I’ll tell you a story, because this is something I was thinking of now that Ettin’s launched his KS, which you can find here.
My earlier Kickstarter failed, and in hindsight, it makes me glad. Never mind the crapfest that the second KS run by Fun Tyrant/Goblinworks turned into, but some circumstances that appeared during it made me later realize that I was going about it all wrong.
The idea was to get the KS done and then publish the game about half a year later, so I was still in the process of actually writing it while the KS was running. This was, to say it frankly, horrendously bloody stupid. Because you know, when you’re running a KS you need to promote it like mad if you’re a nobody like me. I had some help from friends over at SomethingAwful, but because the Fun Tyrant people weren’t really on top of their game, they spent their time doing something else instead, so basically I was going at it alone.
Then one morning before the KS was even finished, I felt kind of ill and decided to rest a bit on my sofa. I wasn’t able to get up from the sofa until two days later because I had that bad a case of the influenza. Later I realized that if I wouldn’t have had company, I would have probably died. It took me almost two weeks to get into some sort of shape and I wasn’t really healthy until a few months later. And of course, I got no writing done during those days.
Lions of the North was a tad too ambitious for me at that time. And the whole project was bad, the setting was unfocused despite some ideas which I even now consider cool, my rules work was a mess and I had absolutely no clue of how much work the shipping and handling part of the hardcopies would have been. And add a bad Kickstarter on top of that, there’s no way it wouldn’t have turned into a hideously embarassing shitfest if the money would have been there.
So, 3 years later, I’ve learned my lessons: no KS before all of my own work is done. I can fall over dead the next day after launching it and it will still ship on time, barring any issue with artwork or layout, both of which can be remedied if there’s issues.