Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I'm Surprised at Who Doesn't Use Kickstarter
I started doing Kickstarter Mondays then stopped. There weren't that many writing projects posted that weren't funded--or many people commenting on these projects as I posted them. I just didn't understand the lack of interest. When someone approaches me about needing money to self-publish, I immediately send them to two places...their state arts commission and Kickstarter. I'd bet serious money that most never speak to either one.
Let's say you have this great children's book, or fantasy, or romance, or even a how-to book. Define it in a paragraph - a short paragraph. Pump that paragraph full of passion and fine tune it so it's crystal clear. This is what you want to do and why. It's cool. It's beautiful. It's your dream. Write as if you are convincing a panel of grant judges.
Oh, wait. Remember the show Shark Tank? Entrepreneurs had to present their business proposition and answer questions from highly successful, millionaire venture capitalists? You may not have to stand in front of a television camera, but your Kickstarter page is your window to people with checkbooks.
1. Spend time on the narrative. A given. See above if you missed what I just said.
2. Come up with decent giveaway ideas. On the right of a Kickstarter project page, you see what a donation will get you, assuming the project is fully funded. An autographed copy of the book? Pins, bookmarks, signature toys? A Skype interview with a group? Gift cards? A box of books? A speaking engagement? Go to the writing/publishing section of Kickstarter and see what others give away.
3. Record an excellent video. The video is the attention-getter here. Even if it's no more than you talking to the potential supporters, it gives them a friendship with you. See this project page for the YA fantasy RiverLilly, where the author did just that. He was fully funded. The visitors know who's behind this concept. Humor works great.
4. Maintain the updates. Kickstarter allows you to have a mini-blog of sorts to keep readers updated as to the project's progress. Infuse excitement into your frequent posts. They paid to be part of your journey, so let them tag along.
5. Inform your following. Blog, Tweet, Facebook people to include the link to Kickstarter. Treat your fundraising effort as you would a new release. It's exciting and important for the following to gain momentum. Promote the giveaways. Promote Kickstarter. Be the person who's innovative and eventually accomplished when your project reaches 100 percent. Treat this outreach effort no differently than if you were selling the book itself. It's that important. Also, the word that spreads from Kickstarter becomes the same platform from which to sell the book. It's just that ... a kickstart for sales.
Bottom line, you go on a promotional campaign, marketing yourself daily to increase your odds of being fully funded. Sounds like a lot of work? Why should it? It's the same concept, the same work, the same motivation that you'll tap to make that finished and published book a bestseller. Why not jump start with Kickstarter?
Talk to me. . . what scares you about Kickstarter? Or can you possibly make this work?