What is it and How does it Work?

September 2021   Argyro Graphy

A family member or friend asks you to support a Kickstarter campaign. Your eyes widen and you suddenly look like a deer in the headlights of your car.  Looking for the nearest door to escape, thinking they want you to donate money, you're trapped. Now what?

What on earth does supporting a Kickstarter even mean?

It's a platform used to collect funds to help pay for the high cost to produce something.

In the publishing space (my space) the most expensive costs in creating a fully illustrated children's book are the illustrations, covers, and printing (let's face it paper shortages and increased printing costs are making it harder for authors to profit) Some illustrations for a single children's book can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars upwards of $10k- Yup! you read right, thousands.  Hence the reason we turn to Kickstarter.


Now, don't kid yourself - there is a lot of 'behind-the-scenes' work and stress. But, let me try to simplify things.  (I have been supporting campaigns not knowing the creators because I want to help to bring that product to life and I have received some cool gadgets and tech stuff)

Let's talk terminology.

Project/Campaign: This is the item or service that the creator wants to bring to life, like a book.

Creator: Also referred to as the inventor, designer, author, artist, 

Funding Goal: The amount of money it will take to bring the project to life

NOTE: This is All-or-nothing: If the amount is not achieved by the set timeframe then nobody will be charged and the creator will not receive any funds.

Backer: Kickstarter is not a store, backers support a creative process. Rewards are a creator's chance to share a piece of their project with their backer community, supporters and fans.

Rewards: Some call these pre-orders.  It's a way of including YOU on their journey and giving you a piece of that project. *You can change your reward any time during the campaign  

Pledge: The amount you contribute/pledge. For example, for a $12 pledge, you can get a book and for $15 you can get a book plus stickers plus a pen

Funded: YAY! We did it, thanks to YOU! Our goal has been reached.

Project unsuccessful (not funded):  Campaign ended and goal not reached. -  You are not charged

Stretch Goals: Additional or New Rewards added if there is still time left before the campaign ends.

Example:  The $5000 goal is reached.  There are still days left before the end. The first stretch goal can be something like this:

If we reach $7,000 then everyone that backed the project will get a free coloring book.

How does it Work?


The first thing you want to do is to sign up to be notified when the project goes LIVE.

You may also be asked to join the Launch Team to help share and post on your social media. (Team members will get a sneak peak of the rewards before anyone else)

NOTE: There are thousands of projects on Kickstarter, so to help with visibility, creators may offer a LIMITED TIME ONLY offer or AN EARLYBIRD deal to build momentum and increase the chances of being seen.

Creators hope to get as much support as possible in the first few days

Launch Day! (share,pledge, and keep sharing)
  • Watch the intro video (if there is one - it's optional) explaining the project, mission/story, and so on

  • Scroll through the Rewards that this creator is offering (example: $18 for a hardcover book and a few coloring sheets) 

  • Click on the reward that interests you and pledge

  • Fill in your information and you are done! (you are NOT charged at this stage)

  • Don't want a reward but LOVE the concept/project, then 

  • Click on Pledge without reward and enter your dollar amount

Another way that you can help support the creator is to share the campaign with other people on your social media platforms - the more eyes on the project, the more likely it will get funded. So there you have it, in a very large nutshell.

On a personal note, as I have run 3 campaigns (the first I was forced to abandon due to health reasons, the second was funded, and the 3rd one I canceled halfway through) Every dollar is a great contribution.  It shows us, the creators that you believe in what we are trying to do, it lifts our spirit, and confidence and validates us as creators/authors.  The contributions are confidential and only the creator ever sees the amount you contributed (with or without a reward) - Argyro Graphy