How can I use Shopify in tandem with Kickstarter?
The way this is written it looks as if it's been posted by KickStarter staff as an official announcement. "Kickstarter and Shopify have teamed up to help creators/entrepreneurs make this transition more seamlessly." I'm sure it's not deliberate, but I was well into the article before I realised the above post was not written by a KS staff member.
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
How did you decide which fulfillment company to work with?
We decided to use Integracore in the USA and Ideaspatcher (now renamed "Nift" - please note the edit note below) in the EU. The main reason for choosing each of these is that they offered a combine-assemble-shrinkwrap need that we had at the time (rare, but needed). The secondary reason we chose Ideaspatcher is that they will act as your "Importer of Record" in the EU. That means they pre-pay VAT on the manufacturing side of things, so customers don't have to front-door pay VAT on the retail value side of things.Integracore was ok to work with, but pretty pricey. I don't think we'd choose them again unless more shrink-wrapping shenanigans was needed. Shipnaked (aside from their not-so-household-friendly name) is now really trying to storm the Kickstarter fulfillment market with a pretty solid business and pricing model. We'll see if they accomplish what they're setting out to do. We'll be working with them on our next project to assess what they bring to the table.Happyshops in Germany has been pretty great, but there's a pretty significant language barrier, otherwise has been excellent.EDIT: I dislike saying something disparaging, but I'm here to serve you, not the companies I've worked with. To this end I share that working with Ideaspatcher has been a terrible experience in the long run. They delayed shipping our products over 6 weeks (costing us over $3500), and are still holding our excess items that should be returned to us for over 5 months as of the time of this writing, and are now ignoring my emails on the topic. We are not the only company they have wounded in 2016, and so they have renamed themselves "Nift" to dodge the bad press. They are strictly to be avoided. Sorry for the negative news.Warm regards,John Wrot!Gate Keeper GamesMore advice at www.gatekeepergaming.com
What is on your how-to Kickstarter reading list?
I'm currently on my 15th Kickstarter project, so I don’t read anything about crowd-funding anymore. But initially, for my first few Kickstarter projects, I read and reread all the info on the KS site. I mean everything. There is plenty of sound advice scattered there.I haven't found any crowd-funding bloggers that have content that helps me. They often seem to be focused on blockbuster technology projects. That's not me.Let me explain where I think I learned the most about running Kickstarter projects. I supported several projects before I even thought about doing my own. I'd say the best way to learn about doing Kickstarter projects is to support Kickstarter projects and pay attention to what people do well. Copy the stuff you like. But more important, I learned from the mistakes of others. Pay attention when you see updates complaining about schedule problems, wonky prototypes, manufacturing fiascoes, shipping delays, and problems with customs inspectors. These are vital lessons from the front lines. Much better than some author or blogger pontificating about their theories. Plus, these glimpses behind the curtain can be highly entertaining.
What are some great ideas for rewards that DON'T involve creating and shipping something physical?
For £1 we're proposing to plant one Ash tree and one Oak tree. Then we'll dedicate it to all our backers. It fits with the theme of the picture book campaign that we're developing; it's about a mystical creature who lives in an ancient forest that has been reduced over the centuries to the confines of a traffic roundabout. Now I'm not sure if this is a great idea (feedback please!) but the trees should still be around when Chris and I are old and grey... although we're getting a bit like that already.Jamie Shaw xhttps://twitter.com/SkyMntMedia
Jamie Shaw & Chris Harrendence
Best way to estimate reward package shipping costs to US and International?
Option #3 - Collect shipping after the campaign. This keeps your manufacturing costs accurate, and thus your funding goal. It also keeps your funding goal lower so you can fund faster. But you still need to estimate shipping costs, and then tell people what those costs will be by country.Then for an album, you're not likely to go huge. Not yet. So you'll just want to check with your national carrier (USA = USPS; UK = Royal Mail), etc. Bring a CD in bubble mailer down to the post office, and get media mail rates. I can't imagine it's going to be more than $2.83 each. Then you buy the bubble mailers from ULINE.com, for .17c each, total it, and you ahve an even $3.00. Then you charge a couple cents (50?) for labor, cause it can take a long time. USA Shipping = $3.50! I do recommend offering "FREE SHIPPING" with your USA tier, by including the $3.50 in it. Then use the $3.50 as a SUBSIDY for international packages, and let international backers know it.Best to you!John Wrot!Gate Keeper GamesLive Project = https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/johnwrot/halfsies-dice
How long did you spend building your project page before you launched?
We took almost a month to get the page ready for launch, starting with about 2 days to plan out the skeleton and flow of the campaign page, then 2 weeks to shoot whatever photo/video assets we needed to populate the page, then a week to edit the video and touch up our photos and to insert texts and plan captions. Once we had all the assets we needed, the actual "creating" of the campaign page took about three days to complete.During the campaign we were also constantly tracking the google analytics metrics of our page and looking for ways to improve and optimize the flow of our page. For example, the first couple of days the bounce rate was super high (people came to our page, didn't engage and left), and we made some assumptions as to why that was (first couple scrolls of the page was not engaging enough, title was not clear and didn't resonate with our audience) and we made incremental improvements like making the title more relevant to the reader, and putting a point-form summary of our campaign in the first portions of our project page.Hope this helps!
The Arc Boards Team
What kinds of plans and preparations do you need to make before your project launches?
I always tell people who are contemplating doing a Kickstarter project to seriously research the projects already done in their area of interest. You can learn so much from what other people have done.