Professional Appearance is a Big Deal: I thought I had put a great amount of effort into making my Kickstarter look like a quality production (and I did put a lot of time into it), but there are some others out there that clearly put mine to shame. Having skills with graphics tools to generate quality artwork for your Kickstarter is critical (this usually comes in handy when making banners for your section headers).
The Message in Your Video Has to Be Powerful: When I created a video, I just wrote an outline of what I thought I should say and then winged it. I don’t recommend this. Put lots of thought behind exactly what you want to say. Also, I had to find a friend with Final Cut Pro X in order to help edit my video.
Choosing the Minimum Funding Goal is Important: If you don’t reach the minimum within the defined timeframe, then nothing happens. No money changes hands and all you’ve achieved is lost time. I’ve also learned that if you choose Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter, they have a “flex funding” option that lets you keep the money you raised even if you didn’t reach the minimum. Some people will tell you that’s a sure sign of a scam, but I don’t know.
I should have chosen $3,000 as my minimum (instead of $3,500) and I’ll tell you why. My editor is my largest expense at $2,500. Then, you must keep in mind that Kickstarter charges 8-10% (including fees for processing credit cards) which would have been up to $300. That would have left me with only $200 to pay all the printing, shipping, ISBN, and formatting costs – which is nowhere near enough. So I chose $3,500, but as it turns out, that goal was a bit high. Assuming that you are okay with putting in a few bucks of your own, it would have been better to aim low and ensure a funding success, and then hope that you receive pledges above your minimum.
Two things I didn’t know: You can have a Kickstarter employee review your page and give you feedback before you start your campaign. This takes about 2 business days. If you want to do this, be sure to plan in advance because it is best to let your Kickstarter begin on a Monday morning. Secondly, you can make a preview of your Kickstarter and share the link with friends and family to get their feedback. I didn’t know about this feature either, but in a way, I think it was better to just launch my Kickstarter without their involvement.
Reasons my Kickstarter was a Success: Having people with major influence tweet about it. Additionally, here is a list of sites that I used to market my Kickstarter
- Personal email to all my friends, family, and ex-classmates
- mythicscribes.com forum boards
- sffworld.com forum boards
- bestfantasybooks.com forum boards
- This blog
- Linked In
Additionally, to state the obvious, I think my project was a success because I had been writing for a number of years, which clearly showed my commitment and determination. Also, I had already written the book and had cover art designed. I’ve seen some authors go on Kickstarter without having a completed work. Ensuring that you are far enough along in project where you can’t go any further without financial backing is a good sign that you are ready for launching a Kickstarter campaign.