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How David Lucarelli Re-Energized a Cold Audience and Had His Biggest Launch Yet

#creator spotlight Jun 05, 2023
by Clay Adams

David Lucarelli was nervous. 

It had been four years since his last Kickstarter campaign. And because all conventions were canceled due to Covid, he let his newsletter atrophy during the pandemic. 

So as he readied his campaign for the director’s cut of TINSELTOWN: LOSING THE LIGHT, David couldn’t help but wonder…

“Is anyone still paying attention?”



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you’ll learn:

  • how to re-engage a cold audience ahead of your Kickstarter
  • creative ways of spreading the word during the Dead Zone 
  • plus: it's OK if some of your efforts backfire



How to Re-Engage A Cold Audience Ahead of Your Kickstarter

David had built his mailing list over the years the old fashioned way: through a lot of hard work.

“Mostly doing sign ups at conventions and in-store signings. I also had a landing page, and an email signature with a link to it. I participated in a few group giveaways too, to funnel even more people onto the list.”

When it came time to re-engage his audience ahead of his latest launch, he used a combination of familiar methods—plus an approach that wasn’t available to him on his last campaign. 

“I started doing cons again on a limited basis at the end of 2021. I also used Backerkit Launch for the first time to get more people to sign up to follow the Kickstarter in advance.” 

With conventions back up and running, David not only had something to write about (his upcoming appearances), but he also had a tried and true method of expanding his list. 

But the addition of Backerkit Launch was a game changer—now he could reach all of his past backers with one email, even if they’d never opted in to his mailing list. 

Plus David had one other ace up his sleeve. 


How Having a Publisher Can Raise Your Profile Ahead of Launch 

When David did his last Kickstarter, the first TINSELTOWN mini-series had already been distributed through Diamond and even had some newsstand distribution, so he came to the platform with a fair amount of brand awareness on his side. 

“I attribute our big first day this time to the fact that Alterna Comics has a very loyal and rabid fan base, and the individual issues of the second mini-series were well received. So the idea of having them all collected in an expanded Director’s Cut edition with 5 additional pages of story, on higher quality paper, with additional pin ups and an introduction by Tony Isabella seemed to appeal to them.”

Certainly, having a publisher in your corner can help raise your profile, and if they actively share your campaign to their fan base, all the better. 

Even so, David made sure his campaign page targeted people who had never heard of TINSELTOWN.  

“I put a lot of time into making a promo video for the Kickstarter, as a kind of motion comic, with some of my actor friends lending their voice talent to it.”

As a result of his efforts, David had his biggest first day ever on this, his fifth, campaign. 

And then the Dead Zone hit.




How to Spread the Word During The Kickstarter Dead Zone

David took a healthy approach to weathering the long lull that makes up the middle of every campaign, treating the Dead Zone much as he did the making of the comic itself: with an emphasis on creativity.  

“The thing that worked the best is when I wrote a short essay about the circumstances that lead to my mother becoming a police officer and posted it on Facebook, both on my personal page, the TINSELTOWN page, and as a pinned backer update. I think my willingness to open up about the pride and the anxiety that comes with having a parent in an admirable but also sometimes dangerous occupation resonated with people.” 

In addition, he also ran Facebook ads, one for the final week after the campaign had funded, and one for the final day.

In the meantime, he tracked where his traffic was coming from, so he’d know the best places to focus his efforts. One of his findings surprised him.

“The interesting thing in looking at the Kickstarter breakdown is that even though I spent a lot time posting on Twitter, it only directly generated about 150 bucks towards the total.”

And then there were the things that didn’t work at all. 



Not Everything You Try Will Work… And That’s Okay

As part of David’s creative approach to marketing, he threw a lot of things against a wall to see what would stick. 

Not everything did. 

“I did my first livestream, which, probably due to the limited amount of subscribers on my YouTube channel, seemed to attract an audience exclusively of trolls in the comments section. I did my best to ignore them, but you live and learn! 

I also wrote an article about the history of women police in comics that was also a thinly veiled advertisement for the Kickstarter, and I completely failed to find a home for it. But I have it in my pocket to use in the future!”

Even with these challenges, the campaign for TINSELTOWN: LOSING THE LIGHT turned out to be David’s highest funded and most backed campaign, finishing with more then $10,000 and 264 backers. 

If David has any advice for his younger self, it’s this: 

“All the hard work you’re putting into making comics will pay off, both in terms of building a loyal fan base and creative satisfaction.”



What’s Next? 

He’ll take a breath after the campaign ends, then get work on fulfillment...and more. 

“I’m navigating Backerkit for the first time, launching a pre-order store there, and eventually may launch a short two week Indiegogo campaign so I don't miss out on backers that are exclusive to that platform. Creatively, I want to do a horror anthology and work with a bunch of new artists. I want to do a short all ages superhero book in a manga style. And of course, I'm excited to begin work on the third book in the Tinseltown series: TINSELTOWN: LADY KILLER.” 

He’s also hoping to parlay his success on Kickstarter into bigger opportunities within the world of comics. 

“I’d like to reach out to various comic book editors at different companies and hand them my work in the hopes of doing some writing for them. I’d also like to explore the possibility of getting the graphic novel distributed in comic shops and libraries.

"Being able to say my most recent Kickstarter raised more than $10,000, doesn’t hurt, and I think makes all of those things more likely to happen.”



Connect with David: 



Social Media:






Would You Like to Learn the Strategies David and Other Talented Creators are Using to Take Your Launches to the Next Level?

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