Monday, October 1, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Guest Post by Dean E Smith-Richard

guest post Hello everyone! This is my first time having a guest blogger. I am excited and it will be a nice change from my normal posts. About the blogger and author: Dean E Smith-Richard is the author of the 3024AD series, a science fiction series, with the emphasis on science over fiction. The Kickstarter for the first series of short stories is going on now. You can follow him on twitter for more scifi and crowdsourcing geekery.

Here is what he had to say:

I am writing this about 13 hours after I launched the Kickstarter for my first short story collection. I have been a fun bundle of nerves to be around, believe me. But it's off to a great start and I'm feeling pretty good. When I announced there would be a Kickstarter campaign for it, a self-published author I have a lot of respect for asked why I needed a Kickstarter.

Why, indeed. After all, with the advent of e-publishing as a viable means of self-publishing, the rules have changed. Up until recently, self-publishing was tantamount to giving up- it meant you weren't good enough to get published and marketed. Now with the reach of ereaders and the decline in traditional publishing budgets, it is fairly easy to publish a book to Kindle and the like.

So why a crowdfunding campaign before the book is even out? For one thing, it allows some of the biggest problems with self-published books to be mitigated- namely, editing, formatting and artwork. These can cost thousands of dollars professionally, and that's money most aspiring authors don't have lying around. Crowdfunding those costs can allow you to have your work formatted and edited professionally- thus giving you a more polished product to offer for sale when it is released to the general public, increasing its likelihood of success. It may also allow you to afford cover art that would otherwise be out of your price range, giving it more eye appeal as readers browse.

Another huge advantage- and a fun one, in my opinion- is the buzz it can build around your release. You might be able to have cool promotional, limited edition items that would otherwise be to expensive or just impractical. But by getting your readers involved before the book is even out, they are going to be that much more likely to spread the word once your book is actually out.

Are there risks? Certainly. There is always the risk of failing in meeting your goal, but that carries little financial risk (only whatever you put into promotion). However, the crowdfunding campaigns I have seen fail are not so much due to content as due to planning and execution. How can you avoid failing in your campaign?

First, do your homework. There is a wealth of information on successful and unsuccessful campaigns just a Google search away. Read all you can find. Most whose campaigns failed are candid with what they could have improved- take that to heart. Emulate what made campaigns succeed.

Along with that, you need a base you can count on. This may be hard if this is your first published work, but it's not impossible. If you are active on social media, that is a start right there. Keep a blog where you talk about your writing. Let people know well in advance of any campaign, and tease it with excerpts or quotes. Relying on people to find you via Kickstarter is unreliable- at best.

As to the campaign itself, set realistic goals. There is a lot to take into account- the actual costs, the costs of rewards, the costs of shipping said rewards, the variable number of backers. Your goal needs to be the least it can be while covering all your costs in a variety of scenarios (I have a excel template that I happy to share; drop me an email if you would like a copy). Take a look at other projects that got funded that are similar to yours- what was their goal? Their rewards? Your reward structure is huge- are they inviting? The last thing you want to do is take away opportunities for people to pledge- but people do it all the time, leaving massive gaps in their reward structure with little incentive to pledge more. Kickstarter advises “offer value”- if you do that, you should be in good shape.

Is this is the only way to go about it? Hardly. But it's a start, and signals a wonderful shift in publishing- connecting author to reader more directly and I, for one, couldn't be happier about it.

Take a look at his websites and read some of the work he has written. It’s one of the main reasons I check my blog website as often as I do. Fantastic work. On his one website he has more information about Kickstarter. Thank you again Dean for being my first ever guest post. You are welcome on my blog any time. For the public, find him, follow him and support him!

0 comments:

Post a Comment