It’s time to stop putting it off. I’m going to self-publish Broken Magic.
(Caveat: If something drastic changes during the next month, I may not. Since I am unlikely to get a positive response on any of my existing queries – or, rather, any response at all as they’ve been out for a while – I’m moving forward under the assumption nothing will change.)
I’ve barely a clue of what self-publishing will mean for me. I don’t know how I’m going to market, what goals I’ll set for sales, how many times I’ll flog myself if I don’t make them…any of that. It’s up in the air, and will remain so for the better part of May. I’ve got a meeting in the works with The Smartest Marketing Person I Know to discuss some of the above (except for the quantity and quality of the self-flagellation, which I will have to determine on my own). I hope to have a stronger idea of what my plan is when that’s done.
The big thing beyond marketing is that the novel needs cover art. It needs awesome cover art, because I like art and I want people to have a nice looking book on their shelves should they buy it. Nice enough looking that even if they despise said book they’ll think, “Oh, but what a lovely cover. It shall decorate my shelf for a time until I find some poor sod I can trick into taking it.” I’m going to end up with a stack of these in my house, so I might as well not hate the way they look. The good news is I think I’ve found an artist who will be perfect, and his quote is in line with my hoped for budget.
Speaking of budgets.
One possibility for getting the (relatively modest) funding I’ll need is to use Kickstarter. For those who haven’t heard of it: Kickstarter is a crowd-sourced funding tool. Someone (like me) sets an amount they need. They set up a bunch of funding levels, the way a non-profit does for donors. Each funding level comes with a gift – usually the higher levels get all of the gifts up to and including that tier. Give $5 and get an e-book copy. Give $10 and get a printed copy in addition to the e-book copy. Give $25 and get a shirt AND a printed copy AND an e-book copy. Like that.
My campaign will, probably, be asking for somewhere around $1,000. That means, I’d wager, that I’ll have a top funding tier of not more than $200-$250 with a bunch of decent tiers in-between. The question I’m trying to sort out is: what do I give as rewards for the tiers over the ones where I give the book? Assuming $5 gets you an e-book copy and $10-$15 gets you a print copy, where do I go from there? What’s at the $25, $50 and $100 levels? I’m not expecting many people to go for the higher tiers (Hi, mom and dad!), but I don’t want them to be insultingly crap rewards. They should, at the very least, make people think, “I wish I could justify giving that!”
If you were to give $50 or $100 to a book’s kickstarter campaign, what would you consider cool enough to make it worthwhile? Even if you don’t intend to give a cent to this campaign, what would get you to give at one of those tiers for a campaign you would support. Seriously, if you leave a comment with a suggestion, it is in no way setting an expectation that you care to actually support my kickstarter campaign. I’m just trying to brainstorm and I could use some help. Should I give posters of the cover art? If so, at what level?
It’s possible I decide not to do a campaign and to simply fund out of pocket. I’m a little squishy on the idea of raising money, but the part of me what wants to see how this Kickstarter thing works (as well as the part of me that knows that any money I raise means the money I’m going to put in out-of-pocket anyway can go even farther) is urging me to explore it. If you think doing a Kickstarter campaign is a putrid, silly idea, you can tell me that, too. I’m interested in your opinion.
If all goes well, I hope to have Broken Magic out by the end of summer. July, if I’m lucky, August if things drag out a bit. I’m really looking forward to letting you read it.