Kickstarter Suggestions

By | Friday, August 17, 2012 Leave a Comment
All you guys out there with really cool Kickstarter projects? I really, really want to help, but there's only so much I can afford at one time. Can you all, like, get together and spread out your Kickstarters more so they don't all end at the same time? There 133 active comics projects on right now, so it's probably not realistic to think you could ALL get together and space things out. How about just you guys with neat projects that I would actually contribute to?

I'm mostly joking, of course, but there is an interesting angle in there. From what I can see -- not having run a Kickstarter campaign myself -- there doesn't seem to be much in the way of sorting through projects in a way that lends itself to smarter marketing. For example, I see there's two projects on right now that take new spins on the Alice in Wonderland stories -- one as a comic book and one as a prose novel. Both finish in mid-September. If you're on a budget, you might not be able to contribute enough to get copies of both and the subject matter is such that, despite being two different media, there's likely to be some overlap in audiences. And the only way you could really tell that is by tracking down each existing Kickstarter manually.

I'm wondering if it would make sense for Kickstarter to include tools to make it easier for people to avoid crossing over others' toes. Like, say, adding keywords. And if you type in the same keyword(s) that someone else is currently using, you get an alert/warning saying, "Hey, just so you know, there are 12 other projects going on right now using that same keyword." Or maybe a handy, graphical timeline showing the start/end dates of all existing projects in the same category before your project is actually launched. Or making the Kickstarter site more social, so there's more to it than just hitting a "Like" button.

The thing is that people running Kickstarter projects have the exact same issue that any independent creator does. Namely, that they know their project but not necessarily a way to market it and/or make money off it. Often they haven't studied business in any appreciable capacity, and you see terrible mistakes in the Kickstarter page that might not be really reflective of the quality of the final material. I know I've NOT contributed to some projects because the video production was horrendous, even though the final project had nothing to do with video and might well have been fantastic otherwise. I know that's not really fair of me, but that's how marketing works. If any part of your pitch looks/sounds sketchy, I'm going to see that as a reflection of your overall production quality. So anything that Kickstarter might do to help people launch projects more successfully is bound to help.

It would benefit Kickstarter, too, because it could improve the success rate of projects and, as Kickstarter gets a cut of only successful projects, it would improve their bottom line. Whether or not those types of investments would pay for themselves, I can't say, but it seems like it ought to be worth investigating at least.
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