I’ve had a successful Kickstarter which got me several thousand dollars in sales. But I would most likely not do it again:
I not only had to pay KS fees, I had to pay Kickstarter’s tax on that and credit card fees as well. Which meant in practice I only got about 80% of the money I raised. Mind you, I still had to pay my own tax. If I sold directly, I could have kept 90-95%.
Most of the people who bought were from my own mailing list. And I was like, why am I giving up 20% when I could just have sold from my site?
You need to do a lot of marketing. As in hundreds of hours. In just a short, tense month.
KS only works for a few things, as others have noted. There are a few things that are popular. I just did some research on what was selling, and based my idea on that. But that limits your choices.
And finally, not as important, but KS really ties you down. Since you have committed to something, you can’t really change track. I was writing a book, and realised that some topics were better covered in a different way, but when I announced that, some people asked me for a refund. BTW, you don’t get the credit card fees and tax back on that.
In summary, KS isn’t a quick and easy way to raise some money. You really need to do a lot of work to get anywhere. And for me, if I’m doing that much work, I’d rather do it on my own platform, on my own terms.