Kickstarter: Day 3

I started my first campaign on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015. So far I have 3 backers, one of them is my wife, the second is a friend and previous co-worker and the third one someone I don’t know. This post is about the changes and updates I’ve made to my still unsuccessful kickstarter campaign a few days after I started it. If you want to read about the launch click here.

A few days after the launch of my first kickstarter campaign and after realizing this campaign wasn’t going to have hundreds of backers in the first few days as I first imagined, I decided to keep spamming people sharing the kickstarter campaign. Social media and direct emails didn’t do as well as I first expected. So naive of me. The next thing on my list to get the word out about this campaign was to write and share an excerpt of the book The Undocumented Engineer, which is what my kickstarter campaign is about. 

The excerpt I wrote is titled “Trip to the border“, which is part of the first chapter of my immigration story. I decided to write it using the Medium blogging platform because I thought that the chances of reaching a wider audience were greater than in my personal blog. I wrote it that same night the campaign started, and 3 days later it only had about 8 views, that is right… eight, ocho, otto. So I shared it in all my social media networks. It got a few more views, and at the time I wrote this post it was still under 20 views. Sad I know. It also didn’t generate any pledges or views to the actual kickstarter campaign page.

What else should I do at this point? I asked myself. A better book cover, that is the problem. The first one I created was pretty mediocre. So I convinced myself that the lack of interest on my kickstarter campaign was perhaps due to the ugly red book cover I had created. I am not a designer. I thing I have good taste and decent design ideas but don’t have the skills to translate that into a nice graphic I can use as my book cover. Then I remembered about Canva! it is a site that allows you to create good looking graphics without much effort. Exactly what I needed. After a few hours this is what I came up with by using one of their existing templates and a custom photo, the result is shown below:
theundocumentedengineer_423x675I was very happy with the result, I shared this new book cover idea with friends, family and on all my social media networks. Many people liked it, not a single one submitted a pledge.

The next thing was an idea that to be completely honest, didn’t occur to me from the start. What if I donated 10% of all pledges to a non-profit organization if the campaign was funded successfully? This will help people in need and it could also bring some attention to my campaign. Yes, I am not going to lie, the idea was to do this so my kickstarter campaign will get more attention and hopefully generate more pledges. However, I also knew that 10% is a substantial amount and if doing that helped make my book a reality and then donate a few thousand dollars or more to someone in need, why not.

The organization I chose was Watsi.org which I first learned about at the YCombinator Startup School conference I attended a few years back in California. I was so impressed with their story that it was the first organization I thought of when I decided to do this. Here is the tweet I posted:

watsi

Two people favorited the tweet and no replies, none. I though that Watsi would at least favorite or re-tweet my post but nothing. I understand, they have better things to do than to re-tweet some random guy’s idea of a kickstarter promotional campaign.

I’ll share a bit more of this first kickstarter experience later, stay tuned! For now, even if it is an epic fail I will get to say that at least I tried, how about you?

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