I don’t think I like Kickstarter.

Okay, I like the concept. It erases the middle man, which is very useful for creators who have a following from giving for free, but not enough to be seen as marketable by publishing companies. Self-publishing and self-distributing are good things for the variety of cultural dialogue and freedom of expression. Giving money directly to the artist seems good…right?

Theoretically, yes. I’m unsure of what to think about projects that get backed within hours because they’re widely publicized – like Veronica Mars – and sometimes things pick up a little too much momentum. I’ve backed two projects, one of which ended up WAY overfunded with over half a million invested. I backed it well past it reached its goal because it could offer more for a unique product. (I’m waiting to get this still – I should probably figure out when I should start worrying about that.)

On the other hand, another project I funded is nearly a year overdue. I still genuinely believe I’ll get what I bought, but that is a downside to direct sponsorship.

The tiered system of funding is interesting. It makes the creator get creative in the pricing process and not just the product it sells. It gives options of format to buy. But sometimes no tier quite gives me what I want. And if the project is already funded, especially well past its target, the product will probably be sold by other means.

Or so I hope. I’m watching a couple Kickstarters right now. One isn’t yet funded but mostly there and only one week in. If it gets funded it will almost doubtlessly be for sale elsewhere afterwards. The second one is nearly four-fold funded, so I’m looking at how interesting the additional rewards at each level get (because the creator can promise more bang for the buck of dedicated fans).

This second one is also stated as being book one – and I may want to wait for a collection to get at once. On the other side of the same coin the first one is the fourth and I already have the first three, so why would I want to go for a hard cover super sparkle version that doesn’t match my paperbacks?

For these creators it’s not the first venue for profitable production. They have already sold things without the Kickstarter guarantee and I know they’ll meet their goal. I guess I’m a cautious shopper. And I probably shouldn’t fund any more of these things until I get what I first pledged for a year ago.


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