Saturday, May 12, 2012

A taste of Self Publishing

Hi people, as I wrap up on the Kickstarter Comic Anthology, I can't help but look back at the sheer amount of work self publishing contains. When I started out the campaign, I thought it would be as simple as 1) creating a book 2) doing some marketing 3) delivering the books + 4) misc minor hiccups. It turns out that from 1 - 4, none of the stages were as simple as it seems. The most difficult portion of this project is that it is a group project. As with the fundamental of a group project, many voices comes into play. Towards the end of this project, I can safely say that I've learn the whole process of self publishing. (I would say almost 95%)

The largest difference for this project was, most self published comics are full time gigs meaning that the artist weren't doing other stuff and they only had themselves to answer to. They also take full credit and rewards of what they do which allows them to have the liberty to choose to hire or pay other individuals to do difficult and time consuming tasks like creating/editing promo videos, delivery and packaging. That is a huge advantage unless you're a machine which can do everything yourself. So if you're out there thinking of doing a group project on Kickstarter, make sure you do have a detail plan of what to do and how to go about it. 


1) Your backers do ask you questions and you do have to attend to them in a timely fashion. You might think you'll only get a few messages and I can assure you, it is more than what you Can imagine.

2) You need to keep your backers interested and updated even when your project ends.
3) Even after you deliver your product, there would still be hiccups and possibilities of someone not getting their shipment.
4) Some backers just simply forget that they have a Kickstarter account and never reply to your messages so you might never know their address until months and years later, when they give you a call.
5) If your Kickstarter project is NOT similar to ours, meaning that the product is not finished after the campaign ends,  you'll have to keep in mind that as months goes on, you're not just wasting time but also money. Some projects promised great products only to find that the finished product took way longer than expected.
6) You do have a reputation online. If you are just doing a one time gig off Kickstarter, then that is fine. If you intend to carry on a second or third Kickstarter project, make sure your first one is of the highest quality that you promised your backers.
7) Don't deliver what you can't. I've seen a few Kickstarter projects that were facing difficulties during the final weeks of their campaign. They then decided to add rewards that are cheap like $5 for two original prints + shipping. Now how does that work? Firstly, Kickstarter takes away 5% of your sales and amazon takes away 3-5% which amounts to almost 10% of your sales. Now with $4.50 usd, you need to print 2 prints and get them shipped to your backers not forgetting the packaging that you need to purchase. What kind of quality and work would you be delivering to your audience? It is better to let go of your project and recreate it at a lower goal sometimes.
8) When you create a Kickstarter project, just because of the fact that you have a brilliant idea, doesn't mean it'll become great success. There are examples on Kickstarter that contains projects that didn't make it which I thought they should. It is just like the idea of creating a blog. Many artist think that if they create a blog, they'll create traffic to their work. The fact is, a blog is just another ISLAND. If there are no roads or ships to this island, NO ONE will ever know of their existence.
9) Many artists have message me privately on Kickstarter asking for a formula and telling me to look at their web and spread their projects through my Kickstarter page in return for their product. I always refuse to look because I'll have to judge your product and the fact is, if you're confident that you have something good and worth it, just go ahead and create your Kickstarter project. The community will judge and support it, time will tell.
10) If you have not ask your own circle of friends for help be it online on facebook or offline, don't expect some other successful Kickstarter project to help you unless you know them personally. Your social friends and network are your best recommendations and if they can't back you up, you probably don't have much credentials.

There are many things in self publishing that are time consuming like, packaging.

For great resources on Self publishing on Kickstarter, I suggest you check out Jason Brubaker's post on KICKSTARTER FUNDING.

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