I recently finished the Water Witch Mysteries Kickstarter. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1835431132/the-water-witch-mysteries
Here’s my analysis of how the campaign went.
Overall, I think this campaign was much more successful than the first campaign I ran for Paper Mage.
There are several reasons for this.
–Though I grossed less money—$1500 for Water Witches, and $2000 for Paper Mage—I am keeping a lot more of that money. I made less than $500 with Paper Mage, and I estimate I’ll keep closer to $1000 with the Water Witches campaign.
–I love my friends. I have awesome friends. My friends supported the Paper Mage campaign, and so about 90% of the people who backed the campaign were known to either Blaze or I. For Water Witches, only about 70% of the backers are known to us. This means new readers, which is crucial for me.
–I had more backers. 71 backers for Water Witches, compared to only 64.
–I feel that having three books available for people was better than just one book. It meant that I funded then hit the initial stretch goals much faster. I may end up running a Kickstarter campaign for every novel series before it goes live. We’ll see. Bur right now, that’s what I’m planning.
Because I funded more quickly, I got a Projects we Love from Kickstarter, which in turn drove more backers.
I ran a Facebook ad for the last week of the campaign. That turned out to be a good thing as well, and got me more backers. I spent $50, and as far as I can tell, I made back more than doble that with backers. And all of these people were new to me, which means new readers, which is also very important.
One of the problems with this campaign was with me. I disengaged from the campaign the last week or so due to health stuff. I wasn’t posting about it regularly enough on social media. I think if I’d pushed more, possibly more people would have backed the campaign. Timing was just off, though.
I received really good advice from people about the story, and I think I got that better this time. There’s always room for improvement.
The big ticket items didn’t sell well with this campaign. The items that sole were to friends of mine. The big ticket items were mostly Tuckerizations, which other writers have had a lot of success with. (A Tuckerization is when you use someone’s name as a character, such as a victim of a crime or as a town character.)
I think the reason I didn’t have many backers of these was because this is a new series, not a series that people are already familiar with and love. So I’m not sure how many Tuckerizations I’ll going to offer in the future, particularly if I’m Kickstarting another new series.
This Kickstarter seemed to take forever to put together, particularly since I needed to make so many images to show in the sidebar, for the various tiers.
I’ve been studying a lot of Kickstarter campaigns. One thing that has struck me is that a lot of the new ones that are bigger, and successful, are all slick. The backer just slides right down that page and to the buy buttons.
I, personally, am not slick. That isn’t my brand. Trying to run a campaign that’s slick makes no sense to me.
Instead, I purposefully went with a quirky campaign, using free vintage artwork. That works so much better for me and my brand, and it’s something I’m going to continue to lean into. I don’t know if that hurt me in the end, but I was more comfortable.
I started sending out surveys much sooner with this campaign, as soon as everyone’s credit card was processed, instead of waiting until I was paid. That is better for my brain, to keep up the momentum and the work of the Kickstarter, rather than letting it sit idle.
Once I get the majority of the surveys back, I’ll start sending out books. Everything’s ready at my end, so I’m hoping to be able to finish with most of the delivery by the end of November.
IF I can keep writing as I have this past month, I hope to be able to run another Kickstarted next October, for a new three-book series. We’ll see. I have a lot going on next year and it might not be possible.
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