In the time that I have been writing this blog, I have very often made mention of my belief in building community with other creators. I have personally enjoyed doing so, have benefited from sharing information, and have develop a few new friendships along the way. It has been beneficial and personally it has been most gratifying.
One thing I like to do, is to reach out to first time Kickstarter creators to offer encouragement, of if they are slow funding I like to recommend free things they can do to promote their campaign. It takes just a few minutes of your day to reach out to people (bloggers, podcasters, Youtubers, etc.) who use an interview platform and put them in touch with the first time creator. This has the remarkable benefit of providing content and provides a ready made audience for the first time creator to be introduced to. This works best when you maintain these relationships.
Support those who have supported your efforts, and support those whose work you respect. If you'll look over to the right you'll see the "featured crowdfunding campaign" section. Folks don't pay for that spot, I put it there because I think their creation is cool. This is one of the ways I make an effort to help other creators. Those of you who have a broader social reach (so really, just about everyone who reads this blog) can have a tremendous impact on the success of a crowdfunding campaign. Remember, if you think its cool then the people who read your material will probably enjoy it too.
It really comes down to building each other up. Share information about each other's campaigns. Point folks to print shops and manufacturers you've had good experience with (Thanks again, Adam!). Use the social media sharing options on your crowdfunding campaign to spread the word on things you like. You'll find that people are usually very willing to help you in return.
Starting with The Steel Road, I began making a habit of using KickStarter Live (their live streaming utility) to stream during the campaigns. I've found that this is a wonderful way to connect with your audience! While I cannot say that live streaming has had a direct impact on the amount of funding raised (there just isn't enough to data present for me to attempt a responsible correlation calculation) I will point out that The Steel Road was a great success for me and Whispers of Persephone saw even more funding from its campaign.
Yes, I'm recommending that you use this feature when you launch a KickStarter campaign. I'm also going to recommend that you not limit it to just non-stop prattle about your project. I try to spend about five minutes an hour talking about the project and the rest of the time taking questions, talking with guests (get to that in a moment) and making it a fun activity for all. Making it a fun thing really does take a lot of the stress away launching the live stream, so have a good time with it. If you look forward to it, then others will as well.
I also recommend having guests on. I've had live streamers, podcasters, Youtubers, artists, an author and friends on my own streams. It keeps the conversation going effortlessly, makes for a wide range of appeal, brings in fans of the guests in question, and really does make for a fun evening. People have said that I don't live stream "the right way" in that I don't spend a LOT of time talking about my own stuff. I do, however, take questions about the project and address them as prompltly as possible. As a great side effect, my relationships with those guests have improved, they've picked up more viewers as audiences cross populate, and I've found more support from some of their fans as well. Get to know people, even if they have an audience of five people that is potentially five more people you can reach.
Yes indeed, it is time once again for me to plug my own stuff. Whispers of Persephone's KickStarter campaign is complete and I'm working hard to complete the last stages before sending it to be edited. Once Whispers fulfillment is complete, I'll be launching a holiday book. I would like to see that campaign launch on the 14th if at all possible, so I'll be working pretty hard in the coming days to make that happen. It will have its own KickStarter campaign with a rapid fulfillment turn around. Wish me luck!
My Drip page has entered its second month. This month (November) will see a monster character as the subject of the month. It is being illustrated in full color by Alexia Veldhuisen. I've seen the black and white (pre-color) version of the art and it is stunning. I'm looking forward to putting that PDF out and sending out the Magic in the Mail cards.
Drip (and Patreon) are wonderful resources for creators. It is surprising how just a little bit of support can go such a long way! I am hoping, really hoping, to achieve a milestone of fifty subscribers by the end of April 2019. That is a BIG goal, but would (most likely) make the Drip page self-sufficient (I commission original art for the monthly release and it does cost some money) and would eventually like to expand the breadth of the material released to the subscribers.
So here is my vision of what my Drip page releases will, eventually, look like:
1) Behind the scenes releases will continue to include play test materials for subscribers. This is already happening and I'm cautiously optimistic that this will continue to be a popular point with the subscribers.
2) Monthly release will be gradually expanded to increase content provided to the subscribers without raising price points.
3) Subscribers will have the first choice option for limited availability tiers for coming KickStarter campaigns. One of the first examples of this will be with Tarot Adventures, Book Three: Death comes to Glenfallow. For that campaign, I have arranged to have a fully illustrated map developed. On that map will be ten (10) locations that KickStarter backers can pledge for to have the area named after themselves. Drip subscribers will have the opportunity to pledge for this limited reward prior to the KickStarter going live. I'll reduce the total available tier slots available before launch.
Long term goal for Drip page:
Okay, so this is a bit of misnomer... Drip is shutting down next year and the Drip creators are being migrated to a new site. I'm not certain what the new platform will be named so for now I'll just refer to it as Drip. Also, I originally drew up three different long term goals but they are all dependent upon the goal below.
1) Reach 1000 subscribers! There are a lot of reasons I want to reach this goal. It would allow me to expand the amount of content released each month (as above), help fund the art and development for the Tarot Adventures and would (potentially) allow me to commission art for my own RPG (currently in development).
You can click on the image to check out my Drip page ... I'll be updating the video in the coming days.
Thank you once again for joining me on my adventure into self-publishing, writing and game design. I invite you post your comments and/or questions below.
Please do remember, this blog records my experiences and thoughts. I recommend that you conduct your own research and make your own determination as what has worked for me might not work for you. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are mine alone (except where other people are quoted).
I hope you'll join me next time, as we continue my new adventure in game design, self-publishing and writing.
Thank you all!