By Todd Allen
OK, last post about Order of the Stick for awhile. The Kickstarter drive closed at $1,254,120. When Double Fine Adventure (currently at $2M+) closes, Order of the Stick will officially be the #3 drive of all time. Until then it’s holding the place at #2. Rich Burlew lists some of his accomplishments with this:
- Second most funds pledged to a completed Kickstarter drive ever.
- The third Kickstarter project in history to reach one million dollars in pledges.
- The most funded creative work in Kickstarter history in any medium, ever.
- The most funded project by a single person (rather than a company), ever.
- 2127% funded from my initial goal of $57,750.
- 35 goals reached
- 28 updates made (including this one)
- 63 increasingly-byzantine reward packages
- 14,952 backers
- Over 25,000 books sold
- Over 16,000 comments made
- Uncounted broken F5 keys
- And I think we kinda broke a Kickstarter server at the end there
Now, while this is definitely something to celebrate, I feel obligated to issue the reality check for print-based people.
That Kickstarter project had 14,952 people backing it. How many independent comics sell 15K copies? Not many. Order of the Stick has been around for 9 years and it was existing fans that drove the bulk of this project. I don’t have an audience count for Order of the Stick, but were I to guess, I’d say in the range of 150K-200K regular readers. Possibly more. Rule of thumb for digital is you can get 1% of the audience to buy something and 3% if the product is a good fit. You have to have a really big audience to drive something like this.
That said, if you can engage your audience, you can have success with crowdfunding. Just maybe not $1.25M worth of success. It’s all about finding an audience.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.