I know that Kickstarter is a bit of an odd duck, and I wanted to lay out how the Kickstarter campaign works.
This is a fundraising campaign to finance the creation, production, and shipping of Teaching Ted books and merchandise. You are pre-purchasing these things as a backer, so that I know how much stuff to produce. For example, it’s smarter for me to publish a larger number of books, but I don’t want to print 250 books to find out that 50 books would sell – or that 500 books would sell. Either would be bad. Kickstarter allows me to know exactly how many pieces of each thing to order.
Why not just sell things as print on demand? Well, I considered it, but I can’t do any of the ‘extras’ that I wanted to do (like the swag bag) with print on demand. The other benefit is that, hopefully, just being on Kickstarter gives the strip more visibility and helps it find a larger audience.
If you sign up to back the project, but it fails to meet its goal, you are not charged. The project is just canceled. I set it up so that the time and energy investment are justified. If it fails, there are two options…
If it had generated little interest, I will probably wait on a print edition. I may need to wait to see when/if the strip garners a larger following.
If it had generated some interest but didn’t fund, I will probably release a book as print on demand that people can order if and when they so choose.
Thanks for considering backing this project!
I’ve spent the last few weeks re-thinking Teaching Ted from a number of angles, and I wanted to give you an update, and hopefully mobilize you to help the strip build its readership and support. A few weeks ago, I scaled back to three days a week publication, with new pages on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This allows me to spend more time networking, pushing the strip on social media, and generally working on things behind the scenes. Now, I’m asking to see if you would help in any number of ways:
- Please consider supporting my Patreon campaign. This provides financial support to continue the comic, but also gives you access to a weekly gag-format page. Just signing up for a dollar a month makes a HUGE difference, and I would greatly appreciate it.
- Spread the word! Share, re-post, re-blog, re-tweet, and tell your friends about the strip. If you are a teacher, bring it to the attention of your teachers’ union, and see if they want to publish strips in their union newsletter. I have guidelines for re-publishing strips here (which teacher unions can do for free).
- Sign up on my e-mail list. I added a link on the main page to sign up for weekly e-mails with the strips from that week. Or, you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the list that way, too.
Thanks for reading, and for your support. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and have a great Christmas season!
I’ve been thinking for some time about the publication schedule for Teaching Ted, and have decided to scale back publication to three days a week. I now have 160 strips in the archive, and the goal has always been to get a solid archive going, and to have a regularly-updated page that supports it. I feel like I’m at that point now.
Also, since I have returned to teaching in September, I’ve found it harder and harder to keep up with Ted’s daily updates. I want to be in this for the long haul, so going to the three day a week schedule should give me a little more breathing room to get and keep ahead of the schedule.
Thanks for your support!
My friend Keith and I will be setting out for Pittsburgh in one week… I’m very excited for my first con in about 15 years. I saw an update today, and they have me in booth C49, right across from David Duchovny and just around the corner from (my mom will love this) William Shatner.
Yeah. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m very happy that my table butts up against the lines for several celebrities (I mean, other than me of course). If you happen to be at the con, please stop by and say hello!
“Write the moment” became my mantra when I was writing a fantasy novel about five years ago. I never finished the novel; a 50,000+ word manuscript taunts me every once in a while, and it’s got a beginning middle and end, but much of it is a mess and needs a heavy-handed edit that I can’t bring myself to do.
So, while the novel hasn’t made it (yet), the mantra survives. Write the moment. The only thing I have to worry about as a creator is the moment I am working on right now; everything else before it is done, and everything after it will arrive when it’s ready. Get this moment right. Right here. Now.
That mantra is exceedingly helpful in developing a daily gag strip. The desire is to get a ‘large chunk’ done at once, or to get on to the ‘good stuff’, means that you can easily lose focus on the individual page, image, or moment.
One thing that has allowed me to find a healthy balance is applying plot structure (that thing your English teacher always harped on and you always felt was useless – yeah. That thing). Viewing a week as a single narrative thread has opened up a world of possibilities for me. Ideally, I’m tending to think of each week of strips as carrying a unified theme, tying it together with a mini-story of sorts that pulls the whole week together. Each day needs to be a complete story in and of itself (back to ‘writing the moment’), but each day is a puzzle piece that fits with the full week.
The other benefit is that this forces me to mine a little deeper. For one concept or scenario, I usually get 2-3 workable ideas right off the bat. However, I find that if I keep at it and keep digging to the heart of that situation, other opportunities arise that I didn’t initially think of. Last week’s Witch Trials strips were a great example. The strips for Tuesday and Wednesday were written several weeks after the other strips, as I was digging back in for enough material to fill two weeks. They ended up being, in my mind, two of the strongest of the series.
Now, not every week is going to work this way, and not every theme lends itself perfectly to division into five strips. More often than not, however, I have found that organizing my thoughts in this way works nicely.
That extended riff on the Salem Witch Trials was my first foray into a longer sequence, where I am trying to push this out to two weeks to see what happens. Most of my ‘riffs’ are things I field test to see if they make it into the regular rotation for the strip. The Salem Teacher trials are not going to re-appear (at least, I assume they won’t), while other elements like watching TV or sitting in the principal’s office are here for the duration, and will likely be the source of recurring gags.