David finds funds

Lessons from a Kickstarter campaign

Alexandra Korey
April 3, 2014

Thirty days to raise 5,000 USD to fund the printing of a new book about Michelangelo’s David: that was the challenge that The Florentine staff set on launching a crowdfunding campaign on March 17 to cover printing costs for From Marble to Flesh: The Biography of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ by Victor Coonin.

 

Using the popular platform Kickstarter, we invited donations towards the project, offering rewards ranging from an e-book or copy of the printed book to a group or private Michelangelo tour (see box). It was an all-or-nothing gamble: if we failed to meet our goal by April 16, 2014, we would not receive any funds and the pledges would be annulled.

 

We are pleased to report that The Florentine Press has not only met but exceeded the goal, and will be printing the book in May 2014. What remains to be determined is the number of copies we can print, which depends on the number of pledges we continue to receive via Kickstarter and the amount we receive in direct donations.

 

In this process, we’ve learned a few things.

 

People love the David and Italy. We were counting on people’s interest in the David, Michelangelo and Italy in general. We believe strongly in printing this book in Italy, and we know some people are donating as way to support the local economy and the print publishing industry.

 

We have a wide reach. Although we personally know many members of our community, our frequent readers and those who interact with us on social media, there are half a million readers out there, online, whose names and faces we do not know, yet many are donating to the campaign. Indeed, The Florentine’s community is larger than we thought.

 

Marketing takes skill and effort. From making a promo video to sending out press releases, coordinating with bloggers and journalists, creating catchy graphics and drumming up support on social media, a Kickstarter campaign takes constant work. Having tapped the creativity and experience of our sister marketing company, Flod, we are now a team that can share our knowledge with others seeking to use crowdfunding.

 

It’s not over yet! Back the project on Kickstarter before April 16 and reserve your copy of the book at theflr.net/davidkickstarter.

 

 

A donation of 100 USD via Kickstarter gets you a spot on the group tour: one hour under the David with author Victor Coonin and licensed guide Alexandra Lawrence, on Wednesday, June 11, 5:30pm. Entrance to the Accademia, headsets and a copy of the book are included.

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