marianA remarkable number of projects, including book and e-book projects, are financed via Kickstarter these days. It’s one of the most amazing new tools at any publisher’s disposal. But as with any powerful tool, it can be easy to misuse.

Singer-songwriter Marian Call, an experienced Kickstarter project-runner, has written an extremely long and well-considered article on Kickstarter dos and don’ts. If you’re interested in learning what it takes to run a Kickstarter, or even think you might run one in the future, don’t miss this useful advice.

In this article, Marian takes readers from the Kickstarter’s early conception, through deciding on backer rewards, through responsible assignment of stretch goals. She discusses budgeting in detail, and how important it is that you budget at several levels—especially the level you’d like to have and the bare minimum you can get by with—and use that budget to set your initial goal.

Your initial Kickstarter goal should always be the bare minimum you need to make the project work, not your Santa Claus wish-list level. The budget also lets you know just how much wiggle room you have to work with for fulfilling stretch goals—an important consideration when laying them out. It’s also important not to forget that, thanks to taxes, the amount of money you ask for will not actually be the amount you have to work with, so you have to take that into consideration when you set your goal, too.

Marian Call’s advice seems well-founded and reasonable, and it makes a lot of sense the way she lays it out. If you’re going to run a Kickstarter, you could do a lot worse than to take it.

Also, Call’s latest Kickstarter just entered the last day of its funding period, and it makes a great example of that advice. And who knows, maybe you’ll want to kick something in, too. (Found via John Scalzi’s “Whatever”.)


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