Question: Kickstarter Group Buy or Amazon?

We’re publishing quarterly print issues this year.

The question going out to the GBXM Q&A Crowd soon is, should we try doing a pre-sale group buy and own the process, or just put the issue out on Amazon for on-demand purchase?

Kickstarting a group-buy: PROS
+ Our audience is familiar and comfortable with this format.
+ Pre-sale commitments allow us to pay less per issue.
+ Lower unit price means more people might buy.
+ We could include a special decal with orders.
+ A small stack of back issues would be nice.

Kickstarting a group-buy: CONS
– We need at least 100 units sold to have any legitimate affect on unit price.
– It can be hard to get people to pay for something a month before it ships.
– I’ll have to get another decal designed and ordered.
– I’ll have to pack and ship every order myself.
– Inventory takes space.

Amazon: PROS
+ Even people who don’t buy the issue can leave us positive reviews.
+ Amazon brings potential for massive exposure to new readers.
+ Amazon handles printing-on-demand and order fulfilment.
+ Amazon issues are available to anyone anytime.
+ It’s the smart, passive income play.

Amazon: CONS
– Per unit price might be more than most people want to pay ($20?)
– We kinda lose the ability to share free issues elsewhere (Issuu.com)
– It feels a little cold, commercial, corporate to me.

Granted, a lot of variables go into issue pricing either way. Size of the issue. Number of pages. Full-color. Paper selection. Etc. I mean, I’ve even toyed with doing full-color broadsheet (newspaper style) issues for a while to balance cost and content.

I’d like to distill this question down before sending it out to the GBXM Q&A Crew (if you’re a subscriber, you can opt into this by updating your preferences).

What do YOU think?

What’s next?

It’s funny how you can spend so much time working towards something, finally achieve it, and then quickly find yourself looking for what comes next.

If we’re lucky, what’s next is simply a better version of what came before. You’re never too old for a mulligan.

Let’s go in the garden,
You’ll find something waiting
Right there where you left it,
Lying upside-down.