29 Jun 2015

Adventures in (Novel) Crowdfunding, Week One

Crowdfunding-blog-1Current status

Money raised: $1,255 of $5,500

Number of supporters: 12

Nervous breakdowns: 3

Stress calories eaten: 6,410

Days remaining: 39

At around 12:01p.m., June 1st, my Pubslush began for my new novel Trampling in the Land of Woe. Each Sunday, I will post on my website (newly revamped! Oooooooo!) detailing the experience. I do this for two reasons 1.) Ally Bishop, my publicist/cheerleader told me to and 2.) I want to give some guidance for anyone else who wishes to crowdfund their literary endeavors.

I’ve made a Q&A below to clarify some of the process leading up to this novel’s Pubslush launch.

Why Crowd Funding?

In short, what are my options? Send this amazing novel into publishing houses so they can make me an employee, steal my ideas, and turn it into a young adult novel? My main character is gay, the whole thing takes place in a steampunk Dante’s Inferno, and I have various historical and literary characters sprinkled about like Boudica of the Iceni and Montressor from Cask of Amontillado. Major publishers have exhibited minimal ability to handle such material of late. I don’t need a bunch of chefs to storm my tiny kitchen and ruin my marvelous meal for you.

I will self-publish with the help of professional editors, artists, and publicists without asking permission from the gatekeepers. We, the readership, determine what literature is. I wrote this book because no one else was or would, which left the challenge of getting it funded.

Why Pubslush?

Glad you asked! It basically came down to Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and Pubslush. I know several people who have had huge success on Kickstarter, some of them even funding in a single day. These individuals have huge followings, long-standing careers, and they spend six months promoting their impending funding campaigns. With that in mind, I can’t compete. While Kickstarter has a STORM of awesome stuff being funded, I did not want my novel to get lost in the shuffle of things like underwater submersibles and potato salad. So Kickstarter was out for this venture. That left me with Indiegogo and Pubslush, and at that point, it was simple: Pubslush only does books. Bibliophiles, rejoice! Children’s books! Non-fiction! Zombie Adventures! Me!

Why so little an amount?

To fund and support a multinational network for publishing and producing novels, an enormous system is required. Major publishing houses spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in end-caps at stores, billboards, commercials, and radio interviews. Delivery trucks, free copies, promotions, signage, author tours—ALL of that adds up rapidly. It is a massive machine. While I do not have the benefit of such marvelous exposure and marketing, I do have the benefit of not being subject to such costs.

A full breakdown of where the money will go:

$1500 Editing
$400 Proofreading
$800 Graphic design
$1500 Launch/Promotion
$1000 Postage & book copies
$300 Shipping materials

Total $5500pantai kuta bali

What’s the biggest challenge your first week of funding?

Not freaking out. The novel is currently going through revisions, and the cover art is mostly done, so I know for a fact I’m going to deliver what I’m offering. That isn’t a worry. This isn’t like that God-awful digital ring that was Kickstartered only to fail completely, sinking the project and everyone’s money along with it.

But despite knowing I’ve got a great novel, and I’ll deliver something amazing by September, I’m still TERRIFIED—stye-inducing, stress-napping, soul crushing terror. The moment this launched, I’ve been pounding the refresh button and lamenting each and every time I do it. Seriously, my mouse-button clicking finger is a blur like a humming bird’s wings. Do you know how many times I’ve clicked refresh while writing this paragraph? Seven thousand, eight hundred and twelve times.

So, yeah. The biggest challenge is complete terror. Will I not reach my $5,500 goal? If I don’t, what would that mean? Did I fail at promoting the funding page? Was Pubslush the wrong way to go? Do people not think this idea of a novel is as awesome as I think it is?

Great. Now I’m stressed. I’m going to order a pizza and stress nap on the couch until bedtime. Gotta give my finger a rest.

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