Costs of a kickstarter project (transparency)

babi_gog

Explorer
Thanks, your explanation is crisp! I had these economics still in mind, what i miss is that the critical point is referred to the fixed costs (arkworks, editing and so on...): you likely need to bear them before going to ks (in order to avoid delays and long waiting time). The variable costs (i.e. print) will simply stick to the number of sold units... this doesn't change compared to a POD process...
What i lean from you is a confirmation that KS doesn't help to raise money to finance a project, it is only a marketing platform to reach a good number of sales... and i am back to my question about the model of KS...

However some KS will allows for additional art, or even the funding of the art (several I've backed have followed this model), of having text complete, and funding the art and other features that make the final book more pleasant to view.

Also on the printing cost per unit, this can often depend on the number of units being printed. When having had things printed in the past the difference between say a run of 1-500, and 500-750 can mean the later is less costly per unit.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
@Sacrosanct If you would be willing to share, what is a reasonable turnaround time for a piece of art once you have an established relationship with the freelance artist(s)?

With the cost of art, could crucial pieces be done ahead of time, with additional (or bespoke vs. stock) art as stretch goals - either publicly or privately? That would also mean that layout would need to be delayed as well.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
@Sacrosanct If you would be willing to share, what is a reasonable turnaround time for a piece of art once you have an established relationship with the freelance artist(s)?

With the cost of art, could crucial pieces be done ahead of time, with additional (or bespoke vs. stock) art as stretch goals - either publicly or privately? That would also mean that layout would need to be delayed as well.
Gosh, that varies by artists, and what their backlog is, and the complexity of the art. Some artists take commissions for art they won't get around to for a year or more. Others are much faster. The best way is to solicit artists (FB groups are a great place) with your timeline and what you need. I highly recommend soliciting that art very early on in the process. It took about a year with more than a dozen artists to get the art I needed for Twilight Fables.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
  • I would not spend as much on ads. Didn't seem to have a good RoI. I can definitely do better in this arena.
I would have gotten an outside writer for the ads. I saw them on Facebook and I think YouTube, and they weren't clear, coming in cold, exactly what was on offer. On Facebook, there were ads that referenced "the folklore," but not which folklore. Specificity would help attract the right audience (there are folks who will buy anything Celtic and others who will jump over a wall to get something based on American Tall Tales) and it adds polish to the whole proceeding.

This isn't a you problem -- I see a lot of Kickstarter campaigns clearly written by people close to the product and they often skim over stuff that they subconsciously think everyone knows, since the writer knows this stuff backwards and forwards. (And, not an issue you had, but lordy, the number of campaigns that have typos in them -- definitely everyone should have someone copy edit their stuff before the campaign goes live.)

I really appreciate this transparency, by the way. This is all a bit of a black box to those on the outside. It's good to see the high costs (and yikes to those) but the high possible upsides.
 
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Longspeak

Adventurer
OP Posted his... uh... OP in his KS Updates too, and I loved it.

Do I care about the nuts and bolts of making something from nothing? Well... kinda. As an aspiring never-work-up-the-nerve-to-put-myself-out-there, I find the details of the process interesting. But what I really appreciate is the willingness to be so communicative to the folk who've thrown in their support. The integrity of open, honest communication, the transparency, buys a lot of goodwill and faith from me, for this and future projects.

Over on KS, the projects I see getting the most flack are the projects where communication doesn't happen, or is less than forthcoming. Those who keep the lines of communication open, when when there are delays and issues, still have the good will of their patrons. As OP does does from me and several others I see on the comments of the project.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Over on KS, the projects I see getting the most flack are the projects where communication doesn't happen, or is less than forthcoming.
I love my Ptolus 5E book, which I got through Kickstarter, but their communication was insanely bad. Organizations with smaller staffs do far, far better on communication and I can't figure out why Monte Cook Games can't do even an average job on it. It definitely pushed me toward just buying their stuff when it hits retail, rather than playing their weird game that doesn't feel like it serves Kickstarter backers at all.
 

Longspeak

Adventurer
I love my Ptolus 5E book, which I got through Kickstarter, but their communication was insanely bad. Organizations with smaller staffs do far, far better on communication and I can't figure out why Monte Cook Games can't do even an average job on it. It definitely pushed me toward just buying their stuff when it hits retail, rather than playing their weird game that doesn't feel like it serves Kickstarter backers at all.
I think it's because the KS platform isn't their primary mode of communicating. I've had similar issues with Monte Cook Games, but then their direct emails and discord keep me updated. Not ideal - I think a KS project should get regular updates on the KS platform - but enough to keep me satisfied they're on the job.
My biggest issue with MCG is that I have backed a dozen projects and they like to use the KS lists to send out promo emails. So I get promos from them multiple times. If they have a new Numenera thing, I get one email for every Numenera project I've backed. :p
 

@Sacrosanct - where you have total profit/asset at $65k, you mean income or do you mean income net of expenses?
The word profit usually signifies after expenditure, just want to make use you're using it in the same context.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
I think it's because the KS platform isn't their primary mode of communicating. I've had similar issues with Monte Cook Games, but then their direct emails and discord keep me updated. Not ideal - I think a KS project should get regular updates on the KS platform - but enough to keep me satisfied they're on the job.
I hear ya, but copying and pasting the communication from email and Discord into Kickstarter isn't hard. And if they nudged people on Kickstarter to join Discord, I don't recall it. When people throw more than $700k at you, it's not unreasonable to be kept as in the loop as companies with five people and much smaller campaigns can manage.

But the final book was excellent and I'm happily using it in my campaign, so it's all good in the end.
 

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