CLOSING DOORS: SUCCESSFUL OR NOT?
Indie Go Go Funds $2,200.00
Paypal Fees -$88.00
Indie Go Go Fees -$66.00
ISBN & Barcode -$50.00
Licensing from Mark Rudolph -$500.00
Other Nix books sold -$181.00
Reserve for Subscription shipping -$48.00
Net Expenses -$317.00
Numbers have been rounded to the nearest dollar.
Copies of Closing Doors Printed 500
Copies Sold via IGG -109
Copies Sent to Mark Rudolph -50
Copies On Hand 341
Subscriptions Added 10
Not Bad. I think a lot of folks go into crowd funding projects with the mindset that they'll be able to create a comic without having any money come out of pocket. Not me. The goal was to pay for printing and licensing, then to climb my way to credibility the old fashioned way.... By selling books. I'll break even on the project after I've sold 32 copies Retail or 64 Wholesale.
Indiegogo Vs. Kickstarter
That's the big difference, but there are innumerable small differences that I think are interesting or worth considering. (Stuff you probably won't find in their FAQs)
Ease of Campaign Set Up
In a comparison for ease of campaign set up, Indiegogo is hands down winner. Kickstarter is bogged down in there terms of service and can take up to a week to review campaigns for approval. It used to take less time, but as the site's popularity has taken off teh wait time has incereased. For my ill fated Big Ask Kickstarter campaign, they almost didn't approve me in time for a launch to coincide with New York Comic Con. (Interesting footnote... NYCC was key to my belief that I could pull off the Big Ask. I figured I could use that huge audience to pull in a 100 or so pledges. Despite a couple hundred bucks worth of little handouts, It didn't work out that way. Just not the Nix Audience, I guess.)
At any rate, Indiegogo was pretty much "click and go."
While, both sites use a pretty basic sand serviceable wordpress-like interface for setting up the campaign's page and updates, Kickstarters is a little more refined. Both can be finicky in terms of how images align in the text of the campaign, but indiegogo requires a lot images with different sets of specific dimensions. Be ready to spend a few extra minutes prepping in photoshop or whatever.
Also, for some strange reason, Indiegogo's tool for sending updates uses a different interface. One that only allows for a single picture and plain text. Kickstarter gives you all the same format capabilities for updates as the main campaign page.
Both sites are almost completely dependent on the social media network of the campaign manager as the pledge-getting engine. Neither is particularly easy to navigate or search unless the powers-that-be have decided that the project is cool enough for front page special status. (Calling out my possible sour grapes on my part? Probably. I'm cool. Why haven't they featured me yet!!?) Both sites have tools to let you know where referrals and pledges came from and how many people have "liked" the campaign on facebook and such. Indiegogo actually goes the extra mile and lets you know how many of your friends have reposted the link for you and how many of those reposts resulted in new pledges. That's kinda cool, I suppose.
Kickstarter has become the go-to crowd funding platform for comic creators in a lot of ways. If you're running a campaign, this leads to a little bit of a drag on campaigning in that you have to not only explain what the project is about in terms of content, but you also have to explain what indiegogo is. "Its like kickstarter but different."
What I like about running an indiegogo campaign, though, is that I can lose the rhetoric of desperation that is inherent to Kickstarter. Its really pathetic when you think about it. "PLEEEEASE... If I don't reach my goal, my comic book will never happen. Don't be to blame for my shattered dreams... pledge today!" Heck with that.... Making indie comics has enough day to day drama, it doesn't need guilt trip driven sales calls.
While setting up the Closing Doors campaign, I was actually excited to see that Indiegogo used Paypal as its payment processor. Not that I think they are a great and reputable company or anything (Paypal is just another money-changer after all) but after years of ebay selling, I am very familiar with using the Paypal shipping tools. At the end of my Kickstarter campaigns I had to download a list of pledges and cut and paste their info into stamps.com... A process that's a little time consuming and clunky.
Sadly, Indiegogo hasn't done anything to make those Paypal shipping tools accessible to campaign managers. Its a little amazing to me that neither of these sites has swung a deal with their respective payment processing people to integrate shipping options into the fulfillment process.
Future use of Crowd Funding for Nix Comics?
Maybe that's too cynical, but it's a problem I want to avoid with Nix Comics. I want to work on getting as much conventional subscription, retail and wholesale business as possible, so if running a crowd funding campaign becomes an expensive or otherwise onerous task, I can kiss it goodbye without it being a death knell for my publishing efforts.
To that end, I plan on only using crowd funding for special projects, like Closing Doors. The regular Nix titles will come out of my own pocket. Things may be a little bumpy short term that way, but I think long term will give me steadier footing.