In our feature on using Kick Starter to fund and market self-published books, we interviewed Brandon Patton from “The Bacterionomicon” project. We asked Brandon, VP of Operations, Game Designer at Nerdcore Medical a few questions and hereare his answers.
What were your most creative rewards?
We offered a $1000 tier (limit:5) called TAXONOMIST. A backer who paid this much money would get to choose a character to add to our bestiary. We sold all 5 slots, to our surprise. Admittedly, 3 of the backers were close friends, but the other 2 were just geeky doctors who were excited about the tier and I guess could afford such a high price! It took 2 months to collaborate with all of them and a visual artist to get a piece of artwork for their chosen character.
One backer was a little picky and really wanted an, in my opinion, fairly cliche zombie character and we had to revise the much more interesting alien-like character the artist initially drew, but that’s fine, he paid for the tier! He was a dentist and liked the idea of strep mutans being zombies, because tooth "decay!” I messed up with one of the other commissioned pieces, which was for a character representing diphtheria. Because diphtheria afflicts the throats of children, I had the artist draw a monster strangling a child.
That was seen as bad taste, so I had to race to get a revised piece of artwork that didn’t include harming a child and that caused delays and a rushed job on the final artwork, so the final piece wasn’t probably as high quality as it could have been. But all in all, the backers seemed pleased and it was interesting to have that kind of collaboration.
What were your most successful rewards?
Just the basic book. More than half of our backers kept it simple.
What was your best marketing initiative?
- Having someone pitching the campaign who already had an internet following. I play bass for MC Frontalot, and was able to get plugs on social media on our first day from many friends who have many, many followers on internet. I think that helped a lot. They say Kickstarter is not a good way to find popularity, but it’s a good way to monetize already existing popularity.
- We worked with MakeThatThing who already has a mailing list they use to promote projects. Day one, they already had the project submitted to many websites that report trending Kickstarter projects.
- The other thing was we spent $6000 on a flasy video from an animation studio. It had a very positive effect. I actually edited down what they sent us to make it even quicker for short attention spans, and I made sure when people were talking in the video it was peppy and short.
How did you keep the momentum going?
Honestly, I thought I would have to work harder, but our project just seemed to find its niche and had a very steady upward trajectory. Our slope (if you drew a line for total money raised) was pretty much a straight 30 degree angle line. All I did to keep momentum going was answer comments and messages and occasionally write to others who might be interested.
What tips and tried and tested advice would you like to share?
See best marketing initiative. Also, replacing some text and headers with uploaded graphics makes your website look a lot better. Find someone with internet popularity and pay them to be part of your team? A pro looking video helps a lot.
Find out more about Brandon and his team and how they used Kickstarter.com to fund and market their indie project: http://nerdcoremedical.com/about-us/
If you're considering using Kick Starter or another crowdfunding creative site to kick start your indie book, do lots of research and find out as much as you can from successful projects such as Brandon's project. The more you learn, the easier it will be to make your own project a success!