The moment you've all been waiting for!! The Kickstarter Breakdown! I've decided to break this down into two parts. Part One will be all about the marketing and promoting journey of creating a Kickstarter. The Second Part will cover how funding worked out in the real world (I'm having nightmares about shipping...). Anyway, here we go!
Breakdown for “The Flickers of Fall”Urban Fantasy Novel
My project was a herculean effort on my part. I am a debut author with an almost non-existent following (those of you here, I LOVE YOU). I have no experience in crowdfunding and have never created a campaign for anything in my life. I walked in with the understanding that failure was a
Background: I needed funds to hire an editor and publish “The Flickers of Fall”. I chose to use Kickstarter because a few people (3) I knew said they wanted to help get the book out, so I figured this would be an excellent way to gather funds.
Did you have a video?: Yes. I created a very simple video using StoryZ Moving Picture Motion app. I don't know if my video really helped me convert any sales since only 30 or so people bothered to watch it. I still think it's best to have a video, though, regardless if people see it.
Projects We Love: No. I really wanted to get this, but it seems like this is something for more seasoned Kickstarters. The campaigns that had them had very unique prizes, which was something I didn't have.
Prelaunch: 7 days. During this time, I pushed as much as I could, but I didn't get a lot of followers interested. Granted, this was right around the time Elon took over Twitter, and that was were I was doing the bulk of my campaigning at the time.
Followers at launch: 8. This was a bummer, because you can't the the "_people following this project" until you have at least 10, so it meant I couldn't gain clout from it.
Followers at the end: 46. I consider this a huge step up! lol.
Length of KS: 30 days. The longest 30 days of my life. I don't think I'll ever do that again. Definitely three weeks max. I'll talk a little more about this later on.
Goal: $1500. This was too high. I remember when I started, my facebook group told me to set it to $500 and I didn't listen. I should've listened. I would've been able to promote being funded much sooner, giving me more people who wouldn't be afraid they wouldn't get rewards.
Funded in 10 days!!!
Final pledged: $1,970
Converted followers: 12 / 26%
Pledges: 41. Most of my pledges came from KS (28 pledges-66%), but the largest funds came from people that I knew (13pledges-34%).
Dropped pledges: 1 / $100
Prelaunch: Prelaunch was a hassle for me. My project was supposed to run from October until November, so I began promoting it in late September on all my socials. Interest was high. Then, I had to rebrand. It took me a month, so I know I lost people who were probably interested earlier since it probably looked very unprofessional. I finally launched my pre-launch page the last week of October and only had eight people following.
Marketing: Before you do ANYTHING ELSE: JOIN THIS FACEBOOK GROUP. It's filled with experienced authors who frequently use Kickstarter. I know I would've NEVER gotten funding without the invaluable advice from these people. I did Instagram and Facebook ads with a small budget of $100 for the month. I posted in every Facebook Crowdfunding group that would let me and got nine pledges from those ads. I send out an email blast to my followers on my website, and I only got two pledges from that. I decided to do some promotion on Twitter, and I got two pledges, but after Elon Musks’ takeover, many people left the site, and a lot of my social media marketing was mainly me running around to new platforms trying to figure out where the readers would land. I did swaps (offering to advertise other campaigns in your pledge updates) with other authors from the FB group, which was a rewarding experience and helped. I only got a few pledges from doing those(3), but knowing other people were in the ‘trenches’ with me boosted my morale, which was deeply needed during the middle of the campaign when pledges dwindled. Also, since I knew that the middle of the campaign tends to be slower than the beginning or end, I didn’t do much marketing outside of the automated ads, and I believe that might have been a wrong move. If I’d pushed hard throughout, I might have gotten more funding.
Project Updating: Not including the initial rebrand before launch, I updated and changed my project four significant times. The first time, I added more graphics and stylized my fonts throughout the project to attract more pledgers. This worked since donations came in more frequently. The second time, I added a new book blurb at the beginning because I wasn’t
happy with the first one. This made the donation amounts a little larger. The third time, I added a stretch goal, which I think was too high and introduced too late, and the campaign slowed. The fourth time I changed my project, I added a bundle tier so people could mix and match add-ons they wanted. I wish I had done that sooner since that brought more people I didn’t know during the last few days.
Future: I will be doing it again. I know that this group helped so much! My project was successful, but I definitely should’ve listened to the advice of a smaller goal. If I had set my initial goal to 500 or even 700, I would’ve been funded in a day, and I believe that would’ve helped A LOT in my ability to market it for the rest of the campaign. I also wish I had more reading to offer thanjust my book. Next time, I’ll have short stories to provide and the first novel, so that might make a difference. All in all, I’m extremely satisfied with how things turned out!