Gina Gallois knew she wanted to launch Opossum Opposites on Kickstarter. She knew she had to build an audience and keep them engaged during her campaign.
We worked together and in only two sessions, Gina was on her way creating funny opossum memes and articles that her readers love.
In this interview, I asked Gina about her experience building an audience from scratch, her Kickstarter campaign, and her plans for her future books.
What surprised you the most about running your Kickstarter campaign?
It really is a lot of work. I was surprised about the amount of upfront work, before the first backer has even pledged.
I would not have done near as good a job making sure all of my links were consistent and working together if I had not had Lisa’s help.
It takes a long time to get all of the advertising materials together – even though I didn’t do any paid ads, I made a lot of memes and graphics to post throughout the month.
Also, the work that went into the “simple” video, the Kickstarter page was a lot more than I expected.
However, it was a great exercise because now I have all kinds of info ready to go, and I basically pinned a post to the top of my blog with all my lovely Kickstarter info so people who visit the page will see that first.
What was the best aspect of crowdfunding your campaign?
We made our goal and went well over, so now I can invest in my Spanish translation and my French editor.
It was great to see how many of the backers came from the Kickstarter community—over $1K of the funding.
What was the worst aspect of your campaign?
Being obsessed with checking my numbers for several days! Then, thank goodness I calmed down a bit once I reached my goal at the start of day 11.
I still kept pushing through the month, but I let off a bit for about 2 weeks to give people a chance to breathe before the final call for pledges. I didn’t want people to get sick of me.
What were the best strategies you did to build your audience before you launched?
I started pushing my email list really hard, and that worked pretty well—for my particular case, I promised special exclusive memes about opossums.
I mostly needed email subscribers since I was pretty much starting that from scratch, but I already had over 1000 Facebook followers, and I’m still building that audience all the time.
I think it also helped that I wrote on Medium and got my call to action out there in lots of articles related to my book (that was Lisa’s idea, and was really helpful).
You said you build your audience from zero.
What strategies did you use to build you readership before launch?
I posted the memes on my IG which simultaneously posts on my FB page.
Then I shared that FB post in each group with a different little quip in each new post.
People in each group saw my FB page each time I posted and sometimes they mosey on over and follow me.
Even if they only go to my page and like a post, I could scoop them up that way by inviting them to like the page later.
What advice did you receive that helped you the most?
To write related articles, to have things ready in advance (although I could have done much better with that, I had time to do it during the month, too, luckily).
I also emailed about 200 people individually, and I think that helped even if a lot of people didn’t reply at all.
Some people I didn’t really expect to hear from were super excited about my book.
What advice would you give someone thinking about crowdfunding their book?
Get help from Lisa Ferland! Read as much as you can, study the projects that are not working and figure out why, look at the ones that are and analyze that too.
Make it yours, make it clear, make it great.
Would you crowdfund your book again?
I would if I had to, but it was so much work (and since I did pretty well), I plan to use the funds to get my publishing empire rolling and then reinvest in my next couple of projects.
I finally found a day to draft most of the next book I’ve been percolating, so I want to use all the money the first one brings in to keep going and hopefully not annoy my friends and family with guilt trips for cash anymore. Don’t want to run out of goodwill.
Although, crowdfunding is a very good way to get to people you wouldn’t normally have reached. Those super backers are nothing to sneeze at!
I learned and am still learning so much from all of this that I wouldn’t have necessarily learned so easily if I had not gone through the process of crowdfunding my book.
I could not be happier with my results. I feel prepared for anything!
Gina Gallois is a longtime opossum enthusiast. She recently left teaching college French to be at home with her infant daughter and to write.
In addition to children’s books, she also writes humor and personal essays on Medium.
Gina is the proud, incredibly lucky mother of two bilingual children. She’s married to an imported Frenchman who recently became a US citizen.
Connect with Gina on her website: https://livingimperfection.com/
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