Kickstarter has been a huge asset to me in the process of publishing The Door to Canellin. I never thought the funding would be as successful as it has been so far! It's winding down now, with nine days left until the funding deadline, and I'm sitting at $1693! Not bad, considering my original funding goal was $1200!
When I made the decision to self-publish this past winter, I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish. Honestly, my main motivation was simply to publish the book, and get it out there and available for sale. I haven't made a secret of the fact that one of my driving motivations for self-publishing was my failing vision and sense of mortality as I get older. I didn't want my life to pass me by without ever having been able to share The Gatehouse! My aims were small... an ebook, with a print copy available at Amazon, and as little money spent out of pocket as possible.
And then I remembered an article I read way back when on Newsarama about a cool website called Kickstarter, and suddenly a world of possibilities opened up. With additional funding, I could accomplish a lot more than I originally intended. Making my book available in more venues, getting review copies out there, getting professional cover design and work done. I could actually do a print run! What's more, I could get my book noticed by more people, and really get word of mouth going, which is the best marketing for a small project like this!
Throughout all this, there have been a lot of changes in my goals. From making the decision to switch printing and distribution methods, to lowering the price, to deciding to go with professional design on the cover layout, things have grown from a tiny, no frills release to something that I hope might get some notice! With over 40 paperbacks going out thanks to Kickstarter, and around 20 hardcovers, there will be a lot of people reading my book prior to release. If all goes well, this will get people talking, get some reviews, and in general just get the book noticed.
Kickstarter has made all this possible. As it stands, with the rewards going out, I'll have over $600 to go toward the costs involved with all those things I want to do. Matching that out of my pocket, and I've got almost everything I need to do covered! Do I expect to get rich from this? Absolutely not. I think I've been clear about that as well. If I can sell enough copies to make back my out of pocket money, I'll be satisfied. If I can make enough to finance the publication of book 2, even better! My dream, though, is to get a good following, and sell a small but respectable number of copies a month, either ebook or print version or any combination thereof. That, in my opinion, would make The Door to Canellin a success!
I'm definitely going to use Kickstarter again. I am considering going through Kickstarter to get the first issue of my comic book Rocket Girl completed. And even if The Door to Canellin makes enough money to finance book 2, I may use Kickstarter to get funding once again, because it's such a great way to build buzz! If I do, I'll be certain to make the pledge levels come in at or under the price of the book when it is released, as I tried to do this time around, so that those who pledge will be certain of a bargain.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is, Kickstarter has been a great experience for me so far, and as the project deadline nears, I'm getting more and more excited! I can't wait to start sending out the paperbacks, hardcovers, posters, ebooks, and everything else that the backers have earned! Thank you all for your support, and I hope you enjoy The Door to Canellin!