Kickstarter: Our project failed

greenThis is the message I received this morning from Kickstarter about my campaign failing because it didn’t get funded:

We’re sorry to report that your project, The Undocumented Engineer, didn’t meet its funding goal.

We know how much hard work goes into running a project. You’ve made tremendous progress by launching and working to build a community around your idea.

As you’re figuring out your next steps, don’t forget to keep your backers in the loop. They’re your biggest fans and are probably interested in following along with your progress. You can post an update or send them a message to let them know about your plans for your project.

However, the idea of writing and publishing this book hasn’t failed, I am still writing it and I hope many of you will be interested in reading it. My first Kickstarter campaign was an epic failure, but I learned a lot. I learned that having a network and being part of a community is not enough to promote something like a book. People won’t come running and give you money for it, unless you are a well-known writer or already enjoy some sort of internet fame.

Also learned that keeping an active email list, blogging more often, post valuable information to your followers on the various social media outlets, and good design is super important.

At some point during the campaign I posted a question on Kickstarter’s forum about things I could do to help my campaign and two people responded with the following:

Mitch Thompson

Creator
Answered on July 13

HI Ricardo,

A biography is a hard sell. On any platform. If you’re serious about your book then you need to build an audience before you think about selling it. Seth Godin is a fantastic example of what it takes to go from an unknown author trying to sell his wisdom.

The sad truth is that Kickstarter is not a good platform for you at this time. Your best bet would be to continue growing your followers on social media. Do you have a blog? Start writing posts on a blog that are free for people to access. As you grow a following you can start polling users about what they want to see in a book and what would be beneficial to them to make it a worthwhile purchase.

Hope this helps.

John McMahon

Creator
Answered on July 19

I’d have to agree with MT, I think your best bet is building a blog audience over at least 6 months but probably a year. I’m not sure that will do it either though. You and I are in the same boat, I also started a publishing campaign in early July and have had poor results and I have a long publishing history and a blog with a solid following. I think publishing anything on KS that’s not YA, Fan Fiction, Children or very niche genre is difficult. I also think, and wondered about this before I started, that July is not a good month to launch a project. Good luck.

These two comments are very helpful and while I am planning on doing another Kickstarter campaign in the future, I am certainly going to try with a different product and in the meantime, will continue to grow my audience as they both recommended.

If you are thinking about starting your own Kickstarter campaign, I suggest you take the time to inform your audience, your network, friends, family, etc before you start the campaign. You should have at least a handful of backers ready before you even hit the publish button. Also, something I didn’t learn until it was too late for my campaign, partner with other creators to cross-promote your campaigns. This IS really helpful and most successful campaigns do this all the time.

I also recommend you read this and this and this too.

Good luck and please sign up to my newsletter to keep you informed about the progress of my book, other cool projects I am working on and useful tips and info I find online every week.

And remember, when you visualize, you then materialize.

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