When to cancel…
The heartbreaking decision to cancel your Kickstarter campaign after months of research, preparation, and backing other campaigns is difficult for every author.
Sometimes, authors need to cancel because they need a larger audience to support their campaign goal. Other times, there are external forces beyond their control like illness, national tragedies, and weather disasters.
Nikki Filippone is no stranger to Kickstarter and she understood the potential of using the platform to launch her book to a broader audience.
But, what nobody could predict, was that a global pandemic would force a drastic prioritization of limited personal financial resources.
In this interview, you’ll hear more about what went into Nikki’s decision to ultimately cancel her Kickstarter campaign.
It is our hope that more authors will understand the amount of work involved in running a crowdfunding campaign.
Deciding to cancel your Kickstarter campaign is never an easy decision and perhaps, Nikki’s experience can help you decide the right way forward for your book.
Can you describe a bit about your vision for Rosalee the Seeker and why you decided to run a Kickstarter campaign?
I created this book because I saw a significant gap in children’s literature when it came to the topic of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). My vision for this book is multi-faceted.
First and foremost, I want to empower young sensory seekers. I also want to help parents better understand their sensory seeking children, and offer my book as a tool to help them explain SPD to other family members and adults.
I also believe my book will be an excellent addition to any elementary school classroom so young children will better understand their sensory seeking classmates.
Launching my campaign was an excellent way to get my book in front of a wider audience while simultaneously giving me an opportunity to print it in hardcover. I would love to offer a more durable book that families can cherish for longer and even pass down to their grandchildren.
Can you describe the type of prep work you did before you launched?
Because of my limited personal resources (time and money), I focused my efforts on social media marketing.
Instead of working on an email list, I developed one-on-one relationships with those who expressed an interest in my book.
This allowed me to follow-up individually through FB Messenger on launch day. This proved to be extremely effective and I was able to get to 38% funded in under 2 days.
Honestly (and I’m not just saying this), I found Lisa’s blog and other resources extremely helpful in understanding the whole process of crowdfunding. I incorporated a lot of her advice into my strategy.
What went into your decision to cancel your Kickstarter campaign?
Unfortunately, my campaign launch coincided with the early days of Coronavirus in the US.
As the days progressed, so did the severity of the Coronavirus situation. I became less comfortable asking people to help fund my book.
I know a lot of people are currently unemployed due to the Coronavirus. Many are unsure if they will be able to pay for basic needs.
Lisa’s note: Nikki’s campaign was ~50% funded on Day 13.
What surprised you the most about crowdfunding your book?
Honestly? It was harder than I thought! And, this was my second attempt! (I canceled my first campaign after three days because I knew nothing about crowdfunding at the time. I quickly realized that I would not meet my campaign goal.)
What I’m saying is that even knowing everything I know now (exactly a year later), I STILL wasn’t fully prepared for just how much work it was!
What advice would you give an author considering crowdfunding their book?
All you can ever do is your very best.
If external circumstances throw a wrench in your efforts, try and find ways to learn from the situation so your efforts will not have been wasted. And, don’t allow yourself to feel like a failure. If you’ve learned something, you’ve already succeeded. <3
Do you think you’ll relaunch your campaign?
I’m uncertain at this point. I’ll most likely reassess when the Coronavirus situation is behind us.
Anything else you’d like people to know?
If you’re planning to crowdfund, do NOT expect it to be easy, and do NOT expect to be able to “wing” it.
My first campaign taught me not to wing it. I applied what I learned over the past year to my Rosalee campaign planning.
I am 100% certain that if the Coronavirus hadn’t hit, I would have met my goal, and it would have been because of the very intense planning and prep that I did.
Nikki Filippone is a fiercely passionate writer and educator. She is also a fiercely passionate mom, daughter, wife, and friend. About a year ago, she found her way into independent publishing.
She has published one book as author/illustrator, and two books as an illustrator since. She plans on creating a series out of this one. Feel free to stay tuned by following Nikki on Facebook.
Click here to visit Nikki’s Rosalee the Seeker Kickstarter Campaign