Challenge,  Fun Stuff

I Have Built 33 Kickstarter Campaigns…

Working on #34 Now…

It is for the upcoming 2023 Holiday Spectacular. (Details to come soon.)

Way back when I first started, Kickstarter was a fairly new platform and we used it first for our Fiction River volumes and then to test if there was any interest in restarting Pulphouse Fiction Magazine. There was intrest and we are still going, coming back from a hiatus caused by my eyes going bad for a time. Of the 33 campaigns, five have been for Pulphouse subscription drives and five for Fiction River projects.

Back in the first twenty-five or so campaigns, I built and wrote every detail. Last year or so I have had fantastic help on just about everything, again thanks to my eyes. Now each campaign really is an amazing group project. And we are all learning and getting better.

But I still put them together from all the parts, and each campaign, especially the size and numbers of details we do, feels like it is like putting together a short novel. And I spend about the same amount of time on a campaign as I would writing a short novel.

But I am not tired of doing it, and they are worth it for a bunch of reasons.

First, a Kickstarter campaign is a fantastic way to launch a book or a project.

Second, sometimes because of Kickstarter, we come up with projects we never would have thought about. The Colliding Worlds, Crimes Collide, and Fantasies Collide major collections of 100 stories each are prime examples. 50 of my stories, 50 of Kris’s stories in each project each year. We Kickstarted each one and did great. Without Kickstarter we never would have done them.

Third, we use a new campaign to update a project, things like new covers, hardbacks, and so on.

And sometimes we just do one for the fun of it like helping an indie bookstore get some working capital.

Last year we did six campaigns, this year we are on track to do eight.

And each campaign, the way we are doing them at the moment, gives Kris and I an excuse to teach series of classes or special classes we would never get around to without a Kickstarter campaign. And that is great fun.

One more thing… With the rising of of author Shopify stories, we are using Kickstarter campaigns to bring in merchandise for our series or products and that is really building out Shopify stories.

I have about five authors who have started a Kickstarter campaign this last week that I will be doing a post about, both here and through the free Kickstarter class on Teachable. Help them get a few more backers.

But one warning. Kickstarter policy makes you say if you have used any AI product in the work or for the campaign. (If you don’t say you did and they find out, they ban you from the site.) If you have, I will not back your campaign or promote it because I will not promote anyone stealing other artist’s work. Just saying.

But for those of you who have been thinking about doing a campaign, there are a number of step-by-step books out there on how to put one together. Study campaigns you like and imitate.

And I will be glad to look at it before you launch to help where I can. Email me directly.

Now for me it is back to working on #34. Fun stuff.



  • T Thorn Coyle

    Kickstarter is a blast! It’s also been a boon to my publishing business. I run three a year and am launching my seventh next week!

    I’m so glad you shared the wealth on this platform by teaching so many people for free.

  • Jason M

    Are you opposed to the use of AI image generator tools such as DALL-E or Midjourney for any purpose whatsoever?

    • dwsmith

      100%. You would be stealing other artist’s work.

      Wait until all the billion lawsuits get settled and the artists and authors are at least getting paid.

  • Mark Kuhn

    Looking forward to the Holiday Spectacular.
    Any chance of seeing a new Retrieval Artist story in the near future?

    • dwsmith

      Kris puts out books only when Kris puts out books. Until they leave her office, no one has a clue as to what or when she might be working on something. And I suggest all writers be that protective of their work. So answer. Not a clue.