It was an amazing, exciting, incredible first week!

We had a memorable party to kick it all off at KidLit TV in NYC, which we can all now relive here.

We reached 60% of our pledged goal in 6 days!

Now we enter the campaign’s inevitable “murky middle."

This is where many campaigns, even those with great head starts, like ours, often derail. You’ve dropped your pebble into the pond and captured the attention of those in the first ripple: your nearest and dearest. Now you need a way to keep the ripple expanding, beyond your immediate community of followers and friends, to theirs...

How do you leverage that first wave of momentum
so that your campaign gets noticed by people and communities beyond your own?

Well, we’re still learning on the go here, and as our story has not yet reached a conclusion, I cannot pretend to have all the answers. But these are some of the steps we’re taking at TTT&T to ensure that our efforts to generate a ripple effect:

#1 Know Thy Calendar!

We recognized going in that a slowdown in week two would be part of our process. I was due to be traveling for much of the week – from upstate New York back to the City, then on to London – and Dan, Emma, Deb, and I all wanted to participate in Book Expo America. So we decided before going live that ours would be five-week campaign to account for these week-two distractions. Basically, we bought ourselves a short grace period in week two during which we’ve all been able to stop and take a breath, take stock, tidy up from the week-one splash, and lay the groundwork for more activity in the three weeks ahead.

These campaigns are a Marathon. No need to sprint the entire time.
You've gotta pace yourself, and allow for a few moments of R&R.

Marcie Colleen, Dan Blank, Sarah Towle, and Julie Gribble at KidLit TV's TTT&T Kickstarter Launch Party.

Marcie Colleen, Dan Blank, Sarah Towle, and Julie Gribble at KidLit TV's TTT&T Kickstarter Launch Party.

Joanna Marple, Sarah Towle, David, and Emma D. Dryden at KidLit TV's TTT&T Kickstarter Launch Party.

Joanna Marple, Sarah Towle, David, and Emma D. Dryden at KidLit TV's TTT&T Kickstarter Launch Party.

#2 Ask of Thy Community

Anticipating our week of grace, we reached out to critical players in our community, asking for their support to keep the conversation going in our absence. They were instrumental in helping us maintain momentum while we were traveling, conferencing, and catching our collective breath:

  • Italy Magazine blasted out this marvelous promotional piece on behalf of our campaign to its subscriber base of Italianophiles.

  • I pre-wrote this guest post for SCBWI British Isles’ blog, Words & Pictures, targeted to authors, illustrators, and other freelance creatives.

  • KidLit TV published to YouTube the recording of the livestream of our NYC launch event. Now everyone canparticipate -- or relive the experience -- and meet all the great people that contributed to that wonderful evening.

  • My dear friend and long-time supporter, Julie Hedlund, award-winning author and Founder of the 12x12 Writing Challenge, contributed this amazing article to her community blog introducing our campaign and company mission.

  • And Team TTT&T member Dan Blank re-circulated his awesome pre-launch blog post from inside Kickstarter HQ in Brooklyn with our campaign link now activated.

When you are less able to pull pledges in,
set up structures that will help to push pledges your way.

#3 Fill Thy Editorial Calendar

Our big take-away from week-two is to keep the conversations going throughout the campaign. So we've lined up a few more initiatives to roll out this week and next that we hope will keep expanding the ripple:

  • Three more live events to promote the campaign, with a hopeful concluding party in Florence to follow:

  • Additional blog posts and articles to come in: The Florentine Magazine, Italy Magazine, drydenbks, and others.

    *We're still looking for more guest post opportunities if you have any ideas or want to invite us to write for you.

  • Podcast with Katie Davis on Brain Burps about Books

  • Skype interview with Sarah Towle, and Mary Hoffman facilitated by Julie Hedlund

  • A series of free webinars with the authors & illustrators

  • A series of press releases to go out to our various target audiences in publishing, technology, Italian tourism, and cultural education


#4 Set Attainable, Incremental Goals

We started with the goal of reaching 20% by the end of week one. When that goal was reached within four hours of going live, we change it to 50%. When we hit 60%, we switched from chasing percentages to increasing our numbers of backers: we'd like to hit 100 before our next even series in a week. It feels good to keep achieving smaller goals en route to the larger prize.

As I said above, these campaigns are marathons.
Give you and your team many things to celebrate, and on a regular basis.


#5 Ask Thy Backers

They are a campaign's most ardent believers. So solicit their help. But make it super easy. We're all busy. Provide them with swipe copy that would make a bard proud! Stuff they can easily paste into twitter or facebook, etc.

Content like this:

  • #TurnHistoryOn! Support the #kickstarter campaign that aims to bring history to life:

  • Bring #Michelangelo’s David to life w/an interactive Story#AppTour by @MaryHoffman #TurnHistoryOn

  • Love #history #story #mobile #Florence? Then this is the #Kickstarter for you: #TurnHistoryOn

Please consider choosing your favorite among the above and sharing it with your community of followers and friends. If you haven't yet, you can back the campaign here.

Help us to maintain momentum in the murky middle. Help us to ensure that our ripple extends well beyond us.

Help us get to 100 backers by Sunday June 7!

Thanks a million!
Sarah for Team TTT&T