A Kickstarter's Guide to Kickstarter

A Kickstarter's Guide to Kickstarter

About The Project

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.

How it Started

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.

A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter
by Nelson de Witt

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Nelson/Roberto

Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I am a writer, photographer, and storyteller.

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