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Help us reprint the out-of-print The Order of the Stick books to reach new readers (and let existing fans complete their collections).
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
14,952 backers pledged $1,254,120 to help bring this project to life.

Ten Times the Funding of Mortal Men!

We now stand atop 1000% funding, ladies and gentlemen. Amazing. We were, for a brief shining moment, in the Top Five pledge drives of all time, but an upstart video game company went and raised like $900,000 in the first 24 hours of their drive, so we've been knocked back down to #6. That's OK. Since video games are still a form of technology, we can still claim the highest non-tech Kickstarter ever.

I've added a new grey line to the chart called "Administrative Stuff" that requires a little explaining. There are a few fees and expenses that I calculated pretty well at the beginning of this pledge drive that have since been blown out of the water by its success. I'd prefer not to go into too much detail, but suffice to say that even though my spreadsheets included a percentage allocated to this or that, the raw numbers that have been posted will, in and of themselves, change what that percentage is going to end up being. The bottom line is that an appointment I went to this morning has lead me to recalculate what those expenses will look like, and the grey line represents the difference between my old calculations and my new ones. To be clear, I'm not so much asking you to pay those fees for me as I am explaining what this next chunk of money will be spent on. I'm not just pocketing it, and if we don't reach that line, I don't doubt that I'll be able to work it out another way. But I'm trying for maximum transparency here, and that includes telling you where the money's going. 

Now, after that dull explanation, here's the part that matters most: That line is also the goal for Mystery Prize #5! And this time, I'll give you some hints: It's not a story, but it is digital. And like the wallpaper, it will be released to everyone when I finish it. Let the speculation begin!

And the second light green line below is for us to produce a 20-card "mini-expansion" for The Order of the Stick Adventure Game. We have a series of shtick cards that we cut from last year's The Shortening expansion at the last minute due to space; if we reach this line, we'll add on a few related monsters and Screw This! cards and release it all as cello-wrapped pack. This won't be a giveaway, mind you, but it will only cost a few dollars and you'll be able to add it to your existing pledges. We'll also put up copies of The Shortening and the combined Deluxe Edition on the pledge rewards if we reach that point, for those of you who have never played the game.

OK, I think that's enough babbling to make up for yesterday's silence, here's the chart:

One more thing: One of the things I like best about Kickstarter is the ability to find new or interesting projects that you would never have heard about otherwise. And one of the things I like best about having a lot of fans is being able to guide them to things that I think are worthwhile. So I'm just going to point you all to my User Profile here. No reason. Just saying.

--Rich Burlew


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    1. duefiori on February 15, 2012

      Dice, backing T-shirt, AND tarot deck. Why must we choose? I'd gladly pay for all three. Thinking of it, the T-shirt would be paying to announce that you paid. How cool is that?

    2. Missing avatar

      Jason on February 14, 2012

      I'd help pay for your vacation, Rich =) keep the quality strips coming, at your own pace.

    3. Missing avatar

      Thomas Lehmann on February 12, 2012

      While capital raised from KS, after expenses, is taxable corp income (as opposed to capital raised by a bank loan or by selling off partial ownership), GitP is still gaining 2-3x its inventory/operating cash via this KS campaign, without having to incur any interest obligation and still keeping full control. That's a really impressive feat!

    4. Missing avatar

      Thomas Lehmann on February 12, 2012

      That being said, it's not that hard to figure out. Given Rich's statement about having saved $16K towards reprints earlier, my guess is that GitP had about 50-100K in a mix of inventory and operating cash before this pledge drive. Via this pledge, GitP will increase its combined inventory/operating cash by 150-250K, add products (the reprints, coloring book, hp pads) to its in-print product line, increase store distribution (via a bigger product line), and create new content (the pdfs) that will eventually become future products. Roughly 50-60% the pledge amount is pure expense (~9% KS+Amazon, shipping, fulfillment, cost of goods for backers). The rest is mostly taxable (GitP can't deduct CoG for non-backer reprint copies until they sell, at which point that CoG is deducted from the new revenue). I dunno if GitP is incorporated, sole prop, partnership, etc. but % tax rates rise at the 100Ks of revenue to ~30-35%, so a big chunk of the new admin amount is probably taxes, imo. The price of succeeding beyond his initial plans. Does this help?

    5. Missing avatar

      Thomas Lehmann on February 12, 2012

      Arthur, no business is going to reveal that level of detail and insight into their operations in a public forum, as it would simply invite lots of second-guessing and critiques from people who don't understand how businesses work. If you're not comfortable donating based on the info you've been given, then don't donate.

    6. Missing avatar

      Sebastian Nerz on February 11, 2012

      I second that... Game-Level with Option to add an Art print, a book, maybe 2nd swag-items..

    7. Missing avatar

      Nino Dubin on February 11, 2012

      Once the game is added to the rewards, please do add a reward level at which we can get the game, the art print and a book/books - while there are a multitude of options for the books, very few are incorporating the art print, and I'd really like to get the game, the art print and the one book my collection is missing.
      A second account is of course an option, but it'd be nice if we could keep it a little simpler than that.

    8. Missing avatar

      Ian H on February 11, 2012

      I'd imagine that another of the admin costs that Rich couldn't take into account is the extra warehouse space needed to store all these things.

      At the start of the drive it was just a few hundred magnets (Since Rich wouldn't have to wait for the newly printed books to arrive from the printers before he could start shipping out rewards).

      But now that the new books are part of the reward for alot of the pledges, (along with the art print, stickers, colouring books and hit pads, plus probably a minimum of 8000 magnets) Rich will have to wait untill most of the physical rewards are in stock in a warehose before he can even start shipping anything out.

    9. grapeson on February 11, 2012

      @Joshua, if you look at the comments thread, you can find Rich's answer to the T-shirt/mug/other large-ish items question. It wasn't posted that long ago, so I think it might still be on the first page of comments, even. (The short answer: not happening due to shipping hassles.)

    10. Missing avatar

      Peter Cohen on February 11, 2012

      No. There have been comments by both Rich and APE Gamer to this effect on the main comments page.

    11. Joshua on February 11, 2012

      do you think he's going to start putting up T-shirts next on the pledge?

    12. Missing avatar

      Nicholas on February 10, 2012

      @Kerry - Rich indicated that if he does add more signed items, it won't be until the end of the drive.

    13. drow on February 10, 2012

      @arthur just my 2cp, of course, but you're asking for personal financial information. on the internet. nobody should answer that. its not hard to track down the printer, go put together a request for quote, if you really want to know what a print run costs.

    14. Missing avatar

      Peter Cohen on February 10, 2012

      @Arthur Rich is not keen on giving details of his business model out for the masses to criticise. On the GitP boards this is one of the topics that the moderators quickly shut down. He isn't going to know until after the drive exactly how much money he is getting in that is over the minimum for what is being bought. Also a number of donations near the bottom and near the top do not have an international surcharge. Rich intends to spend all the money from the drive on something constructive. If he hasn't said exactly how many items are being produced in a full run, he can have the flexibility to alter the size of some of the runs once he knows what cash he really has.

    15. Liam Pomfret on February 10, 2012

      I doubt he'll add too many more of those signed rewards Kerry. Putting aside that he'd need to get them shipped to him from the warehouse, then ship them back after he signed them....signing books takes a lot longer than most people really realize, even when you're able to do that at home instead of at a convention. It's quite painful on the hands after a while too.

    16. John Russell on February 10, 2012

      Arthur: it depends on what you mean by "making money". I'm not convinced that at the end of this drive, once all the expenses are accounted for including the costs of (re)printing the various books, creating the other goodies, shipping, Kickstarter and Amazon's cuts and so forth, that there's going to be much actual cash left over and I doubt Rich is intending for that to be the case. What he WILL have (one hopes) is an enormous pile of printed books to sell in the future, which will then produce cashflow for the business and income for Rich without much further expense.

    17. Missing avatar

      Kerry on February 10, 2012

      The autographed rewards seemed to get snatched up pretty quick. I'll bet if Rich adds more of those in the next update, the red line will start to trend more vertically again!

    18. Céline .S. Sauvé on February 10, 2012

      Huh. Quite a while back I'd wondered if he was doing anything with the game. I think the boost I gave my pledge to get the second colouring book _might_ already cover the "few dollars" to cover that. Hopefully.

      We'll see if we get to that line though. As it is, I have absolutely no hope of Book K, sadly... I suppose I'll have to deal with part of my collection remaining only a PDF. :(

    19. Arthur Schmoul on February 10, 2012

      Oh, yeah, thanks DavidB I forgot that :(

      And Greg, yeah, I know, that's exactly what I'm saying, it's difficult to understand what's happening with the money. I'm TOTALLY supporting the fact that Rich should make a lot of money out of this. I'm just saying that for now, it's pretty complicated to understand how that's happening.

      What each print costs ? And a print is made of how many books ? (for each kind of book). What's the cost of each swag thingie ? What are those administrative costs ? Taxes ? What's Ookdook share ? All that sort of thing :-)

      And I'm not requesting that because I'm thinking Rich is making too much money, or anything. I would probably be shocked by the low amount of money he is making (Anything under 20% is not enough in my understanding). I'm only asking politely to have this information... because I don't like it when I don't understand what's going on.

    20. Greg Dougherty on February 10, 2012

      Did you order books that were already in stock? From Rich's POV, those books are "free", because they were paid for a long time ago. Did you order something that's being reprinted? Well, again, the previous buyers have provided the money to print those books, so your purchase is again "free money" for Rich.

      Clearly there's a significant markup between the average cost of printing a book on one of the large print runs Rich will be doing, and what we're paying for the books. That is good, because otherwise it wouldn't be worth Rich's time to print up the books, or Ookdook's time and effort to sell them to us.

    21. Missing avatar

      DavidB on February 10, 2012

      @Arthur Schmoul, I think it has more to do with taxes. Where I live, receiving 800-900K USD into my account may cost me a nice chunk of it just for starters. If it's a company account, he will have to pay taxes for that profit if he doesn't spend a similar amount quickly, and likely he'll need weeks or months before he has all the printing and manufacturing done and therefore accountable as spending to balance against the income.

    22. JU on February 10, 2012

      Nope, and probably not even Rich. (since they can drop the pledge for 10 more days)

    23. Missing avatar

      cornishphilosopher on February 10, 2012

      Do we know who the 3 backers choice storys are about?
      Just wondering.

    24. Arthur Schmoul on February 10, 2012

      One of the things I had difficulties to understand, was how reaching a higher line was going to help coping with administrative costs... Because... well, we should not forget that most of the pledges includes something physical, that costs money to do each time. I'm not giving away 150$ just for support, I'm actually """""buying""""" 3 books, and paying for international shipment and putting 5$ more to have a second coloring book.

      So if the Giant is making no profit on these books, hoping to only make profits from the books sold afterwards, we have a big problem in the accounts. I imagine then, that there is some sort of "profit" (and that's perfectly normal), that are reinvested in the management of the pledge, and other costs.

      That's why Rich need 50 000 to cope with administrative costs. It's because by pledging 50 000 most of that money goes into reprinting books, making magnets and notepads/stickers. And the profits on that money then goes to manage the costs.

      And that's also the reason Kickstarter and Amazons fees will never be a problem... because they scale with the pledge in a proportional way, not an exponential one. Only the exponential costs cause problems.

      But Rich, I think you should actually disclose everything, like Costs for printing X copies, Profits reinvested into the costs of management, and the the actual profits you do, if any (or your losses). We would really appreciate, and backers will understand better what it does mean to pledge and up their pledge :-)

      Full Disclosure ! FTW :-)

    25. maldar on February 10, 2012

      Damn, cannot believe I didn't realize this before. Haley missed her spot and reflect rolls, and no one else mention it.

    26. Missing avatar

      Peter Cohen on February 10, 2012

      The record LunaTik's creators might have is having two products in the top 10. They also coudl well be the first people to havecompleted projects totalling more than a million.

    27. Missing avatar

      Amy Fiori on February 10, 2012

      As far as I can tell from the chart, we've been holding steady at about $25,000 to $30,000 a day since last weekend, even without new prizes. If we can keep that pace up, we should be able to beat Printrbot. It'll be interesting to see whether we slow down or not. I'm hoping to see an increase when we get the games, though. I think usually when Rich introduces new rewards, the pledges increase for a little while.

    28. Missing avatar

      Thomas Lehmann on February 10, 2012

      Something digital could be a ring-tone: "I rolled a 4!" ;-)

    29. Greg Dougherty on February 10, 2012

      It's amazing watching what's happening w/ Kickstarter. "LunaTik Touch Pen: The Evolution of the Stylus" just jumped into the top 10, at #10. It will stay there for a day, then get kicked out as "Elevation Dock: The Best Dock For iPhone" takes the #1 spot, and becomes the first ever Million dollar Kickstarter project. Of course, they shouldn't get too excited, since "Double Fine Adventure" is > $190,000 ahead of it, and still has a month to go.

      As it is, unless Rich starts coming up with some new things for people to bid on, we're going to hit #5, and stay there for 3 weeks, then get moved down when "Double Fine Adventure" gets funded, because we'd need to hit $830,828 to knock "Printrbot: Your First 3D Printer" out of 5th place.

    30. Ahdok on February 10, 2012

      I still can't believe there are more people at the $10 level than the $25 level... all that swag...

    31. Peter S on February 10, 2012

      @JacoB, the adding a second account was my only easy solution for exactly the combo you mentioned. For a good number of us, who had already been able to find and afford the books previously, the main "Loot" in the drive are the swag items and personalized stuff. All that stuff was gone quickly thou.

    32. Cintain 昆游龍 on February 10, 2012

      I'd love to get the game as part of this. I'm one of those people Rich alluded to who've never played the game, so... you can count on more of my money for this, for sure. :D

    33. Jaakko Heinonen on February 10, 2012

      I'm guessing around 500,000 more

    34. JacoB on February 10, 2012

      @Pablo It will still have to be shipped separately, which means separate packages which means more shipping costs. The game is huge and likely won't be shipped with anything else. Since this would mean Rich paying for separate shipping out of his own pocket, I highly doubt the deluxe ++ game reward will allow adding anything else. I already had to add a second account in order to get the swag pack 2 in addition to the art print.

    35. Missing avatar

      Tirus on February 10, 2012

      OMG! that would be epic! how much would we have to raise to get that?

    36. Aephix on February 10, 2012

      We obviously need an Audiobook version of Haleo and Julelan read by Felicia Day and Wil Wheton

    37. Pablo Gonzalez on February 10, 2012

      Just hope that when the game hits the rewards it will be posible to add a couple of books to it, that way I can change my reward for the game and up my pledge to get the books I´m loking after with only one shipment surplus (this is hard for those of us down here in Latin America).

    38. Ahdok on February 10, 2012

      @Christopher See

      Now I want the "Elan Sings Nursey Rhymes" cassette tape to go with my colouring book.

      It'd obviously have to have "Row Row Row your boat" in it.

    39. Missing avatar

      Christopher See on February 10, 2012

      My guess for MP6 is some MP3s of some of Elan's songs (sung by Rich?)

    40. Xavier Perez on February 10, 2012

      For Mistery Prize #6, how about an animated cartoon of the Order of the Stick thanking the fans for the support?

      It would be digital, not a comic, and could be given to everyone.

    41. Tim Wood on February 10, 2012

      "Smash, smash, smash the non-technology Kickstarter records....!"

      I just became a backer today, and so happy to see the success this has had. Great work, Rich and fans!

    42. Michael Flotten on February 10, 2012

      In terms of something digital, I would looooove to see an app, either on the web site, or for my phone, where I can create order of the stick avatars, kind of like what's on the south park site, that would be way cool. And i have to say I'm addicted to watching this thing grow, it's fabulous!

    43. Missing avatar

      Frank Forkl on February 10, 2012

      Upping my pledge now in advance of the card expansion pack, to help us get there. The way Rich is talking, its going to be another "add $X to any pledge to get the expansion" kinda thing, so no harm doing early :]

    44. Missing avatar

      Nick M on February 10, 2012

      @Ahdok: No, it is Rich doing Elan's Gainful Employment Dance!'
      I love the story-graph!

    45. John Russell on February 10, 2012

      While I too would like Rich to "have something nice", I suspect that he'd have a heckuva time convincing the taxman that "money spent on something nice that my supporters wanted me to have" was a legitimate business expense. We're not supporting Rich, we're supporting Rich's business (which is supporting Rich).

    46. Missing avatar

      Kendrick Adams on February 10, 2012

      over 8k pledges. Wow,

    47. Ahdok on February 10, 2012

      So the digital reward is a film of Rich performing The Durkon Dance.


    48. natasqi on February 10, 2012

      I'm definitely going to have to create another account for the game aren't I? Shipping is gonna be through the roof! :(

    49. Missing avatar

      Ben Fitzgerald on February 10, 2012

      Woo! Funded the project! Might have to up it if game rewards start appearing though...

      On the Administrative costs line, it strikes me that such an incredible response is likely to cause overheads above and beyond those that are included in the lines themselves, costs like getting the printing started again. Judging by the interview he didn't expect such an immense response and, in my personal experience, administrative costs have a tendency to expand far beyond one's projections as things grow...

      I quite like the idea of there being a line say something like 'get me an assistant to help deal with this amazing response so I can write more comics faster' :D

    50. Missing avatar

      Cole Holtgard on February 10, 2012

      OotS Icons! Perhaps a mouse cursor skin or two?