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Backer Rewards and Retail Sales: Funding Through Kickstarter In the Future

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Kickstarter has really allowed me to be able to make the last several books happen, because the backers allowed me to pay authors a professional rate up front. I - like most people - don't have enough cash laying around to finance these books on my own.
But together, we do.

And that's really what crowdfunding - and Kickstarter in particular - is about. 

But that's also the problem.

Even though Kickstarter has gone to great lengths to ensure that people know that it is not pre-ordering and that Kickstarter is not a store, lots of people don't get that. Kickstarter is something different; as the Verge put it: "Kickstarter is a fourth type of payment, where backers contribute out of an affinity for an idea and a desire to see it exist, that sits somewhere between philanthropy, patronage, and consumption."

And that's nice and good, but I have to deal with the way things are, even if they're nowhere near what they're supposed to be.

Although unfounded and flat-out wrong, there seems to be a large number of people who view Kickstarter more like a store than a PBS pledge drive. And could cause me a big problem when the next anthology goes up.

Because we're trying to fund a concept, the backer levels don't correspond directly to the eventual retail price. When I back a project, I'm okay with seeing it cost less when it eventually goes on sale... because if I didn't back the project originally, it would never go on sale for anyone. I'm more invested in helping the thing become real than just shopping.

But if people are just looking at Kickstarter as pre-ordering, they'll be super ticked if they later see the same product for a lower price.

And with that as the case, it'll be harder (and require more backers) in order to reach the same funding goals.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do in order to work with this changing perception. Make the retail copies more expensive than the backer rewards? Just try harder to get more backers? Assume that less expensive backer levels will attract more backers?

What do you think? How do you look at Kickstarter? What do you think about the price points for the backer rewards?

1 comment :

Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand said...

I think you can maintain the higher price for a period of time, say a year, and then drop it lower after that without offending most people. Also, if you have good bonus items and stretch goals, those who buy the product through Kickstarter actually will get a better deal (cause they get more stuff) through the Kickstarter, so pricing the stand-alone item a bit lower probably won't tick off most of the backers.