What's the best way to find a local (or at least regional) manufacturer?
Vincent,Aside from the basic search methods, I have found creators with similar products to mine in the past and contacted them to ask them who they use. Some do not want to share and that is fine, but many have been very helpful. I have always tried to point other creators that contact me in a good direction.
How are you dealing with shipping?
We are UK based and of our 3000 orders around 80% of out backers were international with around 20% - 30 % being in the US. So yes I would say that limiting your backers to just the US will hurt you. What we have learnt is that backers expect a tracking number but they are not willing to pay extra for one. We have also learned that certain countries have awful postal systems and I would now say that tracking is 100% essential in these countries. So far the list of bad countries is Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Russia, Mexico, Chile, India, Indonesia and getting quite bad it seems is Canada. This is based on the number of orders that have gone missing.When we run our next campaign we are going to use a fulfilment house overseas not so much to help with the packing but more as International shipping rates with tracking seems to be much much cheaper than using Royal mail in the UK.Regarding prices don't just look at the obvious people like Shipwire as we found there prices at least 50% higher than others and we could actually buy postage cheaper than them. Hope this helps
How much of an uptick in pledges can I expect at the end of the campaign?
Hey Jennifer! Carol from Kickstarter HQ here. Congrats on all of the support your project has received so far!I don't have any precise data about last minute pledges, but if anyone hit the Remind Me button on your project page, they'll get a reminder about it at the 48 hours remaining mark. This could result in an uptick in pledges during your last few days. And here are the stories of a few campaigns that saw major pick-up towards the end.
Which projects stood out in 2015? Why?
I loved the Will Davies Kickstarter, fantastically produced books that celebrate a Canadian artist who is not well known outside of his circle. I loved seeing the care and art put into the book to help bring attention to an artist with a strong legacy (who was involved in the production as well)
What questions do you have for Music creator and social media queen Jenn de la Vega?
Stephanie from Kickstarter here. We recapped our incredible hang with Jenn along with some other creators on our blog here.Here is just one of the many gems Jenn shared:What if you don't have existing social networks?Jenn de la Vega, Hit PLAY on The Shortsleeves Cassette: If you present yourself online fully and engage with people in a genuine way (never spam them!), they’ll start to see what you’re doing and follow along. It takes a lot of work. Making community starts small. Starting small and really getting to know the people who become your friends and supporters is really important.
I usually draw a parallel to something like PBS:We want to make a thing, but in order to make that thing, we need your help. Give us money to make the thing, and in exchange, you get this CD/board game/tote bag/angry chinchilla*! Higher tiers = more goodies!I feel like most people have watched some PBS programming in their life, so it's a concept that's easy to grasp.With Kickstarter, I think it's also worth mentioning the all-or-nothing aspect of the funding, to light a fire under their butts to get them involved. *I don't recommend giving away animals as rewards
How do you use the success of your first project when launching a second one?
Yes. I sent a note to the backers of my first campaign. Some of the authors I had involved with that project overlapped with the new one, so it didn't feel like I was spamming them. No one complained and a number thanked me for the tip. I think the way to keep momentum moving is to have clear communication with your supporters, provide a quality product, and to avoid going back to the well too frequently. I know that it bothers me when someone runs campaigns for the same thing over and over. Have a plan to build alternate sources of income to continue forward and I'm more likely to support your further efforts.I did reach out to genre news sites to get the word out about my science fiction in translation project. It was picked up by BoingBoing, io9, sfsignal and a few others.
Where are the best places to publicize your kickstarter Film project?
Hey Chris,My Kickstarter campaign for my film just ended this morning actually. Because I didn't have a large network to rely on, I reached out to several people who I knew would want to promote the project through their larger networks. They really liked the story and wanted to support the making of the feature film. My personal project became personal for them. They really wanted it to be successful and therefore they promoted independently of me. I didn't have to push them. Also, since Kickstarter is the largest crowdfunding platform, most of your non-local traffic of people looking to contribute will come through here. But also, because of the fact that there are so many projects you have to find a way to make your's stand out. I would really recommend shooting a proof of concept or putting some of your previous work on the project page. People would rather give money to someone who is presenting examples of what their project will be like rather than just talking about what their project will be like. For example, for my film, we made a proof of concept trailer on no budget. Our argument was, "This is what we made with no money. Imagine what we could make with your contribution". So in more direct response to your question, I would say that Kickstarter really does provide a lot of non-local contributors. You just have to find a way to make your film stand out from the others!
Paying for social media shares, are they legit?
Most payed social media stuff are big old scams. If your going to pay for social media your probably best to pay for ads there. A better solution is to find groups/pages that relate to your product and try to network with the creators.
Launch day! What was it like?
Super stressful. The second I hit the launch button, my heart was beating out of my chest. To make matters worse, I immediately had to leave to get to my office, which meant 45 minutes underground on the subway with no email access, not knowing whether people were backing.After that, I was constantly refreshing my campaign page, ignoring the fact that I knew Kickstarter would email me when someone did back us.I get obsessive.