A few weeks ago, I had the great good fortune of traveling to Florence to take pictures and collect rewards for our coming Kickstarter campaign. Spring was springing and the weather was glorious. I managed to get some gorgeous photos – how can you not in Florence? And everyone I spoke to there was enthusiastic about our coming project:

by Mary Hoffman

But it turns out that Kickstarter frowns upon certain types of rewards, including discounted hotel stays, coupons for restaurants and touring companies, cooking classes, and bottles of Chianti. And that’s exactly what I was after in Florence!

~ cue sad violins ~

Now, I’m not saying that my trip to Florence was a bust. Far from it. I got to commune with David. Several times. I was able to participate in the opening of the new bar at the Osteria del Porcellino. I met Helen and the gang from The Florentine Magazine, and Georgette from Italy Magazine. And I hung out with the good folks at The Paperback Exchange, the English-language bookshop conveniently located in the shadow of the Duomo.

They are all willing to do their part to endorse and promote our campaign. But on learning that all the rewards that I collected in Florence are not allowed, I freaked.

I wondered if, without them, I would have enough to entice the participation of contributors, such as you.

Think of it as a value exchange. People back projects because they want the thing that’s being made. And they trust and like the people who are making it.

According to Kickstarter’s own Creator's Handbook (which, admittedly, I should have read before heading to Florence), the best campaign rewards emanate from the project and its creators. Margot Atwell, Kickstarter Publishing Community Manager, advises this:

So, after trip and error, here is my first gift to you:

Sarah's Personal Kickstarter Reward Rule of Thumb.

Offer rewards that you would want yourself, and give from within your campaign community...

Offer Copies of the Thing You're Making

  • We will be offering downloads of our StoryApp Tour, IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS, by international acclaimed author, Mary Hoffman, from the $25 level.

Limited Editions

  • Award-winning illustrator, Roxie Munro, who has contributed the map maze that will grace Mary’s StoryApp Tour and derivative projects, has agreed to offer limited edition prints of her original rough and painted artwork. She’s donated the original pieces as well. Such generosity! These will be available, along with the app and other rewards, at the $250, $500, $1000, and $5000 donor levels, respectively.


  • At each level of participation, the donor’s name will be included in all products resulting from IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS, forever more.

  • Want to be the voice of the story’s narrator? The reader of the Epilogue? A secondary character? Earn the right to audition for these parts, as well the app and other rewards, for only $100.


  • How about a custom live tour of IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS? Get Mary or me as your own personal Florence tour guide, followed by dinner at Osteria del Porcellino (Chianti included, but don’t tell Kickstarter), as well as $30 worth of reading material from the Paperback Exchange, for only $1500! (Airfare and hotel not included.)


  • Do you like to cook? Enjoy a recipe book of Tuscan favorites compiled by TTT&T Florence Friend, Vincenzo (Enzo) Ferrera, for a mere $50.

  • Prefer fine photography that you can hang on your wall to iCal? Well let our customized calendar, made with gorgeous photos donated by Team TTT&T members and friends, help keep Florence in sight all year long, also for only $50.

Benefits from the Team

It turns out we have plenty of rewards, As you can see. We may even too many. But I am so grateful to the many contributors who have donated their efforts and services to this project, that I refuse to say “no” to a single one. And the list above doesn’t even include all the in-kind support we’ve received!

I wanted you, as a valued member of our network, to know the rewards we’re rocking now,
so that you'll be ready to roll on launch day:
Tuesday, May 19!

Until then, Copy, Paste, and Tweet This:
Bring #Michelangelo’s David to life w/an interactive #app by @StoryAppTales. Help #TurnHistoryOn http://bit.ly/1E0Ihsp

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Thank you muchly!