Results: What do readers want from author kickstarter projects

Thanks to everyone who voted last week about my upcoming book, The Ghost of My Father (background here). Here are the results:



  • An hour Skype lesson on something,  21%
  • A bundle of all 6 books, signed, 20%
  • A signed copy of the book, 18%
  • Your name in the book’s acknowledgements, 13%
  • Have me fly to your town and give a lecture, 9%
  • Write a short story about your family, 9%
  • Write a blog post on the topic of your choice, 6%

No surprises here. Of course with no associated price tags, an hour personally with the author (me in this case) came in first place.  Curiously a signed copy of the book came ahead of items that are far more personal: writing something at the reader’s request.

About ten people emailed me to tell me they really just want the book. They don’t care about rewards and a reward is not going to make them decide to support a project they wouldn’t otherwise. I respect this opinion and often share it myself. However to run a successful kickstarter campaign requires appealing to different people who have different preferences. People who just want the book aren’t hurt by offering rewards to those who are willing to pledge more money, but want something special in return.

I’m sure different authors with different audiences will see different results than I did. But as I couldn’t find anyone who’d published survey data like this I though it useful to share.


4 Responses to “Results: What do readers want from author kickstarter projects”

  1. Leigh Wallace

    Thank you for the insights – very helpful.
    PS. my website is – the above box wouldn’t accept it :(

  2. Liam

    These are great ideas. I already incorporated the Skype session into my reward tiers. I’m going to find a place to slot the others I hadn’t already thought of!

  3. J.R. Schumaker

    Your survey was very helpful. I am publishing digitally first, so I’m offering a digital download as well as a signed 8X10 of my lead character (a dragon). Now I think I will add a signed book, stipulating the fulfillment for when I eventually publish in hard copy. Thanks for your insights!

  4. Patricia Warmack

    Thank you for this information. I am a first time author and eager to get my manuscript printed. This is all new to me and a little overwhelming. Your information was helpful, but I would’ve liked some information regarding what the pledge amount should be for each corresponding reward. It’s hard to know the value of the rewards.


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