I ran a month-long Kickstarter campaign in August for my comic book project, Golem. Featuring art by Giovanni Timpano (G.I. Joe) and colors by Laura Schumacher (greatest woman in the world), Golem is basically a different take on Lone Wolf & Cub. The Kickstarter goal was set at $8000 and we ended up with just over $14k pledged by 322 backers.
I thought folks might be curious how those stats broke down. Most Kickstarter campaigns start strong, die off, and end strong. Outside of a few weak days about two-thirds through the project, we actually had an incredibly consistent drive.
We managed one solid spike in the middle of the project with the announcement that if we reached our funding goal within 24 hours, everyone who backed for $35 or more would get a free upgrade from the author signature to having the writer, artist, and colorist all sign their book. The Kickstarter took in $1300 in 24 hours.
Here’s a look at a lil’ graph of our earnings.
During the campaign, nine people bailed out of their commitment and when credit cards were charged, two backers weren’t able to make payments. All-in-all, it was a pretty solid campaign with very few backers lost.
Surprisingly, the Staff Picks page on Kickstarter did almost nothing to boost the project. We only got two backers directly from that page. Much of the backing came from outside sources (lots of tweeting and FBing) and we got some help by appearing on the IGN Assemble podcast and from being featured on The Nerdist and Bleeding Cool. But a big chunk of backers (24 to be exact – 6.5%) came from people who saw Golem in the “related projects” footer after backing other projects.
More than half of our backers were keen on getting a copy of the book (235 backers chose rewards that gave them a physical copy). The most popular selections were the $30 and $35 rewards (the book unsigned and signed), accounting for 39% of the total money pledged. The bulk of our funding came from the 84 people who pledged above the $35 level.
Every dollar counted. And some folks didn’t choose a reward at all. Sixteen good samaritans offered support without choosing a reward. Every pledge helped and it’s amazing that we ended up with $14k.
Money Well Spent
While it would seem like I’m now rich with my $14,000, that’s not at all the case. Kickstarter takes 5% of everything right away and Amazon takes about 5% for “credit card processing” which must be a real burden for them. That left us with around $12,300.
A good chunk of that money goes to Gio and to cover artist Garry Brown. Laura and I share a bank account, so paying her is like paying myself – but some of the money goes to supporting the hours she dedicates to doing amazing coloring. Honestly, without her the book would not be nearly as good. Working with her has been a fantastic experience worth all the first-timer headaches we both have had over the past couple of months.
The rest of our spoils go to things such as ISBN numbers, trademarks and copyrights, digital publishing costs, attending comic conventions, paying for all these rewards (and shipping them). Honestly, the money doesn’t even last to the point of printing out the book next year, but that’s okay. We just wanted to get the creation funded, and we did.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
As we put a bow on issue #1 (going out to backers this weekend), I have to say that without the generosity of 322 people, the incredible support of my soon-to-be-wife Laura, and some good folk spreading the word about our project, this would not have been possible. The book would have died out before we ever finished it. But it’s real. It’s happening. And I think it’s going to surprise anyone who reads it expecting it to be anything like the first four preview pages.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped us along the way. This is just the start of our comic book journey. We have more to come!
Oh, and if you didn’t back the project but want a copy of Golem, visit the official Golem Comic Site and sign up for e-mail updates (click any article and look to the right). We’ll be selling each issue digitally starting in early November.