Category Archives: Making Comics

I tried to math…


click above to view the gallery

Ambrosia #1 is almost ready for a crowdfunding campaign, being a month or two away from wrapping up its last bit of production. My next move is to figure out the various reward tiers available to backers.

Thus far the Kickstarter research I’ve done has been chronicled in my Kickstarter Strobe Light series over on Black Ship Books. Between August and October of last year, I followed 20 campaigns as they went through their crowdfunding ordeal.

This weekend I looked at 10 of them that mirrored my ambitions for Ambrosia‘s campaign. In addition to these completed projects, I added 3 more that are currently wrapping up their effort having already exceeded their goal. The results are embedded below, and available via Google sheets as well.

After loosely categorizing the rewards each comic book offered, I consolidated the list of 50 items to determine both frequency (# of pledges received) and average price (cost of donation). I now intend to use these two factors as a guide for the choices I offer in my own campaign.

Conclusions generated from the data are certainly subjective — cross referencing the two variables requires subjective, qualitative analysis on top of these quantitative figures, not to mention only certain rewards were relevant to Ambrosia.

These results aren’t very surprising: Prints (usually 11×17) and variant covers seem to be the best one-two punch, followed by shirts, posters (larger than 11×17), bookmarks, and digital bonus content (concept art, scripts, WIP images, etc.).

It also suggests that the $1 “Thank you” might not be worth including, though I’m curious as to how often backers start at a dollar and then upgrade their donation amount after receiving campaign updates. (So the potential “opportunity value” ascribed to getting somebody on your Kickstarter mailing list.)

One last thing I found interesting is that it does seem worthwhile to cast backers as extras, assuming your artist is into the idea. For that type of reward I delineated between a background/ “cameo” role, having a “featured role” (a speaking line), and then a “major role” (influencing a scene).

My analysis isn’t going to reveal the best options for all projects, rather it is intended to provide an indicator for what reward gets the most pledges and how much each tends to cost. Although the average price does offer a ballpark estimate of what you can get away with “charging,” its ultimate contribution toward the success of a campaign is entirely circumstantial.

In other words, I only took one semester of statistics at university.

pledges chart

This first graph is rather straightforward, simply showing the frequency of occurrences for each reward. I was most surprised by the number of people who went after a shirt.

pledges versus price

This next visualization requires some subjective reasoning to determine how it might influence what tiers a campaign should feature. Ultimately there needs to be a balance between the actual cost of producing a reward and the perceived value it has to potential backers.

(Note: I only accounted for rewards with an average value under $200 — most tiers higher than that are rather self-explanatory.)

Using those two variables, production cost and perceived value, an ideal price tier for each reward can be approximated. Consider the inclusion of pledge frequency to be a indicator of interest, while the average price simply establishes a reference.