Welcome back to Two Navy Guys and a Novel, the place where you get to watch two former Navy officers write a military thriller, and then launch it out into the world. Previous episodes are available on our webpage.
Almost three weeks ago, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring Weapons of Mass Deception to market in a big way by crowdfunding three editions of the book: an ebook, a paperback, and a limited edition hardback volume.
In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed how much it costs to self-publish (hint: it ain’t cheap) and some of our thoughts on crowdfunding. Today, we wanted to offer a SITREP and share some stats on our campaign. But first, the big news:
Thanks to people like YOU, we met our $4000 funding goal in six days, waaay faster than we had anticipated. As of this writing, we are at 123% of our funding goal with ten days left in the campaign. Don’t let that stop you from becoming a backer, we’re now aiming to raise enough money to produce an audiobook of WMD.
And with that let’s take a commercial break:
Help the Two Navy Guys Publish
Kickstarter offers a dashboard that gives you all kinds of stats about your campaign. Here’s a few tidbits for our experience:
- Video Views: The heartbeat of any Kickstarter campaign is the video, the 2-3 minutes where we make our case for you to back our project. Our Kickstarter video has been viewed 145 times. Even more interesting, of those 145 views, 69% of the people watched it all the way through.
- Backers: Those 145 views yielded 58 supporters, or 40% of the people who watched the video supported our project. If you count only the 100 people (69% of 145) who watched the video all the way through, our video-to-backer conversion rate is 58%.
- Referrers: The Kickstarter dashboard also tells you where your backers are coming from. To us, this really tells the story of how to run a successful Kickstarter. 76% of our backers came from direct traffic, i.e. people we contacted and sent to the Kickstarter site. (If you look at it in terms of funds, it’s even more dramatic. 86% of our funding is from direct referrals). Contrast that with 2 referrals (3%) from Kickstarter itself.
The bottom line:
Kickstarter is a funding platform. YOU need to provide the crowd.
- Reward Level: The most popular reward for our campaign has been the Commander Level. Backers at this level receive a limited edition, Kickstarter-exclusive hardback edition of WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION. 58% of our backers chose this level—more than all the other rewards combined.
After our Kickstarter ends on April 3rd, we’ll share all the details we can about the campaign, what worked, and what we could have done better.
For now, there’s still time to get in on the action.
David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, and one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing the military thriller, Weapons of Mass Deception, coming in May 2015.