Monday, June 8, 2015

Fully funded, a staff pick, and in the top 20 of all time

Yes, all those accomplishments have occurred in under 4 days of the Death of Dulgath Kickstarter.

People keep writing me with statements such as, "How can you be surprised, didn't you expect this to happen?"   Well, I guess that depends on what part of "this" you are talking about.
  • Did I expect the project to fund? Yes, of course, if I didn't think it was possible, I wouldn't have done the Kickstarter in the first place.
  • Did I expect it to happen so quickly? No, absolutely not. Ideally, I wanted to run the Kickstarter for 30 days, but given I launched on the 4th of June, I didn't want it ending during a holiday weekend.  So, I had two choices, move it up or move it back. If I thought it would fund quickly I would have moved it up. To be honest, I thought there was a real chance that we'd be "working hard" to get that last bit of funding toward the end; so, I stretched it out.  Wish I could go back and change that.
  • With regards to Staff Picks, there are 6,931 live projects and only 557 Staff Picks. That's just 8%.  Being in the top 8% of anything is difficult, but if you've spent any time on Kickstarter, you know some of the coolest things of all times started out there. Projects such as Lumio, Pebble Watches, Coolest Coolers, and even a hugely successful campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow.  When you look at just publishing projects, which is a relatively small sub-segment of Kickstarter, there are only 55 Staff Picks, and if you narrow it to fiction there are only 7!
  • As for being one of the highest funded projects of all time, well, I did have a high goal. So, if it funded it would hit spot #33. I did think it would surpass Hollow World (at spot #20) because that was (a) science fiction rather than fantasy - which isn't what I'm known for (b) not part of a series (c) my first Kickstarter and I've learned a lot since then. But again I thought we would be 3 - 4 weeks into the campaign before that would hit. So, yes doing it before day four comes to a close was beyond my a long shot.
So, the obvious question is, what's next?  Well, there are plenty of things...a poster of Marc's artwork for Dulgath, interior illustrations, paper upgrade, gold-foil stamping, but there is one that I thought was WAY beyond my goal, that may be possible now.  What is it?  Well since we will have a hardcover print run, why not go for broke and do the trade paperback editions as well? Yes, it's a lot of additional money, but given the strength of the campaign, we just may be able to reach it.


  1. I can see being surprised at hitting the funding goal in under 48 hours. From my side it seemed obvious that it would fund so quickly. But I look at other projects we've both backed or I've backed which have struggled to fund and on the face they look like good bets to fund quickly and some struggled up to the last day or didn't fund at all.

    There is a Kickstarter blog post about how much better people do with each project they come back to fund on Kickstarter. Multi-Kickstarters creators do better each time usually.

    IMHO, as someone who has backed 189 publishing projects, your campaigns have been extremely well put together and for the most part easy to understand add-ons and what comes with each pledge level. I'd add exactly what can & cannot be bought as ebooks & paperbacks & why as the questions are coming up so frequently. But due to the combination of self-published/trad-published people are going to be confused even with clear lists in the story/description and in the FAQ.

    I love the stretch goal of trade paperback. I really like campaigns which list most/all of stretch goals up-front. I think it helps keep backers energized and motivated as well as letting potential backers know what their money is working towards. It also lets backers know the creator has thought out what they can deliver; not something backers can always count on.