My First Kickstarter Campaign
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
My Kickstarter campaign for The Train Rolls On officially launches on Tuesday, October 6th, 2020. That is just under four weeks away, so please mark your calendars! If you’re not sure what a Kickstarter campaign is or how it works, check out my Kickstarter Basics blog here. The purpose of this article is to provide potential supporters with specific details about my campaign so they know what to expect when the campaign goes live.
But First...Let's Get Real
As launch day creeps closer and closer, the campaign is starting to feel very REAL, and I am definitely starting to feel the pressure. I am excited, but I am also nervous. Will people like the book? Will they believe in it enough to support it? Will anyone outside of my close family and friends even see my campaign? Am I doing enough? Should I be doing anything differently? Will the campaign ultimately succeed or fail? What happens if it fails?
These are just some of the questions that are swirling around in my head as the launch date draws near. Being my first-ever Kickstarter campaign, I simply don’t know what to expect. I just know that organizing the campaign has proved to be a lot more work than I originally expected. Between researching previous campaigns, writing and designing the campaign page, shooting and editing the video, determining each reward tier and its associated reward package, pricing out the individual reward items, pricing out shipping options and materials, finalizing a budget and funding goal, and spreading the word about the campaign, it has definitely kept me busy over the last few months. At times, the planning has been difficult and frustrating, but putting in the work has also made me that much more invested in the campaign's success. Now, I am just hopeful that all of the time and energy spent preparing for it pays off.
So, what is my campaign all about?
The purpose of the campaign is to raise enough money to finish and print The Train Rolls On and to share the book with as many families as possible. My family and I have invested money up front to edit the book, create the cover, start the illustrations and design, and form my self-publishing company, Young At Heart Publishing, LLC. Now, I am asking for help to complete and print the book.
Please keep in mind: Kickstarter pledges are not donations. My Kickstarter campaign offers supporters an opportunity to pre-order The Train Rolls On. Backers will be among the first to receive the completed book, and they can also choose to receive a unique reward package that will only be available during the campaign.
When will my campaign be live?
The campaign launches on Tuesday, October 6th. It will be live until Thursday, November 5th.
What is my target funding goal?
What will the funds be used for?
The funds will be used to finish the book's illustrations and design and to print the completed books. In addition, a small portion of the funds will be used to fulfill and ship backer rewards and pay Kickstarter fees.
How much is a typical pledge?
The average pledge tends to be around $25, but it's ultimately up to each backer. Backers can look through the available pledge tiers, choose the tier they like the best, and pledge the corresponding amount.
I have created 11 reward tiers that backers can choose from. They range from $2 to $1,000.
What can supporters expect in return for their pledges?
Some of my campaign reward tiers are as follows:
$2: Backers will receive notification when the book is published.
$10: Backers will receive the eBook.
$18: Backers will receive one 8" x 10" paperback copy of the book (photo right).
$25: Backers will receive one 8" x 10" hardcover copy of the book (photo right).
$35: Backers will receive one signed hardcover book and the eBook.
$55: Backers will receive one signed hardcover book and the eBook, plus one additional hardcover book for a friend.
$100: Backers will receive a gift box containing one signed hardcover book, the eBook, one custom activity and coloring book, two custom sticker sheets, one custom refrigerator magnet, and one stuffed zoo animal.
I also created a small donation pack (5 hardcover books for $125) and a large donation pack (10 hardcover books for $225) for anyone who would like to order bulk quantities of the book.
*Note: The amount listed for each tier does not include shipping costs. Shipping costs will be applied during the pledge process and will range from $8-15 for most U.S. addresses. International shipping rates will be higher and will vary by country.
How can supporters find my campaign page?
Once the campaign is live:
1. Go to www.kickstarter.com and type ‘The Train Rolls On’ in the search bar.
2. Alternatively, I will place a link to the campaign on my website’s homepage. Once posted, this link will take you directly to my campaign page. I will also send this link out to potential supporters via email and social media.
Kickstarter campaigns are ALL-OR-NOTHING! If my campaign doesn't reach the $8,000 funding goal, I will not receive any pledge money, and backers will not receive their selected rewards! More importantly, The Train Rolls On may not be published next spring as planned. So, let's work together to make this happen!
If you are interested in supporting my campaign but have additional questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below. I will do my best to answer them as soon as possible.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you know anyone else who might be interested in supporting my campaign, please share my campaign information with them. I need all of the help that I can get! 😊
Thank you so much for your time and support! The countdown continues…
To read about fellow self-publishing author, Brittany Youngblood, and how Kickstarter helped to fund the publication of her first children’s book, Sea Flap-Flap, check out my recent Author Spotlight blog here. To learn more about the role of book designers, read my blog entitled What In The World Is A Book Designer, & Why Did I Hire One? here.