FORGET ABOUT GOING TO a publisher first. Matt Bors is taking his dream straight to his fan base.
The Portland-based editorial cartoonist and comics journalist has his sights set on coming out with his first book collection, so he’s appealing to his followers through Kickstarter .
“After shopping the idea around a bit, I’m enthusiastically forgoing a publisher,” Bors, a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist, tell Comic Riffs shortly before his official launch at noon ET Monday. “Few are interested in anthologies, claiming no one buys them, and the ones who are interested offer incredibly low advances.
“I’m better off going directly to my readers, selling them the book, and not splitting the money with anyone else,” says Bors, who in March became the first alt-cartoonist to win the Herblock Prize. “I think I’ll raise more ... in the first week than I would have gotten for an advance, anyway. I’m solely responsible for this project, and I like that.”
If Bors can raise $20,000 through Kickstarter, he says he will publish a “full-color, 225-page collection” of his cartoons and essays to be titled ”Life Begins at Incorporation.” The planned chapters include “One Nation Under Employed,” “Afghanexam” and “The Avenging Uterus.”
[HOW TO KICKSTARTER: Cartoonist Keith Knight’s 14 Tips for a More Successful Crowd-Funding Campaign]
“Ideally, I would like to print up to 5,000 copies and arrange a distribution deal with a publisher,” Bors tells ‘Riffs. “I handle the Kickstarter sales and sell more through my site; [the publisher takes] some and places them into stores. ... I’m hoping a successfull Kickstarter will help me line that up.”
If Bors can raise $30,000 — his stretch goal — he will publish a second, 125-page collection of earlier work, he says.
Bors, whose editorial cartoons are syndicated by Universal Uclick, notes that a successful Kickstarter would allow him to take off several months from his freelance work, as well as hire editors and designers for the book.
“This is a Kickstarter for a book, but for me that means a potential way to make a living from my comics — at least for a year,” Bors tells Comic Riffs. “I’m not going to ever have a [cartooning] staff job, and that means finding other ways for people to support my work.
“People read and love comics more than ever online,” he continues. ”I see crowd-funding for a project like this as a way to tap into the readership who wants editorial cartooning to continue.”