A Kickstarter's Guide to Kickstarter was my first non-fiction how-to book and second project using the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. For the book, I did interviews with other creators and did a lot of research on what makes crowd-funding effective. Along with the book, I also created a trailer and a website for it.
On the site, KickstartGuide.com, I wrote supplemental articles that went in-depth about various aspects of crowd-funding. Since its release in 2011, the ebook has been downloaded over 5,000 times and continues to help people structure their projects and get funding for their creative endeavors.
I started working on this project after completing my first Kickstarter campaign for Identifying Nelson/Buscando a Roberto. During the last week of the campaign, we managed to raise $9,000 in just six days. Before Kickstarter, I had launched several other projects but failed to attain any significant interest in them. I figured there must be something about the platform, and it's all or nothing funding model that enabled my project to succeed. Curious, I set out to learn more about crowd-funding.
I began doing research and discovered that our project was in the top 10th percentile in terms of money raised. This fact was astonishing to me because the perception of crowd-funding is that most projects raise tens of thousands of dollars, but my experience suggested otherwise. The more I dug into the data, the more began to see a pattern, the majority of projects are funded by less than 200 people and raise under $10,000. There seemed to be a significant barrier at $20,000 that only a handful of projects could break. All of these insights gave me a better idea of what crowd-funding was good for, and how I could use it more effectively in the future.
It was around this time that I came up with the idea of writing a book called "A Kickstarter's Guide to Kickstarter," which, of course, would be funded on Kickstarter. I thought the project was quirky enough that it might do well on the site but didn't take it that seriously until I mentioned it to a group of people at an event. They liked the concept, so I decided to use the book as a way to test out my newly developed theories about crowd-funding.
During the summer of 2011, I outlined the book, created a pitch video, and built the project page.
However, the closer I got to my launch date, the more nervous I became. After all, who was I to write a book about Kickstarter? I was an unknown author who had only run one crowd-funding campaign. I wondered if anyone would even back my project. Determined not to let my fears get the better of me, I launched the project on August 7th and held my breath. To my surprise, the project raised $400 more than my $900 stated goal. With a fully funded project, I got to work writing the book.
Over the proceeding months, I conducted interviews with successful creators, wrote the 65-page guide, hired a graphic designer to format the book, and set up a website to promote it. By November 2011, I had completed the project and published my book on all the major platforms, including Kindle and Google Books. While I no longer write for the site, it is still active and hosts a free copy of the guide if you would like to check it out.