What Are the Elements of a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign?

gamalhennessy Community • Feb 10, 2021

By Gamal Hennessy

Last week, we talked about the reasons you should consider a crowdfunding campaign for your comic. This week, I’d like to explore the elements of a campaign and how you can put your book in a position for a successful Kickstarter.

What Can You Use to Reach Your Crowdfunding Goal?

There are five common components you’ll need to create a compelling campaign. 

1) The story in your book: You need to be able to explain how your comic will benefit your readers. Take a good long look at your characters and your genre so you can give details on why this story is unique enough for them to support.

2) The story of your team: The narrative of how your book came to be is an important element of inspiring crowdfunding donations. Successful campaigns share the personal side of their creative teams.

3) The perks: Perks are incentives offered to backers in exchange for their support. Independent comic book publishers can offer seven to nine perks of various types, including:

a) Digital rewards (digital copies of the book, art, etc.)
b) Physical rewards (physical copies of the book, bookmarks, posters)
c) Insider rewards (early access to the book, behind the scenes material)
d) Experiential rewards (backers name or image in the book, etc.)

4) The crowd: The people that will provide your funding are not random individuals who have money to throw away. Not every book will appeal to every reader, in the same way everyone doesn’t go to see every movie or read every book. You need to find and connect with that group of people who identify with your comic and your team. Building a crowd takes time, so you should consider building this momentum over a period of up to eighteen months before your campaign launches.

5) The timing of the campaign: Running a campaign takes time and effort. The scheduling for your campaign needs to align with the other aspects of your publishing schedule. If you don’t have the time or the resources to run a campaign because of what is going on with the book or with what’s going on in your life outside comics, or if it’s going to cause conflicts with outside events like conventions or holidays, then it makes more sense to reschedule the campaign for a more opportune moment.

How Do You Determine Your Crowdfunding Goal?

Every crowdfunding campaign has a financial goal you are trying to reach. The amount you attempt to raise in a crowdfunding campaign will be a function of two distinct factors:

- The overall expenses that you are trying to generate from the campaign.

- The fees associated with running the campaign, including:

a) Credit card processing fees (estimated to be 2-4% of the total goal)
b) The fees charged by whatever platform you decide to use
c) Any taxes associated with the campaign
d) Shipping supplies for any physical campaign perk
e) Shipping expenses for any campaign perks

It makes sense to set a funding goal high enough to cover both these factors, plus a cushion to cover unforeseen expenses. You don’t want to run a successful crowdfunding campaign that loses money for you overall because you didn’t consider all the relevant costs.

Who Makes Up Your Crowdfunding Team?

Crowdfunding, like comic book publishing in general, is often easier when the tasks are divided between different individuals. If you plan to run a crowdfunding campaign for your book, it makes sense to modify your production schedule to leverage your available talent.

For example, the publisher can oversee the crowdfunding campaign. The writer can create the copy for the crowdfunding page and the social media posts. The artist can create perks in the form of special artwork or the design of swag. The marketing manager can oversee the changes to the website and respond to social media inquiries. Finally, everyone on the team can repost messages from the crowdfunding campaign on their personal and professional social media pages. Just make sure that additional work on the crowdfunding campaign is compensated accordingly and spelled out in the contract.

At the same time, your target market can also help make the campaign a success. Asking your most enthusiastic fans, influencers, media contacts, and even comic shop partners to spread the word can help you reach more people likely to make your campaign a success.

Next week, we’ll talk about how you manage your 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.