Sunday, 19 October 2014

Crowdfunding - Why?

My first novel was not exactly troubling JK on the best seller list but in my house it was a major achievement.

The problem with self-publishing is that while it is relatively easy to produce a book and make it available to the public, no one knows you have done it.

With my first novel I paid a professional to design my cover, based upon a recommendation from another author I had met through social media. This cost £65. I did look into using professional proof readers and editors by this costs between £200 and £500 and was beyond my budget.

I organised some giveaways with the cover design and some leaflets to hand out. This all cost in the region of £100. I then had to pay for proof copies of the paperback to be printed and delivered to me so I could proof it before publication.

Even without a professional editing service I spent nearly £200 getting my novel ready and trying to get the word out there that it existed. Not a huge amount of money until you consider that so far I have received less than £100 in royalties. Suddenly this hobby is starting to get expensive.

I am about to start writing my next novel as part of NaNoWriMo and wanted to give it the best chance I could, and give my readers the best experience I could. That's why I have considered crowd funding.

I am using indiegogo and they have been very easy to use. You set up your page explaining why you are trying to raise money and set your target. I originally was going to set my target at £65, enough for a professional cover. The minimum target is £500. Enough for a cover and a really good editing service. I then came up with the idea of asking all my twitter followers (5,000) for 10p. surely no one would mind giving me 10p. Unfortunately the minimum donation is £1. I worked on the theory £1 is still a fairly small amount and that hopefully I could find 500 people who would willingly give me £1.
Part of the idea of crowd funding is to offer perks to your contributors. I have set up a number of perks for people who would like to offer more than £1. These range from a signed copy of the book to being a character in the book.
The final thing to decide is whether to go for flexible or fixed funding. Fixed means you only get the money once you have reached your target, whilst flexible means you get the money as you go along and get to keep it even if you don't hit your target. The down side of this is that the fees on the flexible option are higher. I didn't need the full £500 so I chose this option.

So everything was set up and all I had to do was sit back and wait for the money to roll in. Only that's not how these things work. I still need to push this campaign on social media and make sure people know I need their help.

For the first three days all I got where people offering to support me if I paid them. I mean really, I am trying to raise £500 and one of them offer me a support package which cost $1,000.

Then things started to pick up. After 6 days I have had 6 people contribute to my campaign and I am 14% of the way towards my target.

I will spend everything I raise on the finished article and the more I raise the more professional help I can recruit. There is a lot further and a lot more pushing to be done to get to get anywhere near my goal.

If this story has hit a chord with you and you would like to help visit my campaign page here.

Anything you can spare is appreciated and a retweet or facebook share would be brilliant too.

Let me know about your crowd-funding stories and anything you did to push your campaign.

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Cover campaign