As I approach the launch of my first Kickstarter campaign, I have a few tips I thought I’d share that should be taken into consideration when planning your own campaign. I will consider making a part two for this post after the campaign is over with everything I learned from it. These are things that I may have known before I started the campaign, but either overlooked or underestimated the time it would take to get them done. This is intended to be a short post, as I am getting ready for a very long trip (30+ hours of travel!) and I’m only a few days away from my campaign’s launch, so pretty busy at the moment!
Anyway, here are the tips:
- Register your company early
- Get a business bank account
- Verify your account with Amazon Payments
- Find yourself a launch window with some wiggle room
- Plan your trailer ahead
This will be incredibly useful for a few of the next tips. Registering a company can take a day at most IF you know what you are doing, but always expect to run into some complications that can delay this up to a week.
Again, this tip is leading up to the next one, which is the one we are currently having trouble with. Make sure you get a bank account well in advance of your Kickstarter launch, and I mean, at least a month in advance. You can’t get it before you register your company first, so do that as early as you can.
This has been by far the most frustrating part about planning our campaign so far. Amazon Payments requires you to verify your bank account. In order to do so, they require you send them a PDF version of your bank statement. The catch? You get a bank statement at the end of each month, so if you expected to open up your bank account and then easily get it verified (like we did) you are wrong! We have been emailing back and forth with Amazon to solve this issue. There is one way though, which is to get your bank to fax them a letter with your personal and bank information so that they can verify it, but it’s a hassle and can be easily avoided by doing the first two steps early. I read this advice many times online and disregarded it, as I thought it was trivial to do. It’s not! Do it early! You’ll thank me later.
Getting a perfect launch window for your campaign may be difficult, but certainly doable with enough time and planning. We had one, but now we are at the end of our “wiggle room” and still have unresolved issues. This means that if we cannot launch it by the time we wanted, we may have to wait another couple of weeks or worse, a few months, before we find another suitable launch window. Plan ahead! See if there’s any big events that week (PAX, GamesCon, ComicCon, GDC, etc) or significant news story, like the release of Call of Duty 15.
Be sure you know what you want for your trailer and get a draft version of it as soon as possible. It’s easier to replace clips on an already planned out trailer than to wait until you have all the assets for your game and rush to get a trailer out. Also, a good piece of advice would be to make music fit your trailer rather than to make your trailer fit your music. This requires more time though, as your composer will have limited time to score the video if you turn it in late.
That is all I have for now. There’s a few other tips at the top of my head, but I won’t know if I picked the right decision or not yet, so I will let you know once the campaign is over.
Thanks for reading! I hope this was useful in some way.