The Kickstarter Experience Update 3

I said previously that I'd give step-by step details about my experience with Kickstarter, for those who are interested in hearing more and learning more about it.  Thereby, we'll have a chance to get an interactive, first-hand account of what is involved with setting it up, of how it goes, and analysis of why. Along the way, you can ask questions, share ideas, and the like.

I gave lots of details about getting set up in Update 1:

Then I gave lots of details of my initial impressions in Update 2:

Yesterday, my Kickstarter campaign reached halfway through the funding period. At halfway through the funding period, my project was at 73% funded, so it seems to be on track, though by no means a certainty yet. (Keep in mind that if a Kickstarter project doesn't get fully funded, it doesn't get funded at all.)

It has begun to follow the typical funding pattern, where average funding per day is sloping downward from a higher start. However, on a day to day basis, the story is much more punctuated. Two days ago was the best day so far ($580, I think), while some of the surrounding days have had none or hardly any funding.

Each day, I feel like I have exhausted all options I can think of for further funding - and yet some days I come up with a bright idea or two, with some success.

Someone wisely suggested toward the beginning that I needed to maximize free publicity. Unfortunately, I don't have much of a clue how to do so. I did call up my local newspaper and ask them if they wanted to run an article about this book and this project in their entertainment section. They were surprisingly polite and receptive to my suggestion. They simply said "Let me put you through to the entertainment editor." The entertainment editor then gave me his email address, and told me to send him all the information I can, and he'll get back to me. I did. Since then, I first received a notice that they've received my email, and they are out of the office for the weekend; then I received a reply that they got my email and it is under consideration. I guess we'll see.

I also contacted a couple photography shows and asked them if they'd like to have me as a guest to discuss the book. They, too, were receptive, saying that they'd love to have me as a guest - but that they are booked up until dates after my Kickstarter project's funding period will be over. I guess the lesson there (which I've learned from several other related incidents, too) is that such publicity is possible, but that it is necessary to plan and coordinate for more advance notice.

I have also contracted more people to review my book. At this point, I think I've requested reviews from 16 people. (I asked most of them a couple months ago, well before launching my Kickstarter project.) All but one agreed to review my book. So far, 4 have reviewed it. Hopefully, some of the others will, soon.

The average pledge size is $46.64 - which is higher than I would've expected. One can get an e-book reward for a $5 pledge, and I thought that would be a popular option - due to being within a low enough bound to be a possible impulse buy for many people - about the price of a fancy coffee at a cafe, less than half the price of a movie or a paperback novel. However, only one person has chosen the $5 pledge (and that wasn't until this morning).

As I mentioned in the previous Update, very few people seem to randomly find my project through Kickstarter and back it. Specifically, 2 out of 55 backers found my project through Kickstarter, accounting for 2% of overall funds. The rest have all been referred directly or indirectly through me from elsewhere. I don't know how typical this is, but anyone who is considering a Kickstarter project may want to consider that being randomly found through Kickstarter and then backed is seemingly unreliable.

The lack of funds from people finding me through Kickstarter makes me wonder whether Kickstarter meaningfully adds to project success - as opposed to if I had started a similar project on my website. However, it may be that Kickstarter lends the project an air of legitimacy.

I note that my video has been watched 259 times, and has been watched to completion 44% of those times. From this, I tentatively infer that people on Kickstarter are finding my project, looking at it, and then choosing not to fund it. This may be because I'm uncharismatic (as is all too apparent in my video), and perhaps because I'm poor at marketing.

I've had several people contact me and say that they would like to fund my project, but they don't want to sign up for Kickstarter in order to do it. This is a factor which I had not previously considered, which may indeed account for a fair amount of lost potential funding. I've told people who say that to me that they can send me a check, and I can then pledge that money to the Kickstarter project. Some of them have.

More coming soon.
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