KS Book

CoverA Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide

Build a Better Business by Building Community

by Jamey Stegmaier

Amazon / Audible* / Barnes & Noble / Independent BookstoresBerrett-Koehler

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Jamey Stegmaier, president and founding partner of Stonemaier Games, is a successful board game entrepreneur and Kickstarter evangelist who reveals the key tips and secrets to achieving success on Kickstarter in A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide.

The key lessons Jamey shares in A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide, as inspired by his Kickstarter Lessons blog, are the culmination of Jamey’s experience and success with seven crowdfunding campaigns, totaling over $1.4 million in funding.

Jamey champions crowdfunding as a way to democratically fund passion projects. Knowing how to cultivate relationships and navigate the unique challenges presented by a crowdfunding platform are essential tools to achieving crowdfunding success.  A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide tells the story of these lessons in anecdotal form, giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to turn a small crowdfunding project into a career.

A cross between Blake MyCoskie’s inspirational business memoir Start Something That Matters and Tony Hsieh’s startup entrepreneur story, Delivering Happiness, Jamey’s book A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide, is the new crowdfunding “bible” for the upwardly mobile, engaged, and intelligent crowdfunding audience.

*If you purchased an audio version of the book, the 125 Kickstarter Lessons in the appendix are included as a PDF, not in the audio version. If you didn’t receive that PDF through Audible, please contact Jamey at jamey.stegmaier@gmail.com.

Reviews and Mentions:

“Jamey’s book A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide has been uniquely forged through real experience on-the-ground, running multiple successful Kickstarter projects. Readers will learn exactly what it takes to raise funds and build community. This is the roadmap you need if you’re thinking of launching a rewards crowdfunding campaign.” –Nathan Rose, author of Equity Crowdfunding: The Complete Guide For Startups & Growing Companies



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65 Comments on “KS Book

  1. Hi Jamey,

    Just ordered your book for my new Kickstarter board game Roads, which I am building right now! Looking forward to read the book!

    Regards, Elwin Klappe, Holland

  2. Jamey, instead of just jumping around, I’d like to start at the beginning and go all the way, through. Would recommend I read the book and then read the blog? Or vice versa? When reading the blog, what entry do recommend starting (from that point, I will read all the way to the current entry)?

    Thanks. I love all your games. My daughters and I can’t wait for My Little Scythe!

  3. Hi Jamey! I would like to know if I can get a digital version of the book? I purchased a printed version and I want my wife to read it, but she only reads books through her phone. Is there a way to get your book in fb2 or Epub format? Thank you in advance!

  4. Been after this for a while – just asked my wife to get it for my birthday in November. :-) For my birthday in 2015 my wife backed Scythe for me, for my 2016 birthday the in-laws had the kids and we played Scythe for the first time, and now for 2017 I’m asking for Jamey’s book – so that’s 3 years worth of birthdays based on Jamey’s work :-D

  5. Hi Jamey – I have just finished reading your book.
    Well done. I found it easy to read, understand and motivating. Best of all, I learnt some stuff. So just wanted to say ‘Thanks’

  6. We’re just starting down the road to our first game. Great team, running an Alpha this weekend. Could not be more excited!

    I began researching publishing and came across y’all’s site. Locked up a copy of the book and can’t wait to dig through it.

    Hope all is well and have a great weekend.

  7. I should have talked to Eric about it, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. :) My publisher arranged for someone to do it.

    That’s a tough conundrum. It might be a bit ambitious to start printing immediately after the campaign. I mean, it’s great if you can pull it off, but it eliminates the possibility of backer feedback to improve the product. Also, completing printing in a single month is quite fast. Maybe it’s only cards? Any other components require more time.

  8. Did you have Eric Sumerer narrate your audio version? :-) I just bought and read your book on my flight over from AU to the US. It’s exactly the kind of information I’m looking for. Fortunately I was doing most of your suggestions already but can’t help but feel behind the 8-ball.

    I have an interesting conundrum with timing. I do remember what you said about deadlines are imposed only by ourselves but in this case, it’s a conference timing thing. The game as it is, is close to done. We have made prototypes, and paly tested it including blind playtesting. My intention is to do my final playtesting at Gen Con, tweak anything right after that, and give the manufacturer to go ahead to print.

    My original thought was to launch our KS so it ran through August. That is of course Gen Con, and naturally 10,000 other game designers will be launching theirs as well. So given my manufacturing quotes for delivery times, If we can start printing by the first week in September, we’ll hit the docks first week of October. That fits my idea perfectly because I want to have this for our booth at PAX AUS in late October.

    But, being new to all of this, and just getting our blog and BGG information all set up, being active on FB and Twitter and trying to build our crowd, do you think this is feasible?

  9. Bought this last year and it was great! Just noticed there’s an audio version available on Audible and I am so getting it!

  10. Jamey! All your work is amazing! I have already read through a decent amount of this blog, and am now reading through the book. I am always amazed by how helpful your input is. Its important because it is so easy to get sucked into the “get rich quick” mentality when looking at crowdfunding. But as you point out, thats missing the whole point. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for everything you do! One day, I’d like to come to your design day to meet your in person. Till then, thanks!!!

    1. Thanks for your note, Anthony! You’re absolutely right that it’s it’s to focus on the money, but it’s about so much more than that. :) I hope you get to attend Design Day someday!

  11. Hi Jamey, I have gone through two third of your book. Needless to say, the book is a great collection of tips and experience learnt-by-hard-knocks, covering many aspects that anyone who would like to Kickstarter their project (like us in Hiterus) simply cannot ignore. Along the book, I am very impressed with your thought of “it is not about you but your backers”. It tells me how important a both ways contribution is: a project owner reach out to backers, listen to their feedback so that he can best craft his project, while the backers will help to promote and support so that the project can become live. I strongly recommend this as one of the first books to anyone who wants to launch their project on Kickstarter or any crowdfunding sites.

  12. Hi Jamey,

    I had a great time reading your book. Being a fan of tabletop gaming and funding KS projects, it was very helpful to read about your experiences (as well as the other projects you mentioned throughout). Thank you.


  13. Jamie,
    Thank you for the response. After looking around on your website last night, I stumbled upon the “advice and consultation” page, which answered the very question I was asking. I apologize for wasting your time with redundancy. I will try to make sure any future questions I ask are not already covered by your website pages or kickstarter lessons. Have a good day.

  14. Jamie. Thank you for the response. I understand your aversion toward EB. The EB negatives you listed in your book and on the kickstarter lessons are real. However, with early momentum being such a key to success, if you are attempting a rather large goal, I wonder if a one level (10% off) EB reward would be justified? Yes, it may make some feel like winners and losers, but wouldn’t any other limited reward level make those who missed out feel like losers? No matter how great a project appears, if it has few or no bakers at the beginning, it will not likely succeed. Thanks.

    On a side note, due to your experience and knowledge, do you offer any kind of consulting to start-ups or new game publishers?

    1. Denny: For the reasons you mentioned, I haven’t included limited-level rewards on my last 5 or 6 projects. However, if I truly had something that needed to be limited, then backers understand. Early bird pricing, however, is a completely artificial limitation–that’s why there’s so much backlash against it. My mindset is that the entire campaign is an early bird, not just the few people who happen to hear about it the first day.

      I’m happy to answer questions on any topic covered on my blog in the comments of the corresponding entry, but I don’t do individual consultation. My time is scarce, so I’d rather help lots of people at once through the blog.

  15. I just ordered my copy and I can’t wait to dig in. I’ve been listening to your podcasts with Richard Bliss and loving every one of them. What happened to the Funding the Dream anyway?

    1. Thanks Joshua! Richard had some stuff come up, and I think he never quite got back on track for the podcast. I’m glad he made so many before that point, but I hope he’ll return to it someday.

  16. Jamie. Last week my wife and I listened to your entire book on our road trip from Minneapolis to Omaha and back. First off, congrats on the book! We really love the wide variety of examples you chose: coolest cooler, back to the roots, tactical keychains, etc. The book was well written and the hard data and lists provided us with so much useful information that will be vital to our kickstater campaign. I had a question about early bird specials. If your funding goal is quite high ($100,000 or more, would you ever consider an EB to create early momentum for such a large funding goal? Thanks.

  17. An excellent book. I’ve read it several times, and have it by my side as I get ready to launch my first Kickstarter in a few weeks. It’s a MUST BUY book if you are looking to Kickstart something. Worth every penny. And then some.

  18. Hi Jamey,

    Thanks for the feedback and clarification. Certainly something to think about. I was really planning on doing double sided mats, and I would have to check with my artist about what he would think about it, but certainly something to think about.

  19. Raymond: Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the book! The key difference is that you have a specific reason (limited # of players) for that limited reward level, while early birds are completely arbitrary. That said, I bet you could offer more than 6 slots for that reward–like, you could have a male and female version of each character (double-sided mats, 2 different reward levels).

  20. Hey Jamey wanted to say a big thank you for your valuable insights that were shared. The examples were really helpful and I know that I will be referring to it over and over during the upcoming weeks. I did have one question: can you clarify the difference in your mind between early birds (bad) and limited rewards (ok)? For example I was considering allowing backers to have game characters based on what they look like, but since there is only a maximum of 6 players in the game I would have to limit the reward and I’m not sure which category that would fall in.

  21. I also bought the book based on the recommendation of my game’s Developer… It’s a great book. Provides insight to people who want to crowdfund a product and it is general enough to provide key details for people less familiar with crowdfunding.

    My question is that you “suggest” in your book to “engage in blogs about similar subject matter”. And I’m not sure what that translates to for my game…

    I can say my game is a mash-up of Dominion, San Juan and Magic: the Gathering and its theme/storyline is set on some futuristic planet akin to Earth called Terra Prime.

    As such who’s “blogs” should I engage with??? People who write science fiction blogs?! I’m really not certain where I could share my game aside from FB or BGG.

    It’s the “other blogs” that I am curious about… Care to share some of your valued insight?

    Thank you.

    1. Kristopher: Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you taking a look at my book! The blogs you should be focusing on are any blogs where people write about board games, whether they’re reviews, design discussions, etc. There are hundreds of them.

      Also, when you comment on those blogs, only use one question mark per sentence. :)

  22. 70% done with this book. It’s quite incredible. A highly recommended read for anyone wanting to understand the nuances of engagement through crowdfunding, especially for the gaming world. Shipping issues are scaring me.

    On the note about building community, I’m curious if your SG team would be interested in playtesting our first game when the prototypes are ready to ship in the next 8 weeks? I run a small creative agency in the Portland, OR area and we are just now beginning to take the advice given in your book, especially for our first product hopefully ready for KS by June.

    1. Marc: I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the book! In a way, shipping issues should scare you a little bit–that’ll help you make sure you’re prepared for them.

      I appreciate the offer, but due to Scythe, we’re way behind on playing game submissions and playtesting our games, so unfortunately we’re not available for that (and, in full disclosure, it’s just not a service we offer). But I bet you’ll find some great playtesters to help out. Good luck!

  23. Jamie, just began reading your book. I landed on it randomly at Barnes ‘N Nobles, didn’t know such a book existed. Great information, looking forward to apply what I’m learning. Will check all of your blogs as well. Hungry for information!

  24. Jamey!

    Is there any chance I could mail you the product I’ve been working on for the tabletop games market? It’s awesome, and I want to Kickstarter, and I would love your opinion!


    Juan Manuel Gomez

    1. Juan: Thanks for thinking of me. Your offer depends on context. While I like getting free things in the mail, I don’t review Kickstarter items or offer one-on-one consulting. I think your best bet is to write a blog entry or film a video about the product and share it with lots of people to get their opinions, and perhaps I’ll chime in with some thoughts!

      1. Hi Jamey! If it helps for context, not giving up a lot, I’m working on a really cool dice design, handmade out stone and silver details here in Perú. They are pretty great, and with a very different design compared to classic dice. I think they would be a cool adition to any tabletop gamer’s collection. I’m really not expecting any review or consulting, I would be happy just with mailing it. Anychance you would up for that kind of free mail?

        If not I get it, thanks anyway Jamey, your blogs on Kickstarter advice are really helpfull and I’m looking forward to the book. I’ll be sure to take your advice about the video and blog entry.

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