Kickstarter My Heart

Okay, kids.

Come January, I’m going to do a terribleminds Kickstarter.

Here’s the logic: I’m a busy dude. I can never say the blog here is a burden because, truth be told, I love doing it — but I went ahead and calculated the loose word count I offer to this site annually and it’s…

Well, around 312,000 words a year.

That’s a lot of words. That’s four or five novels, easy.

This was less of a concern before the Tiny Wendig arrived, as B-Dub is a demanding dictator who forces his parental puppets to dance and dance and dance some more. All for His Tiny Lordship’s Pleasure.

Which means it’s time to look at this blog and see where it fits in my overall penmonkey ecosystem.

So, a Kickstarter. To fund the site by, well, funding my time. At least to some degree.

Which means it’s time to ask:

What are your “best practices” when it comes to Kickstarter? What do you like to see? What don’t you like? If you’ve backed a project or, even better, had a project on Kickstarter (or any crowd-funded site), I’d love to hear from you. Care to share what you’ve learned?

50 comments

  • That’s one heaping pile of…words, Chuck, and I partake of them as often as I can.

    I always enjoy your blog, your humor, your insights, and your colorful metaphors. I don’t know anything about Kickstarter, but another thing you might consider is having a donate button on your site. Kathrine Rusch has one, the Passive Guy has one, and so do other popular blogs. I have no idea how financially effective they are, but it’s something to think about.

  • My partner in crime and myself have been using kickstarter to fund printing runs of our webcomic, and it’s been shockingly successful. What I can give as far as advice, I suppose, is 1) Incentives are great for the crowd, a challenge for the creator. Finding ideas that won’t eat up your funding (or time) to produce can be… difficult, but doable. 2) If your incentives or product involve shipping, remember to factor the shipping cost into the kickstarter because /my god/. Factor in DOUBLE the shipping. The shipping has kicked us in the ass in the past. And 3) we run a raffle alongside the kickstarter for people who promote the kickstarter in their blogs, twitters, facebooks, etc. For people who can’t afford to chip in, it gives them a way to help and a reason to do so. We’d basically put their names in the hat however many times they promoted the thing and then drew a winner at the end.

    The metaphorical hat. The /virtual/ hat.

  • I don’t have any experience with Kickstarter, but I’m going to set a small stack of money on your Kickstarter’s doorstep. I spent a lot of time looking for a book about writing that would consistently motivate me to create. Terrible Minds is that book. I would subscribe to this blog because I refer to it (and your “25 Things” ebooks) more than any book on my shelf. It’s why I buy your books and it’s why I’ll…kickstart you?

    I’d like to see t-shirts, coffee mugs, pencil cases, ink pens, postcards, bobble-heads.

  • Chuck,

    From what I’ve read and heard of others they have been quite successful with the $25/50/100 brackets particularly if their incentives are enough.

    You have a bunch of e-books already created which means those are great to use as incentives as shipping them only requires that you send an email. Easy enough.

    Whether that would sustain your kickstarter campaign is a different issue. Combined with that you’ll need to take that manly, profane presence of yours and put it into a video to generate interest. The readers you have now are already likely to contribute so it’s new people you’re aiming for. Using B-dub as a puppet may work to your advantage.

    Since you’re a gamer you may also want to consider providing some of the adventures that you’ve written. Oh and don’t forget to calculate in the 10 or so percent that kickstarter will take.

    Those are just some thoughts off the top of my head.

  • Here’s a thought. Offer editing/development advice as one of the rewards. Say, pledge $100 and Chuck’ll read X chapters of your work in progress and give feedback. The catch is that the feedback comes in the form of a blog entry. You get cash, the backer gets your expertise and a bit of exposure.

  • What Gareth said above? I’d pay for that (or I’d try, cause I’ll be broke, but I’d try).

    You have access to folks who’ve done hella awesome Kickstarters among our mutual Twitter tribe, so I’m sure they will have good advice for you.

    As part of your audience, now:
    The blog itself is incentive enough, but in that case you’d have a Donate button and not to a KS. If you’re gonna do KS, make it something special beyond the blog. Have a $1 for anyone, and a $5 with a little but neat perk for the passing-by crowd (a graphic seal of gratitude to put on a website, or some little thing like that). Mugs and shirts and thong underwear (hey, CafePress offers it, why not?) are all nice, but offer perks that are uniquely YOU. Like what Gareth suggested above. Heck, any perk you can offer where you put of yourself as writer and editor into it is worth gold. That’s why we come here, after all.

    The catch-22 here is that you’ll do a KS to “fund” your blogging so that it balances out financially against your paid work, but the KS will add more work to your schedule. Accept that, embrace it even, and see it as a loss-leader that builds goodwill towards future campaigns or products.

    Good luck and I’ll be kicking you. (Get it? Get it?)

  • I 3rd the donate button, I’ve seen a few of my favorite blogger novelists do this to varying degrees of success. I love Gareth’s idea and would likely be in for soemthing like that. Obviously this also adds to your workload.

    • @Todd, Daniel –

      It adds to the workload a little but if it’s paid for *and* contributes to the blog, then it can become part of the financial ecosystem.

      On the subject of a DONATE button — reason I’d prefer Kickstarter is, at least, it offers rewards at certain levels. Donating offers nothing beyond the joy of donating — and while there’s nothing for that, I quite like the crowdfunding donation–>reward system that KS and IndieGoGo and all those other sites offer. A donation button is inert, static, unresponsive to the reader. I’m not knocking anybody who uses one. I’ve thought about it myself.

      – c.

  • @terribleminds: Oh – you’re way ahead of me! I’m looking forward to reading them :) . My totally unsolicited and potentially unwanted advice on the matter is to add links + covers of your writing books to your blog’s sidebar. With a header above them saying something like ‘My Books for Writers’ I think you’ll take those sales up a notch. Lots of fiercely loyal authors here who will buy them if they know about them!

  • Gareth’s idea is perfect (editing via Kickstarter….why didn’t I think of that?).

    Just mind your tiered steps, too big a gap between levels tends to keep people from thinking they can make a difference (“I have to choose between 10 dollars or 50 dollars? Uhhh.”)

    And for the people who haven’t yet come to understand your genius, the video/intro at the top of the Kickstarter is critical. A good video can make or break even the best-intentioned pitch.

    Rock on.

    • @John –

      The video is an interesting conundrum for me. I’m not a video person, and know very little about putting one together. I mean, I have a DSLR and iMovie, so most likely I’m going to just film myself making the plea directly on camera.

      – c.

  • As a potential consumer of kickstarter-y goodness, I want to point out that kickstarter will effectively only take credit cards. And that I (and, I assume, many writers – your audience – who’s credit rating is non-existent due to not really having a provable wage in a meaningful sense) do not have a credit card. And/or any friends with credit cards (or any friends, but that’s irrelevant).

    My winding, twisty point here is that it might, possibly, be worth looking in to crowdfunding options that allow for other payment methods? I get so much entertainment and motivational value out of this blog that I’d be more than happy to chip in, but I am basically limited to paypal or sending you banknotes in foreign currencies.

    I mean, I am cool with mailing you banknotes and all, but I’m told that’s illegal. Just a thought to add to the mountain of considerations going on.

  • I’ve had good experiences with Kickstarter and bad. I’ve funded a few things- my cousin’s band’s CD, then he left the band, and the band never sent me a CD, until I bugged them for a month. A documentary by an actor that is in the works, and I should check on. A few journals here and there that never met their goal so I didn’t have to pay. Indiegogo lets you donate even if the goal isn’t met. Might be worth looking into.
    For example Noir Nation wanted $10k, which seemed a tad high to me. I believe that was for multiple issues. I’m not sure. I hope they try it again with a more reasonable number. I donated, but I didn’t know them at the time. I’d donate more the second time around.
    You’re a known quantity (279 pounds of Samoan dynamite) so you won’t have that issue. We also can trust you because we know where you live and buy your scrapple (terribleminds.com)

    I thought you were funding a novel at first. I think for series writers, this is a no-brainer.

    For a website it may be a harder sell unless you make the benefits worthwhile. I will pledge you $25 right now, for nothing extra, for the goodies you’ve shared already. But hey, times are tight. And people often chafe at paying for stuff on the internet. However you are full of surprises and your sales-based rewards- postcards, etc- seems to have worked well. I’m sure your sales skills will generate great ideas for Kickstarter.

    Donate buttons are icky. Deserving or not, internet culture has deemed they smell like a homeless person on the D train.

    My suggestions, re: Kickstarter. Set reasonable goals. Set timelines so when the donation period is over, buyers know when they will receive their promised goodies. And best of luck. Maybe keep it small, do it seasonally/quarterly (time it with those tax payments) or make it a once a year extravaganza. I know you will succeed. And i will steal all your marketing ideas. And repay you in scrapple.

    • @Tommy –

      SCRAPPALICIOUS ADVICE.

      Mmm. Scrapple.

      Anyway — yeah, funding a blog is actually pretty wonky, because, hey, blogs and stuff online are free. This site has always been free. And, in a sense, always will be. I’m not going to charge a subscription, but we’ve reached a point where it’s becoming costly to do this site — not just in terms of paying for hosting (I get enough hits these days I have to pay for a more top-shelf plan) but just in terms of the time I devote to it.

      If it’s successful, I might do it once a year. Quarterly is too often — will require more effort just to keep KS running.

      I have to wonder — has anybody KS’ed a blog before?

      – c.

  • Chuck, that’s all the best videos are. You don’t need a lot of flash and glitz, just a good bourbon and BDub fueled request to keep the penmonkey monkeying….or whatever verb is suitable for monkeyshines.

    Check these simple videos – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2068026266/ghost-pirates-a-board-game-of-ship-to-ship-tactica?ref=live

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/937759598/the-demolished-ones?ref=live

    Both videos are not going to win Oscars, but they did the project totally funded.

  • I’m here as a friend of the author… hoping for tidbits about your life (B-dubs, Pennsyltucky, the wife…). The writing advice is sound, but not my cup of tea. I’ll keep purchasing your e-books as a way of supporting a friend and a vain attempt at making my Kindle weigh more, but I’d likely pass on Kickstarter. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it.. From the breadth of comments you receive on your posts, it would seem like there are enough people coming here and spending their time. There is likely a significant number of them that would be willing to spend their money as well.

  • I am not exactly sure how Kickstarter works, and the website was only marginally helpful. But I get the gist of it. I think little incentives is a great way to go there.

    I don’t know if this would be part of Kickstarter or not, but you might consider adding a store to your blog. According to most people it’s fairly easy to maintain, but I sadly have no direct experience to throw into the mix. The Bloggess has a good example of a variety of products. I can totally see t shirts and mugs with BTFO on them, as well as a variety of terribleminds-ism on them.

    http://thebloggess.com/

    That being said, I second or fifth the idea of you doing paid critiques on your blog as a regular feature. I know several writing websites that offer critiques as a regular feature and then post it on their blog. The really awesome part is then people who read that post can offer their own opinions, thoughts, ideas. So it’s like the person is getting a crit from you AND the good people of terribleminds. Charging for it will pay for the time you spend on it, and posting it on the blog will also help pay for the time, since you won’t have to write a post for the day.

    Janice Hardy does crits on a regular basis, and I think she’s got some good guidelines to follow. You might consider saying the person seeking the critique should be specific about what they want you to look at. Also you could do a variety pay scales, like a low price point for lower word count, and people could pay more to have a higher word count critiqued.

    http://blog.janicehardy.com/2008/01/real-life-diagnostics.html

    The only thing that worries me about Kickstarter is what if it doesn’t get off the ground (blasphemy, I know). Also, what about next year? And the year after? You need different ways to draw revenue from the blog, all the time. I think paid crits and a store might go a long way towards that, in addition to Kickstarter.

    Just trying to look out for you, because terribleminds is a regular part of my day and I want to do whatever I can to support it.

    • @Elizabeth –

      I thought about opening a store, and still might — but for now, I plan to use merch as the incentives (and, if interest in the merch is confirmed, I may open the store).

      The crits I don’t want to do a ton of, honestly — that will definitely be a limited reward, if I implement ‘em.

      Thanks for your input!

      – c.

  • The cool thing I realized about Kickstarter while watching Streets of Bedlam hit it’s goal in 3 days (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/669629655/streets-of-bedlam-a-savage-world-of-crime-corrupti) is that one incredible advantage of Kickstarter is it allows people who would like to give you more money a means to do so.

    SoB hit $3,000 on 60 backers. This means the average order was $50. The PDF alone preorder was $10, and the physical book pre order is $25. I’m not sure what the final PDF price will be, but let’s say it’s $10.

    If Jason was selling copies, he’d have had to have sold 300 PDFs to hit the same level of sales as Kickstarter hit in 3 days, from 60 people. If the only option would have been a $10 PDF pre order (let’s ignore the physical book for a second) then after 3 days he’d have been at $600, and it’d currently be sitting at $1,270, instead of over $5,000.

    This makes me realize a major advantage of Kickstarter. Even in today’s shitty economy, there are people who like what you do and would theoretically give you more money to do it. (And get cool stuff in return.) I see this every time we put on our big vaudeville/burlesque show in St. Louis – the VIP tickets sell out first. That’s $30 a head for people to go out and enjoy one night of entertainment. They’re paying $10 more to sit closer to the stage and have a guaranteed table. Hell, we had people demand we offer VIP seats for our new years show, which is a $60 a head event.

    Point being, there are people out there who have extra money, and if they have the option to spend it, they will. If they don’t have the option to spend it (like a traditional pre order or book sale) they obviously won’t. If I would theoretically spend $100 on Chuck Wendig, and my only options are to spend a total of $20 on books, you’ve just lost on out on $80 from me. But Kickstarter lets me spend as much on Chuck Wendig as I want.

    That’s pretty cool.

  • I will second/third/whatever the advice that Kickstarter is best (perhaps only allowed for?) a specific project. While the end result may be the same as if you say “Pay me to make a website!” you may want/need to crouch it in terms of “Pay me to release a serial novel on my website/in eBook/PDF/whatevs”.

    • @Shawn –

      Couching it in terms of a specific single product goes against what I hope to do here which is to make terribleminds sustainable. Terribleminds is the product I’m pushing (though “product” is a big crass as a term).

      Earlier @Elizabeth actually asked the question of what happens if the KS doesn’t work out — well, therein lies the secret unspoken threat, doesn’t it? I’ll address that threat now: the blog changes. I’ll stop blogging regularly, my posts will get a lot shorter, and most of the writing-specific articles (the longer-form ones) will be e-book exclusive.

      I mean, this blog feeds back to me in big ways — I don’t plan to shut it down. But something has to give in terms of the content I’m providing (which may be awesome to some, fruitless and daft to others!), because I spend a lot of time each week crafting new content. I don’t mind that *if* the time is fruitful beyond some notion of carving out an online space to lurk. I can carve out that online space without contributing quite so much bloggery, but if people find the blog valuable as-is (which is my hope) then that’s what the KS aims to address. Ideally.

      Again, I suspect this is a bit risky: saying, “Hey, here’s this content you get for free, now could somebody pay for it?” is not going to be the smoothest sell in the world. But it is what it is, and if terribleminds is going to continue in this iteration, then Kickstarter may help in that regard. And may, as you note, allow people to do more than buy e-books and allow them to procure rewards that are more unique, too. While simultaneously encouraging the ecosystem around this blog to continue and even grow.

      – c.

  • Some more of my thoughts, for what it’s worth:

    I personally think there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little somethin’ somethin’ for your blog. I have a blog, so I personally know how hard it is to come up with content on a regular basis. Also, your word count is often rather large, as your total word count up there implies. It’s a lot of work and investment in your time.

    I have tried to support the blog by buying Double Dead (twice, one for me and one as a birthday gift) and some of your ebooks, but I don’t think that’s always the best option for everyone. For me, the blog sold the ebooks on writing and Double Dead, because I had already grown to “trust” you as a writer (plus, vampires in a zombie apocalypse? What’s not to love?) so the blog DOES help, but I agree there should be other ways for your readers to support your blog.

    If crits and a store aren’t the best way to go for you right now (or possibly ever. I suspect a store might be a lot of work to start up), then I think Kickstarter is the way to go. The frequency and amount of content you offer is tantamount to getting several free books on writing a year, and no one should expect you to give that away for free.

    I think this is a good idea:
    “allow people to do more than buy e-books and allow them to procure rewards that are more unique, too”

    because you’re reaching people who don’t want/can’t use e-books. Frankly, I wouldn’t be able to make use of your ebooks if you didn’t offer them in PDF format because I don’t have an ereader (*crosses fingers for Christmas*).

    @Shawn made an excellent point about Kickstarter re: donating more money, so I can see the benefit there. If other people recommend you be more precise about the blog as a Kickstarter project, rather than “support the blog”, you can be specific to what needs the blog is fulfilling for your target audience i.e. writing advice (and entertainment). Again, the size of your posts and the variety/quality of the content is very much like getting several books on writing, for free, online. And archived to boot! I was having major issues with internal conflict for my characters the other day, so I popped over here and did a quick search of your blog posts. That was much more helpful than having a hard copy of Characters and How to Make Them Dance for You that I would have had to page through.

  • I used to see a bunch of web comics that offered desktop wallpapers or some such for donating X amount. I’m not sure how they moderated it, and I’m not saying you should make wallpapers, but some equivalent reward might work.

    You could also go the Mur Lafferty route and have the regular content (blog) in addition to some premium content. Here’s her main page for I Should be Writing: http://isbw.murlafferty.com/ and here is for her “Fabulist” sign up page: http://isbw.murlafferty.com/register-3/ . She also limits her archives for everybody except “Fabulists.”

  • Also: Ads would make the blog more financially worthwhile. I can see many arguments against, but as a reader they don’t bother me one bit, especially when they’re relevant.

  • Some of the best Kickstarters I have seen always offer a super-cheap option, such as Donate $1, get online access to [project], donate $5 for a digial download, etc etc. Limit the number of more expensive options to save your own sanity and add an exclusivity factor. That’s the best advice I can offer, based on projects I have funded.

  • Hi Chuck, it’s Nicole from the community team at Kickstarter. Happy to hear that you want to work with us! You could run a great project, undoubtedly.

    We’ve got a lot of advice in Kickstarter School about running a project successfully: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/school

    Feel free to reach out also if you have any more questions, we’re happy to help out. And if you haven’t submitted a proposal yet, you can do so here: http://www.kickstarter.com/start

  • I think you may run into a problem trying to use Kickstarter as a general fund, or to fund the blog — the site is very specific about the platform being for funding of specific, tangible projects, and I know people who have had projects rejected as unsuitable for that reason. A blog is probably going to fall afoul due to being open-ended, and Kickstarter goes out of their way to cite that they allow no “fund my life” -style projects.

    You probably would not have that difficulty with IndieGogo (a competing site with fewer restrictions — although also less traffic).

    The other option (the one I’d recommend) is to use Kickstarter to fund the Atlanta Burns series, rather than the blog. The money will go to the same place, after all, and you have the benefit of a tangible specific project to point to. (Makes figuring out rewards a bit easier, too)

    • @Other Gareth:

      KS shouldn’t flag this as a “fund my life” project — those are generally lifestyle funders, and this isn’t that.

      I could see them denying it as it doesn’t have a “finite” game over sensibility, but some of the projects I’ve seen recently (like, say, start a glassblower’s studio) are arguably projects that are open-ended even as they close (meaning, it’s not like the glass-blower’s studio is going to shut down because it’s done — the glassblower’s business gets funded as a result).

      One way around that might be to tie part of it to a very explicit result: I have some design challenges here at terribleminds that would likely cost money to repair (I hate the comments, f’rex), and by having that as part of the “goal,” it might create an end result.

      I don’t want to kickstart Atlanta Burns right now. On a simple level, I don’t anticipate a ton of $$ coming in for that — it’s an edge case project, a beloved one, but edge just the same. Other fiction I intend to KS, but not immediately in the new year.

      If all else fails, IndieGogo remains an option. My writing partner Lance likes them a lot.

      – c.

  • Thinking of the Kickstarters I’ve funded, the most I’ve paid for anything was $50, but the project had been something I’d been excited about for two years, and I wanted it published and I had the money at the time. My usual “sweet spot” is about $12-$15, which is generally a “PDF of the work,” level. I could honestly care less about having my name in the lights, such as it were, so anything that thanks me is not a sell. I love the idea of the “review” level, whether it be as an editor, or even a, “Choose something for The Wendig to Review” option. I will tell you that the “Search Term Bingo” should totally be a reward.

  • Good to know they’re getting a bit more lenient on open-ended stuff.

    The thought occurred to me that another option, rather than Atlanta Burns, would be funding the Penmonkey book series — since it’s already linked to the blog content, and the various 25 list entries are probably (I’m guessing?) a big source of your traffic….

    So, in essence, funding the blog without saying “I’m funding a blog.” Dunno. Thoughts.

    (For the record, the reason I’m banging my head against this is because I want this to get the Kickstarter A-OK and make you scads of well-deserved dough. I’m not devils-advocating or trying to be a wet blanket.)

  • 1. Video is important. Be funny. Be clever. For my sake, say cock-waffle a couple of times. Explicitly state how the money will be used.
    2. Make the rewards and reward levels attainable and something folks actually want.
    3. Pimp it regularly to every single person you can. Don’t be afraid to beg for donations or beg others to pimp the Kickstarter for you.
    4. Update it regularly during the fundraising phase, and then regular updates after you’ve met your goal.
    5. Explain what you’ll do if you get extra donations.
    6. This one seems kind of obvious, but….make sure the goal is attainable.

    Honestly, I’m sure you’ll do fine. You’re a clever and witty guy with enough of a following, so just be your blogging self in the video.

  • Well, what I like is the lists of 25 and little bits of thoughts you have on writing, although I personally would like it if you focused a bit more on the actual story and revising. Also, I would appreciate one or two posts on emotions, what they feel like, how you show them, etc.
    Thanks!

  • I’ll be curious to see how it pans out for you. Once upon a time (on a dark and stormy night, of course) I was a major blogger with thousands of readers and more comments than I could ever hope to reply. I finally gave it up, one major reason being that it was a major time-drain with no return on the investment. It just didn’t pay.

    I loved blogging, but I would not endeavor to do it again, unless it paid.

    Also, as I was a single guy, it both greatly enhanced and wreaked havoc on my love life.

    I will be looking at other options to monetize, such as making my products available to those who come to read me (like you do) and banners, etc. I was offered some money as part of a writing deal, but I did not like the accountability. I like to be able to do whatever I want (or not) and when I considered becoming beholden to the money-gods, I instead choose to flee.

    I guess I would have just thought that if I had PRODUCTS to sell/offer, then blogging could be relevant and profitable… or at least not a massive waste of would-be dollar-productive hours.

    I would guess that a man would want a target: just how much money does the blog need to produce to make it viable?

    Would it be worth it, even if that target was never achieved? What element of value can we derive from “exposure” and platform, theoretically making it worthwhile to keep blogging, even without the dollars being high enough?

    Exposure and branding have their value, but we gotta feed the kiddos too.

  • Do you have a digital or physical product people can buy for 25 bucks? then you should do a kickstarter. Can you think of sweet premium stuff to sell to the people who love your work? even better.

    It does not matter if that product is what the kick starter is about, it could be about funding your blog but you sell a bundle of e-books. My kick starters have been about buying POD equipment and launching a website, but i have a fun little product to sell to make that happen.

    One thing i have wanted to see used on kickstarter is the backer only update posts. maybe post stuff there a week before it hits your real blog.

  • I’ve funded several Kickstarters: short movies, full-length movies, art books, comic books, musical things, and a gadget. I’ve only ever given what I didn’t mind losing, but lack of follow-up after the funding makes the mark makes me less likely to fund you in the future (or think well of you in the present).

    I know things take time. Shooting, writing, filming, drawing, printing, shipping, all take time, but don’t assume that I know that’s why YOUR thing is taking time. Send a note, update your comments, apologize for it taking longer than you’d expected. Don’t leave me hanging.

    I’ve got no idea how that will apply to what your plans are to fund TM, but I’m sure you’ll be able to analogizate.

  • The main suggestion I have that I haven’t seen raised here yet is *don’t go for more than a thirty day option.* I remember Kickstarter did a study at some point, and although it seems sensible for bigger projects to go to the 45 or 60 day options, they disproportionally don’t make their totals.

    Why? I’m guessing that people forget. There isn’t quite that “Oh balls we have a month to make that happen!” urgency, and people will forget to come back.

  • Kevin reminds me that one of the other things I’ve read–and noticed–is the bulk of funding comes in late in the window so don’t fret if it looks to fail up until day 29 of 30.

    I don’t know if it’s verboten in the Kickstarter terms or not, but I’ve heard that some folks will often fund the last few coins to meet the goal and unlock the outside contributions. I don’t have an issue with that, but I can see where others might.

  • I can’t say a whole lot on the topic but I will say that if I have a decent job by January then I’d like to donate as much as possible. I think I’ve improved more in the past five or so months of reading your blog than I have in the various years I’ve been writing.

  • I ran a Kickstarter campaign (well, one on a copycat website as Kickstarter is US-only) last month and raised $2,300 in pre-orders for my new novel (those were the main rewards) which has allowed me to bump the publishing budget and include some cool maps etc.

    Mur Lafferty has some excellent advice on this podcast, which really covers everything you need to know (her project was waaaaaay oversubscribed), and, more importantly, the common mistakes people make: http://isbw.murlafferty.com/2011/07/isbw-212-kickstarter-lessonsdaniel-h-wilson-interview/

    It’s also worth listening to for a great interview with Daniel H. Wilson (author of “Robopocalypse”)

    There are some more tips here. This article is about funding games, but most of the advice is transferable. It might encourage you to think big, which is always good.

    http://www.gmsarligames.com/2011/05/18/15-steps-for-a-successful-kickstarter-project/

  • I know this is an older post but I just came across it today. Sorry for “necroposting” on an old comment thread!

    I’m not sure if anyone else has mentioned the post I wrote on the topic, but “15 Steps to a Successful Kickstarter Project” — http://bit.ly/qGkbYE — is a really detailed to-do list of all the stuff you need to do to make your project run well.

    This post originated as an email to Gareth Skarka when we was launching his “Far West” Kickstarter this last summer; judging from the incredible amount he raised (just shy of $50k, almost 10 times his goal of $5k), the advice works fairly well. Matt Forbeck and Will Hindmarch have also followed my advice on recent projects, and many others have given me very positive feedback about the post as well.

    Go look it over and see if it helps you get a handle on your first Kickstarter project, and feel free to get in touch with me by email or on Twitter (@GMSarli) if you want to bounce any ideas off me.

    Good luck!

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