SELF PUBLISHING 104 : Funding your Board Game


As it turns out, board games are physical products that require artwork, manufacturing, shipping, and so forth.  Being able to take care of those aspects requires monetary capital, which brings in the question of funding.  There are numerous funding sources out there but we are just going to briefly explore the following:

  • Funding out of pocket
  • Funding out of profits
  • Crowdfunding

Funding Out of Pocket

This is the way that many of the established board game producers were originally started.  They most often funded everything out of savings.  It is especially important to note that every dollar that has been invested into the company should be a dollar that could be lost without materially affecting life for yourself and your family.  Of course, you would not be happy to lose the money, but if it disappeared, then you need to know you would be able to continue to pay your household bills without it.

Please, do not risk money that you need to live on to start publishing board games or any other company for that matter.

Funding Out of Profits

Once your publishing company is more established some games can be funded by the profitability of the company.  Reinvesting your profits could mean the difference between creating an enduring company instead of one that chokes itself to death on expenses.

Keep your day job!

Crowd Funding

Many, many games publishers have successfully used Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to fund numerous games and games accessory projects and they continue to do so.  Some keys to a successful crowd funding campaign are:

  • Have an existing audience to provide initial support – Work up interest on social media and board gaming forums well before you launch your crowdfunding campaign so there is initial interest already established
  • Prepare intensely for the project – Running a kickstarter campaign is a LOT of work, especially before hand, but also during and after the campaign.
  • Provide good incentives while getting supporters to actively share and promote your project. – People don’t want to give you their hard earned money for nothing!
  • Tap into existing communities to get further support. – Board Game forums are a great place to start.
  • Have a good reason to be using Kickstarter – If you have the funds to publish the game without the public money, you’d be better off doing so.  Kickstarter projects are a double edged sword; come through quickly and successfully and you will be a winner; take too long or don’t communicate properly or don’t provide exactly what was expected and the public outrage can be unbearable.

For more detailed information on running a successful crowdfunding campaign, see our CROWDFUNDING 101 : THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN.

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