for you as a comic creator? It’s essentially a way to fund your comic book. 


Basically, it breaks down to one simple concept; we ask for help and hopefully, get it. This journey that we are about to embark on (yes, I mean we. I’ll always be there with you) will take you through the creation of a comic. It will show you potential pitfalls and various considerations that you will have to keep in mind. 


We will walk you through the initial conceptions and various fundraising avenues. This is going to be the multipart series blog post to end all multipart blog post. I can’t say how many parts initially, that will all depend on the research I do. Believe me, I am going to be thorough on these. 


When we are done, you will safely be able to navigate your way through the crowdsourcing world. We will demystify the process and make it easier to understand.


Crowdsourcing disclaimer

We cannot promise you success. That is still fully on your shoulders. There are a lot of factors involved that are harder to control such as; “Does the public think your comic is cool?” “Do they see your artistic vision?” “What is your reputation as a creator?”


This in no way promises a checklist that is guaranteed to make your crowdsourcing project a success. What we will say is that you will fully understand what is going on behind the scenes. It’s like the old GI Joe slogan “Knowing is half the battle.”

How do we start?

Have you ever wanted to create a comic book? What is usually the biggest setback; finances. In order to make a comic, you have to have the cash upfront. For some that’s easy, but for the rest of us, it can be difficult.


Let’s say you’re a writer. You’ve followed all my previous suggestions (found here) and you wrote the perfect script.  It’s formatted perfectly. You have great pacing, interesting characters with detailed descriptions and fascinating backstories, your overarching plot is laid out. Everything is ready. The script is done!


So now you need to find an artist. I see a lot of my fellow writers turning to social media. Join a group that allows you to ask for help. There are some great ones out there. I’ve found several over the years. 


The artist sends you various pieces of their work along with a link to a portfolio. You narrow it down to the one; the perfect artist that embodies everything you are looking for. Their art style perfectly matches the mood and tone you are trying to set. The problem is, they want to get paid.


Most artists will want at least half up front. A comic book is usually around 26 pages. Somehow you are able to negotiate a page rate of $35 (still very low for penciled work) and are able to talk them into doing the inking. This could be possible with a few artists just trying to make a name for themselves or on Fiverr.com


You can forgo coloring and use an app like Comic Draw ($14 single payment on an iPad) to do the lettering. This is comics on a budget. You’re still looking at $910. For the sake of numbers, let’s call it an even grand. This doesn’t cover the cost of printing. 


To find out more details about this, check out this post called Revenue on a Digital VS Print Comic. It goes into the cost analysis of creating a comic.


Back to our story. Most of us don’t have a grand laying around. It’s hard to justify that cost. What do we do? 


GoFundMe

I have personally used GoFundMe in the past (twice, for non-comic related fundraisers) and have had great success. The first one came when I was hospitalized for a week and my brother-in-law started a campaign to help with my medical bills.  The second time was to pay for the funeral of my sister.


GoFundMe is a charitable platform that you can ask for donations. There are no promises of any kind of return on investment like Kickstarter. There are also no minimums. If you say you need $1G, and only get $20 then you keep that $20. 


The mentality and atmosphere surrounding GoFundMe is one of giving. It is not typically used to create a comic book. Mostly it is used to cover personal issues as previously mentioned.


A lot of people have suggested that I not add GoFundMe to the list of crowdsourcing sites as it is primarily used for donations without the need to actually give back.


There are no promises that are made to those that donate other than the assurance that the money donated will go to the project. I have seen students raise money for tuition at a college. I have seen people raise money to open up a new shop. So, why not a comic. 


Start your GoFundMe journey by clicking the link: GoFundMe


What You Will Need to Fund your comic

The first thing you will need is a bank account that you can tie into your campaign. Don’t worry, people can’t take any money out.


You will give GoFundMe the ability to deposit money into your account that they have collected on your behalf. When starting this make sure that you are setting a small enough goal to actually be obtainable. Also, you can pick the currency. Make sure that you decide on the same currency that your bank account is set for (for example, don’t choose yen when your account is in America).


The second thing you will need to do is create an account with GoFundMe. From there, you will fill out the general information pertaining to your account. This is the typical stuff; username, passwords, and such. You will need to set your goal at this time. Remember, our goal is $1,000 at this point, an attainable goal. That will get us started.


FYI, when signing up, make sure that you use an email that you check often. This will be a major key factor later on. Trust me, you will be getting a ton of emails that you WILL have to respond to for a successful campaign.


Pick a Title for your Crowdsourcing Campaign

Before anything else, you will have to pick a title. This will often be the first thing that people see so make it count. Help it stand out by adding a quick call to action. Some examples below.

  • Help Steven Smile Again - to help raise money for dental work

  • Help Save Baltimore Restaurants & Bars - raise money to help offset the financial devastation to small business brought on by COVID-19. 


These have more impact than “Steven needs funds for the dentist.” Get a great title and run with it. Keep the title under 50 characters. It just cuts off if it’s too long and then the title doesn’t make sense. 


Your Story

You will need to have a compelling story for your comic. This story must hit all the benchmarks if you are going to get people involved. Make sure you hit the old “5 Ws” (Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Add How to that and your set.)


Start by introducing yourself and explaining what you are raising the money for. Be very detailed when showing how you will spend the money as well as any extra money that you will get as a result of your campaign raising more than that $1,000.


Be heartfelt when explaining what this cause means to you. Show your gratitude and appreciation in advance for everything that they are willing to donate. 


Follow that up with a call to action. Tell everyone and show them how to share out your campaign to reach maximum coverage on social media. The more eyes on this, the better chances you have to get funded. Who knows, it might reach a whale. 


Sidenote: A whale is someone with deep enough pockets that they are able to make all the difference with any campaign. 


Image or video in your campaign

Yep, you will want to have either an image or video. It’s not needed but it will help a lot. It will make the project seem more personable as well as give everyone an idea of what you are talking about. Your artist that you hired might have some images lying around to showcase everything. 


If you don’t have an image or video, grab a phone and record one. The quality doesn’t need to be that exceptional. People just need to see a face behind the campaign, OZ behind the curtain, if you will. To use the video, you will need to upload it to YouTube first and make sure it is not set to private.

Starting your campaign

When you have all the pieces in place (it only takes a few hours, since your a writer) your ready to go live with it. Flip the proverbial switch. 


Hit that green button to make the campaign live. 


Field of Dreams Lied to You!!!

I both love and hate that movie. First, it was a good movie but 1 single line ruined my life. “If you build it, they will come.” You have no idea how many times I’ve heard that when people asked me to build them a website. 


NO NO NO!!! Just because you built something, no one is coming. No one is knocking down your door to just hand you money. Do you know why? Because they don’t know you built anything. 


Go, get the word out! Shout it from the rooftops. Bring it up in every conversation. Leave no stone unturned. 


Social Media is Key

The first thing you had better be doing the second it goes live is share it on social media. Write a good post (make it a quick post, about 2-3 sentences long, and post it. 


Share it out on Facebook on your personal page. Then find as many groups as you can and share it out there. Share that post there as well. You might need to tweak it a little in order to share it in the various groups. Check with the group moderator on this. 


Now that you have it on Facebook, get your friends and family to share it out to their friends and groups that they are a part of. 


Cast the widest net that your social media contacts will allow. Don’t stick with Facebook. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tick Tock are all good ways. Just make sure that you have a direct link to your GoFundMe campaign, people won’t search for it.


Respond to your Crowdsourcing Campaign

Do you remember when I told you that you will have to check your email regularly? Well, this is why. Every time someone donates, you will get an email. It doesn’t matter if it’s $1 or $500. 


Reach out to those that donated and thank them for their contribution. It’s their hard-earned money and they are giving it to you for your dream. You had better be thankful. 


You might get a lot of people reaching out asking more questions on Social Media. Respond!!! If they are reaching out to you, they might have some suggestions or are asking you more questions. Either way sounds like they want to help you in some fashion or another. 


Do it again tomorrow!!!

Now that you are done, it’s just the end of day 1. People, in general, will forget about you or your campaign quickly. This means that on day 2, you start all over again. 


Here lies the rub, if you reach out to the same person over and over with the same post, this will upset people. Reach out to different people. Widen that net some more. 


With my sister’s campaign, I would spend a day asking for money. For the next set of posts the next day, I would ask people to simply share it out. I would switch back and forth quite often.


Another great tool in your toolbelt is “updates”. If you hit a milestone, let people know. Have a post when you reach your first $100. How about another when you reach $500.  You can thank people for all their donations in a post. Don’t forget to slip the link in there. Just please don't count this as your personal "thank you" that we talked about with the emails. You still should do those separately.


My point is to get active. This is your new full-time job and hopefully, this leads to getting paid. It is a long exhausting road, but could potentially be worth it.


Withdrawing your funds

Once you receive your first donation, you will have up to 30 days to withdraw the funds. If you delay, the money gets returned to those that donate. So...don’t’ delay.


GoFundMe has a great tutorial on how to withdraw money. It’s easy and fast. It only takes a few minutes to do. Just remember that it takes a few business days for the transaction to go through. The tutorial is below.


So, now what!?!

Your campaign is over. Hopefully, you have enough to move on to the next stage of your Crowdsourcing journey; getting the comic ready! Get ready to show the world your creation.


Be on the lookout as we will be moving on to the next phase; Patreon. Until then, join us here and in the Marketplace as we check out some of the greatest Indy Comics the world has to offer. I can’t wait to see yours here. 

Stay safe and I’ll see you soon.