A few weeks ago my husband and I launched our very first Kickstarter! We're raising funds to bulk print the Double Reed Duckling Book as well as publish Drew's musical version of the work for woodwind quintet and narrator.
I thought it would be worth taking a minute to talk about Kickstarter since there are some people who don't have experience with the crowdfunding platform. So, here are five things you should know about Kickstarter. If you'd like to see our campaign, you can visit our page at:
1) Pledges do not process until the campaign is successful.
If you see an amazing package that's $200, but you don't have that money in the bank right now, that's OK! Kickstarter does not charge your card until they know the project is going to move forward.
If you did not know, sometimes campaigns are NOT successful. When that happens, Kickstarter doesn't bill anyone, and the creator doesn't get anything. This is actually for the best, because if 100 people pledge for a project and it's unsuccessful, chances are the creator wouldn't have enough money to provide the pledges they promised.
2) Small pledges really do matter
It may seem odd to pledge $1 to a campaign, but it really does help the creator. Any pledge helps us keep in touch with you and provide information about special giveaways and promotions. Having people who are outside of a creator's circle share their content can be a huge help in gaining momentum for a campaign that's hit a lull. Plus, it also allows us to let you know about future campaigns or products!
3) Sharing is Caring
If you didn't know, running a crowdfunding campaign can be stressful. Enthusiastically sharing a campaign on your social media really does help. It's free advertising, and with the complicated algorithms on social media, posts are not always seen by the right people, especially if they don't involve puppies.
4) Custom Links are the bomb!
If you're really passionate about a project, reach out to the creator and ask if they'd like to give you a custom link. Kickstarter allows creators to label a link (say-- LB Facebook) and every time that link is used and someone clicks on it, the creator knows where that pledge originated. This is really helpful for future campaigns and for getting products out to the right audiences
5) Add-ons are pretty great too.
Kickstarter is beta testing add-ons with some campaigns, including ours. This allows us to provide customers the ability to easily add extra books, activity books, etc. Plus, if a customer doesn't like a certain pledge but want a certain item, they can use the $1 pledge and pick and choose what they want.
I hope this has been helpful. When all is said and done, Kickstarter is a marketplace, so it is about selling. But it's also a fantastic way to help emerging businesses. We get more profit per book than Amazon, more traffic than we would with our websites, and you're supporting independent artists. In many ways, it's the online version of #shoplocal. I urge you to check out all the amazing projects on Kickstarter, and if you happen to visit mine, it's very appreciated!