Welcome to the Heartstopper: Volume One Kickstarter!
Heartstopper is a YA LGBT+ webcomic about Nick and Charlie, two British teens at an all-boys grammar school. It's written and illustrated by me, Alice Oseman, author of YA novels Solitaire, Radio Silence, and I Was Born for This!
Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?
Heartstopper has been updating thrice-monthly on Tumblr and Tapas since September 2016, and is currently still ongoing. It has amassed over 50,000 subscribers, so I reckon it’s high time I make this thing into a real book!
The primary goal of this Kickstarter is to raise funds to print 500+ copies of Heartstopper: Volume One. Hopefully more than 500, if there’s the demand for it!
Heartstopper: Volume One will collate chapters one and two of the webcomic plus bonus content into a 234x156mm paperback book. It will have 288 pages, a colour matte cover, cover flaps, and some fancy spot UV on the cover. I want it to look as much like a professional published graphic novel as possible!
The book files are completely designed, formatted, and ready to go to print. I just need to raise the money!
As well as the book, I’m super excited to print all sorts of other Heartstopper merch ! There are enamel pins, bookmarks, A5 prints, and stickers. I’m also very excited to offer some exclusive rewards such as hand-drawn sketches, you appearing in future comic updates, and your name in the book!
The budget covers book printing, merch printing, postage, packaging, Kickstarter/processing fees, and a margin for error. I have set the goal at £9000 which accommodates for a worst case scenario (people pledging solely for the lower tiers and shipping being heavily in favour of international).
It's difficult to show you a precise graph of how the budget will be split because book/merch costs depend hugely on which tiers people choose and postage costs depend on where in the world people who pledge live, but the following graph is an example of how the budget would be split if we hit £9000 with 130 people picking just the book and 130 people picking the book + merch set, with 25% of shipping being UK and 75% being international!
Why are the postage costs so high? Well, books are heavy and expensive to ship safely, and I anticipate there being a lot of international orders.
Should we substantially exceed the goal and/or should I have lots of funds left over, they'll go towards ordering more books, so people can continue to buy the book for a long time to come!
Is Heartstopper going to be taken down from the internet? Absolutely not! It will remain free-to-read online.
Will there be any stretch goals in this Kickstarter? As this is my first ever Kickstarter, I’ve decided not to commit to any stretch goals. I’m doing this all by myself and I’m fearful of complicating things for myself and becoming overwhelmed. More money raised will mean more books printed, meaning that readers of Heartstopper will be able to buy physical copies long after the Kickstarter is over!
Why is the shipping so expensive? Because books are heavy and costly to ship, I'm afraid! I also intend to send all packages via tracked mail if possible, which is more costly than my usual second class/international standard I use for my art shop.
I want to order a specific selection of merch/books / I want to order multiple books and save on postage. Can you create a special reward tier for me? I'm sorry, no. Again, this is because I want to keep this Kickstarter as simple as possible, since it's my first one.
To help spread the word about this Kickstarter, feel free to post this image and a link to the Kickstarter anywhere on your social media! #kickstartHeartstopper
Risks and challenges
This is my first Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, but I have supported a great number of Kickstarters over the last few years and am very familiar with how other webcomic creators have funded webcomic paperbacks.
I am experienced in liaising with printers and merchandise manufacturers and have been running my own online art shop from home for the past year. The book will be printed by CPI, a very reliable printer used by many mainstream book publishers. The merchandise will be printed by Awesome Merchandise, a company I have used many times before.
I have budgeted to accommodate for a ‘worst case scenario’ so that no matter what people pledge and where from, as long as we meet our target, I will be able to get everyone their orders without any financial problems.
I’ve given myself a spacious amount of time to get everything done (order all the books/merch and package/ship your rewards) while also not making you wait too long. The only things that could push that back are unexpected delays or faults with the manufacturers, or if something terrible happens to me like I fall down a well or get stuck in a ski-lift.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)