It’s getting very close to the end of my Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the production of my second graphic novel 7STRING Volume 2. It’s been running for 29 days already and the support I’ve seen has been incredible. I’ve seen help from friends who I KNOW can’t really afford to give anything, I’ve seen help from fans and supportive comic con dudes who have told me how supportive of the comic they are and how much they want to see where the story goes next. I’ve even seen help from the big names, huge established comic book professionals who only had nice things to say, retweeted and publicised my campaign and in one super amazing and rare case, pledged very generously.
This has ALL blown me away. When I went into this, I knew it was a long shot. Even though I’d consider 7STRING successful and a well-liked book from the all the comments I’ve received back from the few hundred people who now own a copy, I still knew that this would be tough.
It’s one thing, selling a book where people can flick through it and assess whether they like the look of it. It’s quite another asking them to stump up cash to help me make another one, when they’re pretty sure I’ll make it anyway. To them it’s just another book they like, they can wait ‘til it’s done. To me it’s EVERYTHING.
Also, I possess next to none of the contact details of the few hundred people who have bought 7STRINGs in the past. Leaving me in the position where getting the word out about my campaign to those who are most likely to support it, is extremely difficult.
So I’ve definitely learnt some stuff. About marketing oneself, about building a fanbase you can connect with and about not relying on social media. (Not that I did, but I certainly thought it would be more effective than it was). But I’ve learnt some really good stuff too.
I’ve learnt that money isn’t ANYTHING. I knew before that money wasn’t EVERYTHING, but now I know it isn’t ANYTHING. I got some great advice from Robin Etherington throughout all this. His basic message was, if you believe in the comic you’re making then that belief will shine through and make your work great. If that’s what you want and you believe in it enough then trim your life to make that your priority. You don’t need a vast sum of money to do that. Just enough to live. If you’ve got pens and paper, you can draw comics. This is my mantra now.
I’ve also learnt about generosity and support, more specifically, the level of generosity and support that exists in this industry. The keenness for those who are arguably at the top, to help out those lower down. It’s AMAZING. The likes of Paul Duffield (Freakangels), Brandon Graham (King City, Multiple Warheads), Kieron Gillen (Phonogram, Marvel) and Jamie Smart (Bear, The Phoenix, The Dandy). And speaking of Jamie Smart, the legend even pledged, which has completely made my 2012.
Also the help from my friends, my peers in the industry. In a place where we’re all trying to make our own books and get them seen and enjoyed by as many people as we can, to still take the time out to tweet and retweet about my campaign, is amazing. There are loads of people who have helped me out in this way and I have tried to thank you all personally as best I can. Mr Jon Lock of Afterlife Inc fame deserves a special mention though… he is a man with powerful words and incredible connections and he bent over backwards to put them to use for me and this Kickstarter. What a legend.
This Kickstarter has been a huge amount of work. Both in setting it up (making the video, working out the maths for the rewards and the amount to ask for, writing the thing so it sounds awesome) and in the running of it (networking, updating, producing artwork to keep the campaign exciting, worrying!, editing the rewards, responding to people’s queries and dealing with complaints). It would be easy to see the whole thing in this last couple of days, with such a long way to go, as a waste of time and effort.
But I really don’t. For a start, we could still do this. There is after all, a whole day left. And I implore you still to spread the word if you know of anyone who would like the sound of a comic that takes you to a whole new world… with guitar-swords.
But secondly because I have a lot of awesome brilliance to take away with me. Namely, all the support you guys (you know who you are) have given me.
I will still make the book. I believe in it. 7STRING gets SO AWESOME as the story progresses. You’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg believe me. The ideas I have for later in the story still make me smile with anticipation and I wrote them nearly 3 years ago now. I can’t wait to draw this for you.
It will take much much longer if the Kickstarter doesn’t succeed, but I’ll stick with it ‘cos I love it.
If you haven’t already, please check out my Kickstarter and consider pledging. This is the final push.
You can see it here:
Thanks for your consideration