Pledge Levels: Thoughts & Advice

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.06.50 AMOn Kickstarter you get different “gifts” given to you for donating at different price points. For example, for my film “Rolled“, if you donated $25 you got the Rolled DVD. For $35 we hung an image of you in the background of the film. For $300 we name dropped you in the film.

On October second my good friend Drew Manning will be launching his Kickstarter campaign for a novel he’s written called Earth Alpha. It’s the first trilogy in a ten part saga spanning space and time. I’ve been helping him prepare his kicstarter campaign so he can hire a copy editor and an artist to create 30 images to go along with the 300 page story. Now we’re trying to lock down the different pledge level rewards. I’m hoping we can get some feedback from as many people as possible, so we can tweak them as needed.

Thanks for your help, you look beautiful today.

Project: Earth Alpha: The first trilogy in a ten part saga


$1: Drew tweets a 140 character story about you that takes place in the Earth Alpha universe.

I like this one because it’s a low level of entry. For as little as $1 you are involved with the project. The question is, should it be $5? My instinct says to keep it at $1. Alternatively we could thank all the donors on the Earth Alpha website for $1, and the tweet could be $5.

$7: Receive the Earth Alpha ebook for Kindle, iPad, or PDF. Plus the gifts above.

$15: Receive Earth Alpha, the novel, with all its images, in all its glory. Plus a free ebook version. The book will retail for $19.99

$20: Your name in the thank you section in the back of the Earth Alpha novel. Your name in Print!

$50: A character drawing of you as a super hero in the Earth Alpha world, printed in the back of the book.

$75: A signed copy of the Earth Alpha by the author, plus everything above.

$100: A Kickstarter limited edition cover of Earth Alpha, signed, and everything above.

$300: A short story will be written about you that takes place in Earth Alpha. It will be published at the end of the novel.

$500: One of the characters names will be changed to your name in the main story.

We are open to all sorts of ideas. If you think we should add anything, or change the price of any of these, please let us know. Thanks again. You can sign up for the Earth Alpha mailing list here, and like Earth Alpha on Facebook.

Pledge Levels: Thoughts & Advice

44 Responses

  1. These gifts all sound awesome and worthy. I look forward to seeing myself as a superhero! I think a thank you list on the website could be worth the $1 and a tweet could be worth between $3-5. I also think the gift for $50 and the $75 could be swapped. Drawing a character seems like a lot more work than signing the book ;) Great work you guys. It’s all coming together!

    cait September 18, 2013 at 10:46 am #
  2. I think $1 is too low. If you have $1 to give, you have $3 or $5 to give so why not start there? $1 would make sense if you wanted a large base of people to have committed something or if you want to upsell then to a higher donation but the latter isn’t really how KS works.

    I’d be concerned about the amount of tweets you need to send, especially with all the other tiers getting a tweet too – where will these tweets be published too, isn’t that a lot of tweets, is that going to piss off any of the organic followers to that account, etc?

    The one other data point missing here is the target goal. My views on $1 vs $5, and what the maximum donation should be would change if the goal was $5000 vs $50,000.

    You have more experience than I do on this, but I’d also check real-world costs make these levels correct. $7 for ebook costs nothing to fulfill. On the $15 for the novel level, if the raw cost of the book and the shipping is $8 or more, you actually ‘make’ less money at this level than the lower tier. (‘make’ meaning, how much you put towards the actual fund for the project).

    Ben Metcalfe September 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm #
  3. People think in whole numbers. IMHO you’re leaving money on the table by not going with simple $5, $10, $20 etc levels. $1 is the “thanks for your support” level, and doesn’t require any gift other than a thanks. $5 is a great price for the tweet- that’s creative and cool! The ebook is worth more than $7- I suggest $10. In my experience, many people will give just to give, and they could care less about the extra $3 discount.

    Good point above about shipping costs of the physical book. How about $20 for the book with a special edition cover at this level, or a small limited edition art print to go with it? That won’t cost you much but makes it still special for the early adopters- more special than a discount would ever be. The most popular level of donation will be the minimum level to get the product- look at other campaigns and you’ll see this pattern, so this is the one you want to nail and should not simply discount.

    Skip the current $20 name in the back of the book thing. The $50 level is amazing and cool, and totally more cool than a signature.

    I see I stole the $100 level’s prize to give away at $20. Fine. $100 is a lot. Maybe give them the original custom drawing in a small mat so they can frame it. Or just the original drawing, but with color. I don’t think too many people will go for this so you won’t be overwhelmed.

    The other levels are fine, but my humble guess it they will be unlikely to get many takers. That’s ok since it would take a lot of work.

    Looking forward to it!

    Beth September 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm #
  4. A few quick thoughts: Always have a way people can pay you more, it helps price-anchor the lower levels as well. There should be a 25% or 33% of the total level, perhaps with a “We’ll fly you out to see the book get created for a day” type of reward.

    You don’t need to use “plus everything above”. Spell out what is given at each level, and you may not want to commit to too many tweet stories.

    The book + custom drawings is a really cool combo.

    Much agreement with other commenters!

    Take luck!

    Brook R September 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm #
  5. I agree with many of the above comments. Especially about whole numbers.
    $1 thank you on website
    $5 tweet – I think this should be only at this level, higher levels can add it on if they like. (Maybe that will keep people to only $5 pledge but I doubt it and agree that the number of tweets could get overwhelming.
    $10 E-book This seems like a fine price for an e-book and supporting the project get made. If you wanted it lower I would go with $8 rather than $7, but not really sure why.
    $20 Physical Book I think offering it at the same price as it will retail for is fine as long as you include something special for them. Small art print or just the back of the book.
    I agree that $50 and $75 should be switched and then all the higher goals look good.
    If someone pledges for $500 a characters name will be changed to their name and they will receive the $300 level of a short story written about them. This might be weird or cause confusion in the main story unless a different name was used.
    All in all looks solid. I am wondering about the size of the book, pages, illustrations, etc as that might change how I feel about a $20 base pledge level.

    Tim Eisner September 19, 2013 at 10:11 am #
  6. I agree with the majority in that $1 is too little for anything but a mention on the website. And also that the $50 and the $75 should be swapped. Otherwise they seem good to me.

    Delson September 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm #
  7. I agree with the other comments here. These are all more than generous. I would up the tweet to $5, make the ‘thank you’ on the website $1. But, I think I would make the signed copy $20, the ‘thank you’ in the book $50 and the character $75. Let me know when this launches!

    Courtney September 21, 2013 at 4:25 am #
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