bryan young

Kickstarter – Lessons Learned

Running a Kickstarter campaign for your book is a nerve wracking experience.

You watch as people, dollar after dollar, decide to support the book you’ve spent so much time and effort working on it. Silence in the Library helped me put the whole thing together, their first non-fiction book, A Children’s Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination. It’s a quirky book, written by me and illustrated by the talented Erin Kubinek.
One of the most important things I learned working on the Kickstarter (after having a great video and project) is that nothing will happen if you don’t make it happen. People who look around for Kickstarter projects to back because they love Kickstarter only seem to jump on board once you’re already secure in your funding. That’s why it’s so important to bring every bit of family, friends, and fans you can to your project and make sure they buy the book…or game…or whatever…
The next most important thing I learned is to have something new to show people with every update. I was incredibly lucky on this book that I could showcase the art of Erin Kubinek on just about every post and tell a little story about what’s going on with each illustration. Before you launch a Kickstarter, take some time to think about what you’ll be offering people with the updates you send them. If they’re boring, there’s not a chance they’ll pass them along to others.
I also learned that the last hour of a Kickstarter, even if you’re far past your goal, are the most excruciating, stressful minutes in the entire campaign. For every other stretch of time, there’s still time left to be had. Those last sixty minutes represent the end of months of hard work and they tick by, moment after moment, yielding for nothing. But when it’s over, there’s nothing more invigoriating than that breath of air you take when the weight is off your shoulders and it’s over.
And then you realize the work is just beginning. Now you have to make sure everyone gets what’s coming to them. Fulfillment is a new journey all it’s own that everyone seems to forget about. Plan for it. Better than you already have.
I don’t know. There are lots of things I learned while doing this Kickstarter.
I learned to be grateful for the support you’re given. I’ve learned to be humbled when the support you’re given comes in at levels far beyond your expectations.
I’m excited for this book to come out and I’m excited for you to read it. I think it’ll be a great addition to the Silence in the Library…well…library.
And the stuff that’s coming down the pipeline after my book? It’s even bigger and better. There are great things coming from this company and we’ll all do well to keep an eye on it.
Bryan Young is an author. You can follow him on twitter and facebook, as well as his author website. He also writes for The Huffington Post, the official Star Wars blog, and is the editor-in-chief of Big Shiny Robot!