How to Kick Ass with Kickstarter

Writing a book can be expensive.  There’s of course your time spent to write it, plus the cost of an illustrator (if you are using one).  But there’s also the less obvious costs like printing, shipping, distribution, creating a website to sell the book, obtaining an ISBN, hiring a designer (if you need one). This can add up to $3-$8k easily when it’s all said and done, depending on the quantity and quality of books you intend to create.  It’s enough to make a would-be author run screaming.

Check out the accompanying video on our Youtube Channel (which covers the first part of this blog post about WHY Kickstarter is a great idea). The second part, on “how to run a successful campaign” is in this blog post only.

But there are first-time authors every day successfully navigating these waters and you can too. This post is going to share with you why Kickstarter is an amazing way to de-risk your book project, and share with you the elements of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Read on to find out more. 

Kickstarter helps you create demand before you have a product.  That’s the key right there and that is what de-risks your project. So how does creating demand for your book before you even have the book help?

  1. It’ll help you know if you’re creating a book concept that’ll actually have demand. This may or may not be important to you, depending on your reasons for creating the book, but it’ll certainly help with #2.
  2. It’ll help you know how many units you should be producing.  Should you plan to print 100, 500, or 5,000 to start?  Obviously the answer to this question will make a huge difference in your printing and production costs. 
  3. It’s free marketing.  Again- if you’ve got a great concept, then KS is an amazing way to get it in front of tons of people and give them the chance to pre-order and validate what you’re working on.   
  4. It’ll help keep you on a timeline and get all of the elements in place. In a second I’ll tell you the 6 key elements of a quality KS campaign.  Simply having to create all of the elements that make up a successful crowdfunding campaign will go a long way to prepare you to market your book, even after your campaign is said and done. 

PufferPrint has printed (literally) thousands of KS campaign books.  

Here’s the secret sauce for a successful KS Campaign 

  1. Go “all or nothing”.  Meaning if you don’t hit your goal, everyone gets their money back. This allows you to hedge, and also allows you the freedom to pivot if you see that you’re not going to be successful. The last thing you’ll want is to have Kickstarter prove there’s no demand for your book and still have like 3-4 people waiting on the product.
  2. Vids aren’t just for kids.  Create a video, this is a must.  It doesn’t have to entail hiring a videographer or editor.   Some of the best Kickstarter videos I’ve seen were simply an author sharing his or her story and why they’re writing the book, and sharing some sketches or a bit of the storyline to draw the audience in. 
  3. Link to your social media and website(s) Don’t have these things?   Then I’d suggest getting them set up.  The more people know about you the more likely they are to trust you and want to give money to your campaign. if you have to prioritize, skip the website, but make sure that your campaign has an Instagram and an FB page with at least some content on it.  It’s critical to your Kickstarter campaign and it’ll help you in the future when you start to look at sales beyond KS. 
  4. Offer a way for the audience to get in touch with you.  Offer your email (better yet to create a unique email account for your book) and make sure it’s featured in the Kickstarter campaign. 
  5. The title!  I see a lot of campaigns getting this wrong so going to be specific about this.   If the name of your book is The Monkey Wizard, then put that as your title.  Next, in the “subtitle” section, make sure your book has a really good description of the book that fits within the character limit.  
  6. Finally- have a good ballpark figure for how much you need to raise.  You can use our online quoting tool to get an idea of how much it costs to print a certain number of copies, but also remember there’s more than just printing. Other expenses may include distribution, ISBN, paying your illustrator, paying a designer, your time, or intended markup after production.

Ready to set up your Kickstarter?  Remember that PufferPrint will print a FREE physical proof of your book and deliver it to your door ($100 value) if you host our “we print with PufferPrint” banner on your campaign page.  Click here to get the banner. 
Have more questions?  Email us today, or start a conversation on social media: 

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