Friday, 7 October 2016

Gamebook Friday: The Wicked Wizard of Oz four days on...

Four days ago The Wicked Wizard of Oz finally funded on Kickstarter, but it was a close run thing at times.

So, what are my thoughts on my latest crowdfunding campaign, now that the dust has settled?

Well, despite having the best opening weekend of any of my projects, it was also the most stressful. There is a lot that is published on Kickstarter about being a good creator - communicating with your backers, abiding by the rules of good Internet etiquette and the like - but someone should publish some guidelines on how to be a good backer. (Like, not pulling out during the final few days of a Kickstarter's run, and not pledging for rewards you can't afford.)

So what worked and what didn't work?

Well, based on this particular project, paying for Kicktraq advertising is a waste of money. The Wicked Wizard of Oz campaign was also designed to tap into the adult colouring community, following on from the success of the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book (particularly in the States) which is wholly failed to do.

Listing the project initially in Games didn't help it gain any traction and may also be the reason why it didn't become listed as one of the Kickstarter team's 'Projects We Love', which my other recent crowdfunding campaigns have. Having that tag also helps drive traffic to the project page which might have meant that The Wicked Wizard of Oz funded sooner rather than later, as it did (only actually reaching its funding goal a day before the end of its run).

However, trailing the project in advance really helped give it a strong opening and, given the right project, the right reward levels, and enough warning, I think it would be possible to plan a Kickstarter which funded within its first week. (I'm looking at you, YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2!)

And I have to say that I am loving writing The Wicked Wizard of Oz and subverting so many of L. Frank Baum's beloved characters. (My favourite so far probably has to be Princess Ozma.) Having reached the halfway point in my first draft a week before the end of the Kickstarter's run I stopped writing, fearing that the project might not actually fund and also so that I could dedicate myself wholly to the campaign*. However, now that it has funded (and most of the money pledged has actually been collected) I'm back into the flow of things again.

So, watch this space...

* There is an interesting piece here about why so many crowdfunding campaigns fail, but I draw it to your attention because of the point it makes about what the media doesn’t cover is how much work actually goes into running a successful campaign. Seriously, you should pay yourself a month's wage just to do that, but then if you did your funding goal would become even more unattainable!

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