Kickstarter is a interesting phenomenon. It allows creative folks to fund their projects while they are creating them, not after. All you need is a great idea, and the money will follow. Our best pal Jeff has been involved with several projects on Kickstarter inside the comic book industry. One of the titles Jeff works on, FUBAR, is closely associated with Kickstarter because it was a huge success in KS's early days.
The way it works is the creator of the project lays out the details of what they want to do. They set a monetary goal. They set rewards and ask backers to fund it. Backers can pledge any amount they want. Different rewards are given depending on the amount backed. If the project is entirely backed, the creator gets the money, creates the project, and fulfills the rewards. If they project doesn't reach the goal, no money is collected and it's over. Kickstarter is all or nothing. The website is backed by Amazon and very safe. It's a great idea and opens doors for people who couldn't otherwise make their dreams come true. In addition to comics, music, electronics, and video games are also popular on Kickstarter. There have even been feature length movies funded on KS.
The key to a successful Kickstarter project is desirable rewards. The reason FUBAR did so well is because of their awesome rewards for backers. Jeff McComsey, the other Jeff of FUBAR (and the creator), gave fans personalized zombie sketches, t-shirts, and books for his first project. He set a goal of $3,000 and raised over $6,000. It was a huge success. The book that was funded caused such a stir that it went on to the New York Times Bestsellers List for graphic novels. But ol' McComsey wasn't done there. His second project blew everyone way. Because the KS community knew he had awesome rewards and delivered quickly, his next project had a meager goal of $3,500 and raised $95,908. You read that right, he raised nearly a hundred grand! During the 35 days it was active, McComsey constantly updated his backers and continually added stretch goals. If more money was raised, more rewards were added. No one expected the outcome, but that's the power of Kickstarter.
Tom Wopat and John Schneider want to harness that power. They are recording a Christmas album, their first record together. They decided to go the Kiskstarter route. Tom and John are hoping to raise $60,000 and have some really cool rewards for backers. It has been going on for a few weeks now, and there are 10 days to go. They are just over halfway there. Let's support the Duke Boys and get them over their goal.
If you plan on downloading the album when it comes out, pay for it now through KS. It will support the project and you get the download as soon as it's released. For the price of the physical CD, ($25), you can pledge and get the disc as soon as it's ready. The rewards go up from there. They are offering incentives like autographs and an exclusive Christmas ornament. For higher pledges you can get personalized recorded messages, phone calls from the Good Ol' Boys, and more. My favorite rewards, and where my pledge is going, are the small concerts. Tom and John are hosting intimate concerts in NYC and Louisiana. These concerts will include dinner, cocktails, photo ops, and meet and greets. That is right up my alley. Another reward is to have your name printed inside the CD packaging under a "thank you" section. Big spenders can even play a round of golf with John or take a tour on New York City with Tom. The biggest reward would be a dream come true. You can pay $10K and have Bo and Luke come to your house! Imagine having the Duke Boys come check out the Dukes Collector Collection. That would be awesome. (Think it's possible for me to start my own Kickstarter project to raise that amount to pledge? A Kickstarter for a Kickstarter?)
If you read this blog regularly, you either really like me (there area few of you) or you love the Dukes like I do. We should all pitch in and help our heroes with this goal. Head on over to Kickstarter, sign up, and pledge. We'll get an awesome Christmas album, and you could get some great rewards out of the deal too. I'll see you at the concert in December.