Since I’m curious how the COVID-19 pandemic affected crowdfunded anthologies on Kickstarter, I decided to do as complete a review as I could to create a dataset for future analysis (for example, in case I decide to go back and do an analysis of full calendar years pre-2020 or continue to do future year-in-review Kickstarter analyses).

Because Kickstarter’s search filters are lackluster (i.e., they don’t allow you to narrow results by timeframe), I manually located anthology projects from 2020 (regardless of genre), aggregated them into a spreadsheet using the methodology below, crunched some numbers, and recorded some conclusions below that will hopefully assist anyone planning their own Kickstarter anthology campaigns (or anyone who wants to further analyze the impact of a pandemic on crowdfunding)!


I used the “show me” feature on to view all ANTHOLOGY projects in PUBLISHING on EARTH sorted by END DATE. I then scrolled allll the way down until I found projects that started on January 1, 2020 or later, and manually reviewed each entry. I only considered projects that began on January 1, 2020 and ended by, or on, January 1, 2021.

For the purposes of this research, I wanted to included projects that did not successfully meet their funding goals. I don’t think Kickstarter’s search results include projects that were cancelled because one project I backed, the Puerto Rican science fiction anthology Puestes pa’l futuro, was cancelled after COVID hit but did not show up in the anthology search results. To test this, here are the category searches I tried:

— ANTHOLOGY projects in PUBLISHING (yielded 825 projects in late December 2020).

— ANTHOLOGY projects in FICTION (appeared to include all the results above, because PUBLISHING is a broader category tag than FICTION).

— ANTHOLOGY projects in ALL CATEGORIES (yielded 1,892 projects in late December 2020; the additional projects appeared to be comics and/or graphic novels).

I did not include projects that were tagged “anthology” but turned out to be art books or mixed media (e.g., comics, graphic novels). I also tried to avoid including projects targeted at elementary-age readers, since there weren’t that many of them and most of my publishing friends in the speculative fiction world usually want to fund anthologies geared at 16+ audiences.

I did include the Unfettered Hexes project in my considerations, because although it ended on January 1, 2021, it was highly successful during a time-frame in which Kickstarter projects typically seem to struggle due to the holidays (or, at least, they did several years ago).

I did not include another anthology project that ended on January 1, 2021 because it only raised $1 within a month and was backed by 1 person, presumably the creator. This latter project did not seem representative of a marketed Kickstarter campaign and thus I discarded it from consideration.

Number Crunching!

Using the methodology above, I located 67 anthology projects that launched in 2020.

Launch Timing

September was the most popular month to begin an anthology Kickstarter campaign in 2020, while October was the most popular month to complete one. The chart below presents when anthology campaigns began (blue bars) and ended (orange bars). Regarding the January ending numbers, one campaign began and ended in January 2020, while the other began in December 2020 and ended in January 2021, but I included it because the fundraising activity pretty much all happened in December 2020.

Entertainingly, the curve of hottest project months seems to correlate with the COVID spikes in the US. New campaigns appear to have launched at a normal rate at the beginning of the year (i.e., rising after the holiday lull as people have more time to dedicate to such fundraising undertakings again), but then tapered off when the pandemic hit. I believe there would have been more campaigns launched from April through June, but instead campaign creators probably held off on doing so to see what happened with the pandemic.

I think the spike later in the year was probably due to the general populace getting used to the strangeness of living in COVID lockdowns (as well as some lockdowns easing). I imagine some creators also tired of waiting for COVID to end and decided to launch their campaigns and see what would happen.

The decrease in new campaigns at the end of the year is consistent with the holiday slump I’ve observed over the years.

Campaign Durations

The average anthology campaign launched in 2020 was 30.91 days (includes launch and end days). The shortest campaign length was 9 days, while the longest was 61. The mode campaign length (i.e., the most popular duration) was 31 days.


  • Average: 195 backers
  • Fewest: 5 backers
  • Most: 897 backers


For this section, please note that I have converted all campaign amounts from their original currencies to US dollars using the exchange rates on April 27, 2021. I did so in order to more accurately represent the values of pledges for your own analysis/planning purposes. Here’s a chart of the distribution of campaign fundraising currencies:

  • Average Goal: $4,330.34.
  • Lowest Goal: $62.59.
  • Highest Goal: $25,000.
  • Average amount raised: $6,718.81.
  • Lowest amount raised: $155
  • Highest amount raised: $38,538.
  • Average percent of goal raised: 217.88%
  • Lowest percent of goal raised: 100.97%
  • Highest percent of goal raised: 1,180.00% (NOTE: This project’s funding goal was only $500.)

For goal/success analysis, please note that I omitted one completed campaign that only raised 3.45% of its fundraising goal and was thus unsuccessful, unlike the other completed anthology projects. I also did not include cancelled projects in the above statistics.

Projects We Love

43.94% of the projects I reviewed were granted “Projects We Love” status by Kickstarter. To my surprise, this didn’t actually seem to impact the success of a campaign.

When I looked at campaigns’ percentage of goal raised (i.e., their success percentages), 40% of the top 10 most successful projects actually had this designation.

Furthermore, when I looked at the most profitable campaigns (i.e., the campaigns that raised the most money overall), only 40% of the top 10 had this designation… and they weren’t all the same 10 campaigns, either.


For anthology campaigns launched in 2020, the following points held true:

  • Campaign project leaders could expect their anthology campaigns to raise an average 217.88% of their campaign’s fundraising goal over the course of about 31 days, and they could expect an average of 195 backers. These numbers are important because they show campaign managers data points that are crucial to 1) determining reward tier price points, 2) budgeting for production costs, and 3) creating marketing plans to avoid a backer slump.

    Knowing your likely fundraising ceiling helps you estimate your profit margin. If your Kickstarter campaign can expect to have approximately 195 backers, you need to keep in mind how much those backers are likely to pay for reward tiers, on average. Knowing the average number of backers can also help you plan your marketing pushes on social media and via other outreach opportunities.
  • Getting your anthology campaign designated as a “Project We Love” by Kickstarter is not critical to your success, although I’m sure exposure Kickstarter’s homepage can’t hurt.

Last thoughts

I normally would emphasize the months and days of launch timing more heavily, but COVID-19 created a massive anomaly for this data. I don’t think launch timing in 2020 is representative of Kickstarter campaign trends prior and post 2020, so I decided not to get that granular in this post (and also, it’s not hard to retroactively go back and do this now that I have all the campaigns in one big spreadsheet!).

Ideally, I’d go through all of these campaigns and 1) provide tier comparisons to help with budget planning and 2) pull Kicktraq stats to for these campaigns to see where the average project backing slump occurred and where the most crucial marketing periods seem to be within a campaign, but I don’t know that I’ll have time to do that before the end of 2021!

That’s all for now, hope this was interesting/useful. If you want to see further analyses of this dataset, please let me know!

3 thoughts on “Kickstarter Anthologies in 2020

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