Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Countdown to Hungry as a Wolf: Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo

In this week's blog post I'm going to compare the two top contenders for crowdsourcing my third book, Hungry as a Wolf. It's a weird western novel and the sequel to my novella Sheep's Clothing, which seemed to be pretty popular(ish), and in any case it turned out Wolf Cowrie had another story in him.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two biggest and most popular crowdsourcing sites I've been able to find, and the two best suited for a creative project like this. Since 2015 looks like it's going to be The Year That Everything Happens (between dental work and moving house) I need to save as much money as I can. Currently, I have a few hundred dollars in my business account--a tidy sum, but not quite enough to do what I need to, and I like to have a bit of a safety net just in case.

On to the comparison!

Popularity

Kickstarter

 Kickstarter is the most popular and best-known crowdfunding site out there. It curates its projects for applicability, meaning that not every project qualifies, so there's a higher chance that successful projects will be featured.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo is a distant second to Kickstarter in popularity, having only about a sixth of the fanbase. However, they have much looser guidelines, allowing you to fundraise for any kind of project or financial need. It doesn't curate projects for applicability, meaning anyone can try to raise funds for whatever.

Funding Models

Kickstarter

Kickstarter has an "all or nothing" model, which means that I only get the funds if I reach my funding goal. On the one hand, this cuts down on flexibility, but it can also spur potential backers to work harder to donate if they know that the project won't happen if they goal isn't reached.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo offers the option of flexible funding. What this means is that no matter what percentage of the goal is reached, the project gets to keep all of that. This allows for more flexibility in projects where the project can still be launched even if the whole amount is not reached. However, even if the goal is not reached, creators must still deliver all promised donation perks.

Fees

Kickstarter

Kickstarter applies a 5%  to all successful campaigns, while failed projects incur no fees.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo applies a 4% fee to successfully funded projects, making it a slightly cheaper alternative to Kickstarter. Like Kickstarter, failed Fixed Funding projects incur no fees.

Publicity

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is much more popular than Indiegogo in this regard. In the United States, where I am, Kickstarter is by far the best-known crowdfunding sites, and in many ways, it has become synonymous with crowdfunding itself.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo is better suited to smaller projects, but considering how much Kickstarter is dominating the crowdfunding market, their chances of viral marketing success drop off hard.

Conclusions

While I was thinking of doing Indiegogo due to their flexibility and their shallower learning curve, it's starting to look like I'll have a higher chance of success if I go with Kickstarter. I'll keep Indiegogo in mind in case Kickstarter isn't successful, though.

Next week: Working out my Kickstarter Campaign Pitch!