Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kickstarter :: How it is being used by writers

On my other blog I posted 7 questions to 3 writers on their crowd funded projects.

They are:
Susan Price, (writer/editor/wrangler of ferrets and fellow member of Missing Dwarven Phaser writers group)
Susan's writing was in game development for her son's strategy card game, which achieved 126% of their goal ($5000).
Greg Stolze, (writer, game designer and fellow en-wiggee)
Greg holds a prestigious record with Kickstarter, 29 campaigns with only 3 did not make their goal!
Alan Bollinger, (writer, game designer and fellow g+'er)
Designed the card game Cavern Crawl that funded to 80%.

1: What are you selling on Kickstarter? Is it in campaign, or has it finished? Was it successful?
Susan:  We were selling a strategy card game [tabletop game]. Campaign ran Aug 12-Sept 11, 2013 and we got 126% of goal [goal $5000, raised $6251].
Greg:  I've run a total of 29 Kickstarter projects. 26 have succeeded, 3 failed. Of those, the three failures were for one short story, a drive to raise funds and print a novel, and for the continuance of an online novel. Of the successes, I've released 18 short stories (or really, stories and bundles, as many of the projects have more than one story involved), one novel, five games or supplements for games, one audiobook and one print collection of short stories.
Alan: I did a card game last year, Cavern Crawl.  Did not fund - 80% only.

2:  Do you grow your network in Kickstarter, or monetize your existing network?
Susan:  A little of both, but mostly, we were building a new network. Of our 84 supporters, only a dozen or so were existing friends/contacts.
Greg:  It was definitely a matter of monetizing the existing contacts, especially in the beginning. I may have picked up a few new fans on KS, but mostly it's been word of mouth from people who were exposed to my work in traditional avenues. On the other hand, the practice of releasing stuff free and hosting it online forever has some definite upsides. I don't have to tell people, "I've written this story and I'm very, very good, trust me!" Instead, I can say, "I've written all these stories you can read for free right now. If you like those, you'll probably like the next one."
Alan:  Both.  The only way to even get it to work at all is to really work the forums and social networks. Don't expect to post it and just get funded.

3: Do you find donors to be more engaged in your network once there is a KS campaign? Before or after donating?
Susan: We located most of our donors by play testing/demo-ing our game at scifi and anime conventions, and GenCon. The online networking serves as a way of staying in touch with donors and others, most of whom got on board because of playing our game and meeting us in person. A handful, maybe 6 of the 84, donated to the KS solely on the basis of what they saw online.
Greg: Once the campaign is up, definitely, and after donating. Then they're with you in that breathless, "Will it or won't it work?" phase. Then, of course, when it completes, they're with you for the "Where's the stuff you promised me?" phase. Because I've relied heavily on intangibles, "Yeah, you only get a story on the internet, but you don't have to pay much for it," I've avoided many of the fulfillment issues that plague successes.
Alan: No. Maybe because it was a smaller project, but I only had a few backers even reach out to me at all.

You can see the rest of the questions at michalsen.wordpress.com

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