Watford based printer Mixam UK Ltd has exploded into the Kickstarter market by printing the Etherington Brothers’ multi-record breaking book How to THINK When You DRAW Volume 2.
The £477,000 ($623,000) Kickstarter project, funded by 7,199 backers, smashed records to become the world’s most financially successful art book of all time, the UK’s most successful book and the UK’s most successful Kickstarter in the comics category.
How to THINK when you DRAW volumes one and two are both 200 page full colour hardcover books measuring 8.5″ by 8.5″, collecting together drawing tutorials by Lorenzo Etherington and covering an enormous range of subjects. The series is extremely user-friendly, designed to benefit every skill level, from the absolute beginner to the seasoned professional.
The first book raised £250,000 on Kickstarter last year, while the second book is only available via Kickstarter, leading to an enormous level of crowdfunding support.
Due to the high volume of books required, online printing company Mixam (meaning “mix it up”) has been able to establish a new thread sewn hardcover book offering, providing the Etheringtons with a higher quality product for their Kickstarter backers at a competitive price. This is especially important when print industry prices are rising due to the cost and demand for paper from Europe.
“While expert customer service has always been the secret sauce to our success,” says Adam Smith, Marketing Manager at Mixam, “we’ve always wanted to be better at books. And thanks to the Etheringtons’ enormous orders, we’re now able to establish a supply of thread sewn, casebound books which are superior in quality and more affordable in large production runs than our previous offering.”
Meanwhile, exposure from printing the record breaking book is increasing awareness of Mixam’s services within the online self publisher community.
Last week, Mixam posted a one minute preview of How to THINK When You DRAW Volume Two on its social media, which already been viewed over 12,000 times.
“Incredible quality, extremely user friendly website and unmatchable customer service,” said Lorenzo Etherington. “Rob and I have been working with the guys at Mixam for years. They are always incredible at helping us to get our printing perfect and I wouldn’t trust anyone else with our books.”
Robin and Lorenzo Etherington are British comic, book and film creators who work together as The Etherington Brothers. They created the free online series of tutorials How to Think when you Draw and How to Think When You Write, before printing them with the support of Kickstarter crowdfunding.
Their clients include studios such as Disney, Dreamworks, Aardman, and the BBC and have worked on properties such as Star Wars, Transformers, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.
They also enjoy running comic workshops for class size groups of 7 – 12 year olds to encourage creative free-thinking in young children through comic art and storytelling.
Mixam is now working closely with the Etheringtons to help manage the logistics behind printing, shipping, storing and distributing over 20,000 books to several thousand backers by September.
“It’s an exciting time for Mixam”, Adam Smith added. “Thanks to creators like the Etheringtons who will shout about us, our US operations and new books, we’re printing more Kickstarters than ever. It also helps that we’re huge fans of our customers’ work!”
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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.