Thanks for joining me as I revisit funding options and focus on crowdfunding considerations for comic creators. This article will outline some of the crucial aspects of your comic creating process while keeping in mind the crowdfunding options available to you; project or ongoing.
To review, project-based crowdfunding tools include GoFundMe and Kickstarter. The only ongoing crowdfunding tool that I currently know is Patreon. I’ll be referring to these as I explain the considerations for picking one over the other throughout this article.
This article will not talk about what you can use to promote your crowdfunding campaigns. That will be another article down the line.
In a previous article, I discussed the different types of series in comics. The length of a comic series could very well affect the crowdfunding type you consider using for your comic project.
Standalone & Limited Series
If you’re looking to create and sell a single or predetermined number of publications you can very much consider utilizing project-based crowdfunding tools.
Although, if you make a habit of publishing these types of series frequently you can also consider utilizing ongoing crowdfunding tools. Utilizing yourself as the face of your brand.
If you’re consistently releasing publications (I’m sure delays happen, they’re to be expected and should be understood) you can forget about considering using project-based crowdfunding tools. At this point, you have started to make enough profit that you can support your costs and continue.
Instead, you should focus on utilizing ongoing crowdfunding tools. You can use yourself, your comic series or both as the face of the brand that you promote.
Not to dismiss it entirely, project-based crowdfunding tools could be used in the beginning. Just to get you on your feet in order to cover your initial costs.
Distribution and Reading Platform
You should keep in mind the reading platforms available to you as well as the risks associated with either option. As a comic creator, you should decide ahead of time how you plan on distributing your comic. Whether it be in print (POD or Offset) or digitally.
Costs vary greatly with either option. (Read my article Options For Printing Comics for more information)
Printing: POD or Offset
If you’re just starting out in the industry and you’re not being represented by a major publishing company then you probably should not consider paying the high price of offset printing regardless of low individual printing costs. In which case, you’re probably going to turn towards the consistent yet higher individual printing costs of POD printing.
The reasons why I’m mentioning starting out in the industry is because usually when you’re starting you may want to consider project-based crowdfunding tools to absorb the first wave of printing costs of the publication. That is at least until you can cover the costs and earn some profit for another round of major printing.
If you’re considering creating a digitally distributed comic or webcomic (learn more about webcomics here) you have two routes.
If you’re willing to absorb the initial costs of running a website or any fees digital comic distributing companies may have you can pretty much start with an ongoing crowdfunding tool right off the bat.
Or you can consider using project-based crowdfunding to cover those same costs at the start.
Don’t forget the shipping costs! A very important additional cost when considering using a physical reading method.
This is only relevant if you’re considering print. I would recommend using project-based crowdfunding in the beginning. You should be able to figure out when you would be able to start earning enough revenue that you don’t need further support in this cost.
Last but certainly not least…
I hope nobody has dismissed this very important cost when considering which funding options they should go by. You should know just how and when a comic project is expected to be completed.
Who’s Doing The Designing
Are you illustrating your own comic or are you outsourcing that part of the project to someone else? Are you going to use a single or multiple artists to do the penciling, inking, coloring, or lettering? If yes, you should know quite a few things ahead of time (see What To Look for In A Comic Artist for more).
For example, you should know how and when your artist is to be paid. Either a one lump sum at the beginning or end of the project. Maybe a stuttered pay throughout the project to be paid out upon reaching certain milestones. Either way, you should know how much in total you will have to pay.
In this case, you could consider using project-based crowdfunding to cover the costs of your artist for your first publication.
Otherwise, you’re illustrating your own comic and you could use ongoing crowdfunding to simply get you going.
Now you know the options for funding your own comic project and the considerations for selecting crowdfunding tools. These considerations should help you get you started in your plans to fund your new or next comic creation!