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Jamal Igle’s 2012 Kickstarter campaign for Molly Danger, “the story of the world’s most powerful girl,” was a crowd-funding success story, surpassing its $45,000 goal by a little more than $5,000. He learned a lot from the effort, and shared that knowledge with other creators. However, there was something the veteran artist didn’t count on: the drastic rise of the United States Postal Service’s international shipping rates.
“I didn’t see this coming, and it’s really perplexing me as to how to handle this,” Igle wrote in an email to his Kickstarter backers. “As some of you may be aware, postage rates for international shipping have doubled in the last year. When i launched the campaign for Molly Danger over a year ago, I calculated my costs based on the old rates. Now I find myself in a quandary on shipping to the United Kingdom and Australia being far more expensive. At the moment, since I would like to give you your books and other incentives as promised. One would slow the roll out of delivery, since i would be making up the difference out of pocket. The other is asking those backers to send additional funds, but I don’t want to have a Sullivan’s Sluggers situation where people think I’m pulling a bait and switch.”
“A Sullivan’s Sluggers situation” refers to the wildly successful campaign to fund the baseball-horror graphic novel by Mark Andrew Smith and James Stokoe, which surpassed its original $6,000 goal by a staggering $91,626 only to be derailed (in part) by Smith’s decision to launch a second campaign to pay for international shipping (the book grew to 3.5 pounds, which the writer failed to account for when calculating postage rates). Stokoe spoke out against the decision, and asked his name be removed from the graphic novel; around that same time, Kickstarter suspended the second campaign.
Faced with a shipping dilemma of his own, Igle presented the question to international backers: “Would you mind waiting a bit longer to receive your items? or would you be willing to add an additional 7-8 dollars to expedite your orders?”