Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Crowdfunding Success Stories

I highly recommend this new guide to Kickstarter to anyone who is contemplating or planning a Kickstarter fundraiser.... Read this book before you launch. It is a small volume filled with good practical advice and real-life examples of both successful and less-than-successful Kickstarter projects.

Author Don Steinberg begins with the basics of a Kickstarter campaign, such as what kinds of projects do and do not qualify, then segues into strategies for setting funding levels and reward structures, ideas for publicizing a campaign, and tips on how to plan ahead for the fulfillment stage. And as the title says, he provides real-life stories of successful Kickstarter campaigns and the people and ideas behind them.

Chapter 11 is one that the would-be, first-time Kickstarter will definitely want to study carefully: "Learning from Failure: Kickstarter misfires, redemptions, and second acts." Steinberg interviews several Kickstarters who initially failed, then retooled their ideas and eventually succeeded. In the chapter opening, he points out that the 2011 success rate on Kickstarter was 46%... that's truly phenomenal, but on the flip side, the majority of campaigns failed that year. Steinberg would be remiss if he didn't present the downside of the story... Experience is the best teacher, as Benjamin Franklin famously pointed out, so Steinberg has included Chapter 11 because it's best to learn from the experience of others.

Kickstarter is an amazing phenomena of the Internet age, a powerful tool with global reach, but it is not a magic money machine. Again, read this book before you launch a campaign, learn from it, and your odds of success will improve I believe.

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