For about a day I felt rich. The money raised from the kickstarter had been deposited into my bank account. My eyes widened as I witnessed the first time my bank balance didn’t look like it belonged to the struggling writer. Thankfully there was no temptation to run off with all the money and start a new life on the lam, living dangerously and always looking over my shoulder for cheated backers.
Instead I did the sensible thing and paid Vivian, the artist. This gave her the go ahead to bring the rest of the script to life. It was really happening, my script, a series words was undergoing a metamorphosis into 22 pages of sequential art. At this point your input will be minimal. Perhaps you’ll need to correct some angles or argue about panel placement (thankfully I didn’t and is yet another reason why Ms Truong is such a dream to work with).
Vivian nearly destroyed her right hand getting the art out in record time and everything was going smoothly. Then the printing saga began.
I say that as if it was a nightmare. It wasn’t really, Rich Hardiman at comics printing UK was a true gentleman throughout and indulged me in all my silly foibles.
But those foibles were time consuming and frustrating.
First of all the preview of the comic made some of the pages look too dark, which prompted Vivian to go back and adjust it. We all thought it was fine, but when the physical comics arrived, there were still some panels a tad too dark. So be aware of that if part of your story takes place in a dimly lit area.
It was the prints that became the issue. The prints were of the 2 main characters and the comic cover. Now the cover was fine as it was done to the same size specifications as the comic itself, meaning it transferred well onto an individual print. The two character prints were another story. As character designs, they were done more for personalise as opposed to commercial, so Vivian hadn’t done them very large, meaning that when expanded to the size of the print, they became pixelated.
Once again Vivian went above and beyond the line of duty to redo and resize them. *Hot tip – Facebook messenger and other messenger apps compress files so if even when you download it, you are still getting the compressed version. Send important art via email or google drive* That sorted the problem or so it seemed. Something was still wrong, but this time it was entirely my fault having downloaded them from Facebook messenger which, as stated above, compresses images.
Once I got the original non-compressed files to the printer it all went ahead. Unfortunately, the prints were then scheduled to arrive later than the comics which delayed my sending out of the higher tier rewards. But I could send out the comic to all the backers who didn’t want prints.
I’ll never forget getting the boxes of my comic. I missed their initial delivery so had to go pick them up at the local shop. In my eagerness and impatience I decided I could manage all 3 boxes in one trip. What I foolishly overlooked was that the 10 minute trip from my house to the shop was down hill. About 40 seconds into the return leg of the journey I had to put the boxes down and pretend I was receiving a phone call on my mobile. The sun which had been pleasant beforehand was now oppressive and the gradient of the hill unforgiving. At least 6 stops and 2 pints of sweat later I returned home.
The burn in my arms didn’t matter now, nothing did as I tore open the first box to see all those crisp copies of Daughter of Titan #1. It truly was an amazing feeling holding it in my hand, one I hope every creator feels at some point. It is beyond words so I shan’t bother trying here.
While the previous installment of this trilogy of articles was very fact and figures based, this one is more about feel, except for this next part…
When you have over 150 backers, you need to make sure you get orders right. The way I worked it, I had about 5 spares of each of the three prints, so I couldn’t afford to mess things up in case someone who pledged for a print, ended up not getting one. Prior to the arrival of the comics I created an in depth spreadsheet that showed me what each backer deserved making life more efficient when packing up rewards. It is crucial you pay attention because if you make a mistake here, you will look amateurish and it doesn’t matter how great your comic or product is, people not only invest in the product, but they invest in you as well. If you show yourself to be lackadaisical and sloppy by getting orders wrong, it will turn potential returning backers off and earn you a black mark against your name. No one wants that.
All the electronic copies had been sent shortly after the money had went into my account and I had been keeping backers updated at every major point in the production line (including the delays so they knew it may come a little later than expected. This is why it is important to give yourself extra wiggle room in regards to delivery date of rewards so that these inevitable delays that come with inexperience don’t derail you.)
Finally have a good rep with your local post office. They still sighed in despair when they saw me bring in my second lot of 50 packages to be sent internationally, but they liked me enough to not say anything to my face haha. The people behind my were not so kind…
But then it was over. All the planning, all the effort, all the nerves and fears and doubts were gone. My maiden kickstarter had been lovingly created, successfully funded and efficiently delivered. Now it was time to sit down and get to work on issue #2 as the whole thing geared up again. Such is the life of the writer working on kickstarter.
I learned so much from my first voyage onto the seas of public funding and I have arrived on new shores of possibilities. So all there is left to say is thank you for reading, and good luck with your own kickstarter.