An Important Kickstarter Reminder: You Still Have to Do the Work

Gary Tyrrell went to the Kickstarter panel at the San Diego con and discovered that, once again, many people are looking for the easy answer:

… the audience, the questions, predominately focused in on the checklist approach: Tell me exactly what steps I need to follow to be successful like you. There wasn’t a recognition that there is no single recipe for success, that campaigns have to be tailored to your existing audience and existing work, that Kickstarter is not a magical money machine that will fund your dreams.

Jimmy tried to repeatedly make the point that Kickstarter is merely an enabling mechanism, that it won’t make the comic happen, that you have to make it, that your reputation is what will bring people to the campaign, and it’s your good name that is on the line for making good on what you promised, that none of this is risk-free, but I never got the feeling that those essential truths were getting absorbed.

Then again, I shouldn’t have been surprised — when Jimmy took the measure of the crowd, about 95% of the approximately 150 people in the room indicated that they want to do a Kickstarter campaign, and exactly three (3) indicated that they already had done so.

There are lots of people who hear about the few, major success stories and think “hey, I could be getting that much free money!” They don’t realize that a successful Kickstarter is much like breaking into comics itself — once you find a way, it likely won’t work again exactly the same in future. I hope more people get the message that running a Kickstarter is hard work, not a guarantee.

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