I’m very happy to say that we’ve reached 20% funding after the first five days. It’s way better than I hoped and I’m surprised at where we are getting our backing from. As well as close friends and family there have been pledges from Australia and down south, from people who don’t appear to have any connection to either Kate or I. How wonderful is that?
We haven’t really started the promotion of the Kickstarter campaign outside social media (other than the interview we had with the Westmorland Gazette last month and the short piece I wrote for Choose Ulverston) but I was lucky to be invited to local radio station CandoFM on Monday for a short interview. I was a little nervous but I think my performance background helped me get over my nerves and give what I hope is an entertaining and informative interview. I certainly talked a lot, but those who know me wouldn’t expect any less! The interview will be aired on Wednesday 17th May between 3 and 4 pm.
We’re also being featured in next month’s Ulverston Now which reaches loads of people around our home town. I’ve also contacted a few other local media companies to see if they’re interested in running an article about the book. So let’s just say we’re ON IT when it comes to promotion but sometimes I feel like I could be doing much more, more effectively.
We’re not a business that has been running for a long time, we’re not a company with a reputation for anything just yet, my past published writing is so different from what I’m doing now and we’re simply expanding on what we’ve both done separately and trying to create this new ‘thing’. And because of that our following on Facebook is pretty low (although still pretty good considering our page has only been up a couple of months), but we don’t have an incredibly large network, something I am working on every day.
It’s the same with branding. I think people are still a little unsure of what our project is all about, that it isn’t just a book, it’s the first in a series and there will be workshops to promote our efforts once the book is launched – I’m going to write more about that very soon. I also think people are unsure of why we need £3800 to create a book, why self-publishing should cost that much. To be honest when I was creating the budget I was quite surprised, but all of my research has shown that we’re actually doing this on an incredibly tight budget, a shoestring in fact. There are so many things to include that aren’t apparent at first.
The main bulk of our budget is for illustration because I simply cannot let my illustrator live off nothing whilst she is creating eighteen or more pieces of art. I’ve been on the other side of projects like this before with an expectation of royalties in the future, or extra work or my name being known and it just doesn’t help me create good work; food and warmth and a roof over my head do. I wouldn’t expect the printers to be paid ‘once the book is in the shops and we make money’ or likewise the company I’m buying the ISBNs from or the professionals I need to help edit the book. It’s just not fair. Her fee is an advance on sales and she is already doing way more than I ever expected her to including designing all the promotional pieces for nothing.
The next huge chunk of the Kickstarter amount is for the rewards themselves; the postage, the packaging, the printing, the paper. I wouldn’t want to pledge an amount of money to a project only to be slapped in the face with a postage and packaging fee would you? Each reward comes with a processing fee from Kickstarter too, all that is factored in. And then if we get the full £3800, Kickstarter take another fee, which has been included in the budget so we have exactly the right amount of money we need to print the book and ensure all the rewards are available. That’s fair too, they’ve hosted my project, they’re marketing it, making it available for people to browse and view internationally without the need for me to do all that myself. Without their efforts I would simply be touting my wares to the 250 or so people who follow my Facebook page or spending a fortune on some form of internet marketing. On top of those fees I’ve included a small contingency; I’m not daft, things can go wrong.
The rest of the money is on promotional material such as printing posters that will be up all over the Lakes in the next couple of weeks and flyers to be handed out at all the festivals we’re about to have in our home town. Festivals such as Another Fine Fest, Taste Cumbria and Furness Tradition which bring in thousands of people to our small town every year.
I’m so incredibly lucky to have had people like Pete Ord and Pete Stretch involved. They have both given their services for free simply because they wanted to be part of our project. The music Pete Ord created for our Kickstarter animation is absolutely stunning and I hope you go over to our YouTube site just to take a listen. There’s no way I could’ve afforded to commission a piece of music so perfectly in tune with our idea without putting the costs of studio hire, sound engineer, musicians and composer fees into the Kickstarter itself. I cannot thank him enough.
Likewise Pete Stretch’s audiobook version, which will be available to backers, is a masterpiece in itself. He’s read the story so well and I couldn’t be happier with it. Again, hiring a voice actor, studio time, sound engineers… you can imagine! I just couldn’t have done it without needing to ask for another grand or so in the Kickstarter.
It’s all these amazingly creative people behind this project that make it work, that spur me on in every moment of self-doubt. It’s these giving and generous people like Kate, Pete O and Pete S (and Pete D my partner) who are making Peter Digs A Den a reality, not just a story I told to my son at bedtime. (One I have to mention helps him to sleep like no other. You’ll see.) So when you back our Kickstarter, that’s what you’re getting, not just one person’s creativity, but a whole load of talent in one place.
So go on, go on, go on…