Saturday, March 10, 2012

10 tips for getting me to give you money on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a website where you can solicit funds for... well, pretty much anything. I have two accounts there and have helped to fund a bunch of projects including eight books and two magazines. I can't speak for anyone else, but here are ten top tips for authors and editors trying to get money out of my pocket.

1) Show evidence of being able to write.  Prior publication, samples, or at the very least a well written pitch and synopsis.

2) Offer decent rewards.  For example a copy of the book either earlier or cheaper than standard retail, or preferably both.

3) Don't ask me to pay for you to write the book.  None of us are gentlemen or ladies of leisure.  If you need to find time to write, that's your problem.

4) Don't ask me to pay for expensive fee-charging reviews.  Don't ask me to pay for an overpriced book trailer unless you have a really good reason for thinking it will actually help your profile and/or sales. Don't, in general, ask me to pay for useless fluff like posters, postcards or shiny key-chains with your logo on them. I want to help you deliver your book to an audience. Don't waste my money on anything else.

5) Do ask me to pay for things that will actually make the book better. For example: research materials, editing, cover art, file conversion and/or printing costs.Do say exactly what you will be spending the money on.  Do ask for an adequate but realistic amount of money not just something with three zeroes on the end that would make your life easier.

6) Don't go on and on about how you are a born artist that has been working on this novel for decades.I am investing in your book, not your ego.

7) Do make the book sound interesting, entertaining and/or informative.  Or something.  Make the book seem to have some significance. Do describe exactly what kind of book it is. Don't be vague, pretentious, coy or just throw together two-dozen buzzwords in the hope that I will be dazzled.

8) Do keep it brief.

9) Do seem to have a plan, preferably a well informed and sensible plan that has some chance of succeeding, and do explain it to me as a potential investor.  Do have specific goals and deadlines. Have a project that will be complete within months, not years.

10) Do keep me informed; do deliver updates and rewards as promised.  Don't email me daily for months.  Don't ignore me for more than six months.

Those would be my tips anyway.  I think Kickstarter is going to really help a lot of authors, but represent yet another waste of time and effort for the unrealistic and under-prepared.

1 comment:

Rainy Kaye said...

Sound advice. Sharing on Twitter =)