I just finished posting out the pads of Character Sheets from my recent Kickstarter today, and my next Kickstarter is due to start tomorrow evening. That makes now the best time to write up about my experience of the Kickstarter process.
For reference my project can be found here. It should remain on the Kickstarter site indefinitely.
The goal of the project was £300
It achieved £338
Kickstarter then took their cut and I ended up with £299
I expected to be left with slightly more than that but I missed the fact that Kickstarter stick VAT (Value Added Tax) of 20% on to all their fees. For my next project I'm budgeting for the fees to come in at 12% instead of 10%.
After the project closed Kickstarter then spend 2 weeks collecting, but mostly just holding all the funds. For me this bit was a real drag. After you have the excitement of seeing you project get funded you get left in a kind of limbo for a while. However, the 2 week wait did mean that none of the payments failed to come through, as any that didn't go through first time (I think 2 out of 31 in my case) Kickstater kept retrying. At the end of the two weeks I got an email to say that they had transferred the funds and when I check my bank account the following morning they were there.
The printer already had the print ready file and I'd signed off a proof so the pads were printed within a few days. I collected the pads in person, which I would always recommend when getting anything printed (if the order is too big to collect then you should be at the printers to check the job as it is being done) and then had them all posted out the same day to backers.
I estimated all my costs before the project and the actual costs were within £20 of my projections. The breakdown of the actual costs is as follows:
Printing 100 50 Sheet A4 pads £160
Fuel used to collect the pads £10
Postage £143 (I spent an extra £50 here to upgrade all the postage for all the overseas backers)
Total costs £313
That means the project made a loss of £13. However, I still have 37 out of the 100 pads left so it should break even once I've sold a few of those. For very little extra outlay, I could have increased the print run to 250 pads but that would have left me with 5 boxes of pads to store instead the not quite single box full that I now have.
Timeline of the project
-10 Days Start project setup on Kickstarter
-3 Days Submitted project for Kickstarter approval
-1 Day Kickstarter approve project
0 Days Project Launch
+1 Day Promote project on blog and forums and by email
+30 Days Project funding period ends
+35 Days Send surveys to collect addresses
+37 Days PDF rewards sent to backer
+40 Days Final print file sent to printers
+41 Days PDF proof from printers received and approved
+44 Days Kickstarter transfer project funds to my bank account
+45 Days Funds hit my bank account.
+45 Days print order placed
+47 Days pads printed
+48 Days pads collected from printers
+48 Days pads packed, labelled and posted to backers
Hope that helps anyone out there who wants to know more about the Kickstarter process.
My next project is due to go live on Kickstarter tomorrow night. I'll post a link and further details once it's up.