Tips for a Successful Kickstarter

Updated: Feb 22

When it comes to crowdfunding, there's a lot of pressure to do well. After all, you need the funds to make your book happen! There's nothing more defeating than a failed Kickstarter campaign so here are some tips to help make yours a success.


Create a support team

Find authors, family members, friends, and others who are willing to provide you with feedback and share your campaign with their Networks when your crowdfunding campaign launches. You can maintain this team through email, a Facebook group, or both!


Support other authors

If you want support from other authors, give it first! Build relationships and network within Facebook groups. On Kickstarter, it shows how many projects you've back and authors DO pay attention to that.


Plan ahead

Create a calendar to organize what you are going to post, where, and when. This will keep you from forgetting anything and help you think through how best to reach people.


Create lists

Your campaign starts, do some research and figure out which Facebook groups you are going to post in. Some Facebook groups only allow self-promotion on certain days so you will want to include that in your notes. You will also want to keep track of any personal contacts, influencers, bookstores, or other public figures to reach out to and see if they would be willing to back and/or share your campaign. You never know unless you ask!


Create custom URLs

This way, you can tell where most of the traffic is coming from. Is it a specific Facebook group? A specific influencer? Without custom URLs, this will be difficult to track. Knowing this information will help you with future campaigns or book launches as well.


Learn the platform

Spend your time watching tutorials and creating an account long before you launch your campaign so that you have a good understanding of how it works and have confidence when it comes to launching the project.


Don't rush

Give yourself enough time to do it and do it well. Many authors try to rush through things, which causes them to overlook simple mistakes in their campaign design or doesn't allow them to build a solid following willing and excited to support their project. If you want to bring your book to life, the best thing that you can do is allot your time wisely.


Create catchy graphics

If you don't know how to make these yourself, hire someone to do it. But the overall design and appeal of your campaign will determine whether or not people click the pledge button.


Make a video

A video is an eye-catching way for you to talk about your campaign and why your book is needed. If you don't know how to make a professional looking one yourself, you can outsource this, but try not to skip it! It makes people feel more connected to you and thus, more invested in pledging their support for your project.


Realistic rewards

Often, authors will get carried away with all the different types of extras they can offer. But remember, those cost money too. The best thing you can do is price everything out and make sure you thought through the logistics of how you are going to create, print, and ship anything you're offering as a reward. For example, if you want to create plushies, you need to think about what it will cost you to obtain Packaging for them and ship them. What about International purchasers? Are your extras going to be something you only offer within your own country or are you going to build in shipping costs so extras can be purchased anywhere in the world? If you are tight on money, try to stick to simple things as rewards: your book, other books you've written, digital coloring pages, lesson plans, bookmarks, or stickers. Any of those will be low-cost to produce and easy to ship.


Early bird specials

Get your campaign off to a strong start by offering early bird specials for your supporters. Make sure you'll still make enough per pledge to fund your project and fulfill rewards though!


Marketing

One of the best things about crowdfunding campaigns is that there's high risk which forces you to become an excellent marketer. But you need to have a plan in place long before you launch. We'll talk more in the next module about some strategies for you to add to your marketing plan but don't be afraid to get creative! You don't have to only stick to the ones we teach you--if you have an idea, roll with it!


My favorite example is an author we worked with whose book characters were superhero fruit. She went down to her local smoothie place and asked if they'd display a copy of her book. Instead, they put her characters on their digital menu and even named some smoothies after her characters! Never underestimate the power of creative thinking.

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