A control freak mulling the Kickstarter question (again)

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I’ve realised – I really REALLY don’t want to do a Kickstarter for this game. I’ve been fighting the idea for about two years now because everyone says, “Need money to get a creative project off the ground? Kickstart it!” But I really don’t want to. I don’t think it’s because I’m scared. I don’t think I’m THAT scared, you know? I don’t know why I don’t want to do it, but whatever the reason, I just can’t get behind it. My gut, for want of a better term, is telling me it’s not the right thing to do. Not for the game – the game is great and would probably do great on a Kickstarter – but for me. I’m just not down with Kickstarter. And it works for almost EVERYONE ELSE but if I can’t get my heart behind it, it’s not going to work for me.
 
I think it’s the uncertainty of it – I’m a massive control freak – the idea that I have no idea whether or not it will work before I actually throw all that time and energy into it just does not sit with me at all. I don’t think I have the community to make it happen, in fact I know I don’t. So I’m basically spitting into the wind and hoping to light a fire. That, to me, is no way to run a business.
A lot of other people don’t have this problem. They put their projects on Kickstarter and cane social media for the four to eight weeks their project is live and it either works or it doesn’t. Mostly, among the people I know, it works. But they’re not me.
It’s not that I don’t think the game is good enough. In fact, I know the game IS good enough, which is part of why I’ve struggled so much with this. The game is totally good enough. But only about fifty people KNOW that at the moment because that’s how many people have played it. Everyone else is just going to be taking my word for it (and the word of the people who have been kind enough to give me testimonials) and really, who am I?
This is the thing – I’m not anyone. Not yet. I don’t have a huge social media following. I don’t have a background in marketing. I don’t have a background in anything much, except languages and itchy feet and an insatiable need to tell stories. No one knows me. And when it comes right down to it, if the first time people encounter me is when I’m asking them for money, I just don’t see this happening.
Because that’s my problem – I haven’t built up a community yet. I don’t have a body of work behind me. No one knows what I can do because, let’s face it, I haven’t bloody done it yet. And if they don’t know me or my work, why would they put money down?
A month ago, Kickstarter (or similar) was my only option to get Be A Bard out into the world. Now, I’m in the happy position where someone who owes me money is starting to pay it back, so eventually I’ll be able to fund a print run myself. As long as the money doesn’t get spent on other things which, let’s be honest, it may well do.
Kickstarter makes sense on almost every level except the one which really counts – the gut instinct, heart over head, does this really feel right level. And the answer is… no. It doesn’t.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m being toing and froing on this for years, literally. Along the way, I’ve done so many 180’s that I’ve pretty much met myself coming on a near daily basis. At this point, though, it’s doubtful I’ll go ahead with it. Because with something like this, you really have to be 1000% behind it, especially if you’re essentially coming from nowhere like I am. And I’m just not in that place.
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About Mhairi Simpson

Writer, dreamer. Magic, dragons, pink mice, cake. Come say hi!
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