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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What is Kickstarter?

Yesterday I launched a Kickstarter project for a new book. I've been telling people about this for a while and getting feedback to make sure it's the best project it can be. I think it's pretty great.

But one thing I've noticed is that not everyone has heard of Kickstarter. So I figured I'd help.

Kickstarter launched in 2008 as one of the first crowd-funding websites. The idea is that projects can be funded with small contributions from lots of people instead of a large contribution from just one or two people.

Only creative projects are funded through Kickstarter. There are no charitable donations, business launches or life-funding enterprises. Just the creation of projects that have real results. I've funded a movie, an album and a book through Kickstarter (or similar sites). In the end, I get to participate in the creation of something new, support an artist and get in at the beginning of a movement.

If you pledge to a Kickstarter (like this one), you aren't charged. It's only if the project ends up getting enough in pledges by the end of the set time that anyone gets charged. So if a project falls $5 short of its goal and the time runs out, no one pays any money.

But, if the project is fully funded (or over funded, which is totally possible), then all the pledges are charged (through, Kickstarter gets a cut and the creator gets the money to complete their project.

Most Kickstarter projects don't meet their goals. Only about 44% of projects are successful (and only about 31% of publishing projects). Adding a video to the project moves it up to about a 55% chance of success. The vast majority of successfully funded projects have goals of less than $10,000 (around 90%). And 82% of projects that hit 20% of their goal go on to be fully funded.

So, I've done everything I can to stack the odds in my favor. There's a video, a goal of $7,000 and in the first day we hit 23% of our goal (thanks to some generous pledges out of the gate).

So, can I keep it going? Will this translate into actual success in the end?

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