M. Zachary Sherman random header image

Crowdfunding? It hurts more than it helps–

December 19th, 2013 · No Comments · Uncategorized

“Crowdfunding,” by the way, has hurt the independent market for comic creators. I have been told by some publishers, several of which I have worked with multiple times as a creator and work for hire, that my original idea, my new IP project that they really, really liked, was just a “vanity project.” Instead of paying me to do it, they told me to start a Kickstarter. “If it does well, we’ll publish it for you.” I don’t need them to publish it, I can self publish, really, I have an agent that can try and sell it and I have a manager who will promote it. What I need from them is their funds to help me create a book and put it out into the marketplace. That takes money, money they’re no longer willing to put into independent projects unless you’re the writer of a TV show or long-running novel series.

So now, instead of pitching an idea to a comic company and working with them to make a book they’d want to publish, I have to beg and borrow to create something they may just pass on at the end of the day anyway.

If they’re not willing to put and “skin” into the game for the project, then why would they want to help you develop some kind of synonymous relationship to begin with? Their money and access to their team of editors is supposed to be one of the draws of working with a good company, nut just them printing the book and distributing it. Yes, printing and distribution costs money, but this is stupid. If they believe in something, something they really want to publish, why not assume some of that risk? The RISK is what prompts them into doing their jobs: molding the concept, editing it to be what they as a company want to sell, marketing it to the masses, selling it to the stores, and promoting the book to the people.

Without that, you’ll never get the main-stream success you need to survive more than a six-issue mini or OGN. It’s sad, really. It seemed like a good idea at the start for inverters and creators alike, but now that companies see it as a way to get out of paying any up-front costs to creators and artists, it’s become a quickly tightening noose around newcomers and old-times collectively.

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