I talked about Kickstarter on my Deborah Cooke blog last December before launching my first campaign there, but haven’t discussed it here – beyond announcing the upcoming campaign for the Bride Quest 25th Anniversary Commemorative Editions.
Let’s change that today.
As ever, the book market is changing. Taking advantage of new opportunities is key to continuing to survive and thrive as a creator. For example, once upon a time, every author had a website, a blog and a link to their Amazon page. Now, opportunities abound for connecting with readers and selling books, and each author can develop a custom mix. It’s not possible to do everything, so I try to pick things that are fun or make sense to me. I like having the websites. (Some authors now eschew them.) I like having the blog, even though it’s a bit old-school – and WordPress is now promoting the subscribe feature, which makes the blog into a kind of mini-newsletter. I like that. I have mixed feelings about monthly newsletters, mostly because I personally don’t love them – but what I like isn’t necessarily what my readers like.
And I like Kickstarter. The environment is fun, and the interactions with readers are fabulous. I find the enthusiasm very inspiring and like being able to easily talk directly to readers. It feels more intimate than the blog or a newsletter. My first campaign was quite intense but a lot of that was because I didn’t know what to expect. I think it’ll be easier (and more mellow) this time.
I like making all the graphics and organizing the campaign. The tools are evolving all the time – this time, for example, I can add images to all of the reward tiers, which looks much better. Here’s one of the images for the upcoming campaign:
I also like that each campaign is for a very specific (and limited) period of time. When I had an online store, there was a constant drip of things to do. A quarterly deluge is easier to manage, in a way. Although many authors are opening their own online stores, I’m not in a hurry to do that again. The main category of items that sold in my store was signed books, but the cost of postage from Canada is prohibitive. For the foreseeable future, I’ll only offer them through my Kickstarter campaigns. Shipping personalized copies directly from the printer saves money and works out well, especially if it can be done in batches, for example.
On the reader side, a Kickstarter campaign is a chance to participate. You can make a difference in the creative journey of the authors whose work you enjoy by supporting their campaigns. This process makes projects possible that might not have happened otherwise, which I like a lot. I would never, for example, have undertaken the work and expense of creating these new Bride Quest editions without Kickstarter to launch them and help to finance the upfront costs. In a way, they’re kind of a test, to see whether it’s worth doing new packages for other series and launching them this way.
And of course, there’s an upside to being a supporter. There has to be! There are perks that are only available through the Kickstarter campaign to backers. I’ll talk a bit more on Wednesday about specifics for the Bride Quest campaign, and give you a sneak peek of what’s in store.
In the meantime, you can follow the campaign right here.