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Crowdfunding website Kickstarter becomes big player in graphic novels

Rich Burlew raised over $1 million on Kickstarter to self-publish his Dungeons & Dragons comic, The Order of the Stick

According to research conducted by Publishers Weekly, crowdsourcing website Kickstarter is now one of the top revenue-generating graphic-novel publishers in the U.S.

From February to April of this year, graphic novelists and comic artists who used the Kickstarter platform to raise funds for their projects brought in $2.2 million. By comparison, Marvel Comics brought in $6.9 million in gross revenue and DC Comics made $4.3 million. When PW compared the profits each publisher actually received, Kickstarter moved into second place with $1.9 million.

The comparison might seem like a head-scratcher, but PW calculated the amounts by multiplying Kickstarter’s pledges by 90 per cent (the website gives 90“92 per cent back to creators) and the other publishers’ sales by 40 per cent (most publishers keep that amount of a book’s list price).

Whatever this equation really means, there’s no denying crowdsourcing websites are changing the ways artists cover their creation and marketing costs. Even high-profile author and entrepreneur Margaret Atwood has seen the potential, raising almost $55,ooo on Indiegogo for her new Long Pen and interactive fan-club platform, Fanado.