I hoped for 60-80 books to be pre ordered and thought it might stretch to 100 books. But it just keeps going and going and I want to share some wisdom about it.
Surpassed my dream goal
Selling more than 200 books that haven’t been printed yet wasn’t on my list. It’s actually 242 books pre ordered right now and I’m not even counting the museums planning to take it in to their shops.
Why has it gone so well?
I have sort of failed another crowdfunding event earlier and have snapped upp a few crucial things from that. Since this already is such a success it feels like I have gathered enough credit to share some wisdom.
Olof and I have been really busy finishing the book and haven’t had time to manage the crowdfunding campaign much since it started. Some how our network fell through and went viral. I thought about putting up a Facebook ad but it only took 44 hours to achieve our crowdfunding goal so it didn’t feel necessary.
Three important crowdfunding things
Although your project is super-fantastic you have to come to terms with that no one will ever be more engaged in it than you. There are lots of people making great stuff all the time, so why should any one care about our project?
- Make people understand why are you doing this. You have to personally engage people in what you’re doing. To manage this they have to understand the “Why?”. And you have to have a video.
(In our case we are passionatly aiming to share our knowledge and long experience by publishing this book.)
Check out what RocketHubs CEO has to say about “Why?” here.
- You must have a network or be able to use some other network to spread your message. It is crucial that some one else goes out of their way to tell people about your fantastic project.
(In our case we have some close personal friends in the viking reenactment community. About 50% of the backers have spawned from social networking.)
- Backers need rewards! You have to offer something in return to your supporters. It doesn’t have to be a physical object although physical stuff really helps.
(In our case we have a book and that’s great for many reasons. Every one knows a book is rather simple to produce and ship to their house. So people are confident there eventually will be a book delivered making it easier to pledge some money.)
One more thing
Make sure the message is short and very clear. The attention span of internet-people is short. We had the advantage of me (Martin) being an information designer, I know how to design information and put a lot of effort into getting it right.