Does Crowdfunding Support Writing Projects?

CrowdfundingIf you’ve made the decision to crowdfund your writing project, you’re probably curious about the success rate of writing projects and how the projects fare compared to other proposals. When I set out to crowd fund “B in the World,” my chapter book for children about a gender nonconforming child, I was curious too, so I did my research. If I was going to invest time and energy into launching the project, I wanted to know that it stood at least a respectable chance to success. Here’s an updated overview of what I learned.

I choose Kickstarter as my funding platform. This was a personal decision, based on several factors, including its standing as the industry leader in crowdfunding (close to 2 billion raised) and its easy interface, so note that the information I’m presenting below is specific to Kickstarter. If you’ve decided on another funding platform such as Indigogo or Go Fund Me, you’ll want to do your own research.

Publishing projects on Kickstarter
One of the most interesting things I learned about publishing projects on Kickstarter is that they’re in the top 4 for both the most successfully funded categories AND the biggest losers. The top 4 winning categories are: film/video; music; games and gaming; and publishing. The top 4 categories not to achieve funding are: dance; journalism; art; and publishing.

Yet even with this benchmark, publishing projects still only make up about 10% of all proposed projects on Kickstarter. Within publishing projects, 30% succeed, which is roughly in line with all proposed Kickstarter projects which overall have a failure rate of 64%

So what are the actual dollar numbers within these statistics?

More stats
The 30% of publishing projects that were successfully funded on Kickstarter in the last quarter raised 79 million dollars. Although that sounds like a lot of money, and it is, it pales compared to the dollars raised for a category like film and video, which comes in at around $297 million.

If you’re interested in actual numbers of projects, here’s a sampling of the number of both successful and unsuccessful publishing projects compared to all projects on Kickstarter since the platform launched in 2008:

All Projects ➡ 254,934
162,755 😦   92,179 🙂

Publishing projects ➡ 26,700
18,754 😦  7,944 🙂

So, really, the actual number of publishing projects, both proposed and fully funded, since 2008 is a small fraction of Kickstarter’s crowdfunded consumption. Now it’s up to you to decide if there’s room in there for your project.

In real dollars raised, of those 7,944 successful publishing projects, only 40 of them raised $100,000 or more. The largest number by far (5,063) fell into the $1,000– $9,999 category.

Kickstarter publishes all its data on the success and failure of all of its projects, which are updated constantly, so don’t be surprised if my numbers above which were accurate as of 9/10/15, are already a little off. If you want more info, here’s the link.

Next post, we’ll look at what tips the scales for a publishing project to make it into the funded category.

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