• Essays & Articles
  • My First Book:
    A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter
    (2011 – 2014)

    w: Nelson/Roberto

    w: Nelson/Roberto

    My First Book:
    A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter
    (2011 – 2014)

    Inthe fall of 2010, I got my first Kickstarter campaign for a documentary film, called Identifying Nelson/Buscando a Roberto, fully funded. The goal was to raise $15,000 to begin work on the movie. It had taken my business partner, John Younger, and me nearly two months to raise the money and had it not been for the support of some amazing friends and family we would never have made it. Even though the campaign had been a struggle, Kickstarter’s ability to rally a group of people around an idea made a lasting impression on me. John and I got to see first hand how the sites all or nothing funding model energized our supporters and allowed us to raise $9,000 in just six days.

    After the campaign had ended I became very interested in crowd-funding and how it worked. I had launched several entrepreneurial projects in the years prior, but none of them ever took off the way this one did. I wondered what was it about crowd-funding that made it different and allowed the idea to spread. I began doing research, and to my surprise, I learned that our project had been one of the first 10,000 successful projects on the site and that we were in 90% for the amount of money raised. I also began seeing all the things we could have done differently to make the campaign easier on us and work better with our audience.

    It was around the beginning of 2011 when I came up with a quirky idea for a book called “A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter,” which of course could be funded by Kickstarter. The idea was to write a book that contained everything I wish I had known when I launched the first campaign. I thought the idea was a little silly and didn’t take it that seriously until I mentioned it at an event and a few people said they liked the idea. I decided that would use the project as an experiment to test out my newly developed theories about crowd funding.

    During the summer of 2011, I began working on the campaign. I spent a few weeks outlining the book, creating a pitch video, and building the project. As I got close to the campaign’s launch date, I began to have doubts. Who was I to write this book? I was an unknown author who had only done one project. Would anyone back this project? Determined not to let my fears get the best of me I launched the campaign on August 7th and held my breath. To my surprise, the project did fairly well and raised $400 more than my $900 stated goal. With a fully funded project, I got to work writing the book.

    With the help of my mother and published author, Margaret Ward, I wrote the book during the month of October. I also developed bonus material for the book which consisted of several interviews with other successful creators and With the funds from the project I paid a someone to design and format the book for me and launched a website for the book. By November the book was completed, and I had published it on all the major platforms including Kindle and Google Books.

    Over the next couple years, I ran more crowd-funding projected, and I continued to publish articles about crowd-funding detailing everything I had been learning. Since its launch in late 2011, my website KickstarterGuide.com has been visited over 50,000 times, and the ebook has been downloaded well over 5,000 times. The book and site continue to help people structure their projects and get funding for their creative endeavors.

    About The Guide

    A Kickstarter’s Guide will give you a thorough understanding of the Kickstarter site, its functionality, practical usage, audience, and strategy.

    If you have never put together a campaign before or are having trouble getting traction, it will provide a framework to help you navigate the vague world of crowd-sourced funding. More than tips and tricks, it highlights several aspects of running a successful campaign that is often overlooked.

    It provides a thoughtful analysis of the site and what the average person can expect when using the site. While no formula can guarantee success, this book will help you take a step back and get the most out of your crowdfunding experience.

    The guide contains everything I wish I knew when I started out. It is more than a Kickstarter “how to” manual (because you can get that anywhere), it is a look at how you can use Kickstarter for your creative project or business. I hope it helps you bring your idea to life.

    In case you do not have time to read the book in its entirety, this is what it says in a nutshell:

    ”Great Kickstarter projects are successful because they connect and resonate with a specific audience. They use compelling storytelling combined with unusual or wacky ideas to attract backers. They are authentic while effectively communicating goals, passion, credibility, and purpose. The more time spent thinking about these elements BEFORE a project is launched, the easier the campaign becomes.

    One mistake that people often make is starting a project with the hope that the Internet will find it and fall in love with the idea. If this is you, stop right now. The Internet does not care about you. However, if you can reach out to the right people, in the right way, before time runs out, you just might get lucky.”

    Download the Book

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    932 words


    Nelson/RobertoSeparated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16. I do entrepreneurial art projects that are meaningful, relevant, and push me creatively.

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    Adventures in Web Hosting:
    (2016 – Present)

    My Autobiographical Novel:
    Waking From Innocent Dreams
    (2016 – Present)

    Helping Families Reunite:
    The Mama Chila Foundation
    (2015 – Present)

    Get updates about the release of my upcoming book, Waking From Innocent Dreams.

    © Legend - A Handcrafted Misfit Theme



    My name is Nelson de Witt, but I was born Roberto Coto. Separated from my birth family during El Salvador’s civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16.

    I’m a jack of all trades that has done everything from business process design to video production to server administration to film photography. I’ve run, consulted on, and wrote a book about Crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve taught myself everything from Ruby on Rails to narrative story structure.

    What do all these things have in common?

    I’m a skilled problem solver who can tackle complex issues and find solutions that combine art with outcomes.

    20 Years Ago Today

    Chapter I: Reunion

    Ana & Isabel’s Reunion

    Misfit Con: A Home for Dreams, Doers, and Makers

    Why you should support (and share) your friend’s work.

    You are not a failure…

    View More