Captain Hindsight

The Kickstarter campaign raised $4,526 and was supported by over 30 backers. I think that’s pretty neat. From the bottom of my heart, and my Birkenstocks, thank you for supporting me by subscribing to the newsletter, reading the blog posts, donating to the Kickstarter, sharing the campaign on social media and sending words of encouragement. It is truly special to have the support of my friends and peers.

In 20 years, when I am working on Hipsters Having a Bad Day, Volume 10, I’ll probably look back at this summer and say, “Well, that didn’t go as planned.” How I assembled the Kickstarter barely scratched the surface of preparation. Maybe this blog post is more of personal reflection (And, if I ever do this again, I can remind myself of what not to do), but here is what I learned about trying to start a project from ground zero and what I look forward to in this non-G.M.O. journey. 

Captain Hindsight

Don’t depend on Kickstarter to fund the whole project. 

Kickstarter is all or nothing funding, and that stipulation creates a sense of urgency. However, it doesn’t mean the goal has to be the entire cost of the project. If I had chosen to cover the cost of printing the book, the Kickstarter would have been a success. Hindsight is 20/20, and in the last days of the campaign, I realized my mistake.

Put some skin in the game.

How millennial of me to not realize that sooner!? I was dependent on my backers to fund the whole project. I call it a classic millennial trope.

It takes a village. 

I am stubborn as an ox, and my mother will attest to that. I would have loved to go through the process of self-publishing, as a lone wolf (aside from the support of the campaign backers) and to hold up the finished product and say “I organized the Kickstarter, I marketed my book, and I found a distribution vein.” Alas, I am a graphic designer who is learning to be a marketing guru and about distribution veins, all the while with a full-time job.

You better think (Aretha Franklin voice).

It’s a millennial move to get an idea and just roll with it before considering the scope of the whole ordeal. Here is my advice: Think everything through. Then, think it through again. Then, have some parents think through it. Then, have someone professionally think through it. Know the objective as clear as day. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Anticipate that this will become, at the very least, a part-time job. Before launching a Kickstarter, or any project, no matter how small, into the public eye, sit on it for a few weeks…or months…

It’s the classic story of the tortoise and hare.

Slow and steady or quick and sloppy. This was my plan: publish a book, sell out my first print, become a wild success, sell merchandise to fund the next printing, and maybe get picked up by a publisher, all in a few months. Now, it’s time to slow down and really do this right. 

I went into this process eager and enthusiastic. I came out of this process overwhelmed and determined. By no means is this the end of Hipsters Having a Bad Day, just a pause. An authentic, sustainably farmed pause. Stay tuned for the journey.