Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Checklist before Crowdfunding campaign launch

I'm counting down to Whispers of Persephone's KickStarter launch and the excitement is starting to build for me.  Excitement, stress, and that fierce pace to spread the word far and wide are common for me whenever I'm readying to push that "go live" button.  So, today I wanted to talk about a few things I have found useful to control the nerves and free up my mind to enjoy the excitement of a new crowdfunding launch.

1)  Make a checklist well in advance.  Define each step for your launch and make certain you actually check those things off once they are complete.

2) Check your print quotes (if any), shipping figures (again, if any), and run your numbers against your reward tiers a final time.   With this, you'll be checking the pledge level amount (minus the fees associated with the crowdfunding platform in question) then subtracting costs to determine how much this pledge level is benefiting your production cost total.

3) Look over your equipment.  This is an old hang-up of mine.  Before you go on "a mission" as it were, make certain that your stuff works.  In this case I'm checking my network, home system, webcam, mic (thanks Daniel for the new one!), and making sure that all are in working order for my live stream event.

4) Submit your campaign proposal for review at least four days ahead of time.  I've never had a campaign take longer than a day to be verified and approved by KickStarter, but they say it can take a few days on their site, so I respect that.  Give yourself that time so your campaign can launch on time. Related to this is your banking verification.  Do that at least a week in advance.

5) Reach out to your audience and let them know when the launch is happening.  It makes things easier on you when you hear from folks who tell you they are going to pledge for the new project.  I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't.  I'm not talking about mailing lists (I don't like those), I'm talking about updates on prior campaign pages, social media interactions, and generally just giving folks a 'heads up' rather than an advertising blurb.

6)  Read over your campaign to make certain it says what you think it says.  Check the reward descriptions to verify that they say what they should about what rewards are going out.  Ambiguity in your reward descriptions is NOT your friend and is not friendly to your audience and backers.  Clean up any vague language prior to launch.

7) Get your interviews in!  Folks, I will tell you that a LOT of my new audience members discovered my projects because I showed up on a podcast interview, answered some questions from a blogger/reviewer, or otherwise just made myself available to talk to people who want you for the content you provide.  I like the shows I've been on and it is always a thrill to do an interview.  Swallow any stage fright, be open and honest, and try to have fun talking about your project.
{of note concerning point seven:  I usually manage to get in a plug for other creators that have cool campaigns out there.  This is certainly not required, but I think it is good for the creator community.  Just my two cents on that.}

8) Finally, make certain you launch on time!  Once you launch, share the link to all social media channels you have available (with groups, make certain you are following group guidelines and have any permissions needed from admins).  In short, follow the rules with regard to your social media channels.  Not only is it the right thing to do, it is what you must do if you ever intend to launch another project!

Stygian Mummy screen capture
From Play test version 3.5 of
Whispers of Persephone

That's pretty much it for the final days pre-launch.  Check your math, make sure you're ready, and do what you can to get the word out.  As I've mentioned before, be honest with your audience and set realistic fulfillment deadlines and you'll be fine.


Thank you for joining me on my continuing adventure in game design, writing and self-publishing.  I hope that this entry is of use to you in your own efforts to fund and publish your work.

I hope you'll join me next time!

Look for Whispers of Persephone to launch on Saturday September 22nd, 2018 at
12:00 PM (noon) EST.

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