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Garrity: 16 things to ensure Kickstarter success

Kickstarter is the rage right now. It’s allowing a lot of people match up their pursuits with willing donors willing to help fund it. Shaenon Garrity, creator of the webcomic Narbonic, recently needed $10,000 to create a printed collection of her work. Using Kickstarter she raised $27,226. She’s written a few things (16 to be precise) that help ensure your next Kickstarter project is fully funded.

But say you don’t care about all that. You just want money to print your webcomic. And maybe you’re aware that, for all the hubbub, less than half of Kickstarter projects get funded. How do you join the blessed 44% of successful kick-starts?

From my own experiences, and from talking to creators with successful Kickstarter projects under their belts, here are some guidelines. Also check out webcartoonist Spike Trotman’s no-nonsense list of Kickstarter tips, from which I shamelessly stole ideas when I was running my own Kickstarter drive. Spike used Kickstarter to fund her book Poorcraft: A Comic Book Guide to Frugal Urban and Suburban Living, and raised over twice her goal. She knows what she’s doing.

Community Comments

#1 Daniel Boris
@ 12:15 pm

You can also use!
I did with much success! My campaign was fully funded in just 12 days, and is now one of the site’s featured campaigns.

The difference between IndieGoGo and Kickstarter is that with Kickstarter, you only get funds IF you meet your target.

P.S. Oh my campaign is still open for another 21 days, so you can still reserve your copy today!

#2 Rich Diesslin
@ 1:25 pm

Pretty interesting approach there Daniel.

I didn’t realize this kind of thing existed for publishing projects, etc.

Shaenon’s tips seem good as well.

#3 Daniel Boris
@ 2:30 pm

Thanks, Rich.

In my case I THOUGHT I had an audience for my strip, but didn’t know what to expect. People can SAY they like your work – and click “LIKE” on Facebook and all – but I didn’t know if readers were willing to take the next step and put their money where their mouths were…

I’ve been very encouraged by the response, to say the least.

: ))

#4 Andrew Farago
@ 1:44 pm

I’m curious about IndieGoGo’s partial funding, though. The site says that they’ll take a 9% cut if you don’t meet your fundraising goal.

If you make $2,000 but you needed $5,000 to publish a book, they’ll take $180, but what happens to the rest? Do you refund 91% of the donations to your friends, family and other supporters, do you pocket $1,880 and start saving up for the rest of your project, or do you keep a pile of cash with no obligation to publish anything? That’s a pretty good argument for the all-or-nothing model.

#5 Gar Molloy
@ 6:38 am

Yeah, the indiegogo model leaves you liable for the money if the target isn’t reached, which I don’t think is as good as Kickstarter. Shame Kickstarter isn’t available for those of us outside the U.S.

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