Print Story Some lessons & reflections on Kickstarter
Diary
By johnny (Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:17:51 PM EST) (all tags)
As I mentioned earlier & often, I did a project on Kickstarter.com to  solicit backing for my new novel, Creation Science.

I set a goal of raising $5k in 30 days. That's not enough to sustain me to write a book, but it is a good amount of dough. My final pledge tally was $8,060. I won't collect that much, since some credit card charges bounced (including 1 big one), plus, Amazon & kickstarter take cuts. Still, I'll get a nice chunk of $$ when the account settles in about two weeks.

A few brief observations about the process follow.



  1. Definitely worth doing. I haven't sold $8k worth of books in the last year and a half or more, so to raise that much in a month is remarkable.  I think the Kickstarter gimmick appeals to people, and it certainly got me motivated to think about my book, think about how to pitch it to people, think about what I might offer that people would actually be interested in having.
  2. I suppose I might-could have set a higher goal and a longer period. I was still sending out personalized appeals up until the last minute, and there were several people that I didn't even get to. But frankly I need to get going on the project, and needed to bring in whatever cash I could.
  3. Should have sent a note to Tim O'Reilly before 3 PM on the last day of he fund drive.  He's an old friend but I didn't want to pester him, since he already has done so much for me by letting me pimp my books at his conferences, etc. I wasn't going to ping him at all, but a mutual friend told me I was being an idiot, so I sent time a note.  He sent out a tweet a few hours later, 2.5 hours before the drive ended. Tim has 1,289,000 followers on twitter. I took in $755 in pledges in that last 2 hours.
  4. Of the $8,060 pledged, $900 have not cleared -- credit card declined or whatever.  Originally it was closer to $1,100, but a bunch of those that bounced were later rectified. Still uncollected are a $750 and a $100 pledge. I'll know within the next few days whether they'll be made good or not. But just shows to go ya. Don't hatchet your counts before they've chickened.
  5. My website sucks for selling books and I should be shot for not having an up-to-date mail list and a regular newsletter. I should be shot for not asking people to sign up for my newsletter before they download my books for free.  ASAP I need to overhaul my website & get an opt-in newsletter going. I should be selling a LOT more books.
  6. Lots of very decent & generous people out there, including several HuSites, who evidently like my books.  Very gratifying when somebody I've never met, just some person who has bought my books over the years, makes a $250 pledge.
  7. I'll have to find some other way to bring in $$ in January/Feb. I've had not luck finding writing gigs, but maybe I can go back to furniture moving part time?
  8. I need to write Creation Science fast, now that I've accepted all this dough. It had better be damn good, too.
< Hey, it's office thanskgiving. | I hope they do time for this crime... >
Some lessons & reflections on Kickstarter | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Scoop writers by debacle (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:02:24 PM EST
I can't remember all of the great books that I've read from Scoop writers. I've given to localroger and our good friend 16^16. I do not think I've given to anyone else, though I probably should.

What ever happened to Write On?


IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

Ah, yes. by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #7 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:29:43 AM EST

Good ol' 18446744073709551616.

Top bloke.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Rounding error by debacle (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 09:11:23 AM EST
Two is very close to 16.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
Well by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:14:16 PM EST
I've said it before - I really enjoyed AotA. I'll certainly read Creation Science if it's along the same vein.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

That's the idea by johnny (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:44:54 PM EST
I will try to make it a page-turning thriller of the "Hey, I can just imagine Keanu in the lead role!" variety. Or even, "Hey, I can imagine Matt Damon in Jason Bourne mode in the lead role" or whatever. So it will be pretty much straight-ahead.

I don't think I can totally turn off the moderny/post-moderny thing however; that's just part of who I am. But there was that kind of stuff in Acts too, and nobody even noticed it, much less complained about it.

For example, in there's a scene in Acts when Nick meets Monty & Monty tempts him which is patterned nearly line for line on the scene in Matthew where the devil tempts Jesus. I did a lot of that in Acts, but like I said, nobody even much noticed.

In my other two books, that kind of literary fancy stuff ran wild. So I'm definitely going to reign it in in Creation Science. But there will probably be some of it, somehow or other.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
I can just imagine Keanu in the lead role! by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:26:37 AM EST
Surely it won't be that bad.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
"Bad" has nothing to do with it by johnny (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 09:22:46 AM EST
I was talking about an immutable law of the universe.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
There's a theater just like that one by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 11:57:45 AM EST
in Ocean City MD. It's where I saw Star Trek this summer. Which may be why I liked ST as much as I did. The ambiance toned down the movie. Or something.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
you know, that by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 06:47:36 PM EST
is the sort of thing you should have re-posted to your Kickstarter blog.

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
*now* by johnny (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:01:16 PM EST
she tells me!

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
now really, johnny ... by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:56:57 PM EST
Do I have to think of everything for you?

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
no, you don't *have* to. by johnny (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 10:35:00 PM EST
But it would help.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
I thought that Kickstarter was pretty cool. by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:16:51 PM EST
It was easy to use.

I was grateful for the tiny pledge amounts. Someday I would like to be able to donate more, but until then I'm grateful I could give my small amount.

Thanks, and good work.


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

I thought it was a cool idea. by mrgoat (4.00 / 2) #4 Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 07:17:18 PM EST
Seeing the breakdown of # of people/price point was somewhat telling too. A little bit of ruminating on the differing pledge amounts follows. (All guesses, of course)

With an "actual book book" pledge priced at around the cost of an actual book book, it seems like a bit of a no-brainer for anyone who likes your work - you pay in advance of the book, but you're no more out of pocket than you would have been had you (assuming this "you" likes your books) inevitably bought the book anyway. That was 39 people, seemingly the "no risk" pool. Awesome.

Only one person pledged between two and five - this must be someone who cares, but has, like, zero money to spare. Whoever that is: You're awesome.

7 People sprung at the digibook price. I'm not too sure what this means - maybe they prefer to read on e-readers, or just didn't feel the full 15 bucks was justified. My guess is that a lot of these people figured "Hey, I'll just get the book book instead". Kind of a niche price point. These people: Also awesome.

24 people on the "one and one" at $25 - looks like a great way for someone who missed one of the previous books to get it. A bit of a niche, but a niche that consists of "People who already know they like your books, but just missed one somehow". These people are - you guessed it - awesome.

The 50 dollar pack is similar - one of each book. 18 people. I would hazard a guess that this has some distribution of people who read the books in pdf for free and now are willing to pay to support you, as well as people who already bought/read your work, and just don't want to step up to the hundred dollar mark for whatever reason. Awesome on both counts. This kind of support can easily hit many people in the wallet - I'm glad to see they took the plunge. Awesome folks.

Interestingly, you had two more people pledge 250 than 100 dollars. This seems like you've got some people who have cash to spare, and are pledging more on the basis of how much they can afford to give than anything else. The reward for the 250 is the same as the 100, plus "thanked profusely" - clearly both groups just want to see this book get written. They could have read it for five bucks. Awesome.

And if the 750 dollar pledger clears - Woah. That's... Friggin' Awesome.

--top hat--

The $2 donor was by johnny (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:49:30 PM EST
Younger Daughter, who is, in fact awesome.

There were also several people who gave donations, in some case large, and checked, "no prize, thank you, I just want to help out."

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
Declination Apologies by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 02:06:15 PM EST
I'd felt bad for not kicking in more, but since my credit card has been turned down I guess the point is moot. My credit card issue unfortunately will not be fixed in the near future, despite a spew of mails from Amazon begging my immediate rectification of this malpayance, because I had to unexpectedly fork over $700 this week for a washed telephone and it's sort of upset the financial ecosystem somewhat, well, massively.

Sorry about that, johnny. Usually I'm better at spending money I don't have than that, but this time too much reality barged its way in.


Science-fiction wallah, storytelling gorilla, man wearing a hat: Cheeseburger Brown.
Be it known to all here present by johnny (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:17:55 PM EST
That I'm still working on paying down the balance of the agreed-to price that I owe Cheeseburger for his sublime illustrations in The Pains. I owe the man money.

And yet he and his wonderful girlfriend keep buying copies of my books.

Sad as I am to hear about your financial ecosystem disruption, I was happy that your damn contribution to Creation Science didn't clear, Mr. Brown. I would have been embarrassed to accept it (but I would have accepted it, in the libertarian spirit I try to live by. . .). I just hope the Amazonians or credit card company didn't ping you too much in bouncer fees, the bastids.

You shall have as many copies of Creation Science as you like. They're already well paid for.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
Some lessons & reflections on Kickstarter | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback