I am currently running a Kickstarter for the third issue of my comic Super. I still have 24 days left of my 30 day campaign, and have raised about 10% of my goal with 27 backers. There is still a chance that it will succeed, but it hasn't gained the traction I would have hoped. Why is that? Here is a list of things I have done so far to promote my Kickstarter:
1. Sold my Comic at Coventions and Gathered Emails.
I have traveled to various cities in the US to promote my comic. I have sold over 3000 copies and gathered over 1000 emails from people who bought the comic. Here's why I think it hasn't worked. Momentum. My comic started in September, however due to the fact I needed to run a Kickstarter for my Second Issue, the release of my Second Issue wasn't until February. That's a long time to wait for 24 pages.
The truth is, it is hard to maintain interest in a comic that is released so sporadically. However, considering the cost it takes to draw and publish comics, it is difficult to maintain a regular release. It takes a month to run a Kickstarter and then another month to illustrate everything, and if you want cheap prints you have to order from China or Taiwan, which can take another 6 to 8 weeks to arrive. If I was to start again, I probably would have saved the money myself to illustrate the first 3 issues on my own, and only ran the Kickstarters to fund prints.
Unless I'm just giving out free stuff, like digital copies of my comic, my open rate for emails to my mailing list is about 20-25%, click rates are about 3-5%, and translations to actual backers are only about 1%. Ouch.
2. Sent Out PR Blasts to Multiple Blogs and News Sites
Some of them have been worked and some haven't. While I was traveling, I gathered business cards and networked with various bloggers, podcasters, and other journalists. The problem is, meeting people isn't enough if you don't stay in contact. Without personal contacts sending out PR blasts is sort of like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping something sticks.
I should have spent more time staying in touch I probably would have had an easier time getting them to feature my comic. There are plenty of reviews for the first issue of my comic, all of which have been positive, but I didn't take the time to respond to them.
I am currently trying to reach out to local newspapers, sites, radio, and TV channels. We'll see how that works out. Maybe if I send traditional physical PR packets to their address, but like I said, Spaghetti at a wall.
3. Given out free comics at local comic shops.
I currently have more than 1000 copies of Super: Issue One set out to take for free at about 10 local comic shops in the state, along with posters on the doors promoting my Kickstarter. I have yet to see any big turn around on the Kickstarter. I think what is lacking is personal contact.
Free Comic Day is coming soon however. I'm hoping my signing at my local store, Black Cat Comics, will make a difference.
If you want to come see me, here's the address. Free Comic Day is May 2nd!
2261 Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
4. Promoted my Kickstarter on Social Media.
I have posted promoting my Kickstarter and Tweeted about it as well. So far more than 50% of my backers were directed to my Kickstarter through Facebook and just over 1% through Twitter. I don't think twitter will ever be as effective as Facebook in directing traffic, but the fact that I am just not active enough on twitter probably isn't helping.
There are some other things I am doing to try and gain more traction emailing the Kickstarter staff to try and get staff pick again (it helped a lot last time), I still have an upcoming Comic Convention in Las Vegas that I hope will gather more backers. We'll see how that works out. If anyone has any other ideas or experience running comic Kickstarters let me know of any other ways you have found to promote your work!