Did you do any research before launching your Kickstarter? If so, what did you do?
Yes! I started researching Kickstarter campaigns three months ago (in November), when I first read about it on one of the author Facebook groups I’m a part of.
I did several things:
– I asked for advice and tips from several authors who had already run successful Kickstarter campaigns,
– I searched “Kickstarter” on Facebook author group pages and read all I could that people had already posted, and
– I went onto the Kickstarter website and studied people’s campaigns (past ones and ones that were running at the time) to see what they did that made them successful and
– I read several articles on the Kickstarter website itself to learn more about the program.
I also spent time backing several authors who were running campaigns.
Why did you select Kickstarter over IndieGoGo or another crowdfunding platform?
The main reason I chose Kickstarter was because it was the platform most other authors in my Facebook groups used and were using. It was the one I could get the most advice about from others!
What types of “behind-the-scenes” work did you do that you think contributed most to your success?
As stated above, research, research research! I spoke with other authors, reading about Kickstarter and crowdfunding. Then in December, came the marketing.
Being a teacher, I literally knew nothing about marketing, so once again, I enlisted the help of other authors for ideas. I had magnets made and a press release and took them around town, dropping them off at local coffee shops and stores.
I called and visited numerous dentist offices. I called and emailed local TV and newspaper outlets and told them about my project and scored two newspaper stories and two TV interviews.
I researched and emailed parenting bloggers asking for support. I joined teacher and parenting groups on Facebook. I contacted local libraries, schools and just started passing out my magnets to anyone and everyone!
I had to think about the rewards, shipping costs and make a video (which my colleague Jim made for me). I also started my author Facebook, Instagram and websites and started building support for those as soon as I could.
It sounds like you reached out to tons of people. How many people do you think you’ve emailed during the campaign?
Oh gosh! Hundreds! Family, friends, my book club, my church, my school I teach at, newspapers, TV stations, bloggers, other authors, libraries, schools, dentist offices, the MN Dental Foundation (who I hope to donate books to)…I’m sure I’m forgetting some!
How did you get your local TV coverage? Did you have that connection before you launched?
Nope! I just prepared and sent an email about my journey from teacher to author and they contacted me about doing a segment!
What has been the most surprising thing about your Kickstarter campaign? What did you not expect to happen that has happened?
So many people have helped me. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am just so grateful!
From my friend, Malina, who gave me the idea to choose a kangaroo for my main character, to my friend Jen who put me in contact with someone to help create the bookmarks I plan to give all backers. The ladies in my Bible study who have prayed for me and supported me through this entire thing to my friend and colleague Jim who created the video for my campaign.
From people like you and other authors (especially Diane Alber) who have given me so much great advice and support to my friends (old and new) who have championed for me this whole time.
My family (parents, sisters and my extended family in WI, TX and CA) has been especially supportive—every time I make a new post on my author page, they are right there sharing it and supporting me.
My #1 fan and cheerleader has been my husband Will. He has supported me every step of the way—I definitely couldn’t have done any of this without his unconditional support and love.
Have you had to change your strategy mid-campaign? If so, why?
Yes! I was surprised and excited AND grateful when I found out that we made our goal about 9 days into the campaign! So, I then had to start thinking about stretch goals.
Once again, I had to research, talk to my author friends and do a lot of thinking about how to go about that. I really wanted to be able to donate books to schools and also to the MN Dental Foundation and since I have over two weeks left of my campaign, I’m hoping to keep the momentum going to be able to do that.
What advice would you give a fellow author who is looking to crowdfund their book?
Reach out and talk to people! Ask questions. Start researching and building up support for your book a couple of months before you launch.
I know you’re still in the midst of your campaign but would you pursue crowdfunding again or recommend it for other authors like yourself? If so (or not) why?
Yes! It’s been so fun! I’ve loved every minute. The amount of support I’ve had has been overwhelming and exciting.
I am so grateful to have had this experience. I have learned so much, made so many new friends and have had so many new experiences.