The Kickstarter Is Closed

Thanks to all who contributed, but as I wrote in my last update:

I’m over 25% over my goal, but I was hoping for a lot more than that. I’m not sure what this will mean in terms of publicizing, specifically the symposium/presser in DC in February, and distributing books to policy makers. I won’t be able to support it at the current level, though everyone who contributed and requested one will obviously get a book. I’m open to comments as to how to do another Kickstarter for specifically that (e.g., what would the rewards be — more books?).

I guess the next question is (absent a massive flood of last-minute donations) — can I do a press conference or symposium as “performance art” and sell it to Kickstarter on that basis? They rejected my original proposal for this project because I mixed the book publication with the publicity — not clear whether or not they’ll accept a project just for publicizing, because they like to emphasize “creative” projects.

Actually, when it closed, it ended up being 32.5% over the goal, but that, unfortunately, isn’t enough to change the message.

One of the things I’m thinking is to donate X number of books to congressional offices/think-tanks/journalists for each Y bucks in Kickstarter contributions (X and Y being dependent on the economics, as I better understand them), perhaps with book plates indicating the donor. As part of the Kickstarter I’d lay out the costs (e.g., the Washington event in early February will be at least a grand in travel expenses, ignoring costs of the venue, and the cost per book which depends on whether I go offset or not). But I’m welcome to more suggestions, both here and at the Kickstarter.

10 thoughts on “The Kickstarter Is Closed”

  1. Well you can always try to jump on someone else’s bandwagon. O’Reilly (of O’Reilly books) started his publishing business selling books in a stand next to the USENIX conference. Or perhaps you could make your book signing event coincide with a hearing of the science committee. Has the new head of the science committee took office (or whatever) yet? Try to make your book donations to whomever they would make the most impact. But I think you have more experience with this sort of issue than I do.
    Personally I would make a nice book design and put it available in Amazon or someplace similar and make prints in some place in Asia which has low unit costs and can print in low volumes as needs be. I have heard of other people doing this some years back.

  2. Also consider using some other place than Kickstarter for this sort of funding. The Oatmeal did their Tesla Museum funding drive at Indiegogo. I believe they don’t have a minimum funding limit and are more open for non-profits (which is not your case but still…). Perhaps their policies would allow your publishing campaign to happen.

  3. My money for this month recently burned a hole in my pocket but I’ve still got what I promised to send. All I need is a place to send it. Please email me because I very much want to contribute.

  4. Usually I would have contributed, Rand, but this time of year my liquid funds have already been committed to presents, travel, and other seasonal obligations. Others might be in the same boat. Perhaps you could run a separate publicity funding in the new year???

      1. Might I ask why you are using kickstart in the first? Its main function is to give visibility to requests for venture funding, something you already have with this blog. I expect nearly all, if not all of the folks who donated on Kickstart read about it here first.

        So why not just set up a PayPal account we could donate to? Or go retro-80’s and rent a P.O. box? Then just promote it on this blog. That way you won’t have any limits on what is raised or have to justify to anyone but the folks on the blog you want contributions from.

        1. Thomas, Kickstarter has a number of features, such as running totals and behind the scenes tracking of funders, that are pretty hard to run solo. And because Kickstarter is a third party, you don’t have to worry that Rand got X dollars, but claims he only got X/2 dollars and other such games.

          So why not just set up a PayPal account we could donate to?

          Check out Rand’s “donate” button in the upper left side of the site. You can pay via PayPal. I used that recently, I might add.

          1. Karl,

            [[[And because Kickstarter is a third party, you don’t have to worry that Rand got X dollars, but claims he only got X/2 dollars and other such games.]]]

            Why would I worry? I trust Rand.

            As for the PayPal link on this Blog, my understanding is it is to help with the cost of the blog. But if Rand says he would apply the money donated through it during a certain time period towards the book project he has I would be happy to use it to pay for it.

  5. Lets get to the chase. Just how much more money do you need to do as you plan? A solid number would be good.

    1. I’m still trying to figure that out. It partially depends on how much the book will cost to publish. I also have to get estimates for the cost of a venue in DC.

      The reason to use Kickstarter is to manage my backers. If I just take Paypal donations, I have to set up a system to keep track of who has contributed if I’m going to reward them. Kickstarter takes care of that for me.

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