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Getting ready for the Better World Book kickstarter - January 2019  RSS feed

 
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Over the last number of months Paul and I have had many conversations about how we want the kickstarter for our book to look. It feels like we are now really starting the process of pulling it all together.

After many lengthy discussions, we have decided to set our campaign funding goal for $8860. The main reason being that if we ask for anything less, we might not be able to pull off actually getting this thing out. At $8860 we are both making $0 on this project. In fact, even then, there's a chance it might cost more than $8860 so we may have to search our pockets for coin to finish the job. We'd really really like to get this book out there. Thus the $8860.


Here's a look at the breakdown:

$3600 - printing and layout
$1100 - editing and proofreading
$1000 - video and artwork
$886 - kickstarter + processing + comedy
$886 - kickbacks
$600 - shipping
$588 - safety margin
$200 - digital delivery

There's a lot of bits and pieces left to do yet but I thought I'd make a bit of a list here to try and keep track.

We have someone currently on the job of putting together our video. He's shared some really great ideas so we're looking forward to seeing it!

Once we have the video then we need to create the actual kickstarter page around it, including:

- beautiful poetry that gets people excited about the book
- beautiful images to compliment the beautiful poetry in order to get people excited about the book

A big part of this book is that it is designed with the idea that someone might buy a dozen copies to give to others in order to affect change through mass education.

Another thing for this kickstarter is that some people have already supported Paul's kickstarters in the past and already have some of his products. What we're going to do with this kickstarter is that everything will be handed out as gift codes. So if you already have something, you could give it to a friend as a gift!

We need to finalize our reward levels. I think they're looking pretty good. What do you think? Here's what we have so far:

$1 THANKS
permaculture playing cards ebook (gift code)
rocket ovens cooking microdoc (gift code)
hugelkultur microdoc (gift code)
PEP curriculum ebook (gift code)
podcasts 321-360 as one convenient zip file
21 podcast review of Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture
cool public thanks

$5 CANDY
Access to secret inner circle forum
5 hour video tour of Wheaton Labs (gift code)
Cob Style DVD (as HD Streaming) (gift code)
Building of the giant solar food dehydrator (81 minutes HD streaming) (gift code)
Everything in THANKS

$10
Ebook
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$15
1 physical copy or 2 ebooks
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$25
2 physical copies or 4 ebooks
your name in PEP ebook
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$60
6 physical copies or 12 gift codes for the ebook
your name in PEP ebook
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$80
12 physical copies or 24 ebook gift codes
your name in PEP ebook
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$100 GLORYGLORY
12 physical copies or 24 ebook gift codes
your name in the book (80 char limit)
Early access to the rough manuscript, plus the opportunity to give last minute feedback
your name in PEP ebook
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$150 ROCKET
rocket mass heater 8-dvd set (HD Streaming gift code - $55 value)
rocket oven vid (HD Streaming gift code - $20 value)
everything in GLORYGLORY
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$200 PDC
100 hours of PDC (HD Streaming gift code - $75 value)
77 hours of ATC (HD Streaming gift code - $60 value)
Everything in ROCKET (includes $75 value in candy)
Everything in GLORYGLORY
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$500 (goofballs keen on world domination)
Your name is listed with much thanks as “goofballs…”
limit of 20
Everything in PDC (includes $135 value in candy)
Everything in ROCKET (includes $75 value in candy)
Everything in GLORYGLORY
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$2,000
Paul and Shawn will do an online presentation or Q&A for your group or online summit
Everything in PDC (includes $135 value in candy)
Everything in ROCKET (includes $75 value in candy)
Everything in GLORYGLORY
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$5,000
Shawn will come speak at your event (in north america)
Everything in PDC (includes $135 value in candy)
Everything in ROCKET (includes $75 value in candy)
Everything in GLORYGLORY
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS

$10,000
Paul will come speak at your event (in the US)
Everything in PDC (includes $135 value in candy)
Everything in ROCKET (includes $75 value in candy)
Everything in GLORYGLORY
Everything in CANDY
Everything in THANKS


 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Here's the book cover:

 
master steward
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What do folks think of the "1 physical book or 2 ebooks" strategy?  Confusing?  Complicated?  Awesome?
 
master steward
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[

Paul will come speak at your event (in the US)



Anywhere?  Or just the mainland?
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Excellent question! I imagine that would be the mainland.
 
paul wheaton
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raven ranson wrote:[

Paul will come speak at your event (in the US)



Anywhere?  Or just the mainland?



So maybe somebody will want me to speak in the US Virgin Islands?  :)    I think I could be okay with that - as long as I don't need to get a passport.

 
paul wheaton
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raven ranson wrote:[

Paul will come speak at your event (in the US)



Anywhere?  Or just the mainland?



Are you thinking that we should put some clarity on that point in the list of rewards?

 
r ranson
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Admittedly I don't understand the US, but sometimes I see things where it says "free shipping anywhere in the continental USA" which seems to mean not Alaska or Hawaii.  There was a thread somewhere about you travelling to Hawaii before they need passports.  So I was just wondering if this reward wanted more clarity.  
 
paul wheaton
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Actually, I feel pretty confident that nobody will select that reward.  It falls into the space of "put it out there just in case."  

 
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I think the rewards look pretty spiffy!  I'm assuming the e-books are much much cheaper than a physical book so if lots of people go that route it's good.

I love the idea of gift codes!

In the gloryglory level, the early access and last minute feedback seems like it would just be a source of comedy and probably not lead to very many actual improvements.  Unless you're willing to accept the comedy for the extra $20.

I think the $80 is almost too good a deal compared to the $60 level.  Twice as many books for only $20 more?  If you're ok with the comedy mentioned above, I'd think you could eliminate the $80 level all together.

For the $200 level you might want to mention if the PDC and ATC are 2017 or 2018 recordings or if they're live events
 
r ranson
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Do you have your final retail price decided for the book and ebook?  How do the low-level rewards compare?
Are you doing a wholesale price so shops can carry it?
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Mike Jay wrote:In the gloryglory level, the early access and last minute feedback seems like it would just be a source of comedy and probably not lead to very many actual improvements.  Unless you're willing to accept the comedy for the extra $20.



I think I'm willing to accept the possibility of comedy for an extra $20. Mostly because I think that if 100 people support at that level, less than 5 might provide comedy. $2000 for a little bit of comedy? Fine with me.

Mike Jay wrote:I think the $80 is almost too good a deal compared to the $60 level.  Twice as many books for only $20 more?  If you're ok with the comedy mentioned above, I'd think you could eliminate the $80 level all together.



I would be interested to hear what others think of this.

Mike Jay wrote:For the $200 level you might want to mention if the PDC and ATC are 2017 or 2018 recordings or if they're live events


This is a good point. I think that the idea is that what I have above is what the sidebar with rewards will look like on kickstarter and that in the main body of the kickstarter page we would explain these rewards in more detail.
 
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Thank you for asking for feedback!  May I suggest, if it's not TOO much work, that at some of those levels you do a BOTH option for paper  & ebook versions (if someone wants it)?  I want a hard copy for myself and maybe another copy or two to gift but mostly ebooks would be great because then I can gift without having to pay shipping, etc.

I like the levels and look forward to helping making this happen.
 
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Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:I think the $80 is almost too good a deal compared to the $60 level.  Twice as many books for only $20 more?  If you're ok with the comedy mentioned above, I'd think you could eliminate the $80 level all together.



I would be interested to hear what others think of this.



If you are actually fine with providing twice as many books for only $20 more, and I'm guessing you are since you made the level, then I would leave the two levels.  To me it looks like a great piece of marketing to "up sell".  There are some people who just can't pass up a deal and the $80 level is certainly a clear deal compared to the $60 level.  I'm also thinking that those most interested in getting the copies of the book at the $60 level are thinking of giving/selling them to others, hence I would imagine they are just the sort who would be interested in getting even more for a small additional price.  By keeping both levels I suspect what you will see is more people choosing the $80 level than the $60 one because they are aimed at the same client base yet $80 is a far superior deal.
 
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I'd love to see a "save the world" level. 20 books at a great discount, all shipped to one address.

A juicy enough deal that we distribute to local waiting rooms and leave them.
 
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I am very much looking forward to backing your project.
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Sonja Draven wrote:May I suggest, if it's not TOO much work, that at some of those levels you do a BOTH option for paper  & ebook versions (if someone wants it)?  



Hi Sonja, thanks for your feedback! I think that logistically this could turn out to be a bit of a nightmare... but I'll try and think about it some more.
 
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raven ranson wrote:Do you have your final retail price decided for the book and ebook?  How do the low-level rewards compare?
Are you doing a wholesale price so shops can carry it?



I can't remember the exact numbers...

One ebook will probably sell for $9.99 once the kickstarter is over and the book is ready. We would have upped it but decided not to, mostly because charging any higher puts you into a space with Amazon where they take a much higher cut of your sales and it's almost not worth selling there at all. That's one of the reasons why we're loading up the lower levels with a bunch of extra candy.

For physical copies, I found a note somewhere saying we were talking about printing a price of $19.50 on the back cover. I'm not sure if that will be our final price, but the $15 price tag for a single book for kickstarter backers is intentionally ~25% lower and has a bunch of candy thrown in because we want to shower extra love on those who back this project before it's all the way done.

I'm guessing we will probably offer some sort of wholesale price if shops want to carry it. We will also continue to sell the book by the dozen after the kickstarter is over.
 
paul wheaton
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When the kickstarter is over, there will be a "survey" that you send out to get deets from the supporter.   For people that have signed up for a dozen physical books, we can ask a survey question like:


You can have a mix of physical books and ebooks.  At 12 physical books, you get zero ebooks.  At 0 physical books, you get 24 ebooks.   For you every physical book you don't get, you get two ebooks.  How many physical books would you like?





I suppose that in the description, we can spell that out a bit.  

 
paul wheaton
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final retail price decided for the book and ebook?



I feel it is very important that the price is much sweeter for the people that support the kickstarter.  At least for the first year.  

At the same time, the focus is for the people that buy by the dozen.  So the individual price will be up there with other books of that general heft.   My guess is (so don't hold me to this) that ebooks will be about ten bucks and physical books will be about twenty.



 
paul wheaton
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I love the idea of gift codes!  



Neat!   I'm kinda liking it myself!    I kinda feel like there are lots of different things I could do with the gift codes.  Maybe a stretch goal would be that everybody at the $100 level will get an extra dozen gift codes for something.  It seems like that would be a cool way to infect brains with permaculture.  



 
Sonja Draven
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paul wheaton wrote:When the kickstarter is over, there will be a "survey" that you send out to get deets from the supporter.   For people that have signed up for a dozen physical books, we can ask a survey question like:


You can have a mix of physical books and ebooks.  At 12 physical books, you get zero ebooks.  At 0 physical books, you get 24 ebooks.   For you every physical book you don't get, you get two ebooks.  How many physical books would you like?





I suppose that in the description, we can spell that out a bit.  


I love this idea!
 
paul wheaton
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In the gloryglory level, the early access and last minute feedback seems like it would just be a source of comedy and probably not lead to very many actual improvements.  Unless you're willing to accept the comedy for the extra $20.

I think the $80 is almost too good a deal compared to the $60 level.  Twice as many books for only $20 more?  If you're ok with the comedy mentioned above, I'd think you could eliminate the $80 level all together




The $100 level (GLORGLORY) is our key level.  I think everything about this kickstarter is directed to these supporters.  

Shawn and I have talked about the feedback being a bit of a time pig, but I have done stuff like this in the past, and usually it is more like three people will each make one comment - so it turns out to be no big deal.  


 $80 is almost too good a deal compared to the $60 level.



Kinda the point?  :)

I think each level is a freakishly sweet deal.  And if our kickstarter gets funded, I hope that we can roll out some really nice stretch goals.  And if those get funded, then I hope that we can make a parade of sweet deals even sweeter.




----


I am powerfully obsessed with infection a billion brains with permaculture.  

Combine that with the idea of that I worked my butt off and had some very successful kickstarters.   Further still - each time i would run a kickstarter, it seems that there were kickstarters that did ten times better than my kickstarter.   What did they do different?

So, I feel like I need to be a little smarter than last time, and work a little harder.   Maybe 10% more "smart" and 10% more "hard work" will triple the success?

The "exploding kittens" kickstarter had 219,382 backers.   I am not that funny, and I don't have an audience that big.   But it is clear that there are at least 219,382 people that are willing to support a kickstarter.   My all time best kickstarter had 2022 backers.  I'm nervous as hell that I won't get even 50 backers and will not get funded - at the same time I need to put those thoughts aside, and try to think about "what sort of work do I need to do that might bring in 100,000 backers?"    A lot of the things I think of smell a bit like "I don't have a lot of the 'right' pieces, but I have other pieces that might compensate a bit.  And maybe some new things to try that might help."

I do think that one of my good strategies is to put lots of goodies at the $1 level.    But too many is "a bad thing".  



IDEA!

What if, at the $1 level, I changed

permaculture playing cards ebook (gift code)  



to

permaculture playing cards ebook (12 gift codes)



??




----


That's another interesting bit.  In the last kickstarter, I directly emailed about 100,000 people, telling them about the kickstarter.  And I got 1647 supporters.  

I think I have made the $1 level really sweet in the past.   What if I make the $1 level just freaky stupid sweet?  

Maybe for this one kickstarter it is worth trying.  ??



 
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paul wheaton wrote:
IDEA!

What if, at the $1 level, I changed

permaculture playing cards ebook (gift code)  



to

permaculture playing cards ebook (12 gift codes)



??



What if we take it a step further? What if we add in 12 gift codes for the "Care and feeding of a rocket mass heater" microdoc? We'd be looking at over $100 worth of rewards for $1. Is that crazy? Or is it so crazy, it just might work?
 
Mike Jay
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I don't know much anything about making a successful kickstarter.  But I think the $1 reward is plenty good enough to get people in at that level.  If I were going to add more stuff, I'd do it at the $5 level.  
 
r ranson
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I keep thinking "sounds good, but I don't know what that's worth to me.  I wonder what the dollar value of that would be if I bought it new?"

Then I'm too lazy to look it up.  
 
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I am digging this list and the price spread.  The rewards seem generous from my perspective...as usual.
 
paul wheaton
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Shawn and I are contemplating taking the $1 to something a bit more extreme.  

what if:

permaculture playing cards ebook (gift code)
rocket ovens cooking microdoc (gift code)
hugelkultur microdoc (gift code)  



were changed to:

permaculture playing cards ebook (12 gift codes)
rocket ovens cooking microdoc (12 gift codes)
hugelkultur microdoc (12 gift codes)  



??


Of course, the idea is to get more people to go from zero to $1.  But I suppose it could backfire.  There could be a bit of psychology that makes it so that people think it is too good to be true.



While freaking out about getting funded at all, and thinking it is too arrogant to imagine getting something like $50,000.   And how it is psychotically arrogant to think about more than $100,000 ...   I do look at other kickstarters that bring in a million dollars and try to figure out if there is some sort of preparation that could make that happen.  

It is my understanding that kickstarter gives a higher ranking to stuff with more people supporting it.   No matter how much that they put in.   So a kickstarter with a thousand supporters at $1 in the first day gets moved to the top of kickstarter and gets 20,000 times more attention than a kickstarter with one backer at $1000.


So the big question is:   is doing the 12 gift code thing gonna work or gonna backfire?


 
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Mike Jay wrote:I don't know much anything about making a successful kickstarter.  But I think the $1 reward is plenty good enough to get people in at that level.  If I were going to add more stuff, I'd do it at the $5 level.  



I agree with Mike. Plenty of people would be inclined to give $1 for the goodies you are already offering.  Seems like $5 is a good amount to increase the payout to get even more stuff since that generally isnt too painful moneywise to give.  Plus we want you to get the money to fund this!

Like you mentioned, you dont want it to be to good to be true. Then people may think they missed some kind of catch. Or I am just a suspicious natured person...😀
 
Mike Jay
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How about making both the $1 and $5 too good to be true.  $1 has 2 gift codes and $5 has 12.  I'm probably not like many people... When I get 12 gift codes I can think of 5 people to give them to.  If I get 2 gift codes I'd wish I had a few more.  So I'd be happier paying a buck to get two and I'd be happier yet to bump it to $5 to get enough for all my friends.

For me, the biggest hurdle of a kickstarter is just deciding to support and doing the paypal thing.  If I'm going through that level of trouble, $1 or $5 is a minor detail that would be easy to get me upsold on.
 
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I'll share a couple thoughts.  First, though I suspect you know this I'll point out that you are talking about trying to target 2 different groups of people.  My strong suspicion is that your prime group that will fund this easily will be those already familiar with your work, ie. forum members and permaculture folks in general.  The rewards are already geared toward that by nature of the fact that they are likely the only ones who will already know the jargon describing them.  Who outside this group really knows what hugelkulture, rocket oven, or even permaculture really mean?  (Heck as I type it in here the spell check tells me I'm making mistakes!)  This group is not going to be finding out about the kickstarter on the main page of that site.  They will find out about it from your direct marketing efforts and/or the people here then sharing the news with their friends who may not be on permies.  They will be going via links directly to your kickstarter campaign.

The second group you are talking about is the general public who might learn about the campaign from things like it getting onto kickstarters main page and/or people who saw and shared it from there.  To target this audience with rewards you need things they will understand without already being into permaculture, and thus not knowing the jargon.  From your first post listing the 1$ THANKS rewards we have Permaculture playing cards, rocket ovens cooking microdoc, and hugelkulture microdoc which I've already noted likely have no meaning to the average person due to jargon.  Next is PEP curriculum ebook gift code.  I must admit I don't even know what that is.  I have no idea what PEP stands for.  Then there are podcasts 321-360 as one zip file.  This is generally understandable to the average person in the sense that they will know what a podcast and zip file are.  If there is a way to give a bit more of an idea what the podcasts are about in terms the average person can understand it would be a good idea.  Next is 21 podcast review of sepp holzer's Permaculture.  Again the podcast part is understandable, but they won't have a clue who Sepp is or why they should care about his permaculture.  I'm not sure how you would describe his importance to the average person, but perhaps adding some sort of line like, "one of the most significant international leaders in the development of permanent agriculture."  Finally there is cool public thanks.  That part is easily understood by all.

So to reach this second group I think you need to try rewording some of these things where possible so they can understand.

Regarding the idea of 12 gift codes instead of one my immediate reaction is that giving that many away at the $1 level implies that they have no value.  I don't think I'd go more than 5 or 6 gift codes at this level, and I'm not sure that just keeping it at 1 isn't a better idea.
 
paul wheaton
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I suppose part of what I'm shooting for is if somebody says "i don't know this perma-something you speak of" is that THAT is part of infecting brains.  Just getting people that have never heard the word before to hear the word - and eventually develop some curiosity about it.  Same goes for some of the other words.  

Maybe rather than

permaculture playing cards ebook (12 gift codes)
rocket ovens cooking microdoc (12 gift codes)
hugelkultur microdoc (12 gift codes)



We might actually get a better response with

permaculture playing cards ebook (4 gift codes)
rocket ovens cooking microdoc (4 gift codes)
hugelkultur microdoc (4 gift codes)



??

So with 1 gift code we might get 100 people.   And with 12 gift codes we might get 90 people and with 4 gift codes we might get 110 people.   ??

 
Mike Jay
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My hunch is if 1 gift code gets you 100 people, 4 gift codes would get you 150 people and 12 gift codes would get you 160.

It's a balance between how many at $1 and how many at $5.  You'll probably get a bunch either way at the $1 level but the more you up-sell to $5 the better.

I hadn't thought of David's points about your two audiences.  I'd imagine that's very true of this product.  Marketing the Kickstarter to the uninitiated with pretty videos and words they can partially understand (and want to learn more about) would make a lot of sense to me.  The Permies.com audience will get advertised to via the forum and know the words and you can tailor the communication however you want.  
 
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I think Mike is right about 1 vs 4 vs 12 gift codes. A lot of people don't even HAVE people who they could share the deck of cards, rocket oven, and hugel microdoc with. Those are like Level 3 on the Wheaton Eco scale, and many permies have a lot of friends at the 0 and 1 level...who would look at them funny and think them insane for giving them a hugel micro documentary. They probably have 2 or 3 people they could gift it to, not 12, and so 12 isn't any better of a number than 4, unless someone is a blogger and does a giveaway.
 
paul wheaton
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Mike Jay wrote:My hunch is if 1 gift code gets you 100 people, 4 gift codes would get you 150 people and 12 gift codes would get you 160.



I think I would like to hear from 20 people each giving a report like this.  

If these numbers were true, I would do 12.  But I think that with 12 there is a decent chance that the number would be less than if it were 4.
 
David Huang
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I'm churning this around in my mind and find it difficult to definitively say which I think would be better.  Again I'm thinking about it as two separate audiences, permies and regular people who don't know much about all this.  For the permies crowd I lean just slightly toward 12 gift codes creating a bit more draw than 4.  This crowd has a better sense of what they are getting and thus may appreciate getting more.  Though as noted I suspect for most 4 would be just as much of a draw because many of us don't have a dozen people to give them to.

When thinking about the regular person new to all this and not really understanding the lingo to begin with I think 4 would be a bigger draw than 12 because here I think 12 implies that they have little to no value.

That said I wouldn't expect many average people to be donating in the $1 to $5 range.  I think these levels will be more for the permies crowd that want to support the project, but aren't that interested in getting a copy of the book.  I would think the uninitiated average person who will donate will be more likely to be in the $10 to $15 levels where they would get the ebook or physical book.  That's a reward they can easily understand and would be actively desiring if they want to support the project.  

I don't know, I could be wrong about all this too.  I think my gut response is leaning toward 4 gift codes being the better idea for what is still a hugely generous package for $1.  My gut also says there shouldn't be any issue getting this project fully funded.  The question for me is more about how much beyond that level will it achieve?
 
r ranson
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Outside permies, I know about 2 people who would be interested in those, and maybe another four who wouldn't but I would give it to anyway.

But I'm practising to become a hermit.  I don't know many people.  I'm probably not the target audience.
 
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere - Voltaire. tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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