The comments on this one are also a decent read. Particularly Relevant To My Interests is:
My impression is that a lot of Kickstarters are intended to fund production, and possibly marketing, costs, but aren’t intended to generate a profit. If profit were built into the campaign goal, I think it would be another instance in which crowdfunding becomes really questionable–a problem not just for writers (who are stuck with a publisher that lacks the incentive that risk builds into the equation) but for backers, who are basically being overcharged.
Legally you are not pre-ordering anything on Kickstarter. Ever. It may not seem like a big distinction, but it’s hugely important.
Crowdfunding can be great, but there are a lot of, uh, shall we say… myths around what it is and what it isn’t. Pre-orders are one. The second I’ve seen is people comparing it to venture capital which, again, it really isn’t. Despite Silicon Valley mythology, VC isn’t charity or “free money”, and VC firms do expect some kind of return on their investments (generally in the form of corporate equity). Crowdfunding, particularly of the Kickstarter variety, is specifically not this… and Kickstarter can’t be used for business seed money for exactly this reason.
Like I said, I’ve donated to crowdfunded campaigns in the past, but I’ve always been pretty damn clear on what it was when I did it: a donation. Actually getting something for my money is a bonus extra. Always.