What is "Westward?"
The latest title from Kinetic Press, Westward is a new steampunk mystery series from Ken Krekeler, writer and illustrator of The Colodin Project and Dry Spell.
Watch the original trailer here:
Played against a semi-Victorian background of corporate espionage and technological revolution, the story centers around Victor West, a man who did not ask to be born a wealthy aristocrat. He did not seek out the titans of industry that surround him, that pressure and push him toward a life of grand production and unending work. Heir to the fortune of Westward Enterprises, Victor has never had to try for anything; he has never had to strive or conquer or build. But all that is about to change.
Past KS Campaigns
This is the 3rd KS campaign for Westward to date, and so much of what you'll read here has been copied and pasted from previous campaigns.
Here's a brief ten-minute documentary from the KS of "Westward: Volume 1." Although made for a previous campaign, it's still a great way to be introduced to the series conceptually, and contains interviews with the creative people involved.
KS rewards can be tricky things; they require lots of organization and good financial projection. Without caution, the cost of producing and shipping the promised rewards can easily outweigh the contribution itself, nearly canceling it out. The tier system for W #5 has been designed to minimize production cost on Westward's side, while maximizing the more artistic and exclusive values for the benefit of backers.
In an effort to provide fresh rewards at minimum cost, a few creative ideas have been added to the W #5 Kickstarter campaign, including:
- Prints - The prints included in the various rewards tiers will be all-new, exclusive to the #5 KS campaign
- Original artwork - Mid-level tiers will receive an original ink sketch by the artist of Westward, signed and sealed.
- Steampunk portrait - Your likeness will be rendered in steampunk garb and mailed to you as a print and PDF
- Exclusive T-shirt design, featuring art from Westward #5
Supporting Westward - Beyond Kickstarter
Maybe you don't have the money to pledge right now. Maybe you've already pledged, but you're a fan and you want to do more. In either case, there are a number of ways you can help Westward's success outside of contributing to the Kickstarter fund.
The best way to support Westward is to boost what we call "pre-orders." This involves getting comic stores to order something that essentially doesn't exist yet (which, as you might imagine, can prove to be very difficult). To boost pre-orders, there has to be demand... Buzz, hype, online postings. To generate demand, one must first raise awareness.
So how can you help? It's simple: Tell your friends. Link them to the Westward website. "LIKE" the Westward Facebook page, or share updates from that page on your own FB wall. Post the trailer on a comic fan's Facebook wall. Let them know about the Kickstarter project. Comment on blog posts. Follow the Twitter feed. But above all: Tell your store to order Westward: Volume 1 during the month of March, 2013.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge in the success of this campaign is the same challenge I face with every comic I've ever produced: marketing, exposure, and awareness. Every artist has their weaknesses; mine has always been publicity. Outside of animated trailers, preview pages and comic cons, I've always lacked the salesmanship necessary to communicate my ideas properly in a way that catches the public eye.
With only 30 days to maximize the campaign's potential, I have a number of supplemental opportunities planned, designed to help generate interest in the project. Videos of original artwork as it is produced, interviews with the cast of Westward, frequent Facebook/Twitter updates and an ongoing blog. I am also open to any suggestions, so if you have an idea on how to help Westward succeed, don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)