My Kickstarter campaign has come to an end and I’m sorry to say it was not funded. I want to thank all the backers who did step up and pledge. Your support means so much to me. I am still going through with The Fourth Prometheus, however, now, I just have to wait a little longer to get the money together for the final editing. As it stands the book is coming along really well and I am still excited to get it out there.
Reflecting on the whole process with Kickstarter I still believe it is a valuable tool, but for crowd funding to work you must bring your own audience too it. I do browse around the site from time to time and have backed projects based on the description, but by and large I go to Kickstarter looking for projects from sources I know. In the first week that my project went live, I received numerous emails and comments from PR companies and people offering their services (for a price of course). For example for $500 I could get a mention on Engadget. For $1,200 I could get a radio spot. These could have been all very beneficial for the campaign, but then again if I had $500 I wouldn’t need to crowd fund. The old adage, “it takes money to make money,” has never been truer in audience building.
Another side that I had to face is the tool itself. I set my funding level based on what I needed and what I knew I could raise if a portion of the people who have bought my books backed the project. This came to be far from a reality and it may speak more about the familiarity with sites like Kicksterter or even online commerce in general. Not every person has the mindset of an investor. This isn’t really investing in a traditional sense, there is no risk and the reward is known. It’s more like a layaway plan; you put up money for a product you receive at a later date. Not everyone in your audience will feel comfortable doing this and you should take that into account.
I do plan on using Kickstarter in the future for other projects. The process itself was painless and even taught me something or at the very least forced me to think a little differently about my work. This is a crucial step as my book went from a product of my time and mind to an item for sale. I urge other writers to think about what crowd funding can do for your projects and remain open to the idea. Who knows in a few more years this may be the normal for how manuscripts become book.