Kickin’ Around Kickstarter

This past week I’ve been doing a lot of research into Kickstarter projects as I begin to move forward with the publication of my third novel, Vuto. There are many ways to go about a Kickstarter campaign, but I’ve noticed two specific tropes thus far that seem to make the difference between success and failure on this platform:

  • A kick ass video
  • Fabulous rewards

In my research, I also found some amazing projects that I’ve gone ahead and supported. The first is an album by music artist Dani Shay. You may recognize her from America’s Got Talent (Season 6) or The Glee Project 2.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

I find her extremely talented and would love for her to come out with a full-on album. She created a fantastic video and is offering some pretty incredible prizes to those who back her, including artwork she’s created, clothing she’s worn on television, a personal visit on your birthday — and for backers who pledge $5,000 or more, a live acoustic show in your home.

I’ve also been looking over fiction projects specifically, especially those that have been successfully funded or are well on their way. It seems like a vast majority are in the sci-fi genre, which was a bit off-putting to me as Vuto is anything but.

One such project that has been gaining popularity this week is “STABBERS – The First Young Adult Novel for ADULTS.”

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Travis Betz, a writer/director, is the creator of the project — which equates to him creating a really wonderful video for this project. Aka, a video I don’t have the ability to create! Travis presents himself as a very creative and likable guy in the video, however, which definitely adds to his chances of being funded. I’m hoping I will be able to do the same, even without video editing skills.

Then there are the “Most Funded” projects, most of which exceeded their fundraising goals, some by astronomical amounts. One project here that I found intriguing was “Robin writes a book (and you get a copy).”

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

In this project, the video was nothing overly special, mostly just Robin Sloan in front of a camera talking about his past writing and this project — where the idea came from and why he wants to write this book. The minor editing and effects he includes seem fairly simple — perhaps something I could do with the current software on my Mac. Like Travis, Robin presents as a likable guy. All of these aspects came together for Robin, and the $3,500 goal he started out with ended up landing him a whopping $13,942 instead.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Along with the simple video Robin created, I was also struck by the low cost of each of the prizes he offered — from $1 for a PDF of the book up to $59  for multiple signed copies of the book and your name in the Acknowledgements. This was one of the lowest ranges for rewards I’ve seen, with many others offering prizes past the $400 or even $1,000 marks. This makes me wonder what I should offer my own backers and how high those prices should go.

I think I still have some more research to do before I’m ready to set my project to LIVE in Kickstarter. I’d love to hear from you before that point, as well!

Readers, have you ever funded a Kickstarter project? What do you look for in a campaign that encourages you to donate? What kinds of rewards would make you open your wallet? Please share below!

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Filed under Advice, Writing

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