The first week of our Kickstarter Campaign was exciting, rewarding, interesting and hopeful. We started out strong and continued to be strong. It appeared we were going to make our goal – perhaps even come close to doubling it, if one paid attention to projections and averages.
We’ve now hit a stage that is not uncommon for Kickstarter campaigns, a mid-campaign drop off as the initial enthusiasm wanes. We were prepared for this and planned to begin announcing details on the content of our first issue as a way to keep everyone interested. We started that process (announcing Kameron Hurley’s story aloing with the names of the other authors we’ve already contracted with) and that had the desired effect, for about a day.
We also ran into a few blips, getting scolded by a well-known and beloved author* for “spamming” with campaign updates. I’ll use this mention to review the process with you all and to make a request:
When you sign on to contribute to a campaign, or to follow a campaign, you will automatically be enrolled to receive that campaign’s updates – by Kickstarter. It’s true that Kickstarter doesn’t really make this all that clear, but it’s part of their standard operating procedures. Unless you opt out at time of sign up (which may also not be that clear), or click the button at the bottom of every update that states “I no longer want to receive updates”, you’ll continue to get them, and there is nothing that we can do about it.
If you are on our email mailing lists, you will also receive occasional emails from us regarding the campaign, and, since not everyone signed up for Kickstarter and everyone on our mailing lists are exactly the same, on days when we issue an important KIckstarter update, we also replicate it and send out an email.
This means that if you ARE signed up for Kickstarter AND our email lists, you’ll get multiple updates in your in box on the same day.
Our emails are distributed via MailChimp which automatically includes an “opt out” option (unsubscribe) within the email, as we are required by law to offer. Clicking on that will remove your address from our list and you will no longer receive those updates, nor any other general mailing we may issue over the course of time.
Finally, our website posts are hooked into both Facebook and Twitter, so, if you’re receiving email updates from either one or the other or both, you’ll also get pinged with updates through those channels.
Therefore, an individual could receive up to four emails, on the same subject in one day, all seemingly originating with Amazing Stories.
Unfortunately, we (Amazing Stories) only have control and influence over one of those channels (our direct emails to the lists). The remaining three require the recipient to interact with Facebook, Twitter or Kickstarter, rather than us.
We’ve no desire to spam anyone, it’s counter-productive. But we do have a need to try and publicize and promote our campaign to the best of our ability and to use the channels available to us to do so.
Publicly accusing us of spamming, on the campaign site, especially when that is not what is happening, does not help the cause. Having to explain the situation (which is pretty obvious, especially considering the opt out button displayed at the bottom of every update) is equally problematic, seeing as how we have a vested interest in not pissing off any of the members of our community, at least certainly not during the campaign (and usually not for any reason).
Our request is: if you think there’s a problem, get in touch with us directly. It is the quickest and surest way to solve that problem, and you still retain the ability to make public accusations if we don’t handle the problem satisfactorily. We’ve no hesitation to take responsibility for our own actions, but we shouldn’t have to pay a price for something we are not responsible for.
If you are being inundated with emails regarding the campaign, you can either change your notification status with Twitter, with Facebook, with Kickstarter updates or by unsubscribing from our emails. If the latter does not seem to be taking effect, send us an email and we’ll manually remove you, which is the only way that WE can directly change what you are receiving. The remainder are changes that you have to make. (And if you need help, we’ll be happy to try.)
(*this case was resolved, though not in the best of all possible ways. An email to us, pointing out the problem and asking for it to be resolved would have been more effective.)
So, to sum up:
Too many updates?
opt out of following #AmazingStories0 on Twitter
opt out of receiving email updates from Facebook
opt out of receiving Kickstarter updates (button at the bottom of the message)
unsubscribe from your Amazing Stories emails (in the footer of the email)
If that doesn’t work – email us.
We’re currently standing at $8,280.00 in pledges with 205 backers. By all estimates, we should have been over $10,000 by now.
We sent out PR to both friendly and general news outlets, several of whom had promised to provide us time and space for coverage; so far as we’re able to tell, none have published or written up the PR. This means we’ve so far been reliant on the people we can reach directly, and, as one would expect, this has diminishing returns.
We’re going to launch another round of reaching out to the press; if you have any outlets you can recommend, please send them along. We’ve got a couple of pieces of news that we’re holding on to in order to be able to offer an appropriate news outlet an exclusive. Both are PRETTY BIG news.
We’re also going to be teasing more of our content, so keep an eye out.
We’re all still positive here…we believe that if we can get at least one bit of widely distributed coverage on the campaign, we’ll get right back on track for a successful completion, but as always, we have to rely on YOU in order to make that happen. So please, keep up your interest, keep spreading the word (every dollar helps, as they say) and get in touch if you think there’s some way you can help.