Kickstart my heart

by Paul Morrison


If there's one question I've been asked, oooh, at least a couple of times now, it's this: 

"When are you going to run a Kickstarter for your book?" 

And my answer is, "I dunno.  Not sure if I'm even doing one." 

People view this as strange.  So I will blather on about it a bit. 

I like Kickstarter.  I've backed about 30 projects on there, and will no doubt back many more.  If by some chance you don't know what it is, peek your head out from under that rock and I'll précis it briefly (obviously, because that's what a précis is). 

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website.  If you have a creative project that needs money in order to complete it, you can pitch it to the masses on Kickstarter, and ask for a certain amount of money which you reckon you will need to complete said project.  If people like what you're doing, they might chip in.  Usually there are several tiers of pledge, with a smaller pledge getting you the standard product and bigger pledge amounts getting you exclusive "rewards", usually an upgraded version of the project or some special bonus that you won't get anywhere else.

It's worked well for a lot of projects, and my project is exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to see there.  Normally people pledge and treat it as kind of a pre-order, then sit back and wait for their purchase to arrive.  Usually it does.  Sometimes it's later than expected, at which point some people get miffed and shout a lot.  Sometimes it doesn't happen at all, at which point you've lost your money as a backer.  Very annoying I'm sure, but it hasn't happened to me yet (well, there might be one...).

A little underwhelming, perhaps? 

A little underwhelming, perhaps? 

Anyway, enough of that waffle.  Why, exactly, am I not running a Kickstarter when many similar projects have done so?  Shouldn't I be striking while the iron is hot?  I don't think so. 

You see, this is a passion project for me, which I'm writing completely in my spare time.  Because of that, it could take me another few years to complete, depending on who I contact and how much material I get.  I don't envision it taking years, at least not to complete the first edition, but it's a possibility.  I couldn't, in good conscience, take money from people when I have no idea when it will be spent.   Other projects have been full-time efforts, so I can understand the need for financing a bit more.

The other issue is this: what exactly do I need money for?  The way I see it, there are only two things.  The first is a cover artist.  I'm absolutely terrible at art.  I can't draw anything.  So unless I use the logo at the top of this page as my entire front cover (a bit minimalist but I guess it could work) then I'm going to have to stump up for someone to create some cover art.  I actually have a fantastic concept in my head for that.  But that's for another time.

The other thing I might need money for would be if I were to produce a physical print run.  Personally, I would love to hold a copy of my own book in my clammy hands.  Realistically, this will mostly be an eBook.  That would be much cheaper to produce.  But a physical print run, even a limited one, would be really expensive, unless I get a publisher.  So Kickstarter might be an option for that. 

As you can see, though, there is no real need for me to be on Kickstarter at this point in time.  I will certainly re-evaluate that as the time draws nearer, but I just want to get my content together first.  I'm working hard on that all the time.