Why Should You Consider Crowdfunding Your Comic?

gamalhennessy Community • Feb 3, 2021

While an enterprising comic book creator can use monetization or direct sales to make money from their comic, crowdfunding has gained popularity at all levels of the industry. Kickstarter alone has generated over $127,000,000 for over 10,000 comics. This post is an introduction to our month-long exploration of crowdfunding and how it can help your comic be successful as a lead up to our crowdfunding webinar on March 4th, 2021.

What is the Secret to Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the process of raising money from a large group of people online in what is often referred to as a campaign. As an independent comic book publisher, the secret to a successful crowdfunding campaign is hidden in the name. If you do not have a crowd, it is very difficult to secure funding.

Comic creators should avoid crowdfunding until they have an engaged following because you are responsible for driving traffic to your campaign. You can’t rely on the random browsing of potential backers or even discoverability, because most of those people probably won’t be in your target market.

What is the Current State of Crowdfunding for Comics?

Crowdfunding has become a beneficial alternative for independent publishing in general and comic book publishers in particular over the past ten years. In 2019, it is estimated that a single platform, generated up to twenty-two million dollars for all the successful comic book projects combined. The following data points to paint a picture of the state of affairs in 2019 :

• The average comics campaign pulls in $3,900.
• A 30-day campaign for $10,000 has a 35% chance to succeed.
• Campaigns with videos make 115% more than ones without video.
• Campaigns with multiple images (3-6) succeed more than ones with only one image.
• Campaigns that get 30% of their goal in the first week are more likely to succeed.
• The most popular pledge amount is $25. The average pledge amount is $70.
• For every order of magnitude of your target market (10, 100, 1000, etc.), the probability of success increases dramatically (10%, 20%, 40% respectively).
• Consistent engagement produces more successful campaigns.
• March and October are big months, especially if you want to count the funds in the same tax year.

What Are the Advantages of Crowdfunding?

The main advantages of crowdfunding are marketing and revenue generation.

Marketing: The independent publisher who can complete a successful campaign offers their target market an opportunity to interact and impact content they enjoy. The campaign becomes an event they can be involved in, transforming them from passive consumers to active participants and creating the positive emotional connection that is essential for marketing. It also provides concrete proof that your book has a market of ideal readers and true fans willing to invest time and money into your book.

Revenue Generation: Crowdfunding circumvents the traditional distribution channels of comics and allows independent publishers the chance to get books to their ideal readers without the gate-keepers of Diamond or Comixology and without the time commitment and expense of conventions.

What Are the Disadvantages of Crowdfunding?

The downsides of crowdfunding are competition, labor, and the impact of disappointment:

Competition: At any given time, there can be between 50 and 200 other comic book campaigns running on any given platform. This level of competition reinforces the necessity of bringing your own crowd to the campaign and not relying on being discovered among all the other books.

Labor: The amount of planning, management, and fulfillment of a crowdfunding campaign is significant and can strain the resources of a small independent publishing team.

Disappointment Impact: Estimates suggest that more than 60% of all crowdfunding campaigns fail. The sense of rejection, combined with the lost time and apparently wasted efforts associated with the campaign, can cause publishers to doubt their book, their market (or both), and derail an otherwise confident publishing team.

What Crowdfunding Platforms Are Available?

There are three major crowdfunding platforms in the United States. Each one has distinct pros, cons, and fee structures you need to consider when choosing one for your book.

• Fees: 8% of the funds raised from a successful campaign and a $.20 per pledge for payment processing

• Pros: With over 9 million users, Kickstarter is the largest and most well-known crowdfunding platform. This isn’t a guarantee of success, since you need to drive your traffic to the campaign, but enough people have heard of and used Kickstarter to make it a trusted platform for your crowdfunding.

• Cons: Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing program, meaning if the money your crowd promises to provide is less than your funding goal, you don’t get any money.

• Fees: 4% of funds raised for a successful campaign, 8% of funds raised for an unsuccessful campaign, and credit card processing fees of up to 5% of each donation

• Pros: You can collect funds even if you miss your funding goal

• Cons: High fees reduce your overall funding compared to other platforms

• Fees: 8% of total funding, $.30 per pledge for payment processing

• Pros: No restrictions on when or if publishers can have access to the funds

• Cons: No fixed campaign duration, making it closer to a public sponsorship program.

Next week, we’ll take a look at steps you can take to develop a successful crowdfunding campaign. Until then, if you'd like to reserve your spot for our free online webinar, you can use this link.  If you’d like to publish your digital comics, graphic novels, or manga on GlobalComix, you can create a free account here. If you’d like to see how to publish your comics in less than ten minutes, check out this video that will walk you through the whole process.

Have fun with your comic.