Last week, I urged you to support Andrew Peterson’s Kickstarter campaign for his newest book, the final installment of the Wingfeather Saga. I am proud to say my wife and I gave to the campaign and have become Cave Blats (a $35 commitment that is worth a lot more than that). Apparently, self-publishing with the help of Kickstarter is becoming quite a thing.
In fact, there’s a nice article in the latest edition of Writer’s Digest magazine entitled, “Kickstarting Your Career,” which discusses some campaigns that have gone well for authors.
There are a number of good reasons why this route of self-publishing seems better to me than most:
- A book will only be produced if there is sufficient interest. Anyone can publish a book if they have enough money, but not every book is worthy of being published. Publishing houses pay their bills by being able to separate the wheat from the chaff. But with the Kickstarter approach, authors are saved money if they’re project doesn’t curry enough interest in order to be produced, while at the same time sparing readers what is probably an awful book to begin with.
- If the campaign is successful, authors needn’t worry so much about whether they are going to make their money back or not. If the campaign is funded, all they have to do is worry about writing an excellent book (so as not to let down all the people who believe in the project to begin with (so I guess they still have some room for concern)).
- Kickstarter campaigns invite fans to get in on the ground level of a project, and fans love being involved. This is possibly one of the best ways to kick off some word-of-mouth advertising. I mean, it worked with my fandom of Andrew Peterson’s books.
Of course, Kickstarter campaigns aren’t easy. According to “Kickstarting Your Career,”
Since 2009, just 44 percent of the projects posted on Kickstarter have been funded. That number drops to 32 percent for the 13,236 publishing projects posted on the site; within the publishing category, poetry projects have the highest success rates (38 percent), followed by journalism (33 percent), nonfiction (27 percent), and fiction (25 percent).
I’m glad that Andrew Peterson chose to go the Kickstarter route, in spite of the fact that three out of four fiction books don’t get funded that way. I’m glad to be part of something cool. I’m glad to be a Cave Blat.