Sometimes you kick, sometimes you get kicked
Today was the final day of the Kickstarter campaign for Forgotten Planet and unfortunately we weren’t successful. Although the more I think about it, that’s a very black and white way to look at things. I caught up with my editor and publisher Shane Chebsey of Scar Comics last night, and we picked over the bones of the campaign as it drew to a close.
We ended the campaign on 41%, with pledges totalling £4,729, but it is only by taking the overall target out of the equation that you start to see the real positives from the past 45 days. It’s only when focussing on those high points that you really start to get some perspective on things. 187 people were willing to part with their hard earned cash to support the campaign, to pre-order the book and to be part of the community around the project. I knew that my friends and family would get behind the campaign, that was never in doubt, but the real boon was seeing how much support came from people who didn’t know me, our artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo or Shane. The split between people pledging from outside of Kickstarter and those finding us via the site was pretty much even. That gives me continued confidence in the concept, the story and the art, especially as what we’ve shown and shared so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There is far more to this story than what’s on the surface, and a lot more than just the high concept to enjoy.
It hasn’t just been people’s financial commitment to the campaign that has been impressive, it’s been people’s commitment to the project. The benefits of growing a community through crowd-funding can’t be underestimated. I’ve had some great conversations via social media with people who have backed the project and seen them recommend and champion the book to others too. That’s before the book has come out, and having only read the first 5 pages. It means a lot. These are the kind of things that make we want to keep going with the project, so we are currently looking at other ways to make Forgotten Planet a reality.
We managed to get coverage from sites like Geek Pride, Down the Tubes and Sci-Fi Pulse and Robot 6 at Comic Book Resources, we announced our aspiring creator rewards on Bleeding Cool, and IGN featured us in their Kickstarter round-up . A long list of pro creators shared details of the campaign and a few pledged as well. We also got interviewed by A Place to Hang your cape and Self Publisher! magazine (run by Dimestore Productions who published my first ever comic story), and I appeared on Sidekickcast, Nerds Assemble and Word Balloon along the way. I’ve made some great connections with people I didn’t have prior to the campaign too.
All in all I’d like to thank every single person who backed the campaign, everyone who shared the link on social media, who told their friends, who took time out to check out the project and lend it their support. I’d like to thank all the journalists and podcasters who covered the campaign or talked to us directly. Big thanks go to Alex Hollowood for making our video trailer, Paul Montgomery from iFanboy and Fuzzy Typewriter for lending his vocal talents to our two audio trailers, Dan Riedo for producing the aforementioned audio trailers, Ian Sharman, Richmond Clements, Dave Hendrick, Mike Allwood for taking our flyers to conventions across the UK, Kristian Barry from the Comic Guru and Rob Fish from Fish 4 Comics for giving flyers to their customers (Kristian also pledged for our Special Guest Award which included an in store signing), Rob Williams, Si Spurrier, Ivan Brandon, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Michael Horwitz for saying some lovely things about me and Giancarlo, Chris Wildgoose and Mike Collins for joining us to supply pin-ups. Also of course, Shane for overseeing things, Giancarlo for bringing his talents onto the project, John Charles who did a great job colouring our sample pages, and Azim Akberali, our original artist for helping shape the look of the book. (I really hope I haven’t forgotten anyone, actually I must say thank you to our £500 backer, who went for the Never Forgotten Award and the chance to have a cameo in the book).
It’s been a roller coaster month and a half, but definitely a learning experience for all of us working on the project, especially as it was mine, and Scar’s, first crowd-funding campaign. Hopefully our Plan B will help us take Cale Beckett back to Pluto in the near future.