My Kickstarter campaign was successful in spite of myself.
I had planned to shut it down on December 1, but a friend talked me into letting it run its course until December 15. I’m glad I listened. The campaign closed with $ 865, out of a goal of $ 700. Yep. I ended up $ 165 overfunded! The money shall not go to waste, although one backer doubled his pledge, saying “The writer needs snacks,” and I promised I’d buy jerky and coffee.
I learned a few things about crowdfunding, and myself.
First, and foremost, I need to have faith in myself. I also need to have faith in my friends’ faith in me. There is no need to always be a lone wolf.
Pessimism has no place in an artistic endeavor. It will take some time for that to soak in.
Another friend taught me how to promote a crowdfunding campaign. Her tips were valuable. It is critical to promote a campaign all over the place. I put it out here, Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt. Facebook resulted in most of my backers, with two joining from DA, and one from a private message on a forum (do not share on a forum unless that is specifically permitted).
I changed the message from “I need cash,” to “be a character in a book,” to “support indie publishing,” and finally to “Stick It to the Man!” Keeping the message fresh is important.
The indie publishing message was the most popular on Twitter. The be a character message was the most popular on Facebook.
Even people who couldn’t contribute shared the link. They took it and shared it everywhere. While that did not result in any further backers, it did significantly raise my internet footprint. That is always helpful.
It also helps to tag someone big. On Twitter, I shared the link with the comment that Lulu was going to print the hardback edition. Lulu liked that tweet, and shared it themselves. That increased exposure to the book itself.
The conventional wisdom of crowdfunding is true. The largest number of backers will join in the first two days, and the last two days. In between can be dry. Very dry. Go watch a movie. Or two. Take some ashwaganda. Buy a case of whiskey. Don’t look at the Kickstarter page every hour.
The Christmas season is a lousy time to launch a crowdfunding campaign! It would have been better to set it in the spring, but I want to publish A Path of Stones in February, 2017. It’s ready and I feel the time is right for it. That set the dates for the campaign.
Would I do it again? I hope not. It was nerve wracking and depressing at times. But I think I emerged a better man for the effort. Seeing that amount, and knowing that my friends have faith in me, is humbling. I’m still trembling with gratitude. That is always a good thing.