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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Things I've learned about Kickstarter

Get ready to read me thinking out loud...

I set up and launched my first Kickstarter project last Thursday. Before I hit launch, I thought I was ready. The pledge levels were set up. I'd contacted the editor and received prices for services. I accounted for the cost of the books I would be giving away for rewards and so forth. There's even a video of me talking about the project.

Do you have any idea how uncomfortable I am in front of a camera? It took an hour and a half to make the 3 minute clip! Luckily, I think it turned out fairly well. Except when I hold up my books the words are backwards since I don't have 'mirror flip'. At least I don't think I do. (The video at the very bottom is my attempt at said video.)


Anyway. Although the process of setting up the project was easy, I'm not sure I thought it through completely. If you're planning on doing a kickstarter, here are some questions I suggest you think about, along with some of my false ideas.

1. What is the purpose of this project?

My first thought was--raise money to publish my book without any out of pocket expense. This would ensure continued marital bliss. Because this was my goal, I very carefully thought out the prices and then rounded up, up, up to cover any costs I hadn't thought of yet.

What I've learned--don't do that!

Once I stepped back and looked at what I needed, really needed, I tweaked the pledge amounts and rewards. What is the value of a signed copy of the book? I plan on selling it for $12 when it's released. That means the pledge for $12 is a good deal. You get exactly what you would pay if you stumbled upon the book on Amazon. Except I'll get it first and sign it for you.

There's still a slight mark up in some of the levels, but its minimal now.

2. Do you think FUNDRAISER or just raising funds?

I think that was also part of my problem from above. As a mother of four kids in school, I'm well acquainted with the FUNDRAISER. Companies double prices so they can make money and have some left over to give to the school.

Kickstarter is NOT a fundraiser. Just try to remember that. Preferably faster than I did. Your goal is to raise the money you need to publish the book. Not make extra to put in the bank. I need money to pay the editor/typesetter, renew my domain name, buy bookmarks and other swag as well as the print copies to mail as rewards.

3. Writer's brains aren't always the most mathematical

I'm still not sure I'm looking at the amount I need correctly. :) Since the pledge pays for the cost of the book, plus I added $2 for shipping, will I have enough extra to pay for the editor and the books? That twisted sentence matches my muddled brain! My guess is yes! The e-copies of books won't cost me anything (except I still need to pay for FADE INTO ME to be put in all e formats). *sigh* There should be enough. Until I have the final page count there is no way of knowing the cost of the print edition.

Suggestion? Have someone NOT a writer help you plan and carry out your project. Preferably someone logical and business minded. :)

Can you help me spread the word? The Project--FADE INTO ME an Urban Fantasy Novel


Aliens live among us. Their purpose: to protect and nurture their greatest mistake—mankind.

Caedan Frey’s family has fulfilled this duty for thousands of years, but it doesn’t free him from his obligation as prince of the Reparation. Although he doesn't believe humans will evolve to see the magic, much less control it, he has two months to marry one or face the wrath of the High Council. Bitter about a responsibility he thinks prevents him from marrying for love, he figures any human girl will do. He's ready to propose when his soul mate stumbles into—and right out—of his arms.

Human, Ryanne Killian might be his one shot at happiness while still fulfilling his duty. Unfortunately, she guards a dark secret within her co-dependent personality, and she thinks the only way to protect Caedan is to push him away.

Caedan must convince her she’s worthy of his love before the men who hurt her before steal more than her virtue. If she can see her own worth, she just might save herself and his people.


Question for you: What are your honest thoughts on programs like Kickstarter and those who use it? 


dolorah said...

Hmm, I don't think I could ever do a fund raiser like this, but I'm not one to rain on an idea either. I hope it works for you and you get all the funds you need. Wishing you much luck Charity.

Charity Bradford said...

@dolorah I figured it didn't hurt to try. If it doesn't work out, I now know of at least 2 people who can help me pay for the editor. So something good came out of it.

Another thing I've learned is that all the marketing companies in the world must email or message every kickstarter owner.

"NO, I do not want to pay you $200 to find all the backers I need. If I had $200 I could pay for the typesetter myself without asking for help."

Gee whiz!

Janie Junebug said...

I like your video. You did well. I'd appreciate it if you'd keep me in mind when you choose an editor. You can contact me at dumpedfirstwife@gmail.com. I don't know a lot about Kickstarter, but it doesn't hurt to try.


Liz A. said...

Good luck.