This is the final installment, PART THREE of the good, the bad, the ugly and the wonderful details of my recent experience with Kickstarter.
Is crowdfunding right for your indie book? I can’t answer that for sure, but I can tell you a few things that will help you decide. I recently funded my debut novel, The Recollection of Trees on Kickstarter. If you’re considering the same, you might want to read this first.
If you want to know what happens while the campaign is live, read this.
Part Three: It’s over, now what?
You will have to wait up to two weeks to get your funding, minus 5% to credit card processing fees, 5% to Kickstarter, and any dropped pledges—so don’t plan on anything you have to pay for right away. I don’t know how the other sites work with fees and dropped pledges, so definitely know what you’re getting into beforehand.
Be sure to thank everyone for the shares, pledges, and support.
Hand write your thank you notes. Seriously. Make your grandma proud.
It’s nice to include a small-yet-fancy certificate that “officially certifies” each person as a backer of your campaign, at least for those who are getting physical rewards mailed to them.
Remember to thank them in all the ways they were promised in their rewards tier: thanks on social media, email, website, acknowledgements in your book, tattoo on your forehead, etc. and don’t do what I did and accidentally forget someone! You’ll be able to fix it, but the hurt feelings will still be there if they notice it before you do.
If you get the chance, reward them or thank them in a way that wasn’t promised. Like, if you end up being one of the lucky ducks who works your tail off for a movie deal on your book, maybe send them a behind-the-scenes video of you getting ready for the premiere, or visiting the set, or send them an autographed memento from one of the actors.
Don’t drop the momentum:
- keep backers informed of progress
- post updates on social media
- keep the audience interested so they will read, buy, and recommend your books.
Take a nap, see a movie, read a book that isn’t yours, go to the beach, or get a massage. Do anything else for a few days.
You’re going to need the break!
Build your marketing on the momentum of your successful crowdfund campaign.
If your book is done–and by done I mean, you’ve written several drafts, revised it to be as amazing as you can imagine, then paid a professional editor to polish and proofread–then the next steps are your cover and promotion with targeted ads.
Spend time, money, or both on a professional cover. People absolutely DO judge books by their covers, and if yours looks homemade, doesn’t match what the book is about, or just doesn’t look like it belongs in your genre, you’ll be sorry. Ideally, you already did this before your crowdfunding campaign and used it as your thumbnail. But if you’re like me, your cover may change. For more information on covers, search for Derek Murphy – CreativIndie. He’s your guy. Trust me. Or hire someone.
You MUST run ads. There is no way around it. If you don’t, you will be sad that you put so much effort into your campaign, and then your book only sells to people you know. With your professional level cover, you’ll want to use BookBub, GoogleAds, Amazon ads, social media ads…maybe I’ll write a separate article about this. Some of these ads can and should start before you publish, so do your research!
Expect the marketing phase to be pretty time consuming until you get the hang of how it’s all working.
Best of luck!