This is Part Two of a series of posts on setting up, running and concluding a crowdfunding campaign. My intention is to add something new to what is a widely blogged about subject, as someone who has read said blogs and, upon application, discovered what helped, what hindered and what is simply not covered, or at least no where I was looking. If you haven’t yet, please read Part One: The Preliminaries.
My campaign to raise the funds to cover the costs of editing, publication and marketing of my first fiction book finished on May 31st. It was successfully funded and also a great relief to finally be able to get on with the actual work of editing and publishing the book. This is what’s been occupying so much of my time and why I’ve not written any new blogs for a bit. I’m finally doing that whole ‘being a writer’ thing and, well, writing.
But I did say I’d do three parts on what I learned about crowdfunding and could use a break from the book, so here are Things You Should Know For The Duration of Your Campaign.
1. There’s a reason why it’s hard.
If you’re thinking of doing a crowdfunding campaign and you mention it to anyone the first thing you’ll probably get told is that it’s hard work. One of the things I learned doing this campaign is how unhelpful that statement is. Not because it’s not hard work, but because it’s not a clear statement of what makes it hard.
A crowdfunding campaign is hard work because it’s inconsistent. I like to have a schedule. Structure to my day helps me accomplish things - but maintaining a schedule during the month of my campaign was nearly impossible. Because you are relying on the crowd, you need to be there to interact, to make it personal, and the crowd will be made up of people in different time zones.
When people chose to back was unpredictable. I might get three backers within a few hours of each other on a Thursday evening and then nothing all weekend. I had to regularly schedule posts to social media, to follow up on interactions and send out timely thank you emails. I was monitoring my social media channels at all hours of the day, when usually I just go on whenever I feel like it - which more often than not is never.
Plus, it’s really emotionally charged. Remember, I’d been planning this since November the previous year and properly doing prep work for it throughout all of March and April. I’d invested a lot of time and energy and even though I knew it wasn’t a for sure thing, and that I shouldn’t have high expectations, I’m human. It’s hard to watch the numbers jump and then flatline, to hit one target in a few hours and take two weeks to reach the next one, to question whether you’ll make your goal at all.
Thanks to Tylea of Thundress, I also knew enough to appoint ‘self-care’ managers. I chose a few select people I knew I could trust myself to listen to if they saw me pushing too hard, not taking breaks or agonising over how ‘successful’ the campaign was appearing to be. I told them straight up that I would need their help to ensure I was getting the self-care I needed and it paid off. My self-care managers offered regular gentle reminders for me to take breaks. My stress levels still got pretty high, but I didn’t burn out before the end, so I see that as a win.
2. Have stuff to keep the momentum up.
This may sound contradictory to the first tip, but you will get bored.
You will grow annoyed with your own constant promotion, or you should if you’re doing it right. You will also find that asking for help is tiring, really tiring. You will feel fatigued and run-down and totally drained and possibly even fed up. You might think what you’ve raised is ‘good enough’ and wonder if there’s a way to cut the campaign short.
This is totally normal, and not at all contradictory to the first tip because you will also be bored of the inconsistency and unpredictability of it.
Another nod to Tylea, who prepared me for this as well. She suggested I come up with something mid-campaign that I could promote along-side the campaign itself - a bonus of some description. I chose to go with a ‘meet the author’ hangout on YouTube. It seemed a clever solution because it’s technology I’ve used before, it required minimal organisation, and I didn’t need to rely on anyone else to pull it off.
So on the 15th of May I held my hang out, where I shared readings from my grade two journals and answered questions about ‘Friends We Haven’t Met’.
Lessons learned on this, though:
2 hours is WAY too long.
Don’t trust the stats telling you how many viewers you have (the counter mostly said 1 or 0 when in fact at least twenty people tuned in, as many people told me they did afterwards.)
Recruit a few of your bigger supporters to definitely tune in and give them staged questions to ask, in case your audience is shy.
3. Ask again.
On day one I did a big old launch. There were emails, a tweet every five minutes (seriously, I scheduled a tweet to go out every five minutes all day long on the 1st of May from when it started in Sydney, Australia, until it reached Vancouver, BC in Canada) and multiple Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tumblr posts.
But that was just the first day in a month-long campaign. I couldn’t just sit back, twiddling my thumbs and wait for backers to find it, simply because I’d been pretty noisy on day one. The Internet is full of noise, so I had to be pretty loud, and even with all that noise most of my backers were people in my immediate social network.
Why? Well, because I asked people, directly and individually. I took time to tweet directly to specific people, to send Facebook messages to friends, to write individual emails. And I didn’t just do it once. I had to do some gentle nagging, some regular reminders. I had many people who said they’d back it when I released the first chapter, long before the campaign started, and each of them needed to be followed-up on right down to the wire. I was sending follow-up messages to people right up until the last two hours of the campaign - and in those two hours I got six backers.
Spreadsheets are your friend. Make spreadsheets of all the contacts you can think of and include their email, if you have them on Facebook and what their Twitter handle might be. Then organise the spreadsheets according to likelihood of support.
Also, ‘Not Another Mail Merge’ on gmail is a lifesaver. You can create personalised emails but send them in bulk, which is handy when you have fifty or more people to email in a short period of time.
4. Any one might be a backer.
I learned something really valuable halfway through my campaign, when I attended a business networking event. I went to support someone else, thinking such an event wouldn’t be relevant to me whilst I was crowdfunding. I kind of got it into my head that crowdfunding mostly happens online, especially since mine was for a book so it wasn’t like I had a prototype to ‘pitch’.
I was totally wrong. I ended up handing out my card to several people during the month of May - people I had never met before - and I got three backers that way! It really made me wonder how many more I might have had if I’d realised earlier in the month, or if it had occurred to me pre-campaign and I’d put in solid effort to attend multiple events.
Having a pitch is great. Thanks to doing videos for the campaign I already had a pretty good rehearsal, plus I’m pretty gregarious and vain.
If you’re not a natural socialite I recommend practicing your pitch on a few friends. Just a quick blurb of what your crowdfunding project is, why you’re doing it, and then how people can support it. And of course, this is when having business cards, or getting business cards, is key. Don’t be afraid to ask for cards and as soon as you can afterwards, email your new contacts. Acknowledge where you met and how, mention something you talked about that you enjoyed or appreciated, and include the link to your campaign.
5. Share your gratitude, often and loudly.
Like I said earlier, crowdfunding relies on the crowd. No one is obligated to support your project or idea, so when they do, it’s important to thank them, and not to wait until after the campaign is done. Once someone has backed you it means they have buy-in, which means they are part of the network to get the campaign in front of a larger audience. By thanking them, genuinely, you’re giving them instant pay-off. Sure, they know they’ll get your product eventually, but anyone who has ever backed a crowdfunding campaign knows that can be months away.
It’s really nice to be thanked, to be acknowledged for your contribution and the difference it’s making. I know I always appreciate it, which was why I made a point of thanking every single backer with a personal email, within 24 hours of them backing the campaign. If they had a Twitter account I thanked them there too. I posted regular Facebook status updates, tagging any friends who had backed. I was, and still am, vocal about my gratitude.
I prioritised thanking people long before the campaign began, so I made sure it was going to be part of where my energy was focused. I basically knew my system would involve responding to people as soon as they backed the campaign. I never forgot to do it and certainly never made the excuse that I didn’t have time.
Because I’d taken the time to acknowledge them personally, there was a stronger connection. Because of that connection, they were happy to share the link with their social network.
This is just my take on important things to know when running a crowdfunding campaign, and things I didn’t really come across or which weren’t as clear in my own research. I’d love for anyone else who’s run a campaign to share tips or advice that they either picked up or wished they had known for the time they were actually running their campaign.
This is IT! The last weekend of the campaign.
As ever and always: THANK YOU!
Seriously, everyone who has become a patron, you are awesome. This book couldn’t happen if no one wanted to buy it and clearly you all want to buy it before it even EXISTS so that’s pretty cool. Plus, in this world of near instant gratification where you can get something from Amazon before you even ordered it, it’s cool that you’re all happy to wait until September for this thing. And for the added perks, of course!
As of right now there are, along with 77 books, I’m going to be sending out 40 dharma art prints!
But the campaign isn’t over yet so if you know anyone who would enjoy the story, please do send them the link!
I’d say it’s hard to believe this campaign launched only 23 days ago but that simply wouldn’t be true. Crowdfunding takes a lot of time and energy. It feels as though I've been campaigning for months.
Regardless, there are now only seven days left to go!
My aim is for us to get it to $5000. Ambitious, I know, but still totally possible. Some crowdfunding campaigns hit their target in a matter of hours. I appreciate I don’t have the same following as some of these people but that doesn’t mean a Platinum or Gold Patron won’t pop out of the woodwork.
Of course, ALL my patrons are appreciated as every single contribution makes a difference. It means so much to me that you love this book enough to pre-order a copy and I’m going to do my damndest to ensure every single Patron, from Digital to Platinum, knows just how grateful I am.
In the meantime, please keep sharing the campaign page link and inviting people to contribute.
Thank you to everyone who was able to ‘hang out’ on Sunday! It was fun to read from my grade 2 journals and answer your questions. For those of you who missed it or couldn’t make it, or those who enjoyed it so much they want to watch it again, here’s a little compilation video:
There are still fifteen days of the campaign left! If you’ve not become a Patron yet why not head over to the campaign page and see what some of the perks are?
This is Part One of a series of posts on setting up, running and concluding a crowdfunding campaign. My intention is to add something new to what is a widely blogged about subject, as someone who has read said blogs and, upon application, discovered what helped, what hindered and what is simply not covered, or at least no where I looked.
Setting the Stage:
My own crowdfunding campaign is, at the time of writing, ongoing. It launched the 1st of May (2016) with an end date of the 31st. It’s not on a well-known platform, which in itself will contribute to providing information here, not found elsewhere. I’m using a platform called Publishizer, created by a guy named Guy (Convenient!), as a way for writers to fund the publication of their books.
Whilst this is a very different platform to Kickstarter, Indigogo or any of the other well-known ones out there, much of marketing a crowdfunding campaign runs along the same vein, so these posts should have something to offer anyone looking into this as a viable way to launch their business, product or idea into the world.
This first post will cover the preliminaries: The work one must do prior to launch day.
How long you take to do any of this is entirely up to you. In the case of my campaign I started research back in November 2015. By January I had chosen my platform and begun notifying my friends and family of my intention.
Most of the heavy lifting was done in the two months prior to launch. I can’t be specific on the timing for your project as that will really depend on you, what you know about your audience, project and availability, but I cannot emphasise enough the importance of starting early. If you’ve never done this before and have a limited audience there’s no setting up a page on a whim and figuring out all the marketing as it’s happening. Even people who do have a significant following prepare for their campaigns. This preparation is absolutely essential.
You’ll quickly find this out with the first step, which is:
As stated before, I researched crowdfunding a lot before going into this venture and you should too.
Finding the right platform is important - although I’ve discovered that even the seemingly ‘right’ platform will offer a learning curve for both the crowdfunder and the platform creator, especially if it’s a newer one.
You’ll also want to read about other people’s accounts running campaigns for something similar. Like any business venture, you want to know your market, what the competition is and how past campaigns pitching similar or the same stuff have gone.
Of course, if you’re reading this odds are pretty good that you already know you need to do research, so you may be finding this particular tip a bit lacking. Which brings me to point number two…
2. Check what you think you know
It’s easy to think we already know everything. I have a background in marketing and communications, and design. I can be pretty smug about my knowledge of website copy, social media platforms and the psychology of selling, but such smugness can be a serious deficit. Checking what I thought I knew helped immensely.
I would read a lot of crowdfunding tips that seemed to say the same thing over and over, stuff I thought was obvious like: Tweet it, post to Facebook and email people you know.
But there were some articles which took these marketing basics a bit further, like one which said you should have your first week worth of tweets scheduled prior to launch. Or another that said you should pre-write blog updates for during your campaign, just in case you’re strapped for time. Knowing both of these things have helped ease what is an intense workload, once the campaign is going.
3. Be an ant, not a grasshopper
Following on from point 2, any prep work you can do I recommend, even if it seems excessive. For example, I pre-wrote blog entries or possible Tweets and Facebook posts I could use for if/when certain targets were hit. Crowdfunding is a gamble and whilst I had no guarantee it would go viral (And was seriously working on not having hope of that) I didn’t want to be caught out if it did.
I scheduled over 200 tweets and 50 posts to Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. I realised I had a growing following on Medium and began to cultivate my relationships on there, publishing more frequently and inviting people to sign up to my newsletter.
Make a list of what you already have for marketing by answering any or all of these:
Do you have a Facebook page? How many followers does it have? How can you get more?
A regular newsletter with subscribers? How can you increase subscriptions?
Do you have a blog? How many subscribers or readers does it get? What about other blogging platforms or forms of online publishing like Medium or Huffpost?
Do you host a Podcast? How many listeners does it have and are they a viable market? How about a friend with a podcast? Would they have you on as a guest to promote your idea?
Are you on Twitter? How many followers do you have?
Do you use Gmail? Set up Not Another Mail Merge and Boomerang.
How many emails do you have for people you know? Can you start getting more?
Knowing all this going in will really help you to plan and prepare what will be the promotional side of the campaign, which should start before launch day.
4. Ask for help & make it personal
Most of the people who have become patrons for my book are my friends and family. These people, the people who know you best and for the longest, will always be your strongest supporters going in. It’s important that you contact them personally to let them know about your campaign. No mass emails - I’m talking personalised, individual messages explaining your project, being specific about how they can help and why you need their help.
This was a tip I got from Kathryn Finney, whose Kickstarter campaign was incredibly successful. She emphasised the importance of maintaining regular contact and genuinely taking the time to ask people to support you.
In my case this was really effective for the first week of my campaign when I was traveling from Sydney, Australia to Calgary, Canada. During what would have been eighteen hours of silence (aside from all the Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts I pre-scheduled, of course) I had a group of five people sharing, liking and commenting on the link to my campaign - keeping it going. They were people I made specific asks to, who knew about my plans since January and were invested in it because they care about me. Seriously - don’t underestimate the support of your personal network when taking on a crowdfunding campaign.
5. Include a campaign video - no matter what
I waffled on this one, even though I know it’s one of those seemingly obvious things you’re told to do. This was largely because all the examples of crowdfunding campaigns for books that I found during my research phase had an actual copy of the book to show people. My manuscript is unedited and I wasn’t about to slap together a layout for a one off print for a three minute video.
It was a conversation with Tylea, founder of Thundress, that convinced me to work around it. She emphasised the importance of the video to help make that personal connection with people who don’t know you.
The result has been a lot of videos throughout my campaign, including the official campaign video for launch day - which wasn’t so hard to make after all. The lesson learned there being, just because everyone else does their video in a particular way doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, by changing it up and doing something no one else has (I included a blooper reel, which I’ve yet to see anywhere else) may just be the thing that makes you stand out.
6. You don’t need a budget - but you do need to make time
If you have the money you can pay for marketing agencies, Facebook ads or sponsored tweets. You could pay to get your campaign video made or edited. You could hire someone to do social media promotions.
I didn’t. I didn’t have the money for any of those things and I know, from my years doing marketing, that such things don’t necessarily get you more exposure. For example, many of my Facebook posts during this campaign have had as many interactions as Facebook Pages ads claims they would get me. How was this possible? Back to point 4 - I asked for help. I’d post something and my team of supporters shared, liked and commented on it. I made time to schedule things and prep and inform people of what was going to happen when and how they could help.
Crowdfunding is a learning curve - it’s a relatively new way for someone to get seed money for an idea, and one with growing appeal - so be prepared to make mistakes.
Things I Would Do Differently or : What I Wish I’d Know Before the Campaign Started:
1. Pre-Campaign posting about the campaign
I did a bunch of informative pre-campaign posts including the edited first chapter (as a taster), information about the platform I’d chosen, a break down of the costs and the perks lists. My initial plan had been to publish one a week leading up to the campaign, starting the first week of April.
I quickly realised, whilst a good idea, I’d posted the first blog - the first chapter - way too far in advance. It was met with great enthusiasm from supporters who wanted to back it right then and there. I was then stuck with maintaining that momentum for four whole weeks, which just wasn’t feasible and meant I had to ‘re-spark’ it for the launch.
These posts were my ‘wider audience’ plan - the public at large rather than friends and family. In the case of marketing to this bunch, since they don’t necessarily have the same invested interest in your success as the people who know you personally, I wouldn’t recommend putting anything out until a week prior to the campaign.
TIP: Campaign pre-marketing to the general public should be done in the last week prior to launch.
2. Talk to your platform provider if it’s an option
As I said before, Publishizer is a relatively new platform. That was one of the things that appealed to me, besides being specific to book publishing. I appreciated that I could have an email exchange with the founder. When my campaign was approved I was set-up with a campaign manager, which affirmed my belief that this wasn't a Big Machine platform.
However, I quickly became unsure as to what the role of the campaign manager was. Much of what he was telling me was crowdfunding 101 which, with my background in marketing, came across as patronising. Looking back I realise should have said something about my experience of his advice falling short for me right away, and I most certainly should have taken him up on the offer to have a face-to-face call via Skype.
Establishing a more personal connection in this way would have prevented some of the frustrations I’ve had - starting with my frustration of being told to email people I know and post to social media accounts. I know it would have helped because now, although a bit late, I’ve since rectified my earlier mistake, voiced my concerns and am creating a much better line of communication with the founder. I feel more supported in my campaign and they're able to use my feedback to improve a platform which fills an important niche.
TIP: Establish a personal relationship with someone who works for the campaigning platform you are using - they want you to succeed because they want their business to succeed and it does so by having successful campaigners.
3. Setting the price points & perks
This is probably the most challenging bit of crowdfunding. I figured that anyone backing the campaign wouldn’t want a lot of copies of the same book, so at my highest Patron Point (Platinum) I originally offered just five copies of the book. However, in the second week I was informed by Publishizer that the most successful campaigns always did best by offering lots of copies at the higher price points and getting backers there.
Initially I thought this would have been helpful to know long before I did but on analysing the metrics of my own campaign, I’ve actually had the most backers at the Copper ($50) Patron point, which offers the bonus of the book being signed.
I did do the research to determine the minimum I would need to cover all my costs, but I wish I’d also done a survey amongst those who said they’d back the campaign to 'test' different perk point offers.
TIP: Don’t just go off your costs to determine your perks - ask your audience what kind of perks they would like, and find out from your platform provider what their metrics say for similar campaigns.
My next instalment in this series will look at the campaign itself - from the launch right through to the wrap-up. If you have any questions please ask. I’d also love to hear what anyone who has run a campaign before has to offer in the way of advice we don’t often see in the typical ‘How to Crowdfund’ article.
Much of the planning involved in crowdfunding is theoretical. No one can know how successful a campaign will be once it’s launched, all they can do is a heck of a lot of research and work in advance.
I planned the bejeezuz out of my campaign. I scheduled tweets and Facebook page posts, pre-wrote blogs, sent out multiple personal emails to friends and family, promoted the first chapter in advance, designed graphics and networked my butt off to get more people signed up to my newsletter and following my social media accounts.
I did a lot of work - I’m still doing a lot of work. I’ve sent out nearly a tweet every hour since day one. I’ve posted great campaign updates and written personalised ‘Thank You’ messages to everyone who has backed the campaign. I’ve followed-up on emails and personal messages to people who pledged to pre-order a copy. I’ve posted videos and regular blogs to keep the momentum going.
All the work in the world doesn’t offer any certainty when it comes to crowdfunding.
It’s the art of asking, as described by Amanda Palmer in her book of the same title, taken into an online space where anyone in the world can contribute. It’s a way for someone to say: I created this thing. I’m asking for your help to make it a reality.
But whether or not people contribute is not something the crowdfunder can control. Like any entrepreneurial venture, it’s a gamble. But a gamble I have been ready to take for years because the thing crowdfunding does for a writer, in particular, is claim back autonomy of their creation.
The ‘traditional’ system of publishing is this:
Both agents and publishers have a lot of industry experience. They’re experts on the market and well-connected in many ways that your average writer is not. They live in big hubs where they can network and rub shoulders with the ‘right’ people whilst we writers can get on with the writing.
But agents and publishers are also very human. So they can’t actually predict whether a book with sell millions of copies or be a total flop. There’s the possibility of unconscious bias playing a part, denying an excellent piece of writing any exposure. The quality of something could be severely misjudged.
‘A Wrinkle in Time’, ‘Dune’ and ‘Harry Potter’ were all rejected a multitude of times (26 times in the case of Madeleine L’Engle!) and writers like Kipling and Orwell were told they couldn’t write or that there wasn’t a market for their stories.
The traditional route is just as much of a gamble as crowdfunding or any of the other more modern options cropping up for writers looking to publish their work.
On the one hand I could be disheartened because my campaign didn’t go viral and hit 250 pre-sales in week one. But on the other hand, and the way I’m doing my best to look every day: I’m the one in control of my own work and putting it out there.
I know many writers don’t have the skills or desire to do the kind of marketing required to put a book out there. I also know that most writers have a day job and splitting the already limited ‘free’ time they use to write, to also manage a campaign, is just not feasible. I know this has been my reality for years and right now I’m in a magical, incredibly fortunate position of having the time and energy to commit fully to this.
Crowdfunding to get a book published isn’t going to be for everyone. I still don’t know if it’s for me. This campaign is only at the halfway point and one never knows with the Internet. If the ‘right’ person promotes a campaign it can go viral in minutes. But even without that, I officially have the seed money needed to get a book properly edited, printed and distributed, even if it’s just on a small scale.
So thank you so much for your contributions thus far. Seriously. It’s one thing to do what you love. It’s quite another to have people show their appreciation and contribute to making earning a living from it possible.
I’ll be doing some more thanking on Sunday with my Live Streaming ‘Meet’ the author event. It’s at 13:00MST (20:00GMT) or you can take a look at the Date & Time Meeting planner and figure out your timezone in relation to mine.
Please tune in so it’s not just be me reading my journals to myself!
On Sunday I’m hosting a livestream ‘meet’ the author hangout! This is basically your chance to ask me questions or tell me how awesome you think the book is and how much you want to read more of what I’ve written to encourage me to keep going.
No, seriously. I want to thank as many people as possible as often as possible, so this is like a bonus gift to everyone who has backed the campaign or is thinking about backing it or who can’t afford to back it but has helped by sharing the link in All of The Places.
Plus, I’m going to embarrass myself terribly by reading a few excerpts from my grade one and two journals. I’m doing this to prove that I’ve always been quite weird and to establish my authority as someone who has been writing since before they could spell.
Keep sharing the link & please, if you've not backed it yet, become a patron to help ensure the publication of 'Friends We Haven't Met'.
Special Thank you to Tylea for her suggestion to do something Super Fun mid-campaign. Also, Tylea makes non-toxic undies for to make your lady-parts happy. She’s super cool and I highly recommend her blogging and her pants.
Almost one week since the campaign launched! The numbers above are the status of things as of the moment I published this blog.
I want to thank everyone who has already chosen to be a patron for this book. Your collective appreciation is the only thing making all of this possible, so thank you to everyone who has backed the campaign so far.
If you're not a backer yet, remember, there are super cool perks besides getting a copy of the book. If you become a patron you could get an art print, a limited edition signed hardback or even a personal phone call from me, thanking you for your contribution!
It would be amazing if the campaign can reach $1500 by the end of the weekend, but I need your help to do this. Keep sharing the link and back the campaign if you haven't already.
And now, check out this awesome video:
What a launch! I’ve been planning this campaign since January and working on it since March, so it was exciting to finally press ‘Go’!
I want to thank everyone who has already backed the publication of Friends We Haven’t Met. Your support is essential for this to go from an unedited manuscript to a fully-polished published book.
And May 1st was just the beginning, of course. The campaign is running until the 31st and I have a lot of stuff planned for the rest of the month:
For those of you who watched it yesterday, my wife was helping out by filming me doing that public dancing thing I so enjoy. I’m going to edit all the posts we put up into one ‘music’ video and post it to my blog, as soon as I can. Plus I’ll just generally be doing videos throughout the campaign as it’s a nice way to properly show my enthusiasm since there isn’t a giddy-overjoyed-happy-dance font.
I’ll be posting updates regularly all month long and include a lot of gratitude in all of them! I know I keep saying this and it’s because it’s true: None of this is possible without your support.
I wanna do my absolutely best to ensure you know how grateful I am.
Author hang out!
On the 15th I’m organising an online ‘hangout’ with anyone who wants to tune in and have a ‘chat’ with the author, lil’ ol’ me. Details to follow!
Also, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the book, or any of my other projects. I’d also just love to chat with the people who are so keen to read what I’ve written so please don’t hesitate to drop me a Tweet or send me a message through my Facebook page.
I'm flying back to Canada from Australia on Star Wars day so there's going to be a bit of radio silence - but thanks to Hootsuite and my Project Management Skillz you'll still be seeing a lot of posts about my campaign. Unfortunately, if you have any questions, I won't be able to answer them until I'm landed, orientated and able to connect to Interwebs, which is what THIS blog is for!
The Official Friends We Haven't Met Campaign Q&A!:
What is Friends We Haven't Met About?
You can read the first chapter in a blog I published pre-campaign launch, and it's at the bottom of the campaign page too.
When can I pre-order a copy of the book?
The Campaign went live at 7:00am in Sydney, Aus on May 1st. You can pre-order a copy anytime until the 31st of May.
Where can I pre-order a copy of the book?
Through the Campaign page! Follow the green button.
Publishizer is a crowdfunding platform created just for books! It provides a way for writers to raise the money needed to edit, publish and distribute a book.
How many pre-orders are needed to send the campaign to publishers?
Authors can set a pre-sale target for their campaign. I've gone with 250 pre-sales. Once the campaign has 250 pre-sales Publishizer will send it to 36 publishers.
Won't the number of pre-sales & number of backers be the same?
Nope! Pre-sales are number of books pre-ordered but backers can choose how many books they want depending on the Patron point. So there could be five backers but, because of how much each person has pledged, a total of 15 pre-sales.
What does it mean to be a 'Patron' of the campaign?
Anyone who pledges anything towards the campaign is considered a patron of the book. I can't make this happen without pre-sales, which is why patron felt like the best thing to call anyone who supports the campaign by pre-ordering a copy or multiple copies of the book.
What are the perks of becoming a Patron?
Depending on how much you pledge the perks of being a Patron vary. For as little as $8USD you can get a PDF version of the book and a thank you email.
$15USD is the minimum to get a copy of the book.
$25USD gets you a copy of the book and a free Dharma art print.
$50USD gets you a signed copy of the book and a Dharma art print.
$100USD gets you two copies, one signed, and a Dharma art print.
$250USD gets you three copies, one signed, a Dharma art print and your name listed in the book acknowledgements.
$500USD gets you five copies including one signed first edition hardback, an art print, your name in the acknowledgements and a personal phone call from the author thanking you for your awesomeness.
$1000USD also gets you 5 copies of the book but two signed first edition hardbacks, an original piece of art, your name in the acknowledgements and the author probably knows you and will be taking you out for dinner.
Are there shipping costs?
Nope! I have, to the best of my ability, budgeted for all the costs in the price points, so if you pledge $15USD, you only pay $15USD. Nothing extra.
What if I'm not in the US? Can I pledge in any currency?
Yes! Publishizer just happens to be American, so everything shows in USD. But pledges are taken via Paypal so you can use any currency you choose.
Can I be an anonymous Patron - if I don't want to be named in the acknowledgements?
Where can I see the Dharma prints that will be perks? Can I choose the print I get?
You can see my artwork in my online Gallery.
Unfortunately, because I'm my only employee and will be doing the perk fulfillment on my own, I can't guarantee people will get to choose what print they get. I'll do my darndest though and if it does have to be random I trust in you getting the one most karmically suitable.
Once I'm a Patron, when can I expect to receive the book (and any perks coming to me)?
I will do my absolute best to have the book edited, printed and distributed to everyone by the end of September 2016.
How much money is the campaign trying to raise?
The absolute bare minimum needed in order to pay for the editor, printing, shipping costs and a one month marketing campaign is roughly $5000CAD but I'm is hoping to get between $8000 - $10,000.
How will the money be used?
$800 - $1000CAD will pay for the editing of the book (which will happen in June/July)
$280USD will be used for a one-month marketing campaign post-crowdfunding campaign and pre-book available to the wider public ie. going into bookstores.
Most of the other costs will depend largely on how many pre-sales there are. As the number of orders go up so does the number of books that need to be printed and shipped. I've budgeting anywhere between $500 - $5000CAD for this.
Crowdfunding money is taxable income, so some will also need to be set aside for Revenue Canada.
There's a more detailed cost breakdown blog you can read.
Will the book have a sequel?
No sequel planned BUT, if the campaign is successful I have many other manuscripts to publish and ideas I want to write. This is a first step to me doing this writer thing full-time so you genuinely are a patron to the arts if you pre-order a copy!
What if I don't back the campaign, can I still get a book later?
That's the plan! Anyone who backs as a Patron during the month of May will get the book when it first comes out in September. The timeline is to have it available in bookstores or to the general public by November 1st.
So from November 1st anyone who wasn't a Patron can get a copy.
Is there an ePub or plans for an ePub?
As it stands I'm only planning to publish the book on paper BUT I have a 'stretch goal' plan. If the campaign hits $10,000 OR is picked up by a publisher, I'll offer an ePub version of the book to all the Patrons from $8 right up to $1000 as an extra perk.
I have a question you didn't answer here. How can I get in touch?
Send me a message through my Facebook page or write a comment at the bottom of the campaign page. I'm aiming to respond to any queries within 24 hours throughout the duration of the campaign.
When not writing, making art or recording podcasts,
Kaitlyn can be found in trees, listening to Dharma talks on her iPod, Boon.
Thusly named because
Brian Froud = Awesome.