Author Topic: Using a Kickstarter for your book  (Read 791 times)  

Offline cyberfelt

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Using a Kickstarter for your book
« on: July 02, 2017, 07:22:17 am »
Hi everyone,

This is my first post here, but I wanted to ask if anyone else has used Kickstarter as a way to sell some copies of their book. I funded my novel 'The Kingdom of Andros' on there and actually exceeded my goal by 200%. I found it was a good way to tap into my network of friends and family without looking like I'm "asking" for pity buys or money.

I'd like to hear any experiences you've had and as to how you kept your backers engaged for future books. Thus far it looks like some of my reviews for the book on Amazon came from there, but I'd like to keep those people on with the next book of the series.
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    Offline notjohn

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    Re: Using a Kickstarter for your book
    « Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 08:57:15 am »
    Given that Amazon has made it possible to vanity-publish without paying a penny for the privilege, it seems rather much to expect our friends to kickstart the book.

    I did toss in $25 or maybe even $100 for a young friend who paid quite a bit of money for a print edition of his adventures in Iraq, but that was just doing my bit for Susan's social circle. He insisted on delivering it and signing it in person, so there was something back for the investment, whatever it was.
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    Offline DanaFraser

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    Re: Using a Kickstarter for your book
    « Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 02:47:17 pm »
    perhaps something more like patreon might be appropriate?

    https://www.patreon.com/c/writing

    Offline CaptnAndy

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    Re: Using a Kickstarter for your book
    « Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 03:45:35 pm »
    I just looked at the site & couldn't find a way to look at writer's pages. I didn't spend a lot of time, but my first impression is that it's a hard sell, slick promotion to separate writers from their money.
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    Offline Cecelia

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    Re: Using a Kickstarter for your book
    « Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 03:50:43 pm »
    Isn't kickstarter meant to give the author money? And aren't the contributees meant to be random strangers who see how worthy the unwritten manuscript is? I drooled over the page once - but felt it unlikely I would get much and there might be tax implications.

    Offline Jack.Hardin

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    Re: Using a Kickstarter for your book
    « Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 05:33:25 pm »
    One problem you might run into is that your friends and their friends might not typically be the kind of people who read you genre. That can confuse Amazon's data in relation to who they show the book too and in the long run you sell a lot less.
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    Offline Flay Otters

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    Re: Using a Kickstarter for your book
    « Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 06:25:12 pm »
    Given that Amazon has made it possible to vanity-publish without paying a penny for the privilege, it seems rather much to expect our friends to kickstart the book.
    Understatement of the week.

    Offline steffmetal

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    Re: Using a Kickstarter for your book
    « Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 06:41:13 pm »
    I havent kickstarted any projects myself, but I have been involved in quite a few (as a backer, as an advisor/copywriter, and just as general marketing support for awesome creative friends), mostly in the books or board-games side. Some things to consider from my experiences:
     
    - Crowdfunding tends to work best if you ALREADY have a decent audience and want to tap into it for a unique project. Its not a great platform for GROWING an audience. I did some copy for some awesome friends recently, and despite what I think is a cool idea, theyre not going to reach their funding goal in large part because they dont already have an audience to provide that initial push.
     
    - It helps to have a high concept idea. Have a look at some of the top literary projects. Some Ive funded or been involved in are Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Wollenstoncroft, The Promised Land (LGBTQ childrens book), Littlest Lovecraft, Ravings of Love and Death (Edgar Allen Poe art book), My Name Is Stardust. Have a look at some of these projects and ask yourself if your project has this high-concept approach. Really unique kids books often do quite well, I think because a lot of people buy them as gifts (I know I do), and also because the art really helps to sell the idea. Rebel Girls is SUCH a good example of this. In fact, the only books Ive ever backed that arent kids projects have been a reprinting of My Chemical Wedding, and a collection of Pablo Nerudas lost poems both with an already established audience of fans.
     
    - Make a video. It really does help.
     
    - Think about how you can show your audience that youve got what it takes to do your idea justice. For the kids books, theres always some art already done to show people the quality of the finished book. Think about getting your cover art done in advance and even create a dummy version in Createspace for your video. Talk about past titles and awards if you have them. It will be harder to get people to back a new author if they cant see some evidence of what they expect to get for it.
     
    - You need to think about marketing your kickstarter BEFORE the project goes live, and you need to think beyond Ill stick it on social media. Dont count on your friends / family to fund the whole thing. Trust me. Many of them will go, Oh, thats cool! and share it on their FB page, but they often wont contribute even $1. My friends are discovering this now. Create a marketing plan, find appropriate press to reach out to, and be prepared to spend a ton of time frantically marketing the thing during your 30 day push.
     
    Hope this helps!

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