Well, my Kickstarter Campaign is up and running. I feel like I've taken a huge step, but I know that this is only the beginning, in terms of actually getting people to pledge me the money. More marketing. Good thing I still have plenty of time to write.
I've been taking a look around Kickstarter at the various literary projects, and I must say that I'm fairly confident about my chances of success, provided I can get the word out in enough places. $625 isn't all that much to raise, and it seems to me like most of the people writing books are looking for much, much more. In fact, I'm one of the only publishing projects currently listed seeking under a thousand dollars.
Why is that? There are a couple of reasons, and frankly, I find them rather interesting. For starters, most of the projects admit that part of the money is going towards living expenses or paying a salary for the authors/artists involved. I can kind of understand that, though it's not something I'd be comfortable with asking for myself. So far as I'm concerned, writing is a hobby and a way to keep myself sane; something that I enjoy doing in my spare time and would love to make my full time job. But I don't feel comfortable doing that until it's sales that I'm living off of. I suppose that I only have the luxury of feeling that way since my book was written in my spare time, and hasn't interfered with my ability to go out and earn a living in some other way. The economy has, but that's another story. Some of these projects had people like artists, photographers, and coders working full time on them, and I can understand needing to pay salaries there. But for just plain books... nah. I feel like sales should be your return for writing a book, especially since they have the potential to far outstrip most normal salaries.
What really amuses me, though, is that another reason why most of these projects are trying to raise so much money is because nearly all of them are primarily focused on paying for a limited print run, usually somewhere from 500-1000 books.
Why? I mean seriously, why? A print run that size is almost guaranteed to loose you money, and it's highly unlikely that it will get you noticed by a New York publisher. My costs are low because I'm sticking strictly digital, meaning I hopefully have a better chance of getting fully funded, and I honestly feel like I stand a chance of getting a much higher return on investment, provided that I can get word out well enough, and that readers like my book.
Maybe I spend a little too much time preaching the gospel of Joe Konrath, but I can't help but feel like he's right. I'm not eager for print books to disappear entirely, and as an ex-academic, I know that they won't, because there are some ways in which they're just more convenient than ebooks. Still, though, being alive now and watching the ebook revolution, I can't help but feel like somebody from around the time of Christ, watching foliated books take the place of scrolls. It's a technological revolution that will fundamentally change the way people read, write, and interact with the printed word. It's an exciting time to be alive.
I just hope that I can carve out my own little section of the revolution. So here, please, take a look.