The campaign to fund Friends We Haven't Met goes live on May 1st. If you've read the first chapter and want to help make this book a reality, please sign up to my newsletter to be one of the first to get the link when the campaign launches.
Way back yonder in November 2015 I began research into the best possible way for my to crowdfund a book for publication. At first I was going to use Patreon because Amanda Palmer recommends it so highly and I am a fan of AFP.
Patreon is a great platform for someone who puts out pretty regular stuff and has a decent following. Someone like Amanda Palmer does well with it because she releases songs periodically and her fans, like yours truly, are happy to contribute on a ‘thing released’ basis when it means we get to be the first to receive said ‘thing’.
Patreon is ALSO really great for people who put something out regularly, like a monthly comic or podcast. It’s because of my podcast, Everything is Workable, and all my blogging and regularly shared bits of art, that I thought this might be the route I should take.
Crowdfunding is complicated and there are a lot of things to consider with each platform.
While Patreon seemed cool initially, as soon as I started considering it practically I saw that it could result in a trickle of funding from very few people for a limited time, leaving my projects just as unfunded as they are now. I don’t have an international fandom like Amanda Palmer (At the moment - a girl can dream). Nor does my blog and podcast get the traction like Zen Pencils or This American Life, for example.
My biggest fans and followers are my friends and family. Not the Internet masses.
So I began looking into the Big Two: Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
I won’t go into these platforms here because the Interwebs are already flooded with information on both. The short of it is each provide you with a platform to fund almost any kind of project you want. With both you set a target amount you'll need to cover the bare minimum of costs. The only difference between the two is that Indigogo has the option for you to get whatever money you raise, whether you hit the target or not, whilst Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform.
For this reason Indigogo appealed to me more, but still, there was the nagging worry that my campaign would just flounder in the noise of so many crowdfunders.
And then I found Publishizer.
This is a totally different kind of platform because Publishizer is specifically about crowdfunding for books. Rather than setting a monetary target to raise, it asks you to set a target for pre-sales, and then it acts as an ‘agent’ by sending your campaign to publishers, depending on the pre-sales you’ve made.
For example, I’m setting a target of 250 presales. When I reach this (I’m gonna say ‘when’, not ‘if’ - gotta be positive!) they have 30 different publishers they are in touch with who will happily look at my manuscript and marketing proposal.
The higher you set the pre-sale target, the more publishers it will be sent to.
When a publisher sees a book selling really well, before it’s even printed, this shows them that the book is worthy of publishing. For me, this is what makes Publishizer really cool.
At the moment my personal aim is to raise $8000 - $10,000CAD with this campaign. This would be enough for me to pay the editor I’ve contracted and cover the costs of my Adobe CC subscription (I’m using InDesign to lay it all out), hiring a marketing & PR agency to promote the book in advance of it being available, printing it, posting it (and perks!) to my backers and possibly even leave a little left over for me to do a small scale book tour around Canada and the United States.
If a publisher picks it up, however, that means a chunk of the cost can be freed up so I can do a larger book tour or put more money towards marketing. Either way a successful campaign will cover the costs of publishing a book, from start to finish.
So that’s the crux of it. Why I’m going with Publishizer and how it works, and why I recommend it to other writers looking to get their books published.
Next week I'll be publishing a blog with the costs in a lot more detail. Until then, please read the first chapter, share it with your friends and sign-up to my newsletter to be one of the first to get the link when the campaign launches on May 1st!
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.