Why Kickstarter

Why I’m Running With Kickstarter

There is a paperback version of Memoirs of a Gigolo Omnibus. I mostly put it together through Createspace so I could have a copies to submit for copyrighting. A few people have asked me if I am selling signed copies. I am. But it is ruinously expensive to pay for the books and shipping in advance of sale, so I’m trying something different. I’m throwing the doors open and inviting anyone that wants a copy to help me reach the goal of funding a Kickstarter project. 
I almost didn’t go down this road. Temptation crooked its finger at me last fall, then I dropped the idea after I saw a couple of Kickstarter projects that left me nervous. I’ve met a few writers trolling around twitter and Facebook who have had Kickstarter projects. The one that sticks out the most in my memory is a first time novelist (writing something about fallen angels or vampires – I don’t really remember) who was seeking somewhere around $20k to help her edit and publish her first book. It wasn’t even written. She’d never written anything before. But she had a vision. And tote bags. I love vision and I admire ambition. I’m ambitious. It’s one of the things I like about myself. I’m also tenacious and more than a bit scrappy. Top that with the fact I’m no quitter and I’ve got what it takes to survive the maelstrom that is the publishing world. 
I’m also willing to work like a bitch to get my work out there and never ever have I expected someone to come along and fund my vision for me. So why I am going to Kickstarter and asking for funding? I need capital to pay for books and shipping. I would love to be able to front the cash to pay to have books printed so I can ship them out when I receive funds through Paypal, but I don’t. I also don’t want to buy a whole bunch of books and have them sitting around my house unsold, a constant reminder that madame wasn’t quite as popular as she thought she was. Like a lot of writers I have a day job, but that just helps me with the three basics. I don’t have the money to pay for a bunch of books from Createspace that I may never sell. Kickstarter gives me the opportunity to offer up paperback copies of the Omnibus to whomever wants to buy one.
I like a lot about Kickstarter, but there are a few things that leave me scratching my head. The things I do like are numerous. It’s public, it’s honest, it provides me with a transparent platform to offer up copies of my book in exchange for guaranteed support. What I don’t like is minimal and speaks to my fussiness. I’ve noticed in the fiction offerings there are some pretty out there rewards. $5k to be a named character in a book. $10k to meet the author. I don’t think I’d be comfortable asking for that kind of money or even receiving it. My biggest reward is $25 for two paperbacks and the max I’m seeking for funding is $200. $5 will get you a signed cover postcard and my eternal thanks. This is not huge. $20k to have dinner with me is just weird. (I’d do it for $5K!)
$1 for an electronic copy of one of my books is the low end of what I have on offer. This seems reasonable to me and my costs don’t justify asking for thousands. Granted I’m relying on friends for editing and computer help, I do my own covers, and I think I’m making about five cents and hour return on my time investment. This is a labor of love at the moment. I could ask for $10k or even $20k for professional editing, marketing, computer, and layout design, but I’m not going to do that. In the end I truly believe it’s about the story and not the hype or swag. If the reviews Memoirs has received on Amazon are any indication, then I’ve got something worth reading on my hands. If you’d like a paperback copy please have a look at my Kickstarter project.

Why Kickstarter

Why I’m Running With Kickstarter

There is a paperback version of Memoirs of a Gigolo Omnibus. I mostly put it together through Createspace so I could have a copies to submit for copyrighting. A few people have asked me if I am selling signed copies. I am. But it is ruinously expensive to pay for the books and shipping in advance of sale, so I’m trying something different. I’m throwing the doors open and inviting anyone that wants a copy to help me reach the goal of funding a Kickstarter project. 
I almost didn’t go down this road. Temptation crooked its finger at me last fall, then I dropped the idea after I saw a couple of Kickstarter projects that left me nervous. I’ve met a few writers trolling around twitter and Facebook who have had Kickstarter projects. The one that sticks out the most in my memory is a first time novelist (writing something about fallen angels or vampires – I don’t really remember) who was seeking somewhere around $20k to help her edit and publish her first book. It wasn’t even written. She’d never written anything before. But she had a vision. And tote bags. I love vision and I admire ambition. I’m ambitious. It’s one of the things I like about myself. I’m also tenacious and more than a bit scrappy. Top that with the fact I’m no quitter and I’ve got what it takes to survive the maelstrom that is the publishing world. 
I’m also willing to work like a bitch to get my work out there and never ever have I expected someone to come along and fund my vision for me. So why I am going to Kickstarter and asking for funding? I need capital to pay for books and shipping. I would love to be able to front the cash to pay to have books printed so I can ship them out when I receive funds through Paypal, but I don’t. I also don’t want to buy a whole bunch of books and have them sitting around my house unsold, a constant reminder that madame wasn’t quite as popular as she thought she was. Like a lot of writers I have a day job, but that just helps me with the three basics. I don’t have the money to pay for a bunch of books from Createspace that I may never sell. Kickstarter gives me the opportunity to offer up paperback copies of the Omnibus to whomever wants to buy one.
I like a lot about Kickstarter, but there are a few things that leave me scratching my head. The things I do like are numerous. It’s public, it’s honest, it provides me with a transparent platform to offer up copies of my book in exchange for guaranteed support. What I don’t like is minimal and speaks to my fussiness. I’ve noticed in the fiction offerings there are some pretty out there rewards. $5k to be a named character in a book. $10k to meet the author. I don’t think I’d be comfortable asking for that kind of money or even receiving it. My biggest reward is $25 for two paperbacks and the max I’m seeking for funding is $200. $5 will get you a signed cover postcard and my eternal thanks. This is not huge. $20k to have dinner with me is just weird. (I’d do it for $5K!)
$1 for an electronic copy of one of my books is the low end of what I have on offer. This seems reasonable to me and my costs don’t justify asking for thousands. Granted I’m relying on friends for editing and computer help, I do my own covers, and I think I’m making about five cents and hour return on my time investment. This is a labor of love at the moment. I could ask for $10k or even $20k for professional editing, marketing, computer, and layout design, but I’m not going to do that. In the end I truly believe it’s about the story and not the hype or swag. If the reviews Memoirs has received on Amazon are any indication, then I’ve got something worth reading on my hands. If you’d like a paperback copy please have a look at my Kickstarter project.

What’s Up?

ImageI decided I needed to take a moment, show my blog some attention, and catch up after what was a hectic start of the year.

First off – Sport of Kings was released by Liquid Silver on January 1st.

Second – Volume Four of Memoirs of a Gigolo will be out on February 1st.

A few readers have asked me if there is something else on the horizon. First – thank you. I’d probably be doing this if you weren’t buying my books, but that you keep coming back for more tells me I’m doing something right.

A very very brief glimpse inside of what’s coming up. I have a romance coming out sometime later this spring through TWRP. I have a couple mainstream romances (which are pretty spicy but not erotica) I’m trying to get agented. I have something completely different which I’m working on that will appeal to readers who like mainstream contemporary fantasy. A YA dystopian in which I indulge my love of ancient cultures, mythologies and religions. Finally, after Memoirs I’ll be launching a new serial.

That’s it for the moment. Now I’m back to work for the next couple of days in advance of the launch of Volume Four of Memoirs of a Gigolo.

Leap of Faith: I’ve Self-Published

I never thought I’d self-publish. But I did. This week I stretched beyond my perceived technical limit, and figured it all out. My pet project has been rejected for the last time. I don’t know how many publishers I’ve submitted it to. They all love it. But they want it as a complete work and not in the twelve volumes I’ve divided it into. I don’t want it divided.I want it distributed in twelve different parts. Possibly more. Who knows? I love this story. I love the characters, how they develop, and the world they inhabit. By serializing it I have the ability to add as many volumes as I want. Especially now.

Each of my friends that has self-published promised me I wouldn’t regret it. Despite their encouragement, I did have a moments panic and a bit of hesitation as I worked at it this week. What am I most afraid of? That I’m too much of a perfectionist and there would be mistakes that I could only blame on myself. That no one would buy my book. That I’m really a rotten writer and there are a dozen people out there ready to give me one-star reviews. That I’ll have to put myself out there to market my book. It’s paralyzing the fear.

I own my lovely story. The only one that has any say is me. Talk about liberating.

So what do I do now? Please buy my book. It’s called Memoirs of a Gigolo. The story is about a young man that has come to the end of the party, he is on the edge of growing up, figuring out who he really is, and what truly matters to him.

Writing Really is a Hard Business, Isn’t It?

The problem with wanting to be a professional writer, is that the writer has to act like a professional. That the process becomes more than about the writing. Writing for pay, doesn’t take the pleasure out of the process, but it makes it a business. The writer becomes the self-employed business person. I’m not much of a business person. Not even a little. In fact, there are many many many people who know me well whom would gladly attest to the fact I am the most incapable business person they’ve ever met. Which is why I find the business of writing so incredibly hard.

If I wanted to write, purely for my love of writing, then I would have all of the joy and none of the grief. But I want to make a career out of this love of mine. I’m not going to say that I’m unemployable, I just spend a little bit too much time in my own head to be of much use to anyone outside of the food service or retail industries. On the plus side, I’m academically gifted and have fallen into that great bastion of unrealized potential; academia.

To make a career out of something means treating it like a business. I suspect there are some writers out there that have tripped into success and the accompanying buckets of money, but I have yet to slip on that particular banana peel. I sort of hoped I would, but it hasn’t happened. At this point, if I do find success, it will be because I’ve worked like a stevedore and clung to my dream like a dragon guarding it’s hoard of gold.

I’ve worked hard to bring the quality of my writing up to a professional level. What I haven’t done is devote even a fraction of the time I’ve spent on my writing career to the business end of the equation. I’m coming to that late. In a sort of vague and disjointed way, I knew there was more to the business of writing than just the writing. But it all just seemed so complicated and boring. Why would I want to get out and tap-dance while singing my praises (two things I lack both the talent and proper clothing to do) when I could be at home with my friend the laptop living vicariously through my characters? I might not have ever come to it if I hadn’t been asked to give an opinion on my life as a writer still trying to make it.

During the course of doing a favor for a friend, an established writer that wanted to know what it was like out there in the trenches, I really had look at my writing career and what I’d done to get published. What was the most eyeopening thing of all, was that I’d done very little to get published. Beyond sending out submission packages and trying to get the attention of agents, I hadn’t done much. I suspect there are a lot of writers out there that could relate to this. I’d done as much as I thought I needed to, but had never really thought about what else I could be doing.

Writing is really only a part of what I need to do. In addition to writing well, I need to write what people want to read, create a brand, and market myself. The writing is the trickiest part. I could write the best story ever written about a dystopian future in which the female main character becomes the leader of a revolution fighting against the tyranny of a male dominated totalitarian regime, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to want to read it, or, more importantly, that anyone is going to want to take the time to publish it (please do contact me if you’re interested in a story about a woman that takes up arms against the establishment – Everyone that’s read it thinks its brilliant). I should have gotten an MBA. Or, at the minimum, a degree in marketing.

To this end, I’m giving myself a crash course in marketing. I’m going to figure this business of writing out. I’m not certain if there is a secret knock, a whispered password, or I really do need to sleep with the right person (god help us both), but I will figure this out. I am neither a stupid nor an incompetent woman. Then maybe I’ll write a book about how to break into the publishing world.