Joseph Bloch, President of BRW Games, read the recent article and comments regarding Kickstarter projects (see "Do Mega-Projects Suck All the Oxygen Out of Kickstarter?" and "Joshua Naiberg on Kickstarter Projects") and had this to say:
I read Joshua Naiberg's recent comments regarding Kickstarter, and wanted to share my own experience as a publisher who has used Kickstarter to great success.
While it is true that casual backers may find projects that interest them through the projects featured on the Kickstarter front page, a project should not rely on that sort of "walk-by" traffic for success. The key is to get the word out among your target audience, get them talking about it and running up interest, and make your project such that your backers are also your evangelists. If you're relying on Kickstarter itself to generate backers, you're going to be disappointed. As Kickstarter itself says in their "Creating a Project" FAQ:
"Lots of people who come to Kickstarter browse around and look for projects, but keep in mind that when it comes to getting new backers, getting the word out through your own networks is the most effective. Most of the people who back your project will be friends, friends of friends, or fans of the work you do."
This matches my own experience with Kickstarter. My project, an RPG supplement called Adventures Dark and Deep is fully funded with three days to go, and it looks like it will hit 200% before it's over. Of all the pledges I received, only about 12% of the total came from the sorts of casual browsing that Mr. Naiberg mentions. All the rest came from people who had heard about the project itself and were interested in it, either directly through my own efforts or from people who had heard about it and mentioned it themselves. I found it a very interesting thing to look at my dashboard and find that I was getting referrals from places I had never even heard of, but who were obviously part of the larger gaming subculture.
That's the key to success on Kickstarter (aside, of course, from having a good project to begin with). Get the word out to people who will be interested in your project, and encourage them to get the word out themselves. Achieve that sort of organic growth and you'll do well. Waiting for Kickstarter itself to provide a host of backers isn't a winning strategy, and if you bring enough of your own backers to the table, you won't miss the casual browsers who are swayed by what's featured on the front page.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
April 13 2012 @ 2:30 am CT
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