Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gearing up and Kickstarter

November only has a few days left and I am getting ready to start all of the formatting and converting of the second novel.  I am awaiting feed back still from two beta readers is all, however regardless come December, I will be moving forward with the book to meet its Dec 15 release date.  Be on the lookout for an updated "How to Convert Your Manuscript" post in the next few weeks.  The first one I did in June has been viewed almost 1,000 times since I posted it.

Part of me still wants to take December off, but over the Thanksgiving holiday, each day that I didn't do anything with writing, promoting, or marketing the books just felt like a wasted day.  Next week will be busy with polishing Guardian, but the rest of December...  I don't know.  I think I will get a jump start on re-outlining the final book in the trilogy titled Sentinel, and if I have time, start writing the first 10,000 word short story  for Hyperion.  Its current working title is "Girl in the Clockwork Dress".  We will see, there is still a lot of Skyrim to play and World of Warcraft just put out patch 4.3 and I am looking forward to the Well of Eternity 5 man.  Distractions distractions distractions...

There have been a couple of interesting posts on KindleBoards the last week.  Both involved the website Kickstarter.  One thread quickly spiraled out of control, and the other thread was much more productive.  This got me to thinking about a way to setup and generate pre-sales of your book.  Unfortunately PubIt and Amazon's KDP do not allow a way for you to launch early, set up a pre-sales site or even set a release date other than the day you upload your files and that is sketchy at best.  You could use Kickstarter for this.  I have not spent too much time on the site, so I am not aware of all of the nuances, but if you were getting ready to launch a book, Kickstarter might be something to try.

Lets look at Requiem hypothetically for a moment.  There are a lot of costs involved in setting up a title.
Two ISBN numbers: $50
Cover Art: $300
Paperback setup, proof, catalog: $200
First run of 50 books: $310

There are more costs, but I won't count them for this example, like ink, paper, photo licences, vendor fees, postcards, costs of editing and time.  So just the basic setup fees to get a print run of 50 books ran well over $800.  The good news is by selling these 50 copies, I recouped my out of pocket money, but that was about it.  A lot of people don't have a lot of money laying around, so this is where Kickstarter comes in.  Set a goal, say $1,000 minimum.  For a $3 donation, you will receive a zip file containing the e-book.  For $15, you will get a signed and dated copy of the paperback as well as the e-book. And for say a $25 donation you get the e-book, signed paperback, and your name will be listed in the book under acknowledgments.  If you don't reach your goal, no one is charged and your project fails.  If you reach your goal, people can still donate until the project deadline launches.  So if you raise $3,000 you might just do a larger print run if more than 50 people want the book.

I didn't know about Kickstarter for Requiem, it's too late for Guardian, but I might try it as a pre-sales tool for Sentinel.  Seeing how it will be the final book in the trilogy, it leaves a lot of options for donations.  Say a discounted $5 for all three e-books.  $15 for the e-books and a paperback of Sentinel.  $60 donation for all three e-books and a signed matching set of the trilogy in paperback with an acknowledgement by the author. Too many options confuse people however.

Anyway, check out Kickstarter and see if its a tool you might be able to leverage.  Also if you haven't checked out my Facebook page, do so now and become a fan.


  1. How exciting. :)

    I love the lolcat, and the title 'The Girl in the Clockwork Dress'.

  2. I love the title the Girl in the Clockwork Dress. Is it steampunk?

    As for the holidays I hear you! I'm torn between feeling like I need more time to get ready and feeling happiest when I am writing.

  3. @Ranae- Thanks, the internet is full of things to use.

    @Johanna- Yes, The Girl in the Clockwork Dress is a steampunk romance short story.

  4. I've been wondering how writers could use kickstarter too. Seems like a great opportunity. Great thoughts on that here.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  5. I am intrigued by the title 'Girl in the Clockwork Dress'. It sounds like Steampunk (something I am not familiar with). You sure have a heavy work schedule plotted out.

  6. Nice post, and it gives me a little insight into what it will cost to get everything done. Nice blog by the way.

  7. @Sarah Allen- I think it could be leveraged in several ways. It is interesting to see what projects have worked, failed, or earned 1000% of their goals and finding out why.

    @Rachna- Yes, it is steampunk. If Jules Verne had written Cinderella, then it would be The Girl in the Clockwork Dress.

    @WolfDreamer25- Thank you very much.