Kickstarter for Writers – biweekly Update 2

Well, my biweekly update nearly turned into a… erm, biweekly update. I had this drafted prior to the weekend but just now got to firing it off. Let’s review, shall we?

The Kickstarter In Motion

I mentioned last time that you can see information concerning how many people have followed your shortened bit.ly links to your campaign (including the one provided by Kickstarter automatically). Kickstarter also houses some tracking for the same purposes directly in their site for those people running a campaign.

Currently, there are 10 days and $2,230 left in our campaign. Kicktraq (which is a pretty cool site, complete with a web plugin that lets you see info directly from a Kickstarter page) currently trends our project at hitting just under the $400 mark, which is based off momentum (when/how many/how much as far as backers and pledgers).

Classic scenarios dictate that the final week is one of the best chances for a campaign if people feel a sense of urgency.

Spreading the Word

Several weeks ago we announced the Kickstarter on our blogs and on Facebook. We also sent letters to friends and family to try and garner support – not just in pledges, but also in word of mouth to help the message spread even further. Within the last two weeks we also put out online press releases on pr-log.org and similar sites. We spread the same release to about eight local newspapers. Only one paper responded, and though they wouldn’t mention the campaign because they considered that to be a paid advertising issue, they did do a small interview and a piece in the paper on my wife and her book.

Our latest attempt in the two-week-crunch also involves posting flyers. Bit.ly provides a nifty QR code image you can add to a document to let smartphones navigate the link, and a quick search for kickstarter campaign flyers provided lots of similar ideas out there from previous campaigns. $20 at a local Staples later and we have a small run of color flyers to spread around in one last attempt to find some backers.

From Whence our Backers Come

The Backer report on Kickstarter.com also provides a clean list of your backers. Everyone can see the list of user names when you reach the 10 backer point, but as the person running the campaign you can always see who and how much, as well as what reward level they’ve selected. In our case, our current backer count is only at 4. And we know them all, as three are family and one a very close friend. The irony is that not only have we not had a single public backer, but we contacted over 25 family members (not including the 3 that are current backers) with letters, and recently followed up last week with Facebook wall posts to remind them of the deadline. None of those family members have ever shared, liked, or pledged to our campaign, though as I said a moment ago, one friend did.

Our original expectations were to find a mix of public and personal backers, and we had hoped that the local community might bring enough support to help carry the cause. Remember – we aren’t trying to sell our book on Kickstarter, nor trying to write the book – it’s already written. You can buy it several different places, including as a $3 eBook. The Kickstarter is to try and get enough funds to purchase a bulk print run so we can sell that same book that Amazon wants $19.99 for, at about $10-$12 at your local library during a book tour.

It’s also interesting that several acquaintances have approached me about our campaign, my wife’s book, etc. They asked how its going, what it costs and how it all works. I gladly explained it to them, and they expressed interest in backing, and asked for a link, which I provided. Yet I’m not sure we’ll ever see them in the list. It would be one thing if I had hounded them about it, covering their cars with sticky notes and stalking them until they pledged. I didn’t do so. I mentioned it once or twice to the group in which they were present, didn’t speak of it again for two weeks, and then had been asked by them about the status of the campaign and how they might get a copy of the book. Why talk about pledging for something if you really aren’t interested in it? I’m not a telemarketer your trying to placate over the phone so you can go back to watching Game of Thrones on your DVR.

~Meredith Purk

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