The phases of a crowdfunding campaign: first week

A week has passed since I launched the crowdfunding campaign for the Bailador book. I did not know what to expect so I am not sure how really to evaluate the results so far. The project is supported by 56 people giving $3,050 which is slightly more than 9% of the goal.

I'd love to have the backing of 1,000 people. That would show that there is substantial interest in this subject.

Earlier I wrote about the launching of the campaign and the first few days after it.

Since then I did not have that much time and energy making regular notes, but I had this one a few days ago:

I feel I should not just wait for the supporters to come, but I need to press ahead and find other places to reach out to people. So while I am a bit ambivalent about the issue, in the end I sent out a mail to the Perl6-users mailing list. I have no idea how many people are on that mailing list, but within a few minutes I got 3 new supporters and a comment on Bailador itself.

Roller coaster

I feel this whole campaign is a roller coaster of feelings. When I get a new supporter I start to feel encouraged, when there are a few in a row it feels really great, but if for a few hours no new supporter joins then I start to really worry.

Then I also have the constant question:

What to focus on?

Shall I put a lot of energy into writing the book already and publishing it to the people who are expecting continuous publishing? That would alleviate somewhat the question whether the book is going to happen or not. But I'd still need to communicate it to all the other people who I hope will back the campaign. I did some of this and some of that can be found in the free sample chapter of the book.

Shall I work on the web site of Bailador (was ? Oh yes. The project now has its own web site. It is still mostly empty, and the design can be improved, but Emeric Fischer already made a lot of improvements to the site I put only yesterday. Having a web site is certainly good for the project itself and hopefully it will also help with the fund raising effort for the book.

Shall I work on the demo applications needed for the book? I have started to work on a TODO application. It's a bit boring example, but at least I understand (more-or-less) the requirements. You can find the (first steps of the) TODO application via the Bailador web site. Other applications will be linked from the site as well.

Improving Bailador itself? As I have started to write the book and as I have started to build the demo applications, I've encountered a number of areas where Bailador can be improved. I put in some time an energy there too and now I am the developer with the biggest number of commits in the GitHub repository of Bailador. (Of course that's cheating as most of my commits are small and much less important than the commits of some other developers.) It is fun and we clearly need these changes before the book becomes relevant. So I need to put in more energy there, but I think it would be better if some other people got involved there too.

Building a community around Bailador is also essential. I have set up a Slack channel and have invited all the people who have supported the book so far. You can also get invited if you support the campaign. Well, you can also be invited if you have not supported the campaging yet, but you are interested in Bailador. Check out our web site for instructions.

Create a video?. I know. I should record a video for the campaign. I am told that helps a lot. Even though I've already recorded tons of screencasts, many interviews and videos, it still feels strange and far from my natural environment which is behind the keyboard. However, now that I am writing this I realized I also like giving talks and presentations. So maybe I should not be that afraid of a video recording. What can go wrong? :)

Improve the images on the crowdfunding page? They don't look much like a book cover and when the link is shared on Facebook, LinkedIN, or Twitter they get resized and the sides get chopped off. I definitely need to fix this. But then I am not a graphical designer.

Shall I work on a logo for Bailador? That too will help the project and I guess that will improve the images of the crowdfunding campaign as well.

More Perks: Others offer t-shirts and other tangible goods as Perks. brian d foy offered printed and signed versions of his book. I don't know how can get my book printed and sent to people and I am a bit doubtful people are interested in my signature. (Other than the clerk in the bank.) In any case I found an interesting way to have more perks. Andrew Shitov, who published Perl 6 at a glance agreed to a cooperation. There are now perks in my crowdfunding campaign that will get you a copy (pdf) of his book. And that will happen almost immediately once you back the project. So go ahead support the Bailador book.

Shall I put most of my energy into promoting the campaign? I have promoted it in a number of places, but I am not really good at marketing. I always need something new to talk about in order to feel any justification for talking. (I know many people feel a lot more extreme with this and thus they almost never talk about the stuff they do.) So actually all the other things I mentioned earlier are required for me to be able to work on the campaign more.

Anyway, this whole thing is interesting.

I am sure I have to find some balance among all the above items, and probably a few more I have forgotten now. There are 3 more weeks in the campaign. I hope we can reach the goal in $-values and have a 1,000 supporters.

Published on 2017-05-28 by Gabor Szabo