Kickstarter lab for writers: making your video

laboratory blog

I was lucky enough to get to work with Andy Gill, the great surrealist filmmaker of his generation. This time, he even gave me special effects! Here’s the world-premier!

If you only get one feature right on your Kickstarter page, make it the video. Most people will watch it rather than reading the rest of your page, and you can post it to Youtube and other sites for added coverage. I can’t stress enough how important it is.

What do I know about video production? Not much. I can tell you that the simple “talking head” video is better than nothing, but it’s not great. Spend some time brainstorming to come up with an idea that is more fun to watch while at the same time gives viewers a feel for your novel. It usually doesn’t hurt to be quirky if you’ve got it in you, so don’t write off those bizarre ideas until you’ve thought them through.


Basic outline

I find it’s best to go in this order

  1. Overview of the project
  2. Why I need Kickstarter support
  3. Expand on the book’s content
  4. Toss a few examples of stretch goals and/or add-ons
  5. End with a final statement of thanks for support.

That’s it. Don’t over-complicate it. Even if you do something fancy, like re-enacting scenes from your novel, make sure it stays focused on the project basics. If you want to film the whole movie, then put the link on your page, but make the Kickstarter video a video on its own.

Oh, and if you want a little music? Check out for some cheap creative commons music you can use.


Keep it short

If you can say just as much in half the time it’s twice as good. Sub-2 minutes is better than sub-3 minutes, provided you don’t have to cut out anything crucial. Many people will only watch for the first 30 seconds, so place your most important ideas as close to the beginning as possible.

Many phones can now record and even edit a video, but for better sound quality and superior editing options, you might want to consult a professional or at least someone with advanced equipment. You might be able to hire a pro, a semi-pro, or a passionate amateur for only a few hundred, which is a good bargain considering that it will boost your campaign by demonstrating your commitment to quality.

About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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