Some of you may or may not know that I’ll be launching a Kickstarter mid march to bring my Diverse Princess Series to market, and some of you may or may not know that I’ve previously done a Kickstarter campaign; some of you may not even know what Kickstarter is. So let’s get into it a bit.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that basically allows creators to bring something to market, without an investor. So let’s say someone has created a product, but maybe doesn’t have the upfront capital to bring that thing to market, they could use a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter to raise that money by pre-selling whatever it is they’re selling.
- Pledge: A pledge is simply how much you’re willing to pay. So if a pledge level is £100, you’ll pay £100.
- Reward: A reward is what you’re going to receive in exchange for your pledge. So if you’ve pledged £100; the campaign will outline what ‘reward’ (product/s) you get for that price.
- Tiers: The owner of the Kickstarter campaign will list what they’re willing to offer (rewards) and for what price (pledges) and each different amount and product combination, will be a different tier. So they may have 5 tiers for example £10, £20, £30, £40 and £50 and each one will offer something different for the specified price.
Kickstarter as a platform can be misunderstood, with people thinking it’s like GoFundMe where you simply donate because you want to help and get nothing but moral satisfaction in return. It’s not. It’s a shopping experience. You see something that interests you, and you’re happy to maybe wait a little longer to receive it than if you shopped in the conventional way – that’s Kickstarter. For the most part anyway – I mean there is some risk I guess because essentially customers on Kickstarter, are ‘investors’; it’s just instead of getting your money back, you get a product.
The three things people should know about Kickstarter campaigns are:
- A pledge on Kickstarter is NOT a donation. You are purchasing something worthy of the value of what you’re paying.
- Most businesses do pre-orders; that’s exactly what Kickstarter is. A platform that allows people to pre-purchase a product in order to front the upfront costs.
- Everyone is invaluable to the success of the campaign. That means even if you don’t want to buy, sharing the campaign with others is FREE and literally done at the click of a button.
- The campaign will be ALL or NOTHING. That means if you’re going to pledge, pledge now – don’t put it off because if everyone does that, it won’t get funded. Kickstarter campaigns need you, the buyer, to be intentional about your desire to support by doing it straight away.
So why am I using Kickstarter? How expensive can producing a book be?
Erm, very! Very expensive is the answer to that. My company Mallidy Publishing is still a very new publishing company and so we’re not raking it in in the ways that bigger more established publishing houses are. It can take years to get to that level and as much as I’m committed to getting there – I’m not quite there yet.
Bringing a children’s picture book to market is very costly. The illustrations, which are fundamental to your books success, will not come cheap and it’s not unheard of for illustrators to charge thousands per book. The next biggest expense will be printing. You need the book to as cost effective as possible in order to sell it at a reasonable price that people will be willing to pay, whilst still turning a profit. When you think that the average cost for a picture book in the UK is between £5.99 – £7.99; if you are paying £4 per book to print, there is little to no room for profit once you take your other costs into consideration (packaging, labels, ink, etc). The more you can purchase in one go, the lower your cost price will be and therefore the easier it will be for you to offer the lowest price possible to your customers.
So raising the upfront capital was one of the biggest drivers for me, the other reasons are:
- People are more trusting of established platforms as opposed to purchasing on author websites.
- Creating a buzz is important, I want as many people to be excited about this series as possible.
- Visibility – being apart of such a popular platform gives the series the opportunity to get in front of an additional audience that we may otherwise never have had access to.
Hopefully this has given slightly more insight into why Kickstarter is my platform of choice for this launch and you’ll be willing to support us to really get the most out of this launch as we can. Please take a minute and join the Kickstarter mailing list if you’re interested; thank you!