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.
Greg Pak made Kickstarter Secrets available for free download during the coronavirus pandemic. Feel free to get your copy at the Greg Pak Shop.
It’s been a while! Sending all the best to everyone during these difficult days. I’m just chiming in to let you know that I’m teaching a one hour online class about running a Kickstarter campaign this Tuesday, April 13 at 8 pm ET, and I’m donating my take from the event to Compassion Oakland, a group of volunteers who have been providing chaperones for seniors in Oakland’s Chinatown.
If you’re interested, please do register today! There are just seven slots left as I write this. I’ll be devoting a good chunk of time to Q&A, so this’ll be a great time to get practical answers to specific questions if you have them.
Very happy to report that I’m doing a one hour online comics crowdfunding class this Saturday at 2 pm ET! The class will benefit the Hero Initiative, a fantastic charity that helps out comics creators in need. Here’s the official blurb:
LEARN Kickstarter Secrets!
Writer Greg Pak (Planet Hulk, Darth Vader) gives an overview of the crowdfunding process for comics and children’s books, with incredibly practical advice based on his record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns for the Code Monkey Save World and Princess Who Saved books. This is a full hour-long session that includes at least 20 minutes reserved for YOUR Q&A!
The purchase of this classroom/tutorial session ALSO gets you a FREE .pdf copy of Pak’s book, Kickstarter Secrets, which will be emailed to you prior to the session! Only 20 people will be part of this special session!The tutorial session will take place SATURDAY July 25, 2-3pm Eastern via Zoom videoconference (Zoom.us). You must have Zoom downloaded on your device (phone, tablet, or computer) to participate. Full details at Zoom.us. You will receive an invite to the meeting prior to its start.
Please do feel free to register today! The class is just $30 and we’re gonna have a ton of fun.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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:
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.
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!