Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to Kickstarter. Pt. 1

I have just launched my own Kickstarter for the first book in the Full of Whit series - "The Beginning of Whit"!!!!

What? No booing!

Anyways. I decided to share some of my experiences with you here since Kickstarter is a very viable option for indie authors to get support (both monetarily and otherwise) for their projects.

I also decided to drop this into a multi-part blog series because it's a lot of content and I don't want to overwhelm or bore any of you. So bear with me. ;)

My Kickstarter Timeline:

August - filmed the original video for Kickstarter
Early September - finish editing video, polishing up text, creating content for page.
Late September - typing all of the information into Kickstarter, tweaking video, adjusting content
Early October - jumping through business account hoops, final touches on Kickstarter page, waiting for Kicktarter to approve the project
October 8th - Kickstarter launched!
November 7th - Kickstarter will end.

Okay, so if you pursue a Kickstarter for your project it might not take you months to get from idea to launch but it might take you that long or longer. Kickstarter is a lot of work and even though we are only in day two of the campaign, and I can't say if it's worth it, I can say what it was like putting it all together. 

The first bit (other than several conversations and some serious planning) was making the video. It took us about 3 hours to shoot all the footage we wanted, and we only utilized about 5 minutes of it. The other usable footage has helped in other ways, like a promo/introduction video I made for my co-author and I for our FB page and Youtube page. Compiling the video, (because we shot a lot of our stuff in small segments and we didn't have a set script so many takes had to be scrapped), took over 20 hours to complete. 

The point of the video is to introduce yourselves, your product (the book), why you need backer's support (printing, editing, cover art, etc.) and what they will get out of it (shiny new books! and other goodies.). It's also important to make your product sound interesting - why are you passionate about it, why do you think it's worth a backer's time and money.

The video should be as professional as you can make it which means cutting down on background noise, considering the location of the shoot and utilizing the best equipment you can afford. I actually saw a Kickstarter video that was filmed in a mall with people walking by, the noise of the mall and the noise of the music playing in the mall on top of the authors talking about their project. I'm not sure if their project was successful but their video was pretty awful. 

I tried to create the simplest background I could - just a solid color wall with no pictures or other distractions. I also tried to limit the amount of ambient noise, but that was difficult in a busy household. We also filmed inside to limit any of the unpredictable noises that you could get outside or in a public location. 

When I compiled the final video, I utilized photos (some of our own and some free ones from to introduce different segments of the film and I utilized free music from the free music archive (windows movie maker actually suggests this site as a viable option for movie music). I also utilized windows movie maker to make my film, and it was good enough, but I know it's not the best software out there.

Lastly, I showed the original film to several people and altered it with their feedback, then showed them an edited, and changed that as well. I think I finally went with the fifth or sixth version which was a suitable time (5 minutes or less - to keep the interest of the viewer) and held enough content to promote the project. 

Long story short, here's my Kickstarter video for you to enjoy:

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