My Kickstarter Is Dead...Long Live The Kickstarter!
For those who don't know, I began running a Vlog (video blog) about a year or two ago, but haven't touched it in a long time. I may start creating more videos just for giggles. I've had several comedic ideas in mind for some time, but just haven't had the time or inclination to get out and shoot some new material. For the most part, I tried to make my videos informative (usually about writing or being creative). But when I look back on what I did in the past, they were very informative, but static. A guy sitting there and talking at you. Whereas my Kickstarter video I put a lot more thought into angles, a bit of a script, and even a few visual effects. Nothing by Hollywood's standards, but it was definitely more fun to watch. If I could add some more comedy touches to it, I might have something a bit more fun for people to watch.
The few where I did add comedy were my most popular videos in the past. And I've often been told I have a good sense of timing and comedy, so we'll see. I've already got one idea for a Christmas video to a very amusing song which I definitely want to put together for this coming December.
But I digress. I learned a lot from my Kickstarter experience and will probably employ it again down the road. One of the things I learned was to be more careful about the timing. Starting one up around Christmas was a BIG mistake. A number of people wanted to contribute, but times are still hard and they didn't have much to spare and I understood this. That was my bad and it won't happen again.
Do I recommend Kickstarter or crowd-sourcing to other writers and other creative minds who are trying to raise money to help finance a project. Absolutely YES! It's worth a shot and the most you'll lose out on is time, but you will gain insight about your idea. Was my book a bad idea? Not in the least. I know a lot of people are out there chomping at the bit to get their hands on it when I release the book. Some of you may be saying, "If that's the case why didn't any of them help fund your Kickstarter?" Once more I point to TIMING! Even when the book comes out, they may not be able to buy it right away, depending on their finances. But they will buy it eventually.
I've noticed books with artwork do pretty well on Kickstarter (children's books, comics, original artwork books, etc). I think partly because the contributors can see more of what they're money would be going into, plus a lot of artists can offer original pages or images as part of the rewards they offer contributors.
All I had to offer were copies of my book in various formats (Nook, Kindle, PDF, signed paperback copies, 1st editions, and even the artwork that became the book's cover).
Also, keep in mind the levels you make available for people to contribute. Don't just aim really high, aim low too. My goal was $600, if I had 300 people give at $1, then another 60 give $5, I would've made it. Remember, it's a bit of a numbers game. Not everyone will be able to donate a huge amount, but a large number of small ones can take far enough to hit your goal. Just make sure you get the word out there. Kickstarter isn't going to spread the word for you. That's YOUR job!
I know this is a lot to take in, but that's why I'm posting it here. So you can refer back to it again and again. Part of my creating this blog was so others could learn what worked and what didn't as I travel this road to become a well known author. There's still a lot of the journey ahead of me, so stay with me. There's still a lot more experiences I have to share with you.
And remember, if you go the crowd-sourcing way keep in mind the time of year. You may not want to start one around April 15th when people may be having to find money to pay the Tax Man and whatnot. Think about what may be going on in the lives of others. Now the the major holidays over may be a good time to start putting your project together and getting it out there. Will I re-release my project again? Possibly. But it won't be a for a few months if I do. I've pushed the release date back to late May to try and get "THE SHIP" out there as the perfect time for a nice book to read during the summer, which is when the story is taking place. They say timing is everything.
So until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.