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mallet

Do you think this would be a viable KS strategy?

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This is a question for those of you who have a fair amount of experience with Kickstarter projects either as a creator or investor (but of course I'd love responses from everyone). I myself have only invested in three; two didn't reach their goals, one did. 

 

One thing I have noticed (both with the two I supported that didn't reach their goals, and others I haven't invested in, but also never reached their goals) is that they almost always seem to have enough supporters and funding to possibly create some part of their project, but not all of it, and since Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing process a lot of good stuff ends up never seeing the light of day. 

 

So my question is for a RPG project would it be practical and make sense financially (and would funders be interested) to instead of trying for a $15,000+ goal to develop, create, print & deliver a project (like an RPG source book) set the goal at about $5,000 for the dev and creation of the materials to be released only as a PDF, and then have the stretch goal of an additional $10,000+ being for the printing and delivery of a hard copy of the project? 

 

I know this could be challenging with the different levels of support needed and possibly requiring early investors for the PDF version to come back and up their support to get a physical copy of the book once (if) it reaches the goal. 

 

Another thought would be to have just a small PDF only kickstarter to raise the $5000 for Dev & creation of the PDF and if/when that succeeded start a second Kickstarter project to raise the additional $10,000 needed for printing and delivering physical books? 

 

Both of these ways would at least allow for the project to be created and sold as a PDF, with the potential of it getting a physical version somewhere down the road. 

 

So, does this sound realistic?

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So my question is for a RPG project would it be practical and make sense financially (and would funders be interested) to instead of trying for a $15,000+ goal to develop, create, print & deliver a project (like an RPG source book) set the goal at about $5,000 for the dev and creation of the materials to be released only as a PDF, and then have the stretch goal of an additional $10,000+ being for the printing and delivery of a hard copy of the project? 

 

Generally speaking this idea won't work.  Out hobby has a lot of old timers that prefer hard copy and a not insignificant number of them are "no PDF, physical product only" types.  Those people are unlikely to pledge until the hard copy is available, meaning you would need to reach the Stretch Goal at $15,000 without the support of a third of the people who want hard copies.  At that point you may be more likely to fund but are much less likely to ever get a physical copy made.

 

 

Another thought would be to have just a small PDF only kickstarter to raise the $5000 for Dev & creation of the PDF and if/when that succeeded start a second Kickstarter project to raise the additional $10,000 needed for printing and delivering physical books? 

 

This sounds slightly more plausible but still not great.  How many people will support the PDF version just to make sure it gets made and then decide they don't really need a hard copy?  It's pretty tough to sell essentially the same campaign twice in a row, especially with the second one trying to raise twice as much and most of your core supporters already having a version of the product.

 

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I would hazard a guess that the multiple-kickstarter campaigns to fund different phases of development wouldn't go over any better in the RPG realm than it has in the movie/video production realm (in general).

 

The all-or-nothing nature of Kickstarter is also why many projects go over to alternatives such as indiegogo. They get to keep whatever is pledged whether they meet their goal or not.

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The only strategy I have seen near this was Sean Fannon's Shaintar: Legends Unleashed, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/764802981/shaintar-legends-unleashed/description. He was only selling PDFs and then when he reached an initial goal he made an add-on available where you could pledge for a PDF then add $30 bucks for a POD softcover or $35 for a POD hardcover of the Shaintar: Legends Unleashed book. The orders for POD copies of the PDF were sent by Sean to RPGNow for fulfillment.

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Look into how Melior Via ran the campaign for Accursed. The had a level for PDF, and a level let you get access to a POD from DriveThruRPG at Production cost (meaning you could pick your preferred binding and everything) plus shipping with the company's profit already collected from the Kickstarter.  

 

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