Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kickstarter or Indiegogo: What Might Work Best for You?

Well, I promised a post about using Kickstarter and Indiegogo to help fund your writing ventures as I have just done, with moderate success. I hope this post might help other self-published writers who are looking into setting up a campaign. Mainly this is about Kickstarter vs Indiegogo but there are many other funding websites out there as well.

Anyone who has been following my blog and my own campaign will probably know that I was originally going to use Kickstarter, but ended up going with Indiegogo instead. I'll explain more about that later, and I don't want to deter anyone from using one or the other, it really depends on what works better for you.

To start off, Kickstarter is probably the better known site. And it is a really good site, especially for people who have lots of contacts and other people willing to help them spread the word. It is also great for people who are planning on relying mostly on the support of family and friends. Since I don't have a lot of either (especially not ones with money) I was a little wary about that. The thing about Kickstarter as opposed to Indiegogo is that it is an All or Nothing funding campaign. That means that if you don't make the amount you planned to, then you don't get anything. There is an upside to that, as it will probably induce more people to donate (possibly) and there's the obvious plus that even if you donate and the campaign doesn't pull through the donators don't lose anything either. The only problem for the person who set up the campaign is that you end up with zero. My philosophy has always been 'a little is better than nothing' and anyone poor enough to set up a campaign would probably be happy with whatever they got, even if it wasn't the whole amount. It just seems kind of anticlimactic to me. But again, if you're almost positive that you will be able to fund your campaign (or have a rich relative to beg for the difference at the end) then Kickstarter would be a great site to go to. It has good repute, and it relatively easy to use. However. I had a really hard time setting up the Amazon Payments account (which is ultimately what made me quit Kickstarter.) I didn't understand why they couldn't use Paypal like every other sane person does now days.

Indiegogo, on the other hand, was, for me, so much easier and exactly what I was looking for. It might not be as well known as Kickstarter, but it still has good repute, they are very helpful and even have a real person you can contact if you have a problem. Kickstarter didn't, they only have a FAQ board that never answers the questions you need to know. Indiegogo does All or Nothing too, but they also have the option of Pay As You Go which means that every time someone donates to your campaign, the money goes directly to you. You don't even have to wait to use it until after the campaign. This was how I was able to pay for my giveaway copies and shipping. This also means that you still get the money you earned even if you don't make your goal. They do take a larger percentage of the earnings if you choose Pay As You Go, but if you do make the whole amount, they will pay you back half of what they took. So technically, it's still better to make up your whole amount, but you're not stuck with nothing if you don't. Also, Indiegogo uses Paypal or direct deposit as their payment options. Direct deposit takes longer, but if donators pay with Paypal, you get the money instantly. And setting this up, is simply putting the email that goes to your Paypal account into the site and verifying it. Whereas setting up Amazon Payments through Kickstarter was like the Spanish Inquisition.

I'm not saying Kickstarter is going to be so horrible or everyone or so hard to start up (I have infernal bad luck with these kinds of things) and I have known other authors who have had really great success with Kickstarter as well. But if you want to go a pretty much no-hassle way, then I would definitely suggest Indiegogo. And for the record, the account through which you are paid by Kindle for selling your books on Amazon is NOT an Amazon Payments account. I don't know what exactly it is, but it is not what Kickstarter wants when they want you to set up and AP account. So don't think you already have one if you sell your books through Kindle.

Anyway, I hope this might help a little. In truth you will have to figure out which site works better for you. If you have any other questions, let me know!

Slainte, Hazel

By the way, I'm going to be revealing my new Work in Progress sometime within the next couple weeks or so! I'm very excited to share with you all what I have been working on recently!

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