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Kickstarter Secrets

Kickstarter Secrets is an ebook of practical advice about running a crowdfunding campaign from Greg Pak, the writer of record-breaking Kickstarter publishing projects such as Code Monkey Save World and The Princess Who Saved Herself.

Kickstarter Secrets will ship in October. Pre-order it today!

How-To Post: Analysis of the PRINCESS WHO SAVED HER FRIENDS Kickstarter campaign

Three weeks ago Jonathan Coulton and I launched a Kickstarter campaign for THE PRINCESS WHO SAVED HER FRIENDS, a sequel to our children’s book THE PRINCESS WHO SAVED HERSELF.

So here we are, three days from the end of the campaign, and I thought I’d share few thoughts about what’s worked and not worked for us in terms of getting the word out. (And if you like this kind of analysis, please do check out my KICKSTARTER SECRETS ebook, which spills all my secrets about crowdfunding!)

First, the campaign’s done great! We hit our initial $39,000 goal on the second day, hit two stretch goals over the next couple of weeks, and are now closing in on what will probably be our final stretch goal — at $80,000, backers at the $12 level and above all get free PDFs of Korean and Spanish translations of the book.

But the data reveals some interesting details about what’s driven support. Check out the chart below from Kicktraq.com, which shows the amount of money in pledges the campaign has taken in on each day.

The most obvious thing to note is that we got a huge wave of support on the first three days. That’s when Jonathan and I messaged everyone on our personal email newsletter lists and the Kickstarter lists for our previous campaigns (including Code Monkey Save World, The Princess Who Saved Herself, ABC Disgusting, and Kickstarter Secrets) and hit our social media hard.That was enough to get us a few thousand bucks over our initial $39,000 goal, which was spectacular. It also was confirmation of that bit of basic advice from the Kickstarter Secrets book, which was to set a goal that’s reasonable given the audience you’ve already built. I was honestly a bit nervous about that $39,000 goal — no matter how many of these projects I do, I never QUITE know how it’ll all work out. But given the thousands of backers we’d had on previous Kickstarters, it felt reasonable. Thankfully, it panned out as we hoped.

So then the chart shows a very typical pattern for the next three weeks — small surges on Mondays/Tuesdays, followed by gradual attrition through the week with the lowest points over the weekends and holidays. The honest truth is that it’s incredibly hard to get any attention over the weekends and holidays. This last weekend is particularly instructive. From Thursday, October 4 to Sunday, October 7, I was tabling in the Artists’ Alley at the NYCC, handing out hundreds of PRINCESS WHO SAVED HER FRIENDS postcards. But that Saturday was worst day of our campaign, with only six new backers and $307 in pledges. That Sunday we got a bump because Kickstarter very kindly put us on the front page of their website for the day. But Monday was a national holiday, and we plummeted back to our second lowest grossing day of the entire campaign.

I have no regrets about printing up those postcards — I’m sure many of the folks who picked them up checked out the campaign later in the week. But you can’t expect in-person events like that to generate immediate backers the same way online announcements can. And anything you do over the weekend is competing with everything else everyone’s doing over the weekend.

Sometimes you can goose numbers on slow weekends and holidays by posting things on social media. I never give up — if you follow me on Twitter, you know I post about my Kickstarter projects every single day. SHAMELESSLY. But I’ve also learned to hold off on BIG announcements (or even updates like this very note) until a non-holiday weekday, just because I know more people will have the time to pay attention to it.

So in that Kicktraq chart, those bumps you see on Mondays and Tuesdays aren’t just the natural progression of things — they’re also the result of us timing our updates and announcements to when folks are actually checking their email.

For example, on Monday 9/24, Tuesday 10/2, and Tuesday 10/9, we announced new stretch goals, emailing our various big lists. And on all of those days we got nice bumps.

I’ve been pretty darn pleased with how the campaign has gone so far. But if I had to do it all over again, my notes to self would be:

1. Work a little harder on press. 

We got some great coverage from a few sites and podcasts. But I didn’t work my press contacts as hard and as far ahead of time as I have with projects in the past. This was just a time issue for me — I didn’t have the bandwidth to chase as much press down early in the game. I’ve also realized that as a sequel, THE PRINCESS WHO SAVED HER FRIENDS isn’t quite as press-worthy as the original book was, so it may have been harder to get coverage for it. Fortunately, as a sequel, we had a built-in audience from the earlier book that helped balance the scales. Still, I’m doing a bit of extra hustle to scrounge up a little last-minute press for the last days of the campaign. Wish me luck!

2. More video updates.

I’m old enough that I still prefer reading a page of text over watching a short video online. But millions of people LOVE online video, and we could have reached more folks if I’d made some more videos to promote the project. During the original Code Monkey Save World campaign, I recorded Jonathan signing at a couple of our in-person events and posted those videos online with links to the campaign, and they did indeed pull in backers. And for years, I’ve thought about making a music video of Jonathan’s original “Princess Who Saved Herself” song using art from the book. But I’ve never had or made the time. Similarly, Kickstarter now has a “Kickstarter Live” video feature that I’ve never made the time to figure out how to use. These are shiny, beautiful tools in the box that I’ve got to try out some day.

3. More process posts like this.

It occurred to me pretty late in the game that since I’m doing a new Kickstarter, the fine folks who backed my book Kickstarter Secrets would probably be interested in the behind-the-scenes experiences of running it. So here I am! But it would have been smart for me to have made a couple more posts like this earlier in the campaign as well. In my experience on all my previous projects, a lot of people are really hungry for practical info about how these books are made and how these campaigns are run. Again, something to remember and make time for next time ’round!

So there you have it! Hope this little glimpse into the process has been interesting to you, and if you’d like to check out and back the campaign, please don’t hesitate!

Back the Princess Who Saved Her Friends today!

All the best and thanks as always!

KICKSTARTER SECRETS audiobook now available!

I recently wrote a how-to book called KICKSTARTER SECRETS that shared all of my best tips for running crowdfunding campaigns based on my experiences with the Kickstarters for CODE MONKEY SAVE WORLD, THE PRINCESS WHO SAVED HERSELF, and ABC DISGUSTING.

Today I’m thrilled to announce the release of an audiobook of KICKSTARTER SECRETS, which you can buy right now at GregPakShop.com! If you’ve ever thought about crowdfunding, this is the book for you.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks as always!

New Humble Bundle benefitting the Hero Initiative includes FOUR Greg Pak books

I’m thrilled to reveal that four of my books are part of the “Heroes of Indie Comics” Humble Bundle that benefits the Hero Initiative!

The Hero Initiative is a tremendous charity that helps out comics creators in need. Humble Bundle is a website through which you pay what you want for cool bundles of digital stuff with a percentage going to charity. You can even set exactly how much of your contribution goes to charity when you check out.

The “Heroes of Indie Comics” Humble Bundle includes ABC DISGUSTING, CODE MONKEY SAVE WORLD, THE PRINCESS WHO SAVED HERSELF, and KICKSTARTER SECRETS. I’m super proud of all those books and now you can get ’em dirt cheap, along with a slew of other books from folks like Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, Jeff Lemire, Jill Thompson, Jimmy Palmiotti, and many more!

Please do check it out here and contribute today!

2017.09.22 – 09.22 – Greg Pak at the Baltimore Comic Con!

Thrilled to share that I’ll be a guest of the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend, attending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’ll be at table 208 in Artists Alley with tons of comics, including MECH CADET YU, KINGSWAY WEST, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, PLANET HULK, TOTALLY AWESOME HULK, and tons more!

I’ll also be on three panels on Saturday:

12:00-1:00 – DMC panel

1:30-2:30 – Marvel panel

4:00-5:00 – BOOM! panel

See you soon!

 

 

All online sales of KICKSTARTER SECRETS and ABC DISGUSTING in Sept. going to the North Texas Food Bank!

Hey, all! Just a quick reminder that throughout September, I’m donating all proceeds from online sales of my books KICKSTARTER SECRETS and ABC DISGUSTING to the North Texas Food Bank. Please do check out the books here:

ABC Disgusting children's book – signed by Greg Pak!

Kickstarter Secrets PDF

And please do feel free to share this message with your friends!

And as always, you can donate directly to the North Texas Food Bank right here: https://www.ntfb.org/

Many thanks and all the best!

The Kickstarter Secrets book is done and available for purchase!

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Big, big news! At long last, I’ve finished writing Kickstarter Secrets, a 154 page, 61,730 word book chock full of just about everything I know about crowdfunding!

Whether you’re an early career creator thinking about launching your first Kickstarter or a grizzled veteran, this book is for you, packed with practical examples and stories drawn from my campaigns and featuring interviews with incredible Kickstarter creators like Amy Chu, Hope Nicholson, Jimmy Palmiotti, C. Spike Trotman, and Drew Westphal.

And you can grab the digital pdf of the book this very second at kickstarter-secrets.com ! Please do check it out!

As an added bonus, you can listen to five hour-long Kickstarter Secrets interviews with Amy, Hope, Jimmy, Spike and Drew right now on iTunes. Enjoy!

Free mini audio book of Greg Pak’s Kickstarter Primer!

Hey, friends! We’re down to the last forty eight hours of my Kickstarter campaign for Kickstarter Secrets, an book of advice about running Kickstarters. So as a kind of a tease, I’ve recorded a mini audio book of the 22 point Kickstarter primer I wrote last year. You can download it here or via Greg Pak’s Pakcast on iTunes.

And here it is embedded into this very post!

If you like what you hear in the mini audio book, you’re going to love the full Kickstarter Secrets book, which explores all those topics and more with much more detail. Please do feel free to check out the Kickstarter and back today!

kickstarter-secrets

Ihnatko Almanac podcast with Greg Pak about Kickstarter Secrets!

Had a ton of fun talking with Andy Ihnatko about the Kickstarter Secrets, an ebook of Kickstarter tips that I’m funding via Kickstarter, natch! 😉

New Kickstarter Secrets 8K stretch goal: Audio book for all backers!

So my crazy Kickstarter for a book of Kickstarter advice called Kickstarter Secrets continues apace! Backers breezed past the initial goal in a day and have unlocked multiple stretch goals, enabling me to interview amazing Kickstarter creators Amy Chu, Drew Westphal, Hope Nicholoson, Jimmy Palmiotti, and C. Spike Trotman. Now I’m pleased to announce the fifth stretch goal: if we hit $8000, I’ll record an audio book of Kickstarter Secrets that all backers will get for free! Please do feel free to check the project out here:
Thanks so much and have a great week!
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KICKSTARTER SECRETS hits target, announces Amy Chu/Drew Westphal interview stretch goal!

kickstarter-secrets

By Greg Pak

Yesterday morning I launched a Kickstarter for Kickstarter Secrets, an ebook of advice about… wait for it… running a Kickstarter! Whether you’re an established pro or a first time creator, this is the realistic, practical book of crowdfunding tips for you. Please feel free to check out the campaign, back it, and spread the word!

So over a hundred wonderful backers pushed the campaign past its initial goal in seven hours, and now I’m thrilled to announce our first set of stretch goals!

If we hit $3000, I’ll interview Amy Chu and Drew Westphal, two great creators with incredible Kickstarter experiences that will add huge value to the final book.

kss-stretch-01

Amy Chu funded her two GIRLS NIGHT OUT comics anthologies through Kickstarter. When people ask me how to break in to comics, I point to Amy, who started as an unknown a few years ago, built her skills and reputation step by step, and now is working on projects like POISON IVY for DC and DEADPOOL and ANT-MAN for Marvel. I can’t wait to talk to her about how she built the network to fund her Kickstarters and what kind of advice she has for creators at the start of their careers.

Drew Westphal is the logistical genius who kept the wheels on the bus during the CODE MONKEY SAVE WORLD Kickstarter, coordinating the production of special rewards, finding and managing vendors, and creating the digital infrastructure for organizing addresses, generating mailing lists, and distributing digital rewards. He’ll shed light on all of the nuts and bolts of running a campaign and probably remind me of a bunch of my mistakes. 😉 Drew works with with a number of artists on custom direct-to-fan sales, customer service, fulfillment and logistics. He is also a partner in the annual JoCo Cruise, which sets sail on March 4, 2017 out of San Diego, CA.

Right now the Kickstarter Secrets campaign is at $2623. Just under $400 more and we’ll add Amy and Drew to the book — and announce the next exciting stretch goal interviews!

Thanks so much for your consideration and all the best!

 

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