The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Success Stories of Artists, Inventors, and Entrepreneurs

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Overview

So you want to produce a short film. Or design a new line of jewelry. Or manufacture a revolutionary solar-powered garden sprinkler.

There's just one catch: You need $100,000 to finance your dreams, and your checking account has barely enough to cover next month's rent.

Enter Kickstarter - a phenomenal "crowdfunding" website launched in 2009 that brings venture capital to the masses.  On Kickstarter, it's...

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The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Success Stories of Artists, Inventors, and Entrepreneurs

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Overview

So you want to produce a short film. Or design a new line of jewelry. Or manufacture a revolutionary solar-powered garden sprinkler.

There's just one catch: You need $100,000 to finance your dreams, and your checking account has barely enough to cover next month's rent.

Enter Kickstarter - a phenomenal "crowdfunding" website launched in 2009 that brings venture capital to the masses.  On Kickstarter, it's not uncommon for folks to raise $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, or even millions!

Want a piece of the action? In The Kickstarter Handbook, business writer Don Steinberg interviews dozens of people who have -- no kidding -- raised at least $100,000 on Kickstarter. You'll learn all the strategies of an effective Kickstarter campaign. You'll learn the perils and pitfalls that have dashed many a dream. And you'll learn what to do in the event of a best-case scenario - when your product goes viral and suddenly the cash starts flowing in. On Kickstarter, it happens to a few lucky visionaries every week. Here's how to be one of them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Business journalist Steinberg takes readers through the in’s and out’s of succeeding with Kickstarter.com (launched in 2009): from the emotional investment through to the creation of a Kickstarter video. Numerous case studies highlight what could go wrong in this new world of “crowdfunding.” Steinberg, who interviewed artists and inventors, doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties. As he notes, “Kickstarter isn’t a magical honey pot.” With an extended discussion about pledges and rewards and calculating an appropriate number as a fund-raising goal, Steinberg details possible pitfalls. For many budding entrepreneurs who are often in the dark, it comes as a great relief to find a book that explains impending dangers. Kickstarter is playing an ever-larger role in the business world, and Steinberg’s book meets a growing need. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“...a quick-to-read reference that will help any reader gain a fairly deep understanding of the world of crowdfunding.”—Deseret News
Library Journal
Steinberg (Jokes Every Man Should Know) offers a largely uncritical exposition of the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. His tone has more in common with an enthusiastic self-help book—"What are you waiting for? Let's get this dance party started!"—than impartial how-to guide. He addresses the mechanics of running a Kickstarter campaign but maintains a thematic focus on the marketing and promotional aspects. Steinberg emphasizes the advantages of having experience building publicity and especially of having an existing fan base to bring to a project. The vagaries of whether a project submission will be approved by Kickstarter staff and a rundown of the associated fees get short shrift and are barely covered. The book includes anecdotal advice throughout from a small set of Kickstarter participants; although some will appreciate this vertical approach, others will wish Steinberg had drawn from a broader base of projects and personalities. VERDICT Readers willing to supplement their research by consulting either the wealth of online material on this subject or another book (such as Brainard Carey's New Markets for Artists) may find this title an adequate starting place.—Steve Wilson, Galen Coll. of Nursing, Louisville, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594746086
  • Publisher: Quirk Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 405,916
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Steinberg has written for New Yorker, GQ, Harper’s, the Wall Street Journal and a host of other national publications. He has also worked as senior editor for Inc. magazine and a staff writer for the business section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives in the Philadelphia area. 
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Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Kickstarter 7

…and do people really give you money?

Chapter 1 Are You Ready for This? 19

What you must know before you start to Kickstart

Chapter 2 Choosing Your Magic Number 31

How to pick the right financial target for your Kickstarter campaign

Chapter 3 Pledges and Rewards 51

The calculated art of choosing rewards for your backers

Chapter 4 Who Gives? 71

The backstory on backers

Chapter 5 How Long Will This Be Going On? 85

A brief chapter on duration

Chapter 6 Lights, Camera, Action 91

Making the all-important Kickstarter video

Chapter 7 The Kickoff! 105

Build your project and launch it

Chapter 8 Build the Buzz 119

How to get attention via mass media and social networks

Chapter 9 The Finishing Kick 147

It's time to cross the goal line, plus four frantic finishes

Chapter 10 After the Loving: Tales of Fulfillment 161

Delivering the goods to your generous backers

Chapter 11 Learning from Failure 179

Kickstarter misfires, redemptions, and second acts

Chapter 12 Resources and Kickstarter Alternatives 193

More ways to get it started

Appendix 207

Your Kickstarter Campaign Prelaunch Worksheet

Index 219

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good

    I’ve been hearing about Kickstarter for years, and I love the idea of a decentralized, grassroots, bottom-up way of funding projects. The fact that Kickstarter actually works is the testament to the viability of such funding models, and it’s another step into the much more democratized and granular economy of the future. However, from a practical point of view, I have never really looked into the Kickstarter as either a source of funding or a place where I can find some interesting and unique products. That is until I came across this book. It has definitely opened my eyes to all the possibilities and the excitement of crowdfunding websites.

    This book is primarily aimed at people who are thinking about having a crowdfunded project for the first time. It’s filled with the stories of great Kickstarted success – and some equally big failures – and it definitely helps you get the general idea of what the Kickstarter experience might look like. All the stories and the interviews are very informative and to the point. They focus on some of the more popular Kickstarter funding categories: films, gadgets, accessories, and art. The book also goes into some detail on the mechanics of interacting with Kicksarter website, setting up your project there, and managing your expectations during the fundraising effort. It gives a lot of useful, and sometimes nonobvious, tips. It also explains what kinds of projects are allowed on Kickstarter and what the site doesn’t support. If you have never done anything like this kind of funding effort before, then this book is a necessary read.

    The book lists many external resources, including blogs and sites where you could get some publicity, as well as some alternatives to Kickstarter. The interviews and the case studies also feature or allude to some other resources that you might need for a particular kind of project. However, for a truly comprehensive Kickstarter handbook (or even better user manual of sorts) a book would need a lot more of in-depth and detailed information on all aspects of project development: planning, promoting, finding proper manufacturing, or printing resources, finding the distribution options for your backers, etc. As Kickstarter becomes more and more mainstream a book like that would become an invaluable resource. It would, in fact, be a pretty good Kickstarter project in its own right. ¿

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