A Guide to What Works and How

Keith Knight on Crowdfunding

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One of the lovely people I talked to in preparing my project was Keith Knight, a cartoonist whose work I’ve loved for years. Keith writes and draws a large-panel strip and a daily comic, as well as performs in a band and illustrates on the side. It’s all in a day’s work for a cartoonist.

Keith offered up several pieces of advice and self-discovered wisdom from his campaign for “I Was a Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator!“, a graphic novel he’s creating from his own life. True stories! Keith set out to raise $40,000 and brought in $42,843.

I happened to pledge to his campaign when he was a few dollars short of $40,000, so I claim to have technically put him over the top for funding!

Here’s a few nuggets of wisdom:

  • Kickstarter dies on the weekends. Don’t launch or have a project complete on a Saturday or Sunday. People don’t pledge on those days.
  • Schedule time a few days in to a project to start emailing the folks who already know your work and get them on board.
  • Put up samples of your work. Keith somehow managed to launch without including any cartoons! He quickly rectified that. This would be true for any writer, musician, or artist; videos would suffice for people making products to show work they’d already created.

Keith’s breakthrough in funding came when he had neared $20,000, and figured he wasn’t going to make it over the top. But a friend of his said, “All you have to do is get people to double down.” Many contributors had given relatively small amounts from $5 to $40. They had already committed to the project, and clearly wanted it to happen.

Keith sent out a backer update asking people if they’d consider upping their pledges in order to make it a reality. Many did. He shot to nearly $40,000 in a few days, and then reached funding not long after that.

I’ll be meeting Keith in person in Los Angeles as part of my storygathering tour for the book.

Author: glennfleishman

I'm a writer and editor.

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