Multiplex - a comic strip about life at the movies
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Posts Tagged ‘Kickstarter’

 

What’s a Patreon — and how can it make Multiplex even better?

I’ve just launched a new Patreon project. (“What’s Patreon?” you ask? Well, you can either just click through that last link, or I’ll get to that in a second.) It’s kind of a soft launch at this point — I don’t have a video made for it yet, because I was busy drawing the actual comic instead. I’ll add one soon. But I wanted to post about it today, so here’s a wall of text of me rambling about what Patreon is:

So I’ve been making Multiplex for about eight years now, supporting the production of the strip mainly through advertising.

Multiplex has had a small but passionate audience for most of that time. The comic barely makes a profit from ads every month — but that’s before factoring in the time I spend working on the comic.

Once you factor that in, Multiplex is a money-losing business. And that’s fine — Multiplex is a labor of love. It’s a story I want to tell and share with the world. But when you add up all the costs it is also a fairly expensive hobby: hosting costs, Amazon S3/Cloudfront fees, domain registrations, Creative Cloud subscriptions and other software, iOS Developer Program subscription (for the free iOS app), the new laptop I got this fall (upgrading from a five year old machine!), etc. As a grad student now, these costs are less easy to absorb.

To make money, some websites just throw in more and more ads — an approach that has ruined many of the websites I visit. They’re annoying. The slow down the page load times, and compromise your personal data. And even if you block the ads, they still take up valuable space that could be filled with — you know, actual content.

Ads are killing the Web, and there has to be a better way.

That’s where Patreon comes in.

Patreon is a crowdfunding platform — like an ongoing Kickstarter project, but instead of paying for the printing of two books, it’s paying for the ongoing production of the comic strip. Or kind of like PBS, I guess. I’d heard of it a while back, but it wasn’t until Zach Weinersmith launched a hugely successful (so far) Patreon project that I thought, “Hey, maybe this is viable.”

Just like Kickstarter and PBS, you should only give if you’re able and willing to. Some of you are more casual readers of the strip, and that’s totally cool! No hard sell. If we only raise a few bucks a month, great. It will supplement the ad revenue, and make my life a little easier. If we raise a few hundred a month, I can get rid of the ads — awesome. That’s really my wildest dream for it. My readership is the teeniest, tiniest fraction of the size of Zach’s; I hardly expect to raise as much as he is. (SMBC is great, read it.)

Multiplex updates twice a week (sometimes more), which is equivalent to a quarterly, 24-page comic book. Basically, a graphic novel a year.

I wish I could put out the print books that fast! But in print-comics terms, that averages out to around $2 a month. If three hundred of you chipped that much in, I’d be able to chuck the Google AdSense crap. If six hundred of you did, I could chuck all the ads and redesign the site a bit to make the strip images even bigger.

Again, just like Kickstarter and PBS, you’re not just making a “donation,” you’re getting something in return. First and foremost, for $1 a month or more, you get access to a Patrons-only “Activity Stream.” Those of you who supported the two Kickstarter projects will know what kinds of content to expect in there: bonus comics, sketches, illustrations, and other behind-the-scenes type of stuff. And I’d like to do even more: Adobe Illustrator tutorials, Q&A Google Hangouts, comic strip movie reviews with Jason or Kurt, and other early or exclusive content. So tell me what you want to see!

Higher levels include other incentives, of course, too, so check out the various reward levels at the bottom of the Patreon page!

I hope you consider continuing to support Multiplex — and, as always, thank you for reading!

12 hours to go in the Book 2 Kickstarter project!

Multiplex: There and Back Again Lightning Round has met (and surpassed) its secondary funding goal of $17,500! Thank you to everybody who has pledged so far and made the Book 2 Kickstarter even more successful — both in terms of number of backers and money raised — than the Book 1 Kickstarter! Many readers (and a few reviews) commented on the production quality and design of Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show, and the extra time and money I can spend on Book 2 will help me ensure that this one turns out even better.

The next (tertiary?) funding goal is the following — with about 12 hours left in the funding period, it’s a bit of a long shot at this point, but I thought I’d dangle that carrot here anyway…

$20,000 — eBooks will be produced in both PDF and ePub format. All backers [with eBooks included in their reward packs] will be get both formats (or just one, if you want). Also, backers at the $100 Reward Level and up will get their Chapter 1–10 eBooks delivered on a USB key along with their other pledge rewards.

While I will be opening up for PayPal donations soon, the USB key is only for Kickstarter backers, since I’ll need to start costing the custom production ASAP (the keys will have the Multiplex logo printed on them). It is off the table after the Kickstarter funding period ends tonight at midnight.

48 hours to go! (And an original art giveaway for Kickstarter backers!)

Pencils for Multiplex #647 

There 48 hours to go in the Multiplex: There and Back Again Lightning Round Kickstarter drive.

In celebration of this, and to promote one final push upwards, I will be giving TWO page of original sheets* of pencils or inks (signed by me) from the current zombie storyline away to a random Kickstarter backers. If you’ve already pledged, you are already entered! You can pledge $1 (although I’ll only get like 65¢ from that, you know that right?), or you can pledge $3,333. You have the same chance of winning. Only Kickstarter backers — of any amount — are eligible. Sorry, people waiting for the PayPal option to open up.

But wait! There’s more! If we get to the secondary funding goal of $17,500 — less than $700 away — by the end of the Kickstarter project at MIDNIGHT, Thursday, April 12th, I will increase that to FOUR sheets.

This is in addition to the super awesome bookmark that will be added to the Basic Sponsor Pack (and Super Sponsor Pack) rewards.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL. If we get to the next funding goal of $20,000 by the end of the Kickstarter project, I will increase that to SIX sheets.

* I say “sheets” because I draw them on 11×14 sheets of Bristol paper. Some strips/pages of the finished comic are broken up across two sheets. And some sheets only have one panel on them. Which page you get is random. But they’re all awesome, man. All of them.

To Infinity… and Beyond! (New Funding Goals!)

Multiplex: There and Back Again Lightning Round has met (and surpassed) its funding goal! Thank you to everybody who has pledged so far! Every one of your pledges has been vital to the project’s success, and I am incredibly grateful for your support. Multiplex has never been a runaway success in terms of readership, so your enthusiasm of my little cult comic is tremendously humbling.

The fact that we’ve passed the funding goal means, of course, what next?

I’ve said before anything over $15,000 will go toward paying off my lingering debts from Book 1, the promotion of Book 2, and, of course, supporting the continued production of the regular comic strip. As with the Book 1 Kickstarter project, I will share how I spend the funds with you in backer-only updates.

But allow me to sweeten the deal slightly with new Funding Goals:

$17,500 — Bookmarks will be added to the Basic Sponsor Pack (a.k.a. the $40 Reward Level, the $75 Reward Level, and up — but not the $50 “Just the Book” Reward Level, because it’s just the books).

$20,000 — eBooks will be produced in both PDF and ePub format. All backers [with eBooks included in their reward packs] will be get both formats (or just one, if you want). Also, backers at the $100 Reward Level and up will get their Chapter 1–10 eBooks delivered on a USB key along with their other pledge rewards.

$22,500 — ALL backers at the $8 level and up will get the Chapter 11 eBook free when it is completed.

$25,000 — ALL backers at the $8 level and up will get the Chapter 12 eBook free when it is completed.

$27,500 — ALL backers at the $8 level and up will get the Chapter 13 eBook free when it is completed.

$30,000 — ALL backers at the $8 level and up will get the Chapter 14 eBook free when it is completed.

$32,500 — ALL backers at the $8 level and up will get the Chapter 15 eBook free when it is completed.

Beyond that? Let’s worry about that later. :)