I’d always dismissed Kickstarter (and other crowd funding options) because I was always going to go ahead with my publishing projects. There was no need to put forward to the community for support because I was investing in myself. However I’ve kept an eye on Kickstarter, after backing a project that I thought was interesting. Since doing so, I went on their mailing list, so every now and then I would get an email with a cool product or idea in development.
Recently I backed a project. It was for a fantasy book. The funding goal was $10 because this fellow (Kevin Sargent) was going ahead with his project regardless of funding. He is where I am. I’d never considered using Kickstarter in such a way, as a way of collecting pre-orders for the book. He was offering the digital book or the paperback, or artwork or behind-the-scenes stuff, depending on the pledge amount. I backed his project for two reasons, I was interested in his book idea and he’d also shown me an opportunity I was missing out on–pledging an amount to him was my way of saying thanks. At the time of this post, he still has 13 days to go on his project, Death Herself.
So I’ve decided to crowd fund to a goal of $500–enough to make this Kickstarter idea double as a test run. I’ll let you know what I’m doing (because it’s only logical that crowd funding needs a bit of a shout-out to get going–I doubt people will just randomly come across it and invest), and you can decide whether my return was worth the work I put in, or perhaps even use the idea yourself. Keep in mind that I’m not going to lose my focus away from the book itself… it makes sense that a Kickstarter project will be like all projects–you get out of it what you put in (at most).
To start with, I’m blogging about my Kickstarter project (obviously), so you can follow it in case you’re interested in launching one yourself. I’m also going to post it up to my two Facebook accounts – (one is private, family and close friends only, the other is writing-oriented where I post all writing stuff and I accept all friend invitations). It’ll be interesting to see who backs (if any). I’ll also get my co-writer to put it on her Facebook – she has a greater network of friends than I do, as she is more social and likeable. I’m the grumpy one. I’m thinking she’ll probably have more success. I’ll also be shouting out my project on Twitter, but I have very low expectations on there. There’s already too many ad-like posts on there, so much so that I’ve been unfollowing people who JUST tweet ads about their books. I don’t mind a few, I’m tired of being barraged by “Buy My Book” tweets. See? Grumpy.
The minimum incentive I’ve put on offer is going to be available as a product anyway (digital book and a thanks), so it’s kind of like a pre-order (and a dollar cheaper). The next few levels up include paperbacks or signed paperbacks. Other incentives are easy for me to create (desktop backgrounds) or collate (working notes, world or character histories, details of worlds, lists of gods, the technical sheet of all twelve powers, and background stories or scenes that are not going to make the book – I DO have 20 years of discussions that I can draw on) and so forth.
The funds I receive will go towards manufacturing the individual incentives and everything left over will go towards marketing the book. I imagine the bulk of what I raise will be used for promotion, considering I already have a budget for production. Advertising can be a black hole and I’ve already checked a few things out, so I can invest wisely. My decisions on why and where I promote will be shared with you for what I received for my dollar, on this blog).
So if you want to check out my Kickstarter project, here it is. Feel free to pre-order a copy 😉