TO Comix Press
TO Comix Press

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All prices in Canadian dollars.
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Production costs for Shout Out

Shout Out was our best performing Kickstarter, and a huge step forward for us! The reviews have been incredibly positive, and it's been wonderful seeing that book connect with a hungry audience.

All prices below are in CAD, and often reflect heavily discounted services from friends and suppliers.

Creator costs

Creator paymentsCreatorsThanks to a stretch goal, we were able to boost page rates. We paid $61 USD a page. Writers received $13 a page, Artists received $31 a page, and Colourists received $18 a page.

Our cover art was created by the talented Naomi Franquiz.
Editor paymentsEditorsEditors need money too!$4,077.82

Promotional costs

1,335 Enamel PinsCreator CollabSix designs of a 1" Soft enamel pins as a Kickstarter reward. I think this is the last time we do enamel pins, as the production cost is just too high.$3,253.32
750 PrintsAdam Graphics IncThese were a Kickstarter reward. We printed them at the same size as the book on 110lb cardstock.$339.00
10 Advance Reader CopiesStudio ComixWe experimented this year with printing 10 books for reviewers and press contacts in advance of the main printing. While we did get some great coverage, I'm unsure if it was worth printing the books so early.$315.06
150 BookplatesAdam Graphics Inc4" x 6" B&W vinyl stickers. This was a successful experiment, and something we'll try again in future.$125.42
Standup bannerModellGotta have a banner for conventions!$111.87
500 PostcardsAdam Graphics IncHanded out at TCAF 2018 to ask for submissions. Double-sided 6"x9" prints on 110lb cardstock.$100.57
100 Gift bagsNoblePackClassy looking gift bags for in-person pickups.$91.85
300 BookmarksAdam Graphics Inc2" x 6" on 14pt with rounded corners. Handed out at TCAF 2019.$67.80

Production costs

2,500 BooksMarquisMarquis has been a reliable partner for years, and I strongly recommend them.
12pt glossy 4-colour cover, 80lb Coated Text paper, 6.75" x 10.25", 208 pages. 4 week turnaround time including delivery.
Mailing 854 parcelsChitChats ExpressA USPS broker is an enormous help in reducing the cost of shipping fees. They saved us $2-6 on every parcel for both domestic and international shipments.
Shipping is a cost that doesn't scale, so it can very rapidly overwhelm a project.
All told, the Shout Out kickstarter cost $48,049.81 CAD to bring to market.

Lessons Learned:

Pledge management pays off.

We partnered with Crowd Ox for our Kickstarter surveys this year. It easily paid for itself, raising an additional $3,796 in extras and new orders. We'll continue to use a pledge manager for future campaigns.

We sell books, not merch.

While Enamel Pins, T-shirts, etc. are moderately popular in Kickstarters, they don't sell for us at conventions. They slow down packing orders, and increase the risk of human error. We'll be scaling back merch for future campaigns.

Storages costs are massive.

For 2018, I paid $3,408.84 to warehouse our books. This is a simply enormous upkeep cost. Books are sensitive, and you need to store them in a climate-controlled space.

Shipping is more expensive than ever.

Shipping for Shout Out was significantly more expensive than Wayward Sisters's campaign just two years ago. If you don't have a shipping broker to optimize your shipping, you're going to have a bad time fulfilling your campaigns.

I welcome feedback and suggestions at @cardboardshark!

-Steven Andrews,
Production Editor