TO Comix is a small press publisher based in Toronto, Canada. We’ve published numerous books through Kickstarter (including most recently, the Shout Out anthology) and have a thing or two we can share about promoting our books. For our Kickstarter for Toronto Comics: Yonge At Heart, here’s what we did for our marketing:
For 30 days prior to the launch, we posted a daily piece of artwork and a countdown. We were able to significantly boost our Tweet impressions by about 10k, and gained an extra 100 Instagram followers. Tumblr and FB remains a wasteland of tumbleweed corpses.
Approaching journalists – Round 1
Two weeks before launch, we built a press package and fired it off to 46 different comic news sites and 31 podcasts. Of the sites that responded, we completed a number of email interviews. and helped prepare news releases to be released on launch day.
One of our weaknesses last year was not having enough press contacts, so that’s something we’ve gone full-tilt on this time. My advice is that anytime you see anyone publicly reviewing a indie comic, record their name, site and contact info to a spreadsheet. I also recommend keeping an eye on how other teams are marketing their books!
In the next two weeks, we’ve scheduled 10 podcast interviews, and will be aggressively seeking out more. Podcasts require a certain amount of lead-time, so we’ve tried to get them recorded in advance so that they can be launched during the campaign period.
Contacting existing customers – Round 1
We set up a mailing list using Mailchimp, and gathered 502 subscribers from our customers list. We sent an email letting them know that in a month we’d be launching our campaign. ( You can sign up here if you’re interested! )
Contacting existing customers – Round 2
I sent out another mailing list update with links to the new KS. We also included a special 16-page preview of the book that literally nobody else got! Exclusive content should hopefully keep folks signing up for our mailing list.
I also posted an update to both our previous Kickstarter campaigns with links to the new project. I started making noise on social media, and posted to our FB group for our contributors to do the same.
Approaching journalists – Round 2
I’m going to send out a fresh wave of press releases to sites that didn’t respond to us earlier, letting them know the KS is now active, and we’ll hope for the best.
Creating content to post on other sites.
The editors met with a number of local comics pros including Chip Zdarsky, Marcus To, Jim Zub, and Brian McLachlan, and interviewed them about breaking into the industry. We’ll be sharing those every few days on our tumblr and our site.
We’ll also be posting articles like this one ( hello! ) to provide content to the community, humanize us, and hopefully help other folks with their own projects!
Any time a comic site gives us coverage, we thank them and signal boost it. We’re going to be posting multiple times daily to our social media. We’ll be covering:
* Personal stories of the creators involved
* Images of the attractive rewards, tagged with the creators involved.
* Images of the stories, tagged with the creators involved.
We’ve also ordered 1,000 business cards and 300 sixteen-page mini-comics. These will be handed out to friendly comics shops, and given away at two comic conventions this month.
We’re doing two shows this month, the Toronto Comics Show and the Toronto ComiCon. At both, we’ll be handing out the mini-comics and business cards, and talking up the new project. This should help us reach an audience who aren’t part of our social media network.
I welcome feedback and suggestions at @cardboardshark!
Original post found over at TO Comix.