Are you thinking about doing a Kickstarter campaign and have found all sorts of conflicting information as to what works or what doesn't?
We were faced with the same issues as we launched our first Kickstarter campaign for What The Film?!. So we went in blindly, but armed with as much info as we could glean from friends and those who had blazed the trail before us. We feel like we navigated the waters pretty well. We set a goal that was attainable, and then hit social media consistently for the months leading up to the campaign. There are a littany of other things we did, but that's not the formula I'm talking about.
I've created a spreadsheet that has been very insightful to me looking back on our past campaign. We made $10K which was...nice. Not amazing, but we did double our goal. So it worked. We more than accomplished our goal.
But even with doubling our goal, I feel like revenue was extremely tight because perhaps we didn't account for all the elements combined. Yeah, we knew there'd be shipping. Yeah, we knew Kickstarter would take a small cut (works out to be about 10%). Yeah, we knew we had production costs. But I never really put them all together to see how they would affect each other and how the number you see on Kickstarter translates to the real paycheck you end up with after all the expenses.
Going into our next Kickstarter campaign, Camping with Sasquatch, I wanted to have a better gauge of how much we would make based on hitting certain revenue levels. So here's a screenshot of a couple possible sample projections. Shipping rates are based on using Quartermaster Logistics. It includes the box, the packing and the cost of shipping.
Now there are a couple of places to potentially save money. For our game What The Film?! using a company like Quartermaster Logistics was the only way to go. We couldn't find a way to ship our game any cheaper than $10 because it was 2 lbs.
For Camping with Sasquatch, the game is lighter AND will fit into the Small Flat Rate USPS box which as of May 2018 the cost is $7.20. So you can potentially make an additional $2.20 per game if you do the work yourself (pack, label, ship). Which, with enough units sold can be a substantial amount but a lot of work.
We feel very fortunate with the success we've seen so quickly. So we want to give back where we can and share what we've learned. Here's a link to the spreadsheet. It's all formulas. So just plug in your game name, units and the sale amount and the rest of the numbers will change. You can see that even making almost $10K, there isn't a lot of revenue left. And that doesn't take into consideration the cost of artwork or the other things that went into the upfront costs of your game just to get it to Kickstarter.
If the campaign is what I would consider incredibly successful and you generate $163,800 from Kickstarter, your net is still only around $50K. If you've spent months on the project and divide that between all those that are key players, it dilutes very quickly.
If you're in it for the long haul, Kickstarter is an awesome way to get your project off the ground and alleviate some of the strains of initial cash flow. We were able to successfully launch What The Film?! and then get it into retail thanks in large part to Kickstarter. However if you're looking for a get rich quick scheme, look twice before you leap into this. Kickstarter should be because of love and passion, not a scheme or scam.
Good luck with your project and we'd love to hear any insights you may have!