Kickstarter Advice from Webcomic Creator and Publisher IronSpike

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C. Spike Trotman is in the business of comics. Both a nine-time Kickstarter creator and founder of Iron Circus Comics, Chicago’s largest comics publisher, she fully understands the webcomics business model. In our latest Creator Hangout, she shares helpful tips on how to successfully fund your project, connect with your fanbase, and ship your rewards on time. According to Spike, “I had a lot of faith in the platform because Kickstarter was formalizing and making transparent what cartoonists had already been doing for years”. We’ve pulled out our favorite quotes from the interview; make sure to watch the full video here!

Tip #1: Make a project video. 

  • “Make a video. DO IT. Don’t worry about it looking unprofessional, because unpolished, sincere videos are incredibly charming. And personally speaking, I'm pretty turned off by overproduced stuff. Joe Murray (creator of Rocko's Modern Life ) just pointed a webcam at himself. So can you.”

Tip #2: Prepare for your project. Then accept that your campaign won’t be perfect. 

  • “Prepare in advance. Make something people want to support and run a clean, well- planned campaign and then accept it won’t go smoothly.”

Tip #3: Network IRL. Attend conventions and share your work.

  • “Comics is a ten-year line, you have to be prolific, be friendly, and just be constantly improving and putting work out there and going to conventions.”
  • “The week before the conventions you should be hitting the Kinkos printing minis comics and on the back of the minis it should have your Tumblr and your email. Find artists you admire at the convention and say “I really like your work, here’s some of mine” and that will go really far.”

Tip #4: Understand your production needs in advance. 

  • “Measure twice, cut once. The Kickstarter version of that is do all of the pricing out before you decide on the goal amount and make absolutely sure that there is some kind of cushion.”
  • “You take the cost of the book and you triple it and that’s the cover price. Make sure to add shipping, if you’re going to have free shipping make sure it’s not international free shipping cause that will gut you like a fish. You don’t think it can but it will.”

Tip #5: Work hard and do what you love. 

  • “There’s a lot of work in getting people to like something you’ve made up. A lot of work, so much work it puts people off, but it pays in dividends and it’s the long game and it’s what you should be going for.”

Watch the full Creator Hangout video below!

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