Guidance on Backing a Crowdsourcing Project

When we back a project, we look at the reward levels and ask ourselves the question:
"If I was buying this item (& extras provided) for this price would I think I was getting a fair deal?"

If the answer to the above question is 'yes' then we're well on our way to deciding to back a project.  

If you're a big fan of something you may want to  back the project for a low-end reward of $1 or $5 just so you can get on as a backer.  That way you can get project updates as the funding process proceeds and you can always decide to raise your backer level later on.

Backing a single issue comic book project is often a "no go" for us.   Postage costs in sending out a single copy of a comic often exceed the cost of a comic.  Paying $8 or $10 for a single comic is not something we're usually big on.  Similarly, paying $5 or more for a PDF of a single issue of a comic just seems like too much, unless you're a really big fan and willing to pay extra to help them get the project off the ground.

Another hot button is paying $5 or $10 for an autograph.   If we're backing a project we are helping a creator realize their creative vision, we should get some kind of appreciation in return.   If I walk up to a creator at a convention (unless they are Neal Adams or a Hollywood actor) they are most likely going to sign my comic/book for free.  Given this, why should we pay them $5 to sign it for their crowdsourcing campaign when we are already going "above and beyond" by helping them get their project created?   Getting a sketch from an artist is a completely different thing.  This takes much more time/effort than signing your name and we're perfectly willing to pay a reasonable amount for a sketch.

One more factor to consider: Are you getting an item that is exclusive to the crowdsourcing campaign or will it be available in identical format via the mass market after it has been produced?  We're willing to pay a bit extra to get a special "Kickstarter only cover", a signed/numbered edition when the mass market will not be, or maybe this will never be generally available after the crowdsourcing campaign.  As with other considerations, if we can get this on Amazon for 35% off after we have paid to help produce it in the first place, what is our incentive to pay the full price via the crowdsourcing campaign?

Many of these rules go out the window when the campaign is being run by someone you know.  The "friends get my help even if it's not a really great deal" rule goes into effect and trumps the others.

Beyond this, go back to the basic rules:

  1. Is this project for something I'm interested in owning?
  2. Is this project for something I want to help get produced?
  3. Do I seem to be getting a fair return for the money I am being asked to invest?
  4. Is this run by a friend or is it something I'm a huge fan of?  (This may trump all the other rules)

Crowdsourcing Reviews

The latest 10 are previewed below and can be read in their entirety on the ComicSpectrum WordPress site. We sometimes review something we are backing and we will also sometimes give an update when we receive the items we backed.  

We only talk about campaigns that the reviewer is willing to back with their own mone