Hilary Goldstein [Dot] Com
The official site of that guy who plays games for a living.


October 11, 2012

Golem’s Kickstarter Stats


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.

Rewards Breakdown
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.

Golem on Kickstarter


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  1. This is it, the final 24 hours of the Golem Kickstarter. We’ve made it past the $13,000 mark, which is amazing, but we still have more to do. If we can get to $15,000, all backers at the $20 & up rewards will get to read a prequel comic book story.

  2. It’s been an amazing month, but we still have more to do. If we can get to $15,000, all backers at the $20 & up rewards will get to read a prequel comic book story.

  3. Well, it looks like Selanya didn’t get a chance to post today. Sorry about that. I know that you all were looking forward to a super extra special post from her this week. However, I’ve mentioned before my love of miniatures and miniatures games, and while this doesn’t have anything to do with writing, and it’s really just a filler post because I have no extra time at the moment, there’s a kickstarter project that I really like and want to highlight. For those of you who have never heard of kickstarter, it is a crowd-funding sight where you can find and donate to projects of all different types. They have a rather large publishing section, along with comics, films, games, music and a few others things as well. Every project sets a funding goal that must be reached. When you choose to donate, your money is not taken from you’re account. Instead your donation is only accepted if the project meets or exceeds it’s funding goal. For instance, two recent projects were Kingdom: Death (a boardgame), and Beyond the Gates of Antares (a roleplaying/tabletop game). Kingdom: Death far exceeded its goal, raising over a million dollars, and so all backers who funded the project had their donations given. Beyond the Gates of Antares did not, raising only about $98,000 of a $300,000 goal, and so none of the backers for the project actually lost money on the failed project. This makes kickstarter generally safe for the investors (of course there is always some amount of risk when backing a project).

  4. Brandon: We’re both aware of the thought out there that Kickstarter should, basically, only cover printing costs. Obviously we don’t agree with that — and I think that debate is settling down — but we have thought about it. Again, realistically speaking, Rocket Girl doesn’t happen without a successful Kickstarter. We try to be sensitive to the issue and appreciative of all our backers by providing fair value in the rewards. Meaning: the rewards were designed to be about what one would pay for the items at the shop. The basic $10 reward gets you the comics (signed), plus an exclusive two-sided color print, plus delivery. All that being said: the plan is to have the book available in comics shops (and digitally) — we equally appreciate the support of people who buy Rocket Girl in more traditional way when it comes out in October. We’re only expecting backers who want some of the special rewards and/or who want the behind-the-scenes experience. So we don’t feel as if it’s asking for straight patronage.

  5. Kickstarter backers will get each of the digital comics and the hard copy of the graphic novel during an exclusive window before the books are sold to general public. And there are multiple added bonuses possible for Kickstarter backers, including first dibs on a brand new song written and performed by Coulton.

  6. So, Reaper went out asking for $30k on Kickstarter, whereupon they’d be able to get the Bones molds constructed and the miniatures flowing at a rapid rate. Like a proper Kickstarter, Reaper set up a series of “Stretch Goals” for when that bare minimum is hit; each Stretch Goal gives backers more rewards… in most cases, more free figures, or the ability to pre-order expensive figures at a deep discount. When that goal was hit out of the park by Reaper’s fans, casual fans saw the awesome stretch goals and joined in, which caused more backers to join in to get the awesome rewards, which caused… you get the picture. The more people who donate, the more everyone gets. It’s a brilliant idea for generating money, and Reaper managed to set up the right hurdles and rewards to cause the desired snowball effect.

  7. nmeunier

    Don’t forget taxes…that’s a bastard too. Congrats on making it!

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