Craig Mod has written a profoundly beautiful and informative essay, “Kickstartup,” about how—and why—he used Kickstarter to republish his book Art Space Tokyo after it had fallen out of print.
If you read nothing else this week, Craig’s essay deserves your time. He has achieved and effectively communicated what’s frankly profound insight about using Kickstarter not simply to fund some project, but to jumpstart larger, grander opportunities.
With Kickstarter, people are preordering your idea. Sure, they’re buying something tangible — a CD, a movie, a book, etc — but more than that, they’re pledging money because they believe in you, the creator. If you take the time to extrapolate beyond the obvious low-hanging goals, you can use this money to push the idea — the project — somewhere farther reaching than initially envisaged.
[Y]ou’re not just raising money, you’re also building a community of supporters through the fundraising process.
Why is this relevant at Gameplaywright? Because anyone paying any remote attention to the business of RPG publishing these days knows that our markets are small but devoted. These models of publishing are already taking off in tabletop gaming (e.g., Happy Birthday, Robot!). In many ways, the tabletop gaming business is a step ahead of traditional publishing in learning and applying these forward-thinking guerilla publishing lessons because our markets were always small. For us, it has been and remains a battle of necessity.
“Kickstartup” is both wisdom for game creator-publishers and a beautiful piece of writing, web design, and product promotion. And it’s inspirational, on top of all that:
My hope is this article helps at least fifty other creators accomplish something similar. Fifty creators achieving our meager level of success means unlocking over $1,000,000 in money to flow into creative and socially important projects. All the successful projects on Kickstarter are indisputable proof that this is possible.
Do read it, and expect more on this topic in the weeks to come.