12 Reasons Why Your Comic Book Kickstarter Failed
If you are considering kickstarting your comic book or graphic novel, you are not alone. Comic book Kickstarters raised over $15 million in 2018 ( and that’s on the one platform). The number one question I am asked in my Personal Coaching Sessions is, “How can I get more people to support my comic book Kickstarter project?” The answer is pretty involved. (In fact, I’m creating a course around this very topic right now). After successfully running a few crowdfunding projects myself, I’ve curated some of the biggest mistakes and missteps that I've seen when trying to raise money for graphic novels and comics.
No Social Media Presence or Email List - You definitely need one or the other. It doesn’t matter how epic your project is, if no one knows who you are or what you care about, then you will NOT make any money.
No advertising - If you have less than 1000 followers on Facebook or Twitter, just $10-$20 a week across both platforms at targeted times at least 4 weeks before your launch can work miracles. If you have a social media following then you need to tell those folks at least 3 times a week that it’s coming and when it will drop. You don’t need to have everything planned out and in place, but the who, what, where, when and why is important. You should be planning guest spots on podcasts, sending out press releases to bloggers and smallers sites and have a press kit ready incase someone asks for it.
Not Doing Enough Research About Your Audience - You really need to find out where your audience hangs out and this might be different for every campaign. For example, if you have a kid’s comic for ages 6-10 then you should be promoting it to mom bloggers on Instagram and Twitter. If it’s an all-ages or middle-grade comic. It will definitely help you if you on a combo of Instagram and Snapchat.
Not enough Lead Time - Ideally, you should be talking about your Kickstarter, your comic book and your characters at least 4 weeks in advance of your launch date. IDeally, 60-90-days is best if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. (You can shorten the lead time if you’ve had several successful Kickstarters that you have already completed and delivered).
Bad video - Nowadays just about every phone has a decent camera so there is no reason not to have a decent looking video on your Kickstarter page. Not great at writing ad copy? HIre someone on Fiverr or up to work (or one of your fans/followers even!)
Burying the Lede in Your video - People have short attention spans. In the first 30 seconds, you should introduce yourself (we should SEE you), what your product is, why you are raising money and the MAIN item you’re going to be giving to your backers. (Then you can get into your Obama-sighting story)
Not explaining the Kickstarter Process - One thing I see time and time again when I help folks with their crowdfunding is that they’re not communicating with their followers FROM THE START that they will not get their product if they don’t fill out their survey at the end. Remember, many of your backers may be just as new to crowdfunding as you are. EXPLAIN it to them in your Kickstarter updates and in your mailing list so that you won’t get dragged on Twitter for not delivering on time.
Not delivering on time - This kind of goes without saying, but if you have significant delays. You had better have a good excuse or be hospitalized, (otherwise you might end up there). Also, if you make a lot of money great! But DON’T change your deliverables. Keep your promise, then give extra.
Not staying in contact with backers - When the campaign ends, you MUST keep talking to your backers. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to continue sending emails through the crowdfunding app itself. Don’t just take the money and “get to work” that can often be misconstrued as “take the money and run”
Not paying attention to the fulfillment of products - Offering your backers T-shirts, buttons, mugs and pins might seem like a great idea at first. But if you get a lot of orders, that’s going to be YOU running around fulfilling them. PLUS making a comic book and whatever else you've promised them. If you must add a bunch of perks, consider using a fulfillment service.
Understanding the life of a campaign - The first 3 days and the last 3 days are when you get your highest engagement. The campaigns that tend to make all their money in the first 3 days have popular creators, long lead times with good advertising or AMAZING videos. The rest of us have to work at it. Most campaigns (especially the middle 2 weeks) are usually the slowest in terms of funding, but the highest in terms of engagement. In other words. Use those two weeks in the middle of the campaign to advertise for those last 3 days.
Aligning Yourself with a Non-Profit or a Cause - Everyone and their mother has a comic book Kickstarter at this point. If this is your first one, or you don’t have a huge following, consider you will get more backers, (and often ones who will support without asking for perks) if part of your proceeds go to a legitimate charity or cause. Here is an example.
Are you gearing up for a Kickstarter for your comic? Have questions? Schedule a 1 Hour Coaching Call today! All new personal coaching sessions are 50% off!