Why Crowdfund? Why Kickstarter?

The scream editedThe countdown has begun. The video for my Kickstarter campaign is finished and I’ve been busy doing the anxiety-producing things preparatory to launch, especially figuring out how much money to ask for. The research into publishing costs and calculations of what the rewards will cost me to fulfill in time and money are complicated, but in some ways are the least difficult. The hardest part is steeling myself to be honest instead of modest, to set a goal of what I genuinely need to finish and publish my book rather than what I think I can get.

And of course I need to describe the book — and myself — in such a way that will make people want to support it/us.

Then there are the details like email notifications. I want to personalize my lists rather than send out a general blast. And… and…there always seems to be one thing more to do, one more way to procrastinate.

All in all, I’ve been immersed in the world of Kickstarter, which has its own set of rules, its own college campus. The natives are friendly, the rulers extremely benevolent, and, for someone who has been blogging on WordPress, learning the lay of the land is easy.

But I have spent so much time in Kickstarterland I’ve forgotten that, just a few months ago, it was terra incognita. So let me backtrack a bit.

Why Crowdfund?

“I could never ask people for money,” a friend of mine said when I told her that I was planning to create a Kickstarter campaign. I didn’t have a good response for her at the time, just muttered that asking for money is tough. No question. It’s hard for most of us to put ourselves out there.

But what I realized afterwards and want to tell my friend: I’m not asking for money. I’m pre-selling my book and getting it some advance publicity. That’s kosher, right?

Put another way. I’ve gotten advances for my four previous books. This time I’m asking for an advance from my potential readers. Getting Naked for Money is going to be entertaining, I promise — and even inspirational for many, including late starters, happily single and childless women, phobics…

So I’m not doing this for me; I’m doing it for you. Got that?

Why Kickstarter?

Kickstarter logo

I researched different crowdfunding platforms and for a creative project — as opposed to a medical needs/charitable one — Kickstarter and Indiegogo were the top picks. The following infographic breaks down the basics of both crowdfunding in general and outlines the pros and cons of the two largest sites for creative people: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo: Which is Best for Your Crowdfunding Campaign?

Kickstarter was not only the larger and more successful at raising money of the two, but also the one that fit my particular needs most closely. Among other things, I like the finite length of the Kickstarter campaign, the all-or-nothing funding model. I don’t want to have to promote myself and my project for longer than 30 days. If I don’t get funded, I want to get back to the business of licking my wounds and working on my book.

But how does it work for supporters? One of the things that I learned in Kickstarter U is that a lot of donors are unfamiliar with the process and are understandably hesitant about putting their credit cards on the line.

Coming next: What does supporting a Kickstarter campaign mean?


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About the Author

Edie Jarolim is a writer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. Sign up on this blog to get updates about her humorous tell-all/memoir, GETTING NAKED FOR MONEY: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All.

9 Enlightened Replies

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  1. While I read with some bemused interest about the process of creating the cover art, this post interests me personally, and I read every word. I would have to say, how-to-kickstart funding publishing your own book is in itself an extremely timely topic . . .

  2. marilyn sutin says:

    Well, you know I supported the concept from the beginning. My niece, now dance w Mark Morris, raised funds through Indiegogo for a performance she and others put together. It was great for exposure and provided a venue for her to demonstrate her creative skills. I wish you much luck w your Kickstarter campaign – but I have one question – do supporters get s signed copy of ‘Getting Naked for Money’??????

    • Edie says:

      You did indeed, Marilyn! And you’ll see all the rewards as soon as the Kickstarter goes live but of course supporters get a signed copy of “Getting Naked for Money” — if they want the physical rather than the e-book.

  3. Kate Kaemerle says:

    Let the Kickstarting begin! Very exciting, Edie 🙂

  4. Sharon says:

    So interesting…..never heard of any of this….so enmeshed in the ever changing/ frustrating
    world of health care!
    If you don’t hear from me for a while…leaving for vacation on Sunday ( not to be mentioned
    on Facebook!)
    Good Luck!

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