The best short treatise on small-press RPG Kickstarters I've seen yet, posted by +Kevin Crawford
of Sine Nomine Publishing (whose Kickstarter record is impeccable) on the RPG.net forum under the "Failstarter" topic:
"It is a very simple process for completing a successful small-publisher Kickstarter. It is by no means an easy process, but it is conceptually very simple."1) Complete the manuscript to final-edit condition.
2) Do a rough layout or line up your layout designer, paying for a few pages of it to get the workflow clean and the rough concept acceptable.
3) Line up your artists to fill the art slots, buying a slot from each beforehand to get art for your KS and get the lines of communication working.
4) Launch the KS, offering no physical goods except for the book, and that via at-cost codes from DTRPG and not you personally printing and mailing it. Offer no stretch goals that require further creative work
or that promise text you haven't written to final-edit condition.
5) Collect your money. Subtract current expenses and save a third of the rest for taxes. Spend none of the rest on anything but project expenses
until step 8.
6) Wait for your art slots to get filled or your layout designer to finish the rest of the book, doing monthly audits to project likely completion date based on to-date progress.
7) Email out the freebie .PDF codes and at-cost print POD codes to your backers.
"If you have a finely-tuned team of writers, artists, and designers at your disposal or a practical understanding of physical goods fulfillment with contacts to match, then maybe you can get fancier than this. For a small publisher doing their first Kickstarter, however, anything more than the steps above is an invitation to disaster.
Too few people are willing to take a modest success; they plan like they're going to be the second coming of Numenera
and just don't know when to say 'I have enough now. I'll come back for more later.' They just don't understand that the most trivial physical addition -- a set of dice, some pencils, a keychain -- doesn't just add the physical object to the cost, it adds the burden of finding suppliers, coordinating delivery on time, and worst of all, an obligation for a single non-professional to handle hundreds of shipping orders, many of which might be international. Or they stack on stretch goals or promise a finished project they just sort-of-know how they're going to write, blithely confident the muse will sing to them on deadline. If you're Lester Dent, I'll buy that. The rest of us? Not so much.
"The friendship and fan-club aspect of the hobby makes Kickstarter backing a very emotionally-fraught process, where you're not just pre-ordering a widget, you're backing this great idea from your pal X you see on G+ or blogging all the time. And who wouldn't be understanding toward a friend? It's very hard for creators to simultaneously accept the existence of that hobby zeitgeist, to sell their project based on personality or community ties, and then turn around and shut off that attitude when it comes to delivering the goods. You need to pitch your project like a tent revival preacher and deliver like you were an auto production line subcontractor. Everybody loves you, but it is a very shallow love, and they really don't want to have to express it in putting up with delays they'd never accept from a conventional retailer."