Kicking off a Kickstarter
Two and half months into my sabbatical and there’s still days when I wonder what I’ve achieved. A couple more short-stories have been submitted to anthologies and competitions, and I’ve finally begun work on my novel.
That said, the last few weeks have produced something tangible, and that’s my comic Kickstarter project, Undetermined. I won’t dwell on the background and synopsis (that’s been mentioned ad nauseam); however, both the launch and hitting of the funding target has been a fantastic achievement.

Crowdfunding a project relies on communication, organisation, obviously a product, and lots of encouragement and support. The product, in this case, is the comic. But I’ve never written or produced a comic before. So how did I go about communicating and organising the funding of a product I’ve never produced before? This is where the encouragement and support come in.

A mountain to climb? Just don’t look back (or down…)
I’ve relied heavily on advice from the amazing Simon Birks from Blue Fox Comics – without his help, I wouldn’t be writing this now. There are a variety of Facebook groups I follow for tips, and I’m a member of a group/program run by Tyler James, called ListLaunch, which is a way to build audiences for advertising and communicating Kickstarter products. Chris (the artist) has gone beyond the call of duty in providing extra goodies and promotional material for me to bombard social media and email channels.

Most importantly, I’ve had vast amounts of help from friends and family, from proofreading to producing merchandise, to recording voice-overs and making earrings, to enthusiastic support and backing when my own confidence was wavering.

“Thank-you to everyone who’s either backed, liked, shared or simply offered words of support and congratulations about the Kickstarter campaign. It’s given me the confidence to continue to write and come up with even more crazy ideas”
Comics aren’t for everyone; they can be deemed childish, or an ephemeral medium (think how many copies of Beano and Dandy you threw away, compared to how many books you’ve ever thrown away). So, it was a concern when I was looking for backing for the comic idea.

Within the first couple of days, the project hit its target, and the campaign was successful. Chris who’s in New Zealand stayed up all night watching the backing come in. He said it was better than election night! At that point, there were another 3+ weeks to reach further funding goals (meaning extra free gifts). We’ve hit them and continue to receive additional backers. I am completely blown away and feel very humbled indeed.

My main backers are friends. Friends who have been kind enough to support the project and want to see it succeed. That’s the humbling aspect. Those backers I’ve spoken to aren’t generally comic book fans, but they are interested in seeing what’s going on in my addled mind. This is one of the first glimpses you’ll get since I’ve taken this time out (unless anyone’s seen me draw an IT diagram on a whiteboard).

Ever wondered why you’re so lucky to have such good friends and family?
The ListLaunch course talks about seeking people who are ‘fans of you’, then you’ll start to find ‘fans of your work’ – this is absolutely true. I’d say 70% (possibly 80%) of backers are friends and family, but that means there’s 20-30% of people who don’t know who I am as a writer and are prepared to take a punt. If I can organically grow an audience by 20-30% each time, then hopefully I’ll end of with a small following.

So far, the comic has received three reviews (here, here and here) – all very positive, all interested to see how this imagined universe develops. This has given me the confidence to begin writing the second episode and think of another series.

I still expect my main writing medium to be the short-story and novel format but taking on this Kickstarter challenge has proven to be an invaluable activity regarding lessons learnt, growing an audience and most importantly, confidence building.

With any luck, my other work will find new people interested in seeing what I’m up to. I’m told the Twisted50 horror story will be available soon, and who knows, one of my other stories might get published too.

Thank-you to everyone who’s either backed, liked, shared or simply offered words of support and congratulations about the Kickstarter campaign. It’s given me the confidence to continue to write and come up with even more crazy ideas.


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