The Kickstarter Handbook

LiveTrue Books, Kickstarter Handbook

Do you have a dream, passion, idea or project which you would love to accomplish, if only you had the funds to make it happen? Have you considered an online fundraising campaign? Many quirky, unique and personal dreams have been fulfilled by those who have discovered and taken advantage of the new online fundraising platforms. These websites allow you to share your passion with countless others who can support your idea. People with albums, books, sculptures and inventions have been enthusiastically financed by people who discovered them through the original crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter.  

The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Crowdfunding Success Stories by Don Steinberg is an absolute must read if you are interested in sharing your idea and having others help you make it happen. This book outlines the specific steps, time and strategies it will take to be a success. The first chapter, Are You Ready for This? provides a realistic perspective of what it takes to run a successful campaign. Creating the awareness and buzz around your Kickstarter project is essentially a full time job for the short period of time the campaign is live, if you want the best chances of reaching your fundraising goal.

After a hard dose of reality, the next chapters focus on the specifics of setting up a campaign, including the thought process behind choosing the fundraising goal. On Kickstarter, if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t keep any of the donations, so it is imperative to select an achievable number which still allows you to accomplish your idea. The book also instructs you on how to set up the rewards so that the campaign produces enough interest and revenue to be successful. This section answers such questions as: How low should you go? How high should you go? What kind of incentives work? There is a real science to these decisions which is laid out in clear and easy-to-follow graphs and charts. In addition to figuring out “the numbers,” campaign organizers need to determine who their audience is and how to reach them. There are a few lengthy pages listing Kickstarter-friendly online media that will help promote campaigns they like. This list alone makes this book a great purchase.

In addition to graphs and lists, Mr. Steinberg interviewed a variety of people who often play a part in the assistance and success of a Kickstarter campaign. Bloggers and PR experts give their perspectives, including what they look for in a project and how they cover the story. They also relay simple tips to give a campaign hopeful success.

What I enjoyed most about this book are the many stories and case studies of those who have succeeded, as well as failed, at the Kickstarter competition. There is no better way to show how something should be done than giving examples of those who have done it right…from their fundraising goal to how they promoted the idea. From these stories, I learned that it is important to have a clear story about what you are doing, and be passionate. The examples of those who failed are equally as interesting and valuable. Sometimes the best lessons come from failure.

While the focus of The Kickstarter Handbook is how to set up campaigns within the Kickstarter structure, it is applicable to all online fundraising platforms. At the end of the book are lists of other similar crowdfunding sites.  If you are passionate enough about bringing your creative ideas to life, take heart, because in this day and age, the possibility of making it happen could be as close as reading this book!


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