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Authors: Crowdfunding KickStarter is Here Too!

13 Oct

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Kickstarter-Logo

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Kickstarter finally expanded into Canada!
Canadian writers, artists and entrepreneurs seeking financing for their books, artwork or other projects, got a boost when the world’s largest online crowd-funding platform officially moved to Canada last month.
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New York-based Kickstarter’s co-founder Yancey Strickler says the company had long wanted to move into Canada but was kept away due to financial regulations.  Prior to the official launch some Canadian entrepreneurs had to use American partners or American registered businesses to create a Kickstarter project. Now, Canadian users will be able to enter their own banking information to pledge money to projects on the site.
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Kickstarter gets five per cent of the funds collected by successful projects, and the companies that process the payments will take another three per cent. Add to this the tax to be paid …  Now you know how much to calculate altogether to your core production sum.
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Technically, projects from anywhere, including Canada, could always use Kickstarter, but it has traditionally used Amazon payments to process transactions. And then there were all these tax questions as money received for projects is certainly subject to taxes. Now, Canadian users can enter their own banking information to pledge money to projects.
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Kickstarter expanded to allow U.K. projects last October.  Kickstarter Canada is now live, and one of the first projects up for backing could be described as the ultimate Canadian endeavor: a group of young men are seeking funds to build a better hockey stick.
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Kickstarter  is the world’s most popular crowd-funding site,
with some 4.8 million people having pledged more than $778 million for more than 48,000 projects.  Competitor IndieGoGo might have gotten some tough competition since September 9, when Kickstarter fully opens its doors to Canadian projects.   Those seeking money for their projects can now start working on their pitches, by going to kickstarter.com/canada and selecting “Start a project.”  Canadian projects will be listed in Canadian dollars on the site. The full list of Canadian Kickstarter projects is available here.  Kickstarter has also put up a Q&A in a blog post.
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Kickstarter was founded in 2008 and has since raised over $775 million for more than 48,000 projects.  While the Canadian crowd-funding scene is currently dominated by another platform, IndieGoGo, and to a smaller extend Fundrazr, https://fundrazr.com/ – there is confidence Kickstarter will prevail.  More than 3,000 Canadian projects are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Kickstarter provides access to a larger community of funders and therefore more money.  Their high-profile projects include, Pebble SmartwatchOuya gaming console and even the Veronica Mars movie.
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Here are two excerpts of former articles with wrote about crowd-funding:

Kickstarter – a Way to Finance Your Book?
When I discovered KickStarter on the Internet and I became one of the people who funded a loveley community garden / small park to transform an ugly, abandoned parcel of land in a hideous downtown area into a blooming paradise, I was hooked by the idea.

However, the famous KickStarter is not the only “Crowd-funding Community” on the Internet, many other have been founded in the last years – is it an answer on a small scale to the Wall Street?

http://rockethub.org

http://www.indiegogo.com

https://www.buzzbnk.org/

http://www.causevox.com/

http://www.firstgiving.com/

https://fundrazr.com/
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Crowd-funding became popular in other countries too:

Germanys answer to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo is STARTNEXT, a non-for-profit organization. Their Crowd-funding turns people into fans and supporters. Because their joy and their help allows the creation of projects that do not yet exist – but should be!  Read more about STARTNEXT on our Publishing blog in German language.

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How Crowd-funding works
Crowd-funding pulls together a community over the Internet to fund a project, business or cause. Rules differ from site to site. Generally an idea is pitched, a fundraising goal and a deadline are set for raising funds. Potential patrons can review the pitches and decide if there are any they would like to support. They might be rewarded if the project comes to fruition, but will not own any part of the business or project.

Start with a pitch to launch your own project, describe your project, specify what rewards patrons will receive if the fundraising is successful, and create a funding goal and a timeline.  Pledges are made with a credit card, however, the patron’s credit card won’t be charged until the project is successfully funded. If you don’t reach your funding goal by the deadline, no money changes hands.
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Here are just some of many tips to help you secure funding:

  • choose the right crowd-funding site
  • know your target audience & leverage your social networks
  • plan ahead and prepare email blasts
  • create a compelling name, description, image and video to stand out
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“The Order of the Stick” success has shown that crowd-funding can provide funding for authors at a level, equal to or higher than traditional publishers’ advances. Right now is an exciting time to be an entrepreneurial author.  Authors who went through this crowd-funding process have almost a build-in readership / book customers due to the heavy promoting for the campaign.  People who funded a book, will buy it for sure!

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Crowd-funding Success with Kickstarter or IndieGoGo
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/crowdfunding-success-with-kickstarter-or-indiegogo/

Quite a few authors had a successful campaign, securing funds to self-publish and print their e-books for the paper book market, others to print beautiful “coffee table books” featuring stunning photos. IndieGoGo takes 4% of your earnings if you reach your goal and 9% if you don’t. Kickstarter is all or nothing. If you don’t reach your goal no money is exchanged, but if you do reach your goal you get the full amount minus 5%.

There is a lot of competition on these crowd-funding sites, so if you want to stand out, use not only your social media platform, but also your real-life contacts, your own networks and their networks’ networks. If you want people to back your project you have to tell them about it. More than once… Folks have to hear a message about SEVEN! times, before they act.
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Answer these questions for yourself:

  • Who is my audience for the whole project?
  • What is the uniqueness of my project?
  • Why should people donate to your project?
  • Do your potential audience/backers know about your exciting new project before you start asking them for money?

Start with your friends and family
A friendly, personal message is the most effective way to let someone know about your project. Send an email to your close friends and family so they can be first to pledge, then use your personal blog or website, your Google+ or your Facebook page, and your Twitter account to get everyone’s attention. Don’t overdo it, but be sure to remind your networks about your projects several times throughout the course of its duration. Take the time to contact people individually. It makes a big difference.

Connect to people
Don’t be afraid to take your Kickstarter project out into the real world. Nothing connects people to an idea like seeing the twinkle in your eye when you talk about it. Host pledge parties and organize meet-ups to educate people about your endeavor. Be creative!

News media
Contact your local newspaper, TV, and radio stations and tell them about your project. Seek out like-minded blogs and online media outlets to request coverage. Writers are always looking for stories to write about, and the media has a big soft spot for DIY success stories.

Don’t spam
Whatever channel you use to tell your project’s story, don’t spam. Over-posting can alienate your friends and fans, and it makes every other Kickstarter project look bad too. Don’t do it!

Say thanks & get even more
Post public thanks and updates about the most current donators every other day, always including the link back to your campaign, so people can check out the site and the latest progress and decide for themselves if they want to donate.

Get tips on blogs from successful Kickstarter project creators:

http://craigmod.com/journal/kickstartup/

http://www.remindblog.com/2010/10/14/grassroots-funding-with-kickstarter-com/

http://olganunes.com/2011/01/on-lamp-kickstarter-and.php

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thelostboy/how-to-fund-a-successful-indiegogo-kickstarter-campaign-in-5-easy-steps

http://www.nathanielhansen.com/film-fundraising/the-ultimate-crowdfunding-to-do-list-before-you-launch/
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Last but not least: carefully study all guidelines of the portal you want to use for your campaign.

http://www.indiegogo.com/

http://www.kickstarter.com/help/guidelines

Read also “How Much Does Self-Publishing cost

All the very best and good luck for your campaign!

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