Andrew Peterson expected to meet his goal and perhaps even exceed it. What he didn’t expect was the tidal wave of support, appreciation and community he felt after his recent Kickstarter campaign for a new novel as the end result capsized the initial target. Andrew has built a sizable fan base after 15-plus years as a singer-songwriter, the development of the acclaimed Christmas tour “Behold the Lamb of God” and his Christy Award-winning Wingfeather Saga series of young adult fantasy novels. It’s not surprising, then, to see an seasoned artist turn to crowdfunding for a new project. Yet even with a built-in audience like Andrew’s, sites like Kickstarter still present a reasonable gamble. We recently spoke with Andrew about the campaign and what he’s learned about the crowdfunding model.
The latest Kickstarter project had to be an exciting time for you. Can you tell us what you expected before heading into it? I know you had the $14K goal to begin with.
I think I expected to pass the initial goal, but I didn’t think much beyond that.
When the campaign ends and you’re over $100K over your initial target, what are you thinking and feeling at that point?
Well, for starters I’m dancing around the living room with my wife and kids. And I’ve had to clarify this to quite a few people: most of that money will be spent on making all the great stuff and shipping it out. The celebration that night wasn’t so much about the amount of money—we were overwhelmed as a family to see the support and encouragement from an amazing community of fans. It’s something I’ve never experienced before. Not at that level, anyway.
What is it about the direct-to-fan model that really worked for your project and your fans in particular? Do you feel you learned something about that connection?
The sense of community was a total surprise to me. It was my first Kickstarter campaign, so I didn’t know there would be so much chatter between supporters in the comments section, so much camaraderie. We were able to experience the generosity and goodwill of the fans in real time—that’s something that could never happen with a traditional publisher. I liked Kickstarter before, but now I kind of love it for the connection it creates.
Do you feel the crowdfunding model might become a tool you return to in the future given the response to this one?
I think so. Ask me again after I finish the book, the audiobooks, and the bonus book we have to deliver to our supporters by April. Yikes!