If you find yourself reading this guide after you’ve funded a Kickstarter campaign, congratulations! After an enormous amount of work creating, testing, and promoting your board game, it’s time to send it off to the printers. How exciting!
Even if you’re not at this stage, this guide will still be helpful. In fact, it might even be more helpful because there are there are three things you want to absolutely nail before you launch your Kickstarter:
- Make sure that your timetables for printing and fulfillment are realistic. You don’t want to ship late. It bums out your customers.
- For that matter, make sure your costs are reasonable too.
- Make sure you have realistic specs that your desired board game printer can use to create your game.
Realistic timetables, cost estimates, and specifications are the foundation upon which everything else you do after funding a campaign is built. Campaigning isn’t easy, and neither is fulfillment.
Throughout your campaign, you want to be thinking about what you’re going to do immediately after the campaign. You’ll want to contact your desired printer before you launch the campaign. When you fund, let them know. Every time you hit a stretch goal level, it’s smart to send them a message about it. The point is: you want to keep them in the loop. If this sounds like a lot of email, consider this:
- You send more email than they need: they mark as read and move on with life.
- You send less email than they need: “um, we’re going to need four extra weeks to do this.”
It’s also a good idea to see if you can get a jump start and begin printing during the two week period in which you’re waiting for your funds to clear. Depending on your printer, you might gain a week or two on the front-end of your schedule, and that’s never a bad thing!
Naturally, you’ll want to let them know exactly how many games you need to print. You need to definitely print enough to fill your Kickstarter campaign plus 20 or 25%. You should do more than that if you plan on taking pre-orders or selling the rest. Be careful not to be unrealistic when you do this. This industry moves fast and your garage only has a finite amount of space.
Before you complete the order, double check your specs again before you finalize the transaction. You need to make sure you’ve accounted for any stretch goals that you promised during the campaign.
Another interesting thing to point out is that different companies have different payment methods. Some will accept payment through PayPal. Others will insist that you pay by wire transfer. If you’ve never done a wire transfer, this can be an intimidating concept. Your printer will provide you the information you need, and you can go to any place that has a Western Union to do it. Not sure where to look? Try your nearest full-service grocery store.
A Few Board Game Printers You Can Contact
By the time you’re ready to order a print run, you likely know which printer you want to print your game. However, if you’re not sure where to start, here are three companies you can try:
You’ll notice that this is a relatively short post of mine. That’s for a good reason. Once you get to this point, the most important factors are preparation you’ve already done and making sure T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted. The printer will take care of manufacturing, and in a few weeks or months, it will be ready for you to fulfill – either on your own or through a third-party company.
In the mean-time? Pop open a bottle of champagne – you’ve hit a major milestone!