Yes, indeed. About an hour ago, I took the plunge and clicked to launch my Kickstarter project. Check it out here.
Finally. I was a bit surprised by how much work was involved in putting it together, and two aspects especially slowed me down: the project photo and the project pitch video. If any of you are thinking of taking the plunge and creating a page for your project at Kickstarter, here are some tips:
Read the guidelines before doing anything else. They will give you a good idea of what you’ll need to assemble before you start working on your project page. You can take your time creating your page (I certainly did), do a little bit here, a little bit there.
Study the projects that have been successfully funded. I found this to be helpful. You have flexibility in how you present your project, and it was interesting to see how others used that flexibility. Check projects also that are in your same category.
“Cover” Photo. If you already have a photo, like a book cover, or series of photos, associated with your project that you can use, great. I didn’t. I had to create something, take a photo of it, then edit the photo to fit the website’s specs. This was hard for me — I’m not a visual designer. I spent a lot of time perusing other projects to see what other people had done, especially if they didn’t have a book cover they could use. I ended up creating a “book cover” showing how much I needed a designer on 8.5″ x 11″ white paper, using some photos I’ve used here. Then I printed it out, photographed it, loaded the photos on my computer and edited the one I thought was closest to what I wanted. The first time I uploaded it, the website cropped it badly. So, I returned to the editing table and cropped it the way I wanted it. Here’s the original photo I cropped:
Videos are important. When I first began working on my page, I didn’t realize that the photo at the top of project pages with the white arrow were videos. I know, duh. While going through Kickstarter’s “school,” they talked about doing a video. Puzzled, I returned to some of the project pages I’d studied and clicked on that white arrow. Oh, yeah, there it was.
Fortunately, my old laptop died and I bought a new laptop, one that has wonderful capabilities, including making videos. The actual recording is easy. The hard part is figuring out what to say, what to wear, adjusting the lighting, etc. Kickstarter’s “How to make an awesome video” was reassuring. This was the first time I’d made a video — an adventure! Yeah, right. My first attempt was AWFUL. It went right into the trash. I really don’t like watching myself talk or hearing my voice, so it’s a challenge to make a video of myself talking. My second attempt worked, and although it’s definitely not perfect (you’ll need to turn up your volume), it’s good enough for me.
Ask a friend to review your finished page. Kickstarter recommends this, and I do, too. My friend caught some things I’d missed that I then could correct. It’s also a good thing to leave it for a couple days before reviewing it yourself and then submitting it to Kickstarter for their review.
Express your gratitude. I’m afraid I don’t do this enough, and then I’m afraid I’m doing it too much and sound really simpy and cloying. But it’s still important to let people know how much you’ll appreciate their support and contributions.
Now that the project is live, my next responsibility is to maintain the blog at the project page. This is specifically for progress reports on how your project is moving forward, not about pep talks and asking for money in other creative ways. I feel both excitement and fear — will I make my goal? Will people like what I’ve said enough to want to support the project?
The next month will answer those questions….