Kickstarter for Comics Part 3 – Almighty Algorithms

I’ve consulted on many comic and game crowdfunds and helped raise quite a bit of money.

For context, if I were able to keep all the money I’ve helped raise over the years, I would be retired right now and never work another day again in my life.

This isn’t a boast, it’s a performance record. It shows that I know if you do ‘task A’ and ‘task B‘, you have a good chance to fund!

But why do task A and task B really work in the first place?

There are only 2 types of people who know this answer. People who work at the crowdfund companies who actually know the systems and algorithms. And creators who have done enough campaigns directly themselves and either had the guts to try and purposefully learn how the system works the way it does, or in most cases, figured it out by trial and error.

Truth is, I haven’t run many of my own projects.

I don’t do a lot of creator owned work. Whether writing, editing, story consulting, or crowdfund consulting, most of the work I do, is for other folks. And when I do crowdfund work, I’m brought in as a collaborator, I’m not the owner/creator who has ultimate and complete control over the campaign.

As such, over all the years I’ve been helping folks, I haven’t had the ability to really deep dive the crowdfunding systems. My priority has always been getting the clients their money, not me learning how the systems work.

But with ‘the Man Who Died Twice’, I was able to do the latter.

Everything I knew about the workings of crowdfunding were put to the test in TMWDT campaign and I can say it was an eye-opening experience.

During TMWDT Kickstarter I did a few things (I would never normally do) to put the algorithm to task… but with the indiegogo micro-campaign for TMWDT I just concluded, I really pushed it as a personal learning experience.

Going to press shortly this month, I figured, I’d put an indiegogo campaign up for 9 days with a goal of only $500. I’m still trying to cover our first stretch goal from Kickstarter which we missed by $500.

Here’s a link to the indiegogo campaign page.

Can you guess how many backs the Indiegogo campaign brought in?

How about, ZERO.

Can you guess how many video views the campaign logged?

How about, ZERO.

This is the perfect example of what it means to run a campaign yourself, vs. be a collaborator and consultant on a campaign.

If this had been any other client’s Indiegogo campaign, I could never have suggested the course of action I took… which is to say…


I decided, at the risk of not raising a single dime on Indiegogo, I’d let the campaign crash and burn under the platform’s algorithm, without any input from me… which is exactly what it did.

In fact, it was such a poor showing, I reached out to Indiegogo to confirm that TMWDT campaign was in fact live and not lost in the Phantom Zone.

Here is an excerpt from Indie’s support reply;

All campaigns are searchable by title after you launch, however, positioning will depend on the gogofactor. In general, visibility and searchability on Indiegogo are based on our gogofactor algorithm, which measures all activity on a campaign. The more active campaigns are, the more visible — and searchable — they are on Indiegogo.

In other words, “We’re not going to let Indiegogo subscribers see your campaign, unless you bring your audience to see your campaign first.”

This is TREND algorithm mechanics and both Kickstarter and Indiegogo live by it.

Only, Kickstarter gives you some minimal visibility no matter what. Apparently, Indiegogo makes you totally invisible, if you don’t bring your audience.

AGAIN, normally, I would have sent lots of friends to my Indiegogo campaign, and tried to gain visibility in their Algorithm, but with this campaign, I specifically wanted to see just how little support I’d get from their system without doing anything

and again, the answer was NO SUPPORT AT ALL.

Which was honestly a surprise. I thought surely, I’d get some level of support, even if it was only a few folks.


I mean the project was 20-30k budget graphic novel, finished, funded through kick, and going to press in a couple of weeks, and Indiegogo couldn’t (wouldn’t) bring me one single backer.

For every comic/game person thinking of crowdfunding, this should be an eye opener to you.

YES, you really need to bring the crowd. If you attempt to crowdfund without a support network already in place, at BEST, you’re behind the 8-ball… at worst, you’re totally buggered!

I’ve always felt confident in my ability to help comic and game projects fund through crowdfunding.

After the last couple of months, my eyes have been opened to some epic levels of algorithm bullshit. Really, there’s no other way to describe it.

How do you interpret Indiegogo not bringing a single backer to TMWDT campaign?

I see it as a clear indicator that Indiegogo isn’t there to really support comic creators, but to take your audience.

To use your effort and audience to build their own.

All while taking a fee for their service, of course.



If you read part 2 of this series, you know that TMWDT campaign experience prompted me to get more proactive in helping other indie comic and game people run their campaigns and raise the funds they’re looking for.

Make no mistake, in crowdfunding, there are never any guarantees, no matter what you do, but,

If you’re planning a comic or game crowdfund, talk to me first.

I’ll help you!

If you’re new to crowdfunding, you probably think crowdfunding is all about having a solid product, designing a nice page, and spending a lot of time during your 30 day campaign to bring in backers…

this is the single greatest approach to bugger yourself!

Instead, look at crowdfunding from three distinct stages;

  • Pre-campaign.
  • Live campaign.
  • Post-campaign.

The more work you do at each stage, the more money you can throw at each stage, the more you increase the odds of your crowdfund not just reaching your goal, but exceeding your goal!

Unfortunately, there’s no way around that hiring people to help your crowdfund, and creating a marketing strategy costs money.

Contrary to what you might think, Crowdfunding is a ton of work… and if you’re trying to crack serious money with it, it’s even more work!

Since the last article of this series, I’ve been trying to solve a problem for fellow creators;

How can I offer my time and expertise to help y’all, get at least some level of compensation for it, while at the same time, not blow out your funding goal.

Hire me to help your next comic or game crowdfund:

  • My rate is 5% of your funding goal upfront.
  • plus 5% of your funding goal once the campaign funds (if it funds).
  • plus an additional 10% of your initial funding goal every time your campaign doubles your goal in funds raised.


Your funding goal is $5,000.

You pay me $250 to start and $250 once the campaign funds, $500 total.

If the campaign funds $10,000, I get another $500.

If the campaign funds $20,000, I get another $500.

And so on.

This approach requires a minimal initial payout from your end and my rate is ultimately based on my performance to help you.

Hire me to actually manage your campaign from start to finish.

  • My rate is $2000 (assuming a 30 day campaign and I have availability to do it).
  • plus an additional 10% of your initial funding goal every time your campaign doubles your goal in funds raised.

*** Keep in mind none of the work that I would provide covers paying for anything. If you need custom art for the page or marketing ads, that’s on you. Money for actually paying for ads, if you run them, again is on you. ***

If you’re trying to fund a micro-budget project and are strapped, the single biggest thing I recommend is a campaign page review.

But unlike the smoke the experts will blow at you, what I’m looking for is not so much the presentation of your page, but whether or not your page expresses the message you’re trying to express and reflects the core nature of your book.

This latter part is the single biggest thing you need to focus on if you only have the money to focus on one thing. (Which admittedly, is going to make your experience difficult, but when you’re strapped for cash, it is what it is.)

To be honest I don’t even like crowdfunding and I hate marketing.

The money from my crowdfund consulting rates is no big payday, especially for the work involved… I make a lot more writing.

But I love seeing great comics get made and love helping folks, so if you want to launch your comic and game crowdfund right–drop me a line.▪

About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S.  Visit for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.