- March 6th, 2014
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This is the first update from my #Kickstarter fund raising experience for my novel #RipplesintheChalice. You can see the project (and donate if you like) at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1953310134/ripples-in-the-chalice
Week one has gone by in a flash, leaving me both hopeful and nervous. I’m not on a great pace to be funded, but on the up side more funds are coming in quicker.
I held off announcing my Kickstarter publicly for one day just to see how many, if any, strangers would back the project. One stranger backed it at $1.00.
* After that, I reached out to my community through my personal Facebook page, the Facebook page for my first novel, all the writer groups I belong to on Facebook, Twitter, a blog post on my website (which was the link I gave to the writers groups), direct emails to people I know who don’t use social media much, direct emails to friends on Goodreads, Google+, YouTube, direct emails to bloggers and reviewers whom I’ve worked with through my website, I shared the link with my artists and editor, and my personal major writers community, NIWA. I feel like I’m missing something, but I’ve done at least that much I’m certain.
* One week later I have 15 backers donating $411 (putting me at 6% of funding). The average donation is close to $30. A breakdown of donations goes as such: 3 x $1.00, 1 x $5.00, 3 x $10.00, 2 x $20.00, 2 x $30.00, 1 x $50.00, and 1 x 120.00. I could have sworn there was one other $50.00 backer but am not seeing now.
* So far there seems to be an even mix of close friends, family, acquaintances, and complete strangers contributing. The complete strangers, understandably, have been the lower tier backers. I’m surprised at those close to me who had seemed totally gung-ho to support me have been silent so far. Some have said that they are waiting for their next payday, which makes me wonder if Kickstarter is similar to a Goodreads Book Giveaway where the majority of supporters show up towards the end of the period. I’ve gotten a nice comment from a stranger couple who are supporting me.
* At least ten people have shared my information through various social medias (re-tweets, shares on FB), half of them have had their people re-share. Two of them have blogs of their own with a wider reach.
* Someone on one of my writer groups on FB caused a minor stir when she pointed out that she felt that the amount of money I’m paying for editing seemed way too much. A healthy debate ensued among group members on exactly how much money someone should pay for editing.
The marketing aspect of promoting my Kickstarter has been a learning experience and I’ve received lots of feedback. Which includes:
* I should provide a tangible award for $10 backers. It’s not possible to edit existing award tiers once a project goes live, but you can create a duplicate $10 award tier, but this time with a new award. I decided to do this and offer up another ebook, a novella related to my first book. I pointed this out in my first update to the backers-to-date. KS doesn’t make you write updates to your backers, but it’s just plain common sense that you should communicate with those who gave you money.
* It’s true what they say about posting on Facebook: only a fraction of your community see the post at any give time. Even though I’ve been posting it almost daily (which irks me because it makes feel like a dirty, dirty spammer) not that many people see it or like/comment (however I find it suspicious when I post a cute cat meme about the same time I get plenty of likes/comments. Hmm…). I’ve learned to target certain audiences with a drop down menu item when posting. I can target just people I went to high school with, college, or my hometown. I seem to get better results when I do that.
* I’ve learned that just because people are watching the video and get excited about it, they often don’t understand how to follow up and go to Kickstarter dot com and make a pledge. I have to work on better communicating this in my posts. The video at the end has arrows pointing down and with me saying, “see below for more details,” which works great on KS because the arrows point to the text of the project page. On other sites where the video plays, it is just confusing. Arrows. Bad idea. Probably.
* Other ideas I’ve heard I probably should implement include adding hashtag keywords to my posts and including a a link to my Kickstarter project in my email signature line and in my Facebook page cover image.
* I wish I could afford to print business cards with all the pertinent info on it so I could give to people to walk away with, leaving them with a tangible reminder to back me.
A new opportunity to promote just came up. I’m a Toastmaster (public speaking club) and they have asked me to give a speech at an upcoming meeting on any topic I like. So, you guessed it, I’m going to talk about my book and the Kickstarter campaign promoting it to a captive audience of 50 or so.
My next blog post will be in another week. Thank you for tuning in.