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Figuring Kickstarter Rewards

I’ve had a few requests from supporters of my current Shotguns & Sorcery Kickstarter to come up with a way for them to be able to get in on the original 12 for ’12 Kickstarter I ran for the Brave New World novels. On the face of it, that’s a great idea. I’d love to get more people to read the first trilogy, and I hate to penalize them for having missed word of it back when it was running. I want to encourage my readers to be enthusiastic, no matter when they jump on.

However, I want to make sure I remain fair to the people who did back the first project. They stepped up and backed those books, and I want to make sure they get everything they deserve for that. More to the point, I never want to make them feel like they should have waited for a better deal.

The best idea I have at the moment has its pros and cons. I call it “Respect the Streak.” It’s based around the idea of keeping the streak of funding all the books in each trilogy alive.

If we manage to unlock all three books for the Shotguns & Sorcery Kickstarter, which means raising $12k, then anyone who backs it at $50 or more would get the trilogy ebooks from the Brave New World Kickstarter added in for free. These ebooks will be the Kickstarter-backer editions, but they will not be autographed. That means you’d get those books earlier than the general public, and you’d get the limited editions, but you wouldn’t get my signature on them.

Does that seem cool? And more to the point, is it fair to earlier backers?

People who have pitched in $25 for each Kickstarter will get the autographed limited edition ebooks, so they have a bit of a bonus over the late-comers. They wouldn’t get the hardcopy book that comes at the $50+ levels that someone joining now gets, but if they pitch in $50 this time, they would not only get that but also a second set of ebooks they could give away.

Assuming I go with this, I’d probably do the same thing for the next two Kickstarters too, bumping the bonus level $25 each time.

So I’m turning to you. What should I do?

Comments 6

  1. I think you’d be better off with a “buy into the streak” level, which charges, say, $60 or $75 to “back join” into the series. That way, people that missed out earlier can join in, but they wouldn’t get the same price — or benefits — of those of us who got on board right at the start.

    Sometimes, you have to pay a premium if you come in late. But hopefully not so much that you won’t buy in. IMHO.

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      I considered that at first. I don’t want people to feel like I’m gouging them for ebooks, though, and that adds up to a lot per book. Also, by setting this as a stretch goal — it only happens if we crack all three books — it gives everyone involved an incentive to back high and spread the word.

      On top of that, I don’t want choice paralysis setting in by tossing in another reward level that forces backers to choose between getting a hardcopy and back-joining. As it is, I’m at the maximum number of reward choices I want to have.

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  2. When I first heard of your 12 for 12 Kickstarter, I thought you were going to do one fundraiser for the whole year. Because you’re breaking this up into smaller pieces, but still promoting the event as 12 for 12, readers are going to want to participate in the other novels.

    There’s a few ways that you can accommodate your readers and, what you’ve proposed, is to ensure that they get a finished copy of the book. That is a different way of supporting your work than trying to raise money to write the books in the first place.

    What I would do, is to offer a $10 option to provide people with a copy of both eBooks. Otherwise, I fear you’re distracting your readers with something that’s already happened.

    You could, too, use a poll to get feedback as well from the previous supporters.

    Hope that helps!

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      Thanks for the feedback, Monica (and to Steve, who I forgot to thank above!)

      I broke up the project into four Kickstarters because I was looking for $4-5k per book, and I didn’t think I could raise $48-60k in a single drive. The most successful pure fiction Kickstarter to date cracked $27k after all.

      As it is, we’ve already unlocked the first three books in the first Kickstarter drive, and those cost the backers $25 as signed, limited ebooks. Charging $10 to newcomers wouldn’t be fair to those early backers. They’d rightly feel they were getting dinged for stepping up first. To be fair, the price needs to be at least an extra $25.

      Making it part of a stretch goal means that I’m not asking anyone to make an extra decision if they don’t want to. If they back at $50 or more, they automatically get the older books — if we break $12k on this drive and unlock these three books too.

      I did send a post to the supporters of the first drive too. So far, the feedback’s been overwhelmingly in favor, but it’s still early.

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