I know some of you read The Order of the Stick, one of the oldest and best D&D parodies on the web. But whether you do or not, I have to direct you, with suitable awe, at the saga of its Kickstarter project.
Creator Rich Burlew set out to raise $57,750 to get one of the collections, War and XPs, back into print. He blew through that goal in less than twenty-four hours. As I write this post, he has raised $868,072 — and that number will certainly have gone up by the time I hit “post.”
You can follow the tale via the project updates. Scroll down to the bottom to find the first one, and then do the same for the more recent ones. It is, I think, an amazing testament both to what Kickstarter can do, and how to do a Kickstarter project well. Burlew has done an excellent job of adapting to the overwhelming success of his fundraiser; not only did he rapidly set new goals (reprinting other out-of-print books, increasing print runs, covering the increased expenses for all the rewards packages), he found a lot of clever ways to reward people for their support. And throughout, he’s been highly transparent about the entire process, so that nobody is going to walk away thinking he’s put their money to a use they didn’t expect. (If anybody is displeased with what he’s done so far, they’re still free to cancel their support: nothing is final until the fundraiser ends.)
It’s a marvel in a number of respects. And if you have any interest in this kind of crowdsourcing model, his experience is worth studying.