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The Daily Struggle: how Laurel's comics broke a European crowdfunding record

  • Serial Ululer
  • Bibliophile

Two campaigns. Two massive crowdfunding successes. One European record in the comic books category. Laurel’s book tells the story of a Silicon Valley misadventure, that she managed to spin into a happy ending.

Exhausted but happy”. At the end of her first successful crowdfunding campaign, Laurel was taken aback by the result of what started with a reasonable €9,373 objective. Reaching it in less than a hour, Laurel’s campaign collected €100,000 in 24h. In 2017, breaking her own record, the second campaign reached 400% in one hour for a total of €391,694!

Back in 2015, Laurel was really surprised with the general enthusiasm: “Actually, I needed €14,000 to print the book. I asked for €9,300, it seemed doable. Worst case scenario, I could always get a credit, or borrow the remaining sum.

Thanks to the strong bond with her community of followers who have been actively engaged on her blog and social media since 2003, Laurel could count on her fans’ support. The illustrator has been publishing The Daily Struggle for free for more than a year, establishing a close relationship with her fans. A lot of them wanted to get the printed version of the book as well as supporting her financially with a decent remuneration. “Being a comic books author is getting more and more difficult these days”, Laurel says. The best offer she got for The Daily Struggle was “a monthly salary of €220, spread over the span of 3 years that were necessary for the completion of the story”. Very soon, self-publishing via crowdfunding seemed like “the only way to see a printed version of this comics”.

Being free on the Internet doesn’t mean failing when printed. The Daily Struggle is the perfect example of comics’ popularity when they are given the means to thrive.

Being used to social media communication, Laurel involved her already very active community from the very beginning. “The first night, I must’ve slept 4 hours… The nights after that, maybe 5 or 6… Then I returned to a normal sleeping schedule. What a ride! From the beginning of the campaign, I’ve been writing, drawing, answering interviews, writing to journalists, and being all over social media: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, including Ulule and its chat space.”

Laurel was able to engage the Ulule community, the fans and her family and friends around the campaign. “It’s very encouraging to get so many reactions, comments, and support. And it changes your life, to get support from your readers. It’s an amazing feeling”, Laurel says, obviously moved.

In crowdfunding, it’s where the magic happens: being able to live the adventure with your fans every day. With more than 800 comments on her page and posts for both campaigns, Laurel listened to the backers’ advice and desires. Every new goal reached upgraded the quality of the paper and added many goodies.

In April 2017, Laurel gave her Silicon Valley story closure with a campaign that gathered 9,326 backers, for a second comic book. Now, she’s working as an illustrator at Docker, explaining the company’s complex product with cute pictures and smiling whales. How did her entrepreneurial adventure end? Find out in her comics!

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