By Alexander Añé
Saturday afternoon Jimmy Palmiotti introduced the panelists, Cindy Au, Vijaya Iver, and Batton Lash, for Kickstarter Changes Comics. Paul Levitz was originally to introduce the panel but he was not in attendance and so Jimmy carried the show more than well enough. The premise for the panel is to help instruct potential Kickstarter users to effectively use the tool to help fund their projects.
Jimmy started out the panel by emphasizing that the panel is geared specifically to the audience, and asked about who wanted to use Kickstarter and who had previously contributed to Kickstarter. From there he began to roll with questions from the audience and parsing them out among the panelists. Most of the questions were fielded to Cindy Au, a member of the Kickstarter team, to help figure out topics like, “what the sweet spot is for how much contributors donate to a project,” or “what happens when projects don’t get their funding completed.”
Questions for how to involve more interaction and donations toward each project where answered by Jimmy and Batton Lash. Batton and Jimmy both completed their own projects and shared their experiences on ways to continue to receive funding. Much of the advice pointed toward working on getting the word out on projects within each person’s own social/family circles and that often times a person doesn’t need more than 200 persons to donate to finish a reasonably priced project.
Topics like production, what sort of measures need to be arranged before and during a Kickstarter project were addressed by Vijaya Iver. Being a publisher herself for Cartoon Books made her an excellent resource for informing aspiring creators on how to ready themselves for working with Kickstarter. She pointed out that even though a project could earn hundreds, thousands or even millions over its goal, much of the excess funds would be used to make more product to fulfill funding rewards, shipping and extra production costs.
Most of all there was a clear message that using innovations like crowdfunding are a great tool for getting ideas out there that sometimes wouldn’t get approved by big publishing companies. The big take away was that Kickstarter and other similar tools help break down publishing barriers and get more ideas out there than ever before from artists that might not have been discovered or acknowledged in the comics industry and others.