Monday, July 09, 2012


"Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way."
-Baltasar Gracian

I'm looking into putting up a Kickstarter "crowdfunding" project to fund some advertising and publicity for my book Old Habits. With enough money I can get a video book trailer done (of limited advertising value as I understand it, but interest to some), an audio version of the book done, and there's a package I can get at that will provide editing and 3 months of publicity blitz to booksellers and reviewers worldwide.

The theory behind these crowdfunders is that you put a project up with details and some rewards for enough funding, and people throw money at you to be part of a project, to feel good about helping someone, and to get a possible investment tax write off - plus whatever rewards.

The cost for the publicity is around 10k, which is a lot of cash since I have about 100 bucks to my name right now. So I'd need the kickstarter to really pay off to make it work. As far as I can tell there's no drawbacks to signing up and trying a project. As I understand it, they only take their 5% fee if the project reaches its goal, and they send back the cash if the deadline hits and I haven't gathered enough. There may be an additional 3-5% Amazon fee on it as well, I can't quit tell right now.

I've read up on it some and found no complaints from the advertiser side of Kickstarter; the only complaints were sometimes someone takes the money and doesn't produce, and there are concerns about ideas being stolen when publicly stated.

My pitch would include these details:

The money would pay for:
  • alternate cover art (maybe)
  • editing costs
  • publicity package and promotion
  • publicity copies of the book
  • ISBN for the book
  • global distribution to online booksellers and worldwide lists
  • creating a media kit
  • If i get over 12,000, the money goes to creating a video book trailer
  • If I get over 17,000, the money goes to creating an audio book
  • anything extra goes to CRC World Relief efforts for disaster relief
The Pitch
  • About the book
  • will I finish it?
  • Why I'm doing this
  • Why you should want to help out
  • Estimated completion date
  • Target audience of the book
  • Bonuses with overfunding
  • Who am I?
I toyed around with a reward scheme that looks something like this, based on donations:
  • $1 - just feel good about helping
  • $5 - a personal thank you note and a bookmark
  • $10 - above plus an ebook
  • $25 - above plus multiple bookmarks and paperback
  • $50 - above but and hardback instead of paperback, "thank you" listed in book
  • $100 - bookmarks, hand written thank you note, ebook, signed and personalized hardback, thank you listed in book
  • $250 - above, plus a limited edition copy of alternate book cover, signed by the author
  • $500 - above plus character and location sketches by the author, including the castle and dornica map sketches
  • $1000 - all of above, plus a personal interview which will show up on
  • my blog, 3 total copies of the hardcover book, and a piece of original artwork by the author.
  • over $1000 - all of above plus copy of the audio book if one is made, and a phone call of personal thanks.
I am not certain about the alternate book cover, I'm not 100% happy with the one I have, as it is quite simple and I think a little dull in layout and design but I might not go with that.

What I was wondering is what you as readers may have heard or think about this project. Is it worth trying? Have you heard anything about how well this works? Would you be remotely tempted to donate to help a starving writer - I don't mean this as a pitch but as a survey to see how valid it might be - get some publicity? Please give me some feedback.


Philip said...

Yes, I'd kick in - I already have the e-book.

Christopher R Taylor said...

My brother pointed out something that several other advise articles I've read later confirmed: you have to keep the rewards low and cheap enough that you get the greatest bulk of the cash for your project. A free book at the $25 donation level would eat up too much of the funding, and the amount I'd need is at the harder end to attain.

Eric said...

I'd certainly chip in a bit, but $10K seem like a very high number to reach through what are sure to be $10-$25 contributions. I don't know how many regular readers your blog reaches, but I would think you'd need to be able to count on 600-800 donations to hit your goal.

I agree with your brother, I would keep the rewards very low, as close to no cost to you as possible for anything under $100.

Good luck!