DMCumbo wrote:Thanks so much for your support! It means a lot to have you put your trust in this project. You won't be disappointed!
I'm happy I've backed this project and I look forward to going through the book with my nephew. I do, however, have some questions regarding the stretch goals and general finance... (prepare for some slightly cynical grilling!)
This image shows, although blurry, that you have already started on the 'making-of section'. I can just about read the text and it's a very solid introduction -- well done. But why, then, is it only supposedly being published if the Kickstarter gains an additional
$45,000? That's more than the entire campaign for the 120-page comic. To me it sounds quite absurd when I word it this way... and it appears to be work that you have already completed, or at least started and planned. How can this cost more than the actual book itself? I can't quite wrap my head around that, other than 'throw it in as a stretch-goal for marketing purposes'.
And unless this is some CGI magic, it appears that you already have a physical book in your possession.
Likewise, is this
image teasing the 'bonus comic'? Those panels in the background may just be part of the main story, but if
this is actually part of the 'bonus comic', I again find it shocking that the goal for this is $115,000 when the work has presumably already been started, or possibly completed.
You've been working on this for about two years without crowdfunding. You have completed the book, minus colouring, and it appears that you've completed the stretch-goals too. It makes sense, after two years of work. So -- the cynic in me is questioning why you've started a Kickstarter at all, except, obviously, to make money. It doesn't really seem to be 'kickstarting' anything; it seems more like a pre-order system to me, maybe even imitating and riding on the huge success of Playtonic's Kickstarter. I wouldn't call it a 'get rich quick' scheme as you've clearly put a lot of work into this, and it's very beautiful work... but I guess my main concern, ironically, is that the campaign looks too
good and too
complete. It appears finished to me, more or less, so I find it hard to justify the cost of things. (Which is by no means to say your artwork is not wonderful and worth money, hence why I backed the project).
Devil's advocate: if the Kickstarter was not funded, were you really just going to throw away an entire 2 years of work? No, of course not -- it would be published some how, some way, right?
Hmh. I'm sure there's a lot that I'm overlooking here, but those are some of the thoughts on my mind that I would like to hear an official response to. Forgive the grilling!
Hi Taylor - I don't mind the grilling at all.
First, let me clear something up straight away, what you see in the campaign video is not the actual book. I used a substitute that is similar in design to what I intend to produce. That making-of section ends just out of range of the shot
No work has been completed on it otherwise but I needed to show something in the video to convey the idea visually. Also, the bonus comic has not been started. That blurred out footage is of the main comic pages currently in production. It felt odd to just show a black screen with a question mark when making the video so I used "concept" shots.
Second, regarding your concern over the making-of section, it's not actually $45k over the main budget, it's about $25k over the previous stretch goal for embossing and foil stamping. A good way to think about it is that I'm trying to raise an additional 20k over the budget for the 1st, and 25K over for the second so each has its own budgetary concerns. And that balance is actually skewed. It's quite expensive to produce the brass dies for the debossing/foil stamping (it cost thousands just to produce the front cover deboss die!). But, I don't want the first stretch goal to be too high from the main campaign goal. So, I artificially lowered the stretch goal for the foil/emboss, and then made up for the difference in the next stretch goal.
One thing that has to be understood about Kickstarter campaigns is just how much of it goes to expenses. Unless campaigns make a very high amount (in my case around $100k), they're not big money makers. As the money raised goes up, so do expenses. This is not to mention how much has gone into this expense-wise already, including loads of legal fees, accounting, contract drafting, my full-time work for two years, etc.! Loads of expenses that I can't expect to recoup. In other words, this project is what's referred to often as a "loss-leader." Money is not made but lost. But! It can
lead to more projects later than will start paying for themselves.
So, why not just raise the goal amount to what this all actually costs? It's because I have to counter balance this with what I realistically think I can bring in overall. I may need a certain amount, but that doesn't mean the project will sell enough to cover that. I didn't plan to take two and a half years but rather eight months in total (haha). Once I got to the eight month mark, I had already fallen in love with the project and had to see it through... at all costs.
You're correct that it doesn't (necessarily) cost that much to produce these stretch goals but you need to understand that in order to hit that amount, it means I've also incurred more expenses to get there. Somewhere between 40-70% of the money from the Kickstarter overall goals to expenses. In other words, if a stretch goal would cost 10k to produce, I need to put in 20k or more beyond that because I need money to cover those additional rewards being produced. Often, Kickstarter campaigns fail to account for this and they realize they actually lost money by introducing more goals that cost more to produce than they earn.
Finally, one more general point about Kickstarter. Just as I took a leap of faith in producing this book and going without pay for two years (scary!), part of Kickstarter's logic is in a system of faith and support. It might not cost 10k to add a making of section, for example, but the idea of stretch goals is incentive to bring more backers in. In a way, it's like saying "if the campaign hits this line, I will agree to produce something extra special" not "it will cost this much more to make this exactly." Make sense?
Believe it or not, if the Kickstarter wasn't funded, I likely would not produce the book but would simply sell ebook copies. And, it would only be black and white lineart. I've just about exhausted my resources as I say (honestly) in the video. As you say, you're ironically put off by how far along everything looks. To me, I did that so I don't end up disappointing backers by raising money at the beginning of a project I predict will take eight months, and then delaying again and again (so common with many campaigns). I tried to do the right thing by taking that cost/risk on myself rather than slating onto backers. This is part of why Playtonic trusted me. It's also why I was infuriated by the Triforce statue mess earlier this year that can only have dampened Yooka fans willingness to trust other companies like mine.
I hope that answers your questions. If not, let me know and feel free to pass more along. I knew this project would be a hard sell and earning the trust of big Yooka fans like yourself (I assume?) would take some serious effort (and you have every right not to trust other companies after Triforce stole folks preorder money earlier this year... including mine!). But, I'm determined to gain that trust.