Miniseason 1 – Ep 11 – Launching a Kickstarter: Wrap-up

March 4, 2016

It’s over! The My Father Didn’t Kill Himself campaign is over and I’m back to do a wrap-up of the things I learned throughout the campaign. If you listen to all 11 episodes you’ll already know most of this, but some people just like the wrap up, so I’m going to try to oblige them, while giving new information. 

First, we ended up raising $3431 from 155 backer with an average back of just over $22.00. This is way down from our previous campaigns, where we raised $30+ per backer on average. That is mostly attributable to the fact that 88 people (56%) chose the digial only rewards, which dragged down the total backing of each backer. However, this was to be expected because novels are not a visual medium. While there are many people that like the touch and feel of books, it’s not a necessity like it is with comics. I believe that comics must be felt in your hands. Even though there is research to support print books over ebooks, the ebook market is enormous. So I’m not surprised at the lower amount raised. With Ichabod, we raised almost $2000 more from almost the same amount of backers. 
The most important thing is that this is the most fun I’ve had running a Kickstarter campaign…ever. There was no pressure. It was all fun. I was doing humiliating videos, and posting things to vine and youtube. It was a blast, unlike all my other campaigns which were more ulcers than anything. 

         
People still donated even though we hit our
goal. I’m not sure if that’s because we wanted 1,000,000% funded or because
people just wanted to see this project succeed. Perhaps we’ve gotten to the
place where people are preordering my work because they want it and not because
of the goal, though I think the goal is still important.

         
Facebook and Twitter ads didn’t work this time.
Nothing really worked this time except for social and mailing list. 

         
With this third campaign, we finally felt like a
publishing company, utilizing our mailing list, auto responder sequences,
retargeting ads, and more. It felt finally like we had a community.

         
We did no stretch goals this time, and didn’t
see any adverse reaction. I think stretch goals are only good if you are adding
content to the book.

         
I can’t stress enough how important it is to get
a distribution chain in place and stress test it before a campaign.

         
I don’t recommend doing a $1 campaign as your
first campaign, because you actually do need lots of money to start up, whereas
with MFDKH we already sunk all the cost in before the Kickstarter launched. I
would never do a $1 campaign until you have a few under your belt.

         
Because we knew the book was coming out anyway,
we didn’t have to push people. We could get them on the mailing list and knew
that eventually they could buy the book on our website and on Kindle.

I will say that Kickstarter is a visual medium, so the novels didn’t seem to stand out as much, even though we did a lot of visuals inside the campaign. People seem to use Kickstarter for comics, children’s books, and other visual mediums more effectively than for straight novels. 
Also, book sites didn’t care or even know about Kickstarter. While comic book sites are very welcoming to the idea, in the publishing space it’s not common. 
Additionally, while almost all creators in the comic space are gearing up for a Kickstarter, nobody in publishing is doing the same. They are all gearing up for an amazon launch. 
I mention the comixlaunch episode a couple of times in this podcast. Here is the link to the episode I reference about $1 campaigns. 

         
We’re going to go more into doing extra episodes
on Fridays about business. Email us with what you want to see @ russell@wannabepress.com.

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