What are the best Kickstarter campaign wrap-ups you've seen?
Hi Field Company,Why don't you celebrate with drinks at your local and post pictures as an update?If you are not going to use KS to communicate with your backers, then I would mention it and give links to where you will post news about the project. Instagram, twitter, website etc. Also mention where they can reach you with an email.Make sure you mention this as well in the comments so that it is easily visible to anyone. For backers who have not given their mailing details, we mentioned this in our latest update. Explain that you have contacted them via KS and email and make them understand that the ball is on their side now.It's important to always reply in the comment section and I would make sure the latest comment is coming from you. This show you are responsive.If you are planning on launching another campaign, let them know that they will be the first to hear about it and benifitiate from early bird rewards.You could also do a live streaming to talk about the next steps with Field Company. But I'm not sure how popular the Streaming is...Another nice thing could be to write the closing update explaining the journey you went through manufacturing it and fulfilling the perks. The pitfalls, the highs and lows. Always good food for thoughts.Nice project!Oscar
International shipping -- is it as outrageous as it looks?
Greetings Jill, Melody, John, and everyone else dealing with this issue.International shipping can certainly be a beast and I feel you on that. There are a few ways to dance around it.#1) If you are pre-production, plan a size and shape and weight that ships cheaper. Once you get past certain dimensions the shipping rates jump tremendously. If it's a board game, ensure it fits in a medium flat rate box (there are 2 shapes), or small flat rate if that size. And don't underestimate the value of a flat rate bubble mailer. They fit way more than a small flat rate does and ships the same price. - First class, not flat-rate, is often your best bet.#2) (Best option) You can freight ship a fair stack of your product (book, or game, or else) directly into a foreign region, then ship from there.ie: Freight 3 cases of books directly from your printer (or self) to Germany. This will cost you a couple hundred dollars ($100-500 depending on size and total weight), but once you divide price by the # of books in the cases it's only a couple bucks each, then you pay only the local in-region shipping per book, and charge the total to the backer. - Imagine a foreign seller shipping a pallet here, then paying USPS rates... ah, that would only total about $9 per person that way. - This only works in bulk. It won't work very well in small quantities, but UPS's shipping calculator will help you price it out. Try it.#3) Understand this: Nothing is "free". Subsidize the shipping price in your pledge amount.Got free shipping on Amazon or KS? Somebody paid for that. It's subsidized into the price. It might feel free to the buyer, but somebody paid a cut to the shipper-man. If you're paying $50 for something sizable on KS with "free shipping", they subsidized at least $X of shipping into that $50. Can you do the same? Increase the price of the book $5 and then charge only $15 shipping?#4) Eat it. Charge less than the full amount and eat that percentage (ONLY if still profitable to do so). Does +$5 make your pledge value seem wrong somehow? Then #4 might be for you. But know this: You budget this into the net project before you start, and then it's just part of the net goal. This is basically #3, but a harsher-way of looking at it, when increasing Tier Price is to be avoided.(For #2 & #3 - the more you make and will sell will greatly affect your ability to do this. The more you make, the lower you cost per unit is, so you can pass that savings on, and the more you make the more likely it will become for you to shippThese are the main ways. Shipping is real, and it's never free. You can A) Make it cheaper with great planning early, B) Freight ship directly into the region and ship from within it (a great service to provide for your EU customers who worry about VAT), and/or C) Hide the price of shipping by putting in the pledge amount, and calling shipping free, or D) Eat it (ideally budgeting this plan in in advance.Finally, yes, if you're doing shipping yourself to reduce costs to backers, use Stamps.comI have a ton of advice on Freight Shipping (aka Logistics) and Fulfillment (aka shipping stuff) on my blog, and as much on budgeting, and even a how-to for Stamps.com. Take a look for detailed step-by-step advice for each.As always, heart this post if it was helpful to you.Best on your projects!John Wrot!-Community Adviser
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
What service(s) do you recommend for printing a self-published book?
Print on demand has higher unit costs, lower financial risk, and doesn't require a lot of money up-front. If you end up needing more than 500 copies for rewards, consider getting quotes from some offset printers. I've used Worzalla http://www.worzalla.com/, but there are tons of options out there. The downside to offset is that there typically isn't an option to handle distribution, like there is with POD. You need a distributor to get books into Amazon, B&N, etc. If you get a distributor, be prepared for the big ugly secret of publishing... returns. You can sell 1000 copies and get a nice check and then a few months later 600 are returned and you could end up owing money back to your distributor PLUS returns fees. (Getting a distributor is hard. Particularly if you only have a single title scheduled.)Ingram and Createspace are the two big players in POD. It pays to look at the prices and terms and figure out which (or what combination) works best for you. Keep in mind that books through a POD printer/distributor are harder to get into brick and mortar bookstores. Most will only take them as special orders, particularly if you have them set as non-returnable. It does get you into the big online stores. Here, Amazon is critical. You'll make most of your sales here. Sadly, your per-unit profit is lowest with POD, but at least it's all profit and almost no risk.You should be releasing a print book with a digital edition. If you don't know how to make an ebook, find someone who does (same goes for the print book or cover). It's important to put your best foot forward with a book, so work with people who know what they are doing or the project will suffer for it. The last thing you want is to look amateur and you may not be the best judge of that.Once again, Amazon is the big player for ebooks, but other places may be big too (talk to people in your genre). There is no excuse not to put it everywhere. By the way, if you manage to get an offset title into bookstores that will drive ebook sales. I've done both and can speak from experience. Consider the bookstore a marketing opportunity for the ebook. Sometimes that can offset any smaller returns costs.And of course, none of this works without marketing... and that's an even bigger topic for discussion.
How did you estimate the amount it was going to cost to do your project? How close were you?
We analysed it to *death* we accounted for every penny - we weighed each reward and looked up the US and international postage rates - we included the cost of a new laptop and estimated the amount of electricity we'd use. We priced shipping boxes, the plastic bags the product went into, the stickers that sealed the bags down. But it's still very hard because some costs are 'fixed' (that laptop) no matter whether you just make goal or whether you sell $10,000,000 worth - and others scale with the number of rewards you ship. Some other things like leasing a workshop or employing someone to make rewards when it's too much for you to do it cause sudden 'jumps' in the income-versus-profit curve. So we did the math for every $10,000 increment from our minimum goal up to 50 times what we thought we could *possibly* make and made sure that we'd be happy and safe from financial ruin at every single increment.You simply cannot over-analyze this stuff.As others have said, postage is a major pain. Most projects offer free local shipping - which is fairly easy to estimate - but overseas is a nightmare. Some places have it where the size of the box matters, others where it's the weight. If (for example) you live in the USA and you estimate that 20% of your stuff will go to Europe and 20% to Australia and you find that you get a cult following in Japan - then you might get utterly screwed on postage....but if all your overseas sales are to Canada then you'll be overpricing your international shipping for those guys. So make BIG allowances for that.Don't forget that you'll be paying taxes on your sales - either personal income tax or business tax or both.Depending on the nature and complexity of your rewards, expect perhaps around 5% of your shipments to go wrong in some way - you may have to re-ship items that the backer claims went missing (maybe they did, maybe they didn't - you'll never know). Stuff may be faulty, you'll probably end up posting the wrong thing to some of your backers.Just analyze the heck out of it all.
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
I have no community. And it feels fake to actively build one. Thoughts?
Blaine,What a great heartfelt post. I feel for you because I feel the same way. It's hard to build a community just to pretend you care but then really just to ask the for money. It feels fake because it IS fake. You have a few options: A) Be a poser and do it just for the money, and lose all your real friends. B) Or unto your own self be true. Alex Eames post suggesting you start a blog sharing your thoughts and your art is a good idea. Joining communities of people that have the same skill set is ok too, there's nothing wrong with authentically looking for new friends to share your passion with. And/or you can just launch a Kickstarter and let other adults make their own choice to "throw money at you"; and the market (and your skill) will determine your success.And honestly, bro, there's nothing wrong with NOT being a project creator. Do you already create art? Then you're already a creator. Kickstarter's just a place to share/sell/fund it. I say you choose option "B".John Wrot!p.s. ...but if you ever do post a project, let me know. Because you have a passion and a spirit that I'd back in a heartbeat.
What's the most effective thing you did to get press?
In 2013 we ran a Kickstarter campaign for Allston Xmas, a comedic web-series about Boston's notorious citywide moving day. We got a lot of great coverage in the press for our campaign, and then even more for our official series release a year later. My producer and I were asked so many times about how we got press that we wrote up our press strategy and shared it with the world:How to Get Attention for Your Webseries on IndieWireThe article is focused on promoting a web-series, but a lot of the fundamentals are going to be the same for getting attention for any other project--find your audience, and make it easy for them to cover your story!