Monday, March 31, 2014

Kickstarter Post Mortem

The Kickstarter campaign is over and it failed to reach its goal. The last shovelful of dirt has been laid down upon its resting place. It was an interesting experiment despite the disappointing result.
I did get a good surge in pledges at the beginning.  Better than I expected, not quite as good as I had hoped. But then it went silent. Based on what other reported about their Kickstarter campaigns, this was not unexpected.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Game on!

I have 30 days to raise $6,600.
Kickstarter campaigns are an all or nothing affair. If you hit the goal, then contributors are charged the money they pledged and the raised funds get delivered. If the goal isn’t reached, then nothing. Contributors are not charged 1¢ and no funds exist to be delivered.
Goal or Bust!
What happens if the goal isn’t reached? Is the campaign a failure? Not really. First, it means I won’t be able to afford to go to print for a few years. Second, even if the campaign doesn’t work, at acts as a good promotional vehicle to get word about my book out to the public. If I can get even just 100 copies of my ebook sold via Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo, that’s still a great success. It generates visibility. Even a bad review generates visibility about a book, sometimes better than a good review because fans that love the book tend to jump all over trolls. What kills a book is becoming invisible—completely out of public attention so no one even knows it exists. If you really want to kill a book, give it no mention.

How Can I Help?

The most obvious: donate $50 for the serial numbered book. I just need 132 people to donate $50 to hit the goal.
Spread the word!
Share this link:
On Facebook, don’t just “Like” it, “Share” it. State that you “know the guy who wrote it” and that you are spreading the word to grow support.
On other social networks, tell your friends and colleagues about it.
At work, if you have coworkers who like to read or collect books, let them know about it.
You would be amazed at how much more people will consider participating if you simply state that you know the person who you are trying to help.

What Happens After?

Assuming the fund raiser is successful:
It takes two weeks for Kickstarter to collect all the donations. Then 10% is taken off the top to cover Kickstarter’s commission for running the fund raising campaign (5%) and for covering credit card fees and accounting (3%–5%).
Once all the money has been collected and accounted, it is sent to me.
With that, I go to King Printing with the exact number of books I need, get a final quote for the printing run and place the order. Part of this process is nailing down the materials and design of the book. Plus, setting the date by which the printing will be completed.
Once the printing is done, I rent a trailer and pray my car will make it to Lowell and back with a load of books.
Then I get a new hobby to pursue for the next few months: signing books. (By this point, the manuscript for Dragon should already be in editing, so I won’t have to think about writing for a couple of months.)
When/As the books are signed, they get shipped to the contributors. My goal is to have the whole process completed by the end of September. The number of books being rewarded for donations will determine just how long this will take.
At the end, I should have at least 500 books left over for selling at events, book signings, town craft fairs, libraries, schools and reading groups who have inquired about having me come in and talk.
From the proceeds raised by those sales, I hope to put Dragon through its first printing and continue the process.

From There Onward…

One of the key effects I’m aiming for is to grow buzz for my books so I can sell as many as possible and continue writing as a career.
The more attention I can garner, the more likely copies of my book(s) will sell. It’s getting the first book to sell that is the tough part.
My ultimate goal is to sell 50,000 copies of Nobody this year. My absolute minimum is 10,000—because that will allow me to at least pay off my bills. The 50K allows me to pay off my bills, pay back money I owe to those who have been helping me out, put the money back into my IRA accounts that I drained so I could pay the bills during all this, and build up my savings again.
And if there is anything left over after that, buy a new car. I’m not sure the Subaru is going to make it to the next winter after 15 years of use. Rather than trade it in toward a new car, I’m thinking it could better serve to be donated to a technical school so the students have a car with problems to go over and fix. Learning to diagnose a problem and determine how to fix it is a more valuable skill over just knowing how to replace one part or another. Then the school can sell or raffle it off to further raise money for the school; the gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s hoping…