Friday, May 18, 2018

Fun things you learn when you let people see a preview of your new KickStarter campaign

Screen capture from the KickStarter campaign for : The Steel Road
This image was grabbed last night while I was working on the page

Hello everyone!

I'm about to launch my fifth kickstarter campaign.  With my fourth campaign I had made previews of the campaign available to some bloggers I'm acquainted with, and ran the information by some friends to look it over.  It was helpful.    For The Steel Road I wanted a broader spectrum of people to take a look at the campaign prior to launch.  I was looking for feedback and I got it!

Things I had pointed out to me from the earliest of drafts were that I had too much text. Really, I had written to much, put forth a lot of detail, and had pretty much made the page read like installation instructions.  That kind of format is no fun to create, and no fun for the people coming to the campaign.  So, don't over do it, be honest and sincere, and don't worry about things that people are likely to already know.

Also from The Steel Road Kickstarter page
This  capture shows the pledge level for pdf and pod after the early backer tier expires

The next thing that was pointed out to me, was that I needed to tell people what the book was for.  Somehow, in all the excitement and in the process of putting words to page, I had forgotten to indicate the book was for the 5th Edition game mechanic.... oops?    So I did a bit of work to clean that up.

I cut down the extraneous matter (still clipping that back a bit), and tried to stick with just the meaty bits of the thing.  Its a book for your 5th Edition game, it has a bunch of weapons, all are illustrated, please support it... that kind of thing.  I found it was much more fun to read through, easier to digest, and people didn't have to try to interpret things.  All good things I believe.

Page from: The Steel Road
Art by: Zack Viola

Stretch Goals:  

Everyone seems to want more stretch goals.  I've been torn on this point as I don't want the project to get out of hand, but then something great happened.  One of the people looking at the page had been a backer of a prior campaign and he made a suggestion about something he would like to see as a stretch goal.  Its easily done, and I like the idea, so I'm checking the math to see if its feasible. Thank you very much Alexander for such insight!

My position on stretch goals is that they should always be something that makes a great contribution to the project.  Additional art, more content, better quality materials, and things in a similar vein are what I like to see.  As a creator though, you must balance these ambitions against your costs.  It is critical if you are to succeed in the business side of things and be able to afford to create new projects in the future.

So for all of you who are planning campaigns, be mindful of your stretch goals!

original page art for The Steel Road
Art by: Zachary Viola


I talk a LOT about how to treat your audience when you are a crowdfunded creator.  I always encourage people to do all they can to make the best products possible, in order to give their audience the best value.  Yesterday, I was reminded that people appreciate the effort.  I'll not get sappy about it, but I received some very kind words from a few backers of my last KickStarter (for Tarot Adventures, Book Two:  Comet over Echo Rock) which had its fulfillment running late (two weeks late as of this writing, but fulfillment is underway).

Once again, I'll recommend that in all dealings with your audience be honest, realistic, and put forth your very best effort.  I hope that in your creative endeavors you receive the same kind of messages I have.  They really do mean a lot to me because they are encouraging and really make all the work more worthwhile.

Yesterday I was told that my work mattered, that people are looking forward to my next book, and that they have fun with their friends as they play through the adventures I've created.  I can't think of a better reason for all the hard work, than knowing that the people supporting my kickstarter campaigns, my audience, are enjoying what I do.

(Thanks folks, you ladies and gentlemen have been the best!)

Your audience makes your creations possible.  Cherish them all.


Thank you for joining me once again on this adventure into game design, writing and self-publishing.

I'll be continuing the countdown toward the KickStarter campaign for The Steel Road with a new entry tonight.  

I do hope you will share this entry with others to help fellow creators.

Adventure awaits!

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