D.K. Ackerman went into her book’s Kickstarter campaign with a very small social media presence.
By connecting with people individually, Dana was able to connect and leverage her personal network to make a big impression on Kickstarter.
She exceeded her a goal of $5k and raised $7,085 from 214 new readers on Kickstarter for her children’s illustrated book, Princess Pirates.
Knowing the importance of launch day, Dana conducted extensive audience outreach and education prior to launch.
Find out how she secured 110 backers on Day 1 of her campaign while avoiding social media entirely in this interview with D.K. Ackerman.
Establishing an Audience
In terms of reaching outside of my own personal network of friends and family, I didn’t do very much. Full disclosure, I hate social media!!
So, while I did get a professional Instagram and Facebook page and even looked into hashtags and did some “follow for follow” stuff, it didn’t do very much.
Probably because I just hate posting all the time though!! It’s something I’m realizing I especially need to work on now, though!
“I sent somewhere close to 300 emails or Facebook messages the week leading up to my launch date.”—D.K. Ackerman
Pre-launch campaign preparation
Surprising aspects of the campaign
I was actually really surprised at 1). How much support I got on day one! I really stressed to everyone how important it was to get momentum on day one, but I was still so excited to see how many people paid attention ha!
And 2). I was surprised at how much support I got from Kickstarter itself.
Over 20% of my sales came directly from Kickstarter’s platform.
I was selected as one of their favorite projects and was able to become really visible.
I chose Kickstarter because I thought it would be a good way to launch my book, but I never imagined I’d get that much support just from people cruising the site!
Best advice for others
Worth doing again
It is a pain in the butt getting everything done, not gonna lie!
But, not only did Kickstarter offer me a way to reach a whole set of people I couldn’t find on my own, but it also gave me the push to make sure when I launched my book to pre-order, I did it right.
Oh man, this being my first Kickstarter there are so many things I’ve learned!
Next time I would make my page more fun and focus on adding graphics so it looks more engaging.
Due to a lot of complicated reasons, I didn’t actually know my start date until two weeks before I launched, which meant I couldn’t really reach out to a lot of outside sources with enough time to get the word out.
Next time I’d have a fixed launch date months before and so I can go to news organizations, influencers, and other outlets with enough time for them to get my messages and be able to create content that can come out during the Kickstarter.
As it is, I’m getting responses from people who want to feature my book now that my Kickstarter has ended.
I am also looking forward to creating a bigger following on social media (as much as it pains me to say!) before my next launch.
Advice for other authors
Having a book launch, whether through Kickstarter or on your own platform is invaluable!!
It forces you to do so may vital things like solidifying your message and why your book is important; creating content that helps people connect with your book; seeing if there is actually a market for your book; not to mention not having to invest your own money before you jump into something this big!
Kickstarter is especially awesome for finding new people who are interested in your book, but I recommend have a really clear message if you’re going to go that route.
You can have a successful pre-order launch on your own site and use your own personal network.
However, if you want to reach other groups of people Kickstarter can offer that, but the only way those other people are going to see your project is if you have a fantastic first day and make your message clear and important.
I really feel like there were so many more things I could have done.
D.K. Ackerman was schooled at home by a stay-at-home feminist and a dad who always encouraged her to chase her dreams. She graduated from BYU-Hawaii at age 19 and was married and started a family soon after.
She is now mother to three girls and boy and spends her day going on adventures with them. When she’s not with them she is helping her husband run his businesses and writing about her children. She is passionate about letting children be children and believes that creating spaces where their creativity can be limitless means their futures can be too.
Click here to pre-order Princess Pirates: https://dkackerman.com/