I’ve seen a few more efforts to pre-fund comic books by webcomic creators recently and thought I’d search through Kickstarter.com (a site designed for artists to get commitments from readers towards pre-funding a project) to see if I was missing anything. Not as much as I thought! If you’re looking for a way to gauge interest in a project and at the same time get commitments to buy Kickstarter.com seems like a handy way to do it.
Still seeking funding:
Publish Tom Brazelton’s Theater Hopper: Year 3
Goal $3500 by December 31st
Publish 2 of Box Brown’s comics!
Goal $2500 by January 15th
Kel McDonald’s Sorcery 101 Book 1
Goal $7000 by January 31st
Met their stated goals:
Publish Gordon McAlpin’s Multiplex Book 1
Goal $7500 by December 12th
Publish Becky Dreistadt’s Tigerbuttah
Goal $5000 by January 16th.
Scott McCloud links to iCents.net today — a micropayments-like set-up that is centered around creating "paid links". I poked around the site this morning and to be honest I'm not entirely sure what it does that isn't already out there in various apps and software bits. It (thankfully) doesn't set up another payment system (it's relying largely on paypal and other similar stuff) — it looks more like a bit of code that developers can use to incorporate it into their sites.
If anyone tries this out on a website they run, let us know about your experience.
Jamie Tanner, the creator of Eisner-niminated The Aviary, is using Kickstarter to run a fund-raising drive — enough money gets pledged, money gets collected and Tanner does his next graphic novel. (h/t Journalista!) He has over $2000 pledged with a goal of $5000.
Not new necessarily but interesting that this type of web-facilitated tool is being used for non-webcomic comic projects. Plus Kickstarter itself looks like a handy way to do this kind of approach.
UPDATE: Don’t know how I missed this but Gordon McAlpin is using Kickstarter to raise funds for a print collection of his webcomic Multiplex. McAlpin is trying to raise $7500 towards finishing the work necessary to complete the book.
I hadn’t messed with Project Wonderful settings on my websites in awhile so some recent updates there were news to me. Anyone else run into these lately? Thoughts and anecdotes to share?
1. Tougher Restrictions to Get In: Now even with a user account at PW you still have to submit additional websites for review before you can create an ad box for them. There are some guidelines here for the minimums to get accepted. It sounds fairly objective to me and it’s not a very high hurdle for any website that is alive and functioning.
2. Tougher Standards for Staying In: It also looks like PW is now concerned with ad performance and will remove a site from the program if it’s performance is lacking. Again it’s not a particularly tough standard – read more for the email from PW:
I have been losing interest in tracking the latest Platinum Studios/WOWIO outrage but for what its worth FLEEN points to some recent links on creators allegedly still not getting paid. Journalista! links to Todd Allen’s take on the current PLATINUM-ized WOWIO business and finds a lot to be pessimistic about. And Sean Kleefeld looks at some metrics that show a serious drop-off in WOWIO’s traffic.
The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs blog writes about the online comics category nominees at the recent Ignatz awards and has a mini-interview with nominee Tracy White of TRACED.
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS
The same Washington Post blog is running a poll on what to replace Opus with now that Berke Breathed has vacated the funny pages again.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Prism Comics debuts its latest comic, Joe Carr’s The Catty Corner.
NOT QUITE WEBCOMICS
FLEEN also has a short, interesting bit on the intersection of videogames and webcomics. In particular there’s a link to BRAID a new game that David Hellman, the artist from the too-short-lived A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible, was the art director for. While FLEEN did note the Penny Arcade plug for BRAID, they didn’t mention the all important endorsement from rapper Soulja Boy.
The Diesel Sweeties 8-Bit Maestro, Rich Stevens, is taking commissions:
If you’ve ever wanted to see yourself in hand-drawn 8-bit form, here’s your chance! I’m still digging out of a mountain of debt brought on from expenses incurred while I was syndicated, but hopefully this can put a dent in it.
The portrait studio is open and will run until October 31.
Blogger/superhero Cory Doctorow writes about his dandelion theory of distributing his stories and why he doesn’t like micropayments.
The Beat reports that Elephantman is now available on iPod comic site Clickwheel (full press release after the jump)
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Comics Worth Reading likes Dennis West’s Backyard Frontier: the story of a boy and his alien.
Chris Mauter posts a review of the Penny Arcade collection: Attack of the Bacon Robots! that originally ran in TCJ. Interesting but a few quibbles – I’m not much of a videogame player and I don’t think it’s true such knowledge is needed for every PA strip (a few yes, but far from most) and clearly this book was intended for the PA fan (i.e, the completist), not to attract new readers. (I almost forgot that Modern Humor Authority ran the definite review of this book – check it out here.)
Most people, like me, are not very good at selling things.
But according to what I’ve learned, there’s really only one true thing about selling your book: You have to do it – one on one, one at a time.
Unless you’re John Grisham, you’re not going to get a marketing budget, a promotional manager or personal assistant. You’ll have to do it all on your own.
First things first – you’ve got to track your money. Only you know how much it makes sense to spend on things like conventions or advertisements, but to know that you have to have hard data. That means get in the habit of saving your receipts and maybe even setting a budget. Purchase a financial program. But know how much you’re spending – you can use that knowledge to test what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s where you’ll spend that money:
Kevin Kelly posts a follow-up to his 1000 True Fans essay called "The Case Against 1000 True Fans" with some links to previous writings from other artists and a bit of data Kelly has collected since he wrote his first essay. All of this is very familar to webcomic artists – it’s all about trying to understand how an artist can make a living from their work and whether these Internet-enabled times are the best of.. or the worst of times for the artist.
A related story from TechDirt explores whether the era of the amateur blogger is over — as blogging has grown many of the most popular bloggers have "quit their day jobs" not unlike the growth curve we’ve seen with webcomics over the last 5-10 years.
UPDATE: also related is a post from Rivkah on the decision to quit (or not!) the day job and do comics full-time.