Brad: I’ve just launched my first Kickstarter, and one of the first things I’ve noticed (only a few days in as I write this) is that it brings the author, or any Kickstarter team, much closer to the consumer than ever before, even more than I thought it was going to. Not only is the consumer interacting directly with author by pre-ordering their products, the author is almost by necessity interacting with the consumer. I say “almost” because technically speaking, the Kickstarter owner need not interact with their backers, but boy are you missing out on an opportunity if you don’t.
First of all, your backers have a lot to say. They can add comments to the Kickstarter itself or to the updates that you occasionally add. They give encouragement on stretch goals and even offer up ideas for new ones, especially if you ask. Furthermore, interacting with the people who are buying what you’re selling is immensely gratifying. Having the chance to talk to those who are already champions of your work, or those who might be, is a great way to explore and benefit from the human aspects of Kickstarter. Writing is a lonely business indeed, and the chance to have a high-traffic virtual store for a month or so is an exciting and heartwarming experience.