Thaemin’s Guide to Gods and Miracles’ Kickstarter just wrapped, and I’m putting the finishing touches on the primary draft for Celawyn’s Guide to Wilderness and Fey now. It should be Kickstarting July 16th. Thaemin’s Guide had 362 backers, making it just 3 backers short of being my most successful Kickstarter of all time by backer count. It had 20% growth over Brac’s Guide to Piracy, and made over $6,000.
Five times in a row my success has increased compared to a previous book, sometimes by not quite 10%, sometimes by as much as 30%. It’s just not plausible at this stage that, despite having tried to mix popular and unpopular topics together to avoid petering out or launching DOA, I happen to have picked my topics in exactly ascending order of popularity. The fact that the latest book increased by 20% rather than the last book’s 10% also suggests that piracy was indeed a niche topic. My success cannot reasonably be purely topic-driven. Momentum must be at least a partial factor.
The question for the future is now firmly: When will growth taper off, and will it plateau and continue on level or peak and begin to descend? Have I already begun approaching my limit, with growth at 10%, but gods and miracles happened to be a popular enough topic to mask the slowdown? If so, Celawyn’s will likely do about as well as Thaemin’s did, continued momentum allowing it to catch up (but not exceed) the strength of Thaemin’s topic.
Is my growth beginning to slow, but the problem looked worse than it was because Brac’s was also a niche topic? If so, then Celawyn’s will likely do about 10%-20% better than Thaemin’s.
Did I happen to pick two dud topics in a row that stymied what was otherwise consistently 30% growth? If so, Celawyn’s will likely do 30% better than Thaemin’s.
If Celawyn’s Guide to Wilderness and Fey does worse than Thaemin’s, then I have no idea what that means. I don’t know what scenario goes from five straight books of growth to a sudden, immediate peak less than halfway through the series, and I don’t consider it a strong possibility anymore.
And since 300+ backers is the minimum absolute value of backers to make this series worth it, even if I plateau immediately, it’ll still be worth it. At this point, even my neurotic obsession with contingency planning is beginning to discard the possibility of an immediate reversal of fortune. Although I suspect any follow-up series in 2022 will struggle to retain the audience built up over 2021, and it remains to be seen how much growth is possible in the original run of twelve books, I am at least fairly confident by now that only black swan calamity can derail the series entirely.