Wednesday, July 1, 2015

State of the Kickstarter

Just over two weeks left for The Death of Dulgath Kickstarter and I thought it was a good time to "take stock" as it were. First let's start with some amazing facts (thanks to Robin for compiling these):

  • Fully funded in 47 hours 23 minutes
  • Named a Staff Pick by Kickstarter
  • Currently $49,954 in pledges from 1,184 backers
  • Currently 10th most funded US fiction project (will move to #8 within a few days)
  • Currently 9th most backed US fiction project (will move to #6 within a few days)
  • 4th highest first-day pledges for a US fiction project ($19,082)
  • 2nd highest first-day backers for a US fiction project (472)
Given where we started, and where we are now, it's worth laying out the original intention and what we are currently shooting for.  
  • Originally we figured it would cost about $33,600 to publish the hardcovers in a 5,000 print run. We put the Kickstarter goal at $26,000 and were planning on picking up the other $7,600 ourselves.
  • When setting the "dates" for the Kickstarter we originally wanted 1 month, but given it started June 4th that would make it end right during the 4th of July weekend here in the US (not a good time as most people would be out with friends and family).  So, we could make it shorter, or extend it past the 4th. We went with pushing it back, figuring it would take at least 30 days to fully fund.  Boy were we wrong! In hindsight we should have pulled it forward...who knew?
  • With the goal met so quickly (less than two days) we started thinking about what else we could do. Doing a print run for the trade paperback so it didn't have to use print-on-demand (which is expensive and not as good of quality), seemed like a pipe dream, but thanks to the backer that became a reality.
  • With regards to the printing, we originally quoted for a nice "middle of the road" book.  After all, the best chance of clearing the bar is keeping the cost low.  But in short order we cleared another stretch goal that allowed us to upgrade the paper stock, cover materials, and provide a slip case for the rare versions of the book.
  • With extra money coming in, it opens up some possibilities that we wouldn't consider outside a Kickaterter. Things like a "real map," graphic novel adaptation of a short story, and posters of Marc's amazing artwork.  I'm thrilled we reached these goals. From the sounds of things, people are really looking forward to most of all!
With all our basic and "wish needs" met, now comes extending the "cool stuff" that the backers get as a way of giving back.  Here are just some of the things that we have so far:
  • Everyone receiving a printed book can have it signed and personalized.
  • Everyone will receive a signed postcard
  • Everyone will receive Death of Dulgath wallpapers for their phones, tablets, and computers
  • Everyone will get a shout-out to the social network of their choice
  • Everyone will receive a digital version of the graphic adaptation of  The Jester
  • Everyone will have their name appearing in the book as a backer
  • Everyone will receive signed bookmarks (9 for those getting packages, and 1 oz worth for those who only have digital rewards).
  • Signed and  personalized ebook versions available for backers up to goal #4 - this one will be tough to do, but I'm glad to provide something that I've not seen done much.
  • New maps for all books - print and digital
  • Everyone receiving a physical book will have it embossed to show it as a "special edition"
  • Everyone will have access to a new high-resolution map
  • All digital versions are DRM free
  • Everyone getting a print book get a digital copy as well
  • Trade paperback books will be the same size as the other books in the series.
  • Everyone will get introduced to a new author through a short story I'm bundling with their books.
All these cool little perks just couldn't be done easily without the concentrated sales that  a Kickstarter provides. It's one of the really cool things about being a backer (as opposed to just buying the book).  Plus, as I mentioned before, backing a Kickstarter means MUCH more of your money comes to me rather than middle men such as retailers and publishers.

As I said we are still two weeks out and there are still more stretch goals to go.  Here is what we have on deck.
  • $52,000 - All backers will get a free ebook edition of Hollow World (my science fiction novel) as well as a number of short stories...they'll be the first ones to get Professional Integrity in ebook form (outside of the Blackguards anthology where it was originally published).
  • $55,000 - I'll brave my fear of the camera and do a video diary talking about what I'm doing, industry news, and other cool things related to my writing or publishing.
  • $58,000 - I'll make a "behind the scenes" ebook about the process of creating The Death of Dulgath. I think it'll be interesting for both readers and would-be authors.
One last thing before I let you go...and yes I know this post is already getting long.  But there are a number of contests (and sign-up opportunities) that I want people to be aware of:
Whew, that was a lot, but the Kickstarter has really been something, and I wanted to give a comprehensive updated.

I'm truly honored and amazed by the generous support of the backers. I hope you've enjoyed being a part of bringing the Death of Dulgath into reality as much as I have. 

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