The webcomics blog about webcomics

Back From Camp, But Not All The Way Back, If You Take My Meaning

That is to say, a bunch of work and nonwork stuff must be dug out from under, then we can get to Camp Stories. In the meanwhile, I’ll note that two separate webcomics Kickstarts have launched an overfunded since the first, and that’s good. On the one hand, you’ve got the first and last collection of Surviving The World by Dante Shepherd and/or Lucas Landherr¹, and on the other you’ve got the all-sex ed collection of Oh Joy, Sex Toy by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan².

But most importantly, Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin has been thinking about how we relatively measure crowdfunding campaigns, and he is ready to share. Let’s see how things compare and contrast with the other side of the Atlantique.

How do you assess the scope of a comic crowdfunding campaign?

This is no simple question: even if the total amount of funds raised is an indicator, it is only approximate. And now we have to consider creators and campaigns where that amount is not disclosed, most notably seen with Maliki (as previously covered), but for their campaigns Skuld and Editions Rouquemoute have adopted this custom as well, for instance.

We could use the unit count instead, including for other campaigns: even if it is not directly disclosed, just add up the number of pledges per reward level (and multiply if necessary for these levels that have 2 or more books as reward), since all crowdfunding sites provide that information; for instance, for the first campaign for Comme Convenu, the unit amount comes to 7982 books³. For some purposes, that can be useful.

However, book size and page count can and does vary widely between independent comics, which means the raw unit count is not a good indicator for many purposes. How many pallets a book print run takes certainly depends on more than just how many there are, for instance.

That is why I am proud to introduce the Comme Convenu Equivalent Book, or Bookcce for short. A Bookcce amount is proportional to the amount of comics ordered, being the product of the page size, the page count, and the raw unit count. Of course, since that would give an amount in terms of cm² (centimeters squared, not a footnote), a more practical unit is necessary, whose definition is as follows:

One Bookcce is defined as one 7982nd of the amount of comics preordered during the first Comme Convenu campaign.

How should it be applied? For the first Comme Convenu campaign, of course, it’s trivial: by definition, it represents a preorder of exactly 7982 Bookscce; for a real example, let us take Maliki: Blog: we are in luck, as the size is the same (A5), so we only have to take the page count into account (or rather the page counts, since the collector edition has 16 extra pages), and apply a rule of three, which gives us ((304×2197) + (320×6330))/264 = 10203 Bookscce (rounded to nearest: no point in keeping decimals).

While it can serve as a general indicator for the scope of a comics crowdfunding campaign, where this indicator is most useful is to estimate the scope of the printing and bulk shipping job, as well as the storage requirements, for instance: They have cleared out their garage in preparation for the reception of the print run, after their 5713 bookscce preorder campaign. It is less useful to assess the scope of the fulfillment job, where backer count (rather than unit count) multiplied with the number of extras (plus one) would better indicate the complexity.

A few notes: back editions of books that are being sold as part of pledge levels are counted provided the campaign will contribute to their reprint if necessary, which is almost always the case, so for the second Comme Convenu campaign, the total has to be 12688 Bookscce (9501 for book 2 and 3187 for book 1). Digital copies are not counted. The official French translation of Comme Convenu Equivalent Book is Exemplaire Equivalent Comme Convenu or Execc for short. And of course, the FFFmk2 predictor can be applied to that indicator just as well as to the total money amount or the unit count.

Updated to add:

Totals sampled at May the 4th 2018 12:30 CET (24 hours after start of campaign):
2369 backers over the following levels

  • 233 classique (304 pages)
  • 1080 collector (320)
  • 109 pack (304 + 304)
  • 705 super collector (320)
  • 132/130 pack collector (320 (+ 320 not counted for cce))
  • 110/130 pack super collector (320 (+ 320 not counted for cce))

Which gives us 2976 Bookscce

Campaign duration is taken to be 27 days

FFFmk2: 12793 to 19189 backers
16072 to 24108 Bookscce

I find it interesting that the American approach for assessing crowdfunding (FFFmk2, McDonald Ratio) focuses on amounts raised, and the French approach looks at what is being created (how many pages/what size). It even carries over to the crowdfunding sites themselves: Kickstarter et al usually feature stretch goals in terms of money raised, but Ulule commonly looks at units ordered.

Yes, there are people that do stretch goals in other ways — looking at you, Inman & cohorts, but it’s almost always in terms of dollar value over here. I’d not ever considered applying the FFFmk2 to backer counts or units produced. I’m pretty sure there’s some revealed truths about national character there — tangible people and things vs the fiction of money — and we at Fleen thank our colleague Pierre Lebeaupin for prompting the comparison.

Spam of the day:

Anastacia_1502 sent you a SEXT, Respond Now! (no body)

Nnnnnooo, that picture is definitely of a body, and a pretty damn naked one at that.

¹ Who sent me a very nice note not to promo his crowdfunding, but to congratulate my on my 25th anniversary. Danteluke’s a classy guy.

² Likewise, I spent days at Camp with Erika Moen and we spoke about her beetlings at length, but not a word of self-promotion. She even let me look through her beetling sketchbook! I believe that this bit of germination talk is what caused my bean plants — when I left New Jersey there were two small sprouts — to erupt in my absence. As I have said before, Erika Moen is a force of nature.

³ I initially miscounted that as 8342; consider this a correction.

There certainly is something larger than comics here: while it’s something I did not manage to insert in the article, the fact is in France, theatrical releases are ranked by number of tickets sold, not box office money amounts.

P.S. for confused readers: numbers are from the current Maliki campaign to fund Blog 2:

RSS feed for comments on this post.