Today marks the beginning of the last week of the ‘Bruce Finds A Home’ Kickstarter campaign!
As of today we are 89% funded with eight days to go and feeling cautiously optimistic / freaked out / a bit sick / incredibly grateful for all the support!
We’ll be pulling out the big guns over the next week (well, by ‘The Big Guns’ I mean a couple of Facebook ads, contacting every internet cat under the sun and hosting this crowdfunding workshop / closing event at Port Chalmers Library).
I also have a story on OH! Baby today, and we have a story coming up on I Iz Cat, which is billed as “probably the best cat website on the planet”.
We’ll send a supporter update and the “Bruce Mews” newsletter out over the next few days and encourage people to share the campaign (though I must say, people have been AMAZING about sharing it so far).
One of the loveliest things about this project has been getting so much support from friends, family, colleagues, Bruce fans and other people from all over the world. It’s been incredible. Lately I’ve struck up some conversations with two awesome bloggers in America. It’s amazing how many wonderful, helpful people there are out there.
It’s also been interesting keeping an eye on the other crowdfunding campaigns that I’m aware of at the moment (notably Gecko Press and Bachelorette) and I hope they meet their targets too.
Well I’d better get onto contacting all those internet cats… I’ll update you next week once it’s all over and let you know how we got on!
We are 81% funded with 15 days to go and I am so super-stoked!
But… It’s happened. We’re in Death Valley.
All the crowdfunding websites tell you about Death Valley. It’s the middle two weeks of a four-week crowdfunding campaign, where instead of trying to stay afloat on a tsunami of pledges… you’re watching a dripping tap.
So I’ve trawled the internet for advice, and these stand out to me as tips worth trying when you’re drying out in Death Valley.
Host a Kickstarter live video event
Am I game for holding a live video event? Would my backers actually be interested in this? I’m not sure. A lot of crowdfunding advice is geared at Americans and / or people peddling tech products. I’m not sure that a live video event would appeal to children’s book / cat lovers in New Zealand. (But if you think it would, let me know in the comments!)
Love your backers
One blog asked how I am providing “an extraordinary experience” for backers. That’s a good question. I think I put on a good event for the people who were able to come to my launch… but what about everyone else? I will put my thinking cap on as to how I can make supporting my campaign a fun experience for my backers. (Ideas welcome!)
Some people suggested creating micro goals and posting updates such as “I only need 2 more backers to get to 100 backers!” Again, I’m not sure that my audience would love this approach. So I probably won’t try this one.
I have already done this, and I must admit I have found this quite challenging. There are plenty of blogs for tech products, but book blogs want to see a published book and cat blogs want me to pay for advertising. So I’m feeling a bit high and dry on the blogger front, but I’ll give it another go. (I did have a guest post on Elsewhere today though!)
Call to action
I sent my backers one update where I asked them to share my campaign and then I felt a bit cheap and dirty. But I think I could probably get away with asking this one more time before my campaign ends.
I think celebrating genuine milestones is a better approach for me than setting micro-goals. I posted on Bruce’s page when we got to 75% backed and that post got really good traction.
Add new rewards
I have added a new reward (the ability to buy a book AND stickers) due to popular demand, and I’ll add another reward (an eBook – also the result of a request) in the next few days.
Thank you so much to everyone who has followed this journey, shared the Kickstarter page or become a backer. I’ll update you again next week!
It’s been a week since my Bruce Finds A Home book Kickstarter began (ok a week and a day... I kind of lost track of time for a while there), and I am already 68% funded! The Kickstarter goes for another three weeks (until 22 June) so I’m feeling quietly confident that I’ll reach my target.
Today I’m going to write about two things that have struck me over the past week – awesomeness and analytics.
First up, awesomeness. I have been absolutely blown away by the amount of support this project has received. It’s had a great reception in the media, with stories on Stuff.co.nz, in the Otago Daily Times, on Dunedin Television, in a cat blog called Katzenworld and in our local community paper the Rothesay News. (Credit for this goes to media maven Megan Martin, who crafted a killer media release. Shout-out to Megan's cat Mouse, who is still getting frisky with a laser pointer at the ripe old age of 13!)
The Kickstarter page has been shared by friends, family, colleagues, fellow writers and Bruce fans all over the world, and it is so nice to know that people are going out of their way to support this project. Thank you everyone – I feel like the luckiest cat lady in the world.
Now for something a bit less awesome but nevertheless interesting… analytics. Kickstarter has analytics you can tap into to find out about your customers, and you can also connect your Kickstarter to google analytics to learn about your site visitors. I found connecting my Kickstarter to google analytics a tad confusing at first, but this blog post soon sorted me out:
A simple guide to using Google Analytics for your Kickstarter
So what have I learned about the people who’ve visited the Bruce Finds A Home Kickstarter page?
Visitors to the page are coming primarily from New Zealand and America (not surprising – we’re based in New Zealand but most of Bruce’s fans are in The States). Although we've got a lot of lovely American backers, the majority of people who are pre-ordering books are currently from New Zealand (I wonder if the cost of shipping to the US is putting some people off).
It’s interesting that there is a very slightly younger skew of people visiting the page, when Bruce has a similar number of fans across most age groups on Facebook. Perhaps some younger people feel that little bit more comfortable using a platform like Kickstarter. I have to admit, it took me a while to get my head around it.
I know some people have had a few technical problems using Kickstarter, and other people have had ideas for different rewards, so I’ve put a comment on my page encouraging would-be backers to get in touch if they have an idea or if they need technical support. Hopefully that will encourage people to make contact - and I always love connecting with Bruce fans.
So that was this week… what about next week? From what I’ve heard, Kickstarters seem to follow this trajectory (see diagram below)... so I’m steeling myself for a nail-biting two weeks of little movement – while of course doing all I can to keep on moving that needle.
2023 Burns fellow Kathryn van Beek has an MA from Victoria University Wellington - Te Herenga Waka’s International Institute of Modern Letters. She is a winner of the Mindfood Short Story Competition and the Headland Prize. Her collection of short stories, Pet, is available as a podcast, and her work has also appeared in Overland, takahē, Newsroom, and the Sunday Star-Times. She lives in UNESCO City of Literature Ōtepoti Dunedin with her two rescue cats.