Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kickstarter Post Mortem: Saga of the Splintered Realm

The Saga of the Splintered Realm Kickstarter is officially in the books; the boxed sets and final backer rewards shipped today, and should be finding their way to backers' mailboxes starting early next week (depending on where backers live). As a result, I feel comfortable posting links for the various editions. If you didn't take part in the KS, you can get the game:

In PDF (two different volumes)
In softcover (two different volumes)
In hardcover (one volume collecting both books)



About the Kickstarter

I like the transparency of the process of conducting a KS, so I thought I'd break down how the project went from my end:

Date
Paid To (For)
Amount
Running Costs
Balance
5/6/14
Starting Balance From KS (after fees)
+3037.63
--
3037.63
2014
Artists for art budget
-600.00
600.00
2437.63
3/16/15
ULine boxes (for boxed sets; includes shipping)
-97.09
697.09
2340.54
3/22/15
Amazon.com (flash drives and dice for boxed sets)
-140.05
837.14
2200.49
5/1/15
Printing Maps/Character Sheets (+ shipping)
-116.95
954.09
2083.54
5/4/15
CreateSpace (publishing/shipping of SC books)
-290.54
1244.63
1793.00
5/4/15
LULU (printing/shipping HC Proof copy)
-27.57
1272.20
1765.43
5/10/15
LULU (printing/shipping HC to backers)
-60.08
1332.28
1705.35
5/13/15
Shipping Backer Rewards: US Post Office
-20.74
1353.02
1684.61
5/13/15
Shipping Backer Rewards: US Post Office
-662.43
2015.45
1022.18

Approximate Hours Spent:
Writing and Editing                    200 hours
Creation of Art/Maps                  60 hours
Promotion/Shipping/Packing      40 hours

Approximate Time Investment:  300 hours (so about 2 months if working full time)


Summary: I made about $1,000 on the Kickstarter (so it was my most successful so far), but it was also the most labor-intensive (also by far). I created about twice as much content as I did for the Army Ants KS, and a good chunk of it (i.e. making the boxed sets) required a lot of time (adding to that promotion/shipping/packing total above).  I also found out that shipping costs had gone WAY up from the time I launched the project. I'd say that shipping was about 30% more expensive than it was when I did the Army Ants KS, and I didn't expect that escalation of costs. 

What would I do different? Not much. The project was 4 months late, but I'm playing the 'cancer card' on that one and don't feel too guilty about it. This was the first project I've done where other people were involved, and I was very happy with the contributions of everyone else who chipped in. Things went more smoothly than I expected in terms of getting art, writing and other materials done for the box. 

I'd say the project was successful all the way around, and I'm looking forward to finding out how people feel about the boxed sets when they arrive. In my humble opinion, they turned out pretty slick.