I thought it might be helpful for me to have a page of answers to questions that I’ve been asked – this way I can refer everyone to the same place! I will add questions as they come as well. Of course, if your question is more specific than what I have here, feel free to continue to ask me stuff and I’ll do my best. So, here it goes, hope you enjoy!
Where can I purchase Greentea Publishing books?
The best place is the Greentea Publishing website! We have print and digital editions of most books, so come check us out!
If you’d rather buy from a mom-n-pop shop, the following stores (that I know of) have copies of most of my comics: Stormwatch Comics (in Berlin, NJ); Red Sky Comics (in Merced, CA); A & S (in Teaneck, NJ); Inky Fingers (in Oxford, England).
How do I create a Kickstarter?
I’ve actually written at least three articles on the subject, and I still find myself giving individual answers. Here’s 5 Tips that I’ve done for the Kickstarter site itself: 5 Tips for Running a Comics Project
A friend of mine also presented my Do’s and Don’ts for Kickstarter at the HUB for Human Innovation in April 2013, and I thought the transcript of my part might be useful to have here:
My biggest piece of advice to artists doing a Kickstarter project:
Choose a project that you have a good sense of – you have a beginning, middle and most importantly, an end. The hardest thing to do for most artists is to complete a project, especially on a timely basis. Once you have that, go for it with your head held high.
My 5 Do’s and Don’ts for most Art-Related projects
DO respect the medium in which you’re working. Kickstarter has grown to be a place for professionals as well as first-time creators. Create something you can be proud of and looks good (or BETTER) in comparison with the other projects.
DON’T expect to make a profit. Between Amazon and Kickstarter fees, shipping charges, lost packages that must be resent, production costs, staff costs (if you need other professional help), and countless “surprise” costs, many times you end up paying out of your pocket despite achieving your Kickstarter goal. So don’t begin a project with the expectation of making money. Instead, create something you love so when you find yourself making up the difference from your own wallet – you’ll be happy to do it.
DO research other Kickstarter projects that compare to yours. For example, you’re doing a 12-minute documentary – so check other short documentaries on the site. You should know what rewards they’re offering, how much money they hope to raise and where those funds are eventually going. Check updates of some of the completed projects to get a sense of where the creators feel they went wrong, if they made a mistake somewhere and have ideas how to not make that mistake again. All that will help you shape your project to be as successful as possible.
DON’T ask for too much on your Very First Project if you’re new on the scene. If no one has ever heard of you and no one can attest to your talent or discipline, you will have trouble attaining your goal – even if you are talented and have an amazing project. Your first project should introduce you, your work, your ability from which you can build your product, your reputation and your career. Make your project as accessible as you can to people who don’t know you. Have a reachable goal (people like to donate to projects that look like they’re close to making their goal), have low-cost tiers (so someone who doesn’t know you can give $3 and get to know your work).
DO make a video. It doesn’t have to be superpro HD quality, it just has to simply introduce you and your project to your potential investors. People want to see that you’re a real person. Many people do not read the written proposal at all, so make sure all your compelling information is said in the video.
DON’T leave an empty front page – show as much art, design pages, process shots of the work as you can on the very first page. You know how people go into a bookstore and flip the pages in a book in order to decide whether they’re going to buy it? It’s kind of the same thing. Show a lot of compelling work so people want the rest.
DO engage! Keep up with your project, constantly update your backers with friendly notes, shots of the process, new videos if you make any – whatever. Be accessible to your backers. Answer their questions, respond to their grievances, always be in control of your project.
So basically, DON’T disappear. (Yup, I cheated on this one, but I see so many people launching their project and then never updating once… I thought it was important to repeat!)
DO celebrate with your backers when you make your goal! They will be happy for you, enjoy that! And keep sending them notes and updates all the way until you’ve sent out the very last package of rewards. Actually, I’d advise to keep always in touch with your fans – then you can let them know when you’re embarking on your next project.
DON’T despair if you didn’t make your goal. Your project will sit on the Kickstarter website forever. This sounds like a cruel testament to failure, but it’s not! Long-term, it’s actually a good thing because publishers, directors, people who work for music labels and etc. are constantly surfing the site these days looking for that new fine artist/author/musician. If you have a wonderful and unique project, Kickstarter can give you that signal boost that can help it get picked up later by some other means. So always be a professional and remember that your project is a reflection of you and your work.
How do you find your artists?
My way of finding artists is very much based on… my guts. I tend to write stories with a visual of what they’d look like in my head, then I search for artists that seem to fit my vision (this is my jumping off point), resonate with my story and have a connection with me personally.
I tend to scour Deviantart and art blogs for artists, and sometimes it can take months for me. I contact artists by email telling them that I’m offering paid work, then continue by asking them if they’re interested in collaborating with me. I usually fill the email with links to my work and my credentials, and always try to be as courteous and professional as possible.