Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tabletop RPG Kickstarters - Things to do part two

For the second piece of advice for those wanting to start up their own RPG Kickstart project is a bit of what you want to do and what you DON'T want to do.  Let's talk about something that can make a project soar at the backing stage and then sink unbelievably at the delivery stage.  It's time to talk about stretch goals.

Everybody seems to like stretch goals.  It adds more in for the backer and it can create a much better product in the end.  But if you unfamiliar with the costs and expenses of doing some of these it can utterly ruin your budget.  There have been plenty of folks with stretch goals that include game screens, extra books, all sorts of swag and what not.  All these cost extra money, most will budget that out and figure up the numbers they need.  What many forget is that if you can't get all of these physical rewards done at the same time you may end up delaying and delaying shipping anything out until they arrive.  I mean if you try to send them out as you get them then you are doubling or even tripling your shipping costs PER BACKER. 

This can be especially bad if one of your stretch goals is another physical book being promised.  The weight can increase shipping costs.  Also if you didn't follow things to do part one with your stretch goal as well then your backers are going to have to wait for you to write it as well.  Not a good thing. 

Another thing many of us Kickstarter fans have seen is the swag stretch goals backfiring.  Again, could delay shipping, or the quoted costs you get could change over night.  Most companies that produce these aren't bound by their quoted estimate.  They can change things up if they feel the cost to produce a mold is more costly than they thought.  Those pins may have been a quote for a size you didn't want or even worse the quote could be for if you order over a certain amount.  An amount you may not even get close to needing.

What are some good goals for an RPG book?  Upgrading the actual material quality of the book.  Better binding, going hardback or even leather bound, better paper, things like this can make your product look and feel better when it hits the backers hands. 

Also if you insist on extra material, companion guides or what not then make them a non-physical reward.  A pdf that will be sent out when its completed and ready to go.  So you can ship the book when you get them in without having to worry about extra shipping costs.  Be sure to tell your backers a rough estimate of when they'll get them... give yourself plenty of time if you insist on breaking the 'write it first' rule. 

Now most of this advice is for small start up companies and the people publishing books out of their homes.  The bigger companies already know most of the costs in printing, shipping, etc from years of experience.  They also know how fast they can get extra material written using freelancers and have a game plan for using extra swag to sell or as a promotion at conventions... so they can order the big amounts. 

Part three coming ... eventually... sometime... someday.... (see why I don't do my own Kickstarter project).

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