Twelve days in to our Kickstarter campaign (I’ve Written a Fracking Novel!), with 71 percent of our goal raised, I can’t help but offer some reactions and observations along with thanks.
An old friend who provides us with great professional service (subliminalmessageGaryTaxPro) called with his shorts in a bunch. What’s this #>$%* Kickstarter thing and where do I find it? I got a similar reaction right after the campaign launched in an email from an old boss. “Call me,” it said. I broke out in a sweat as I read it getting off a plane. What’d I do wrong? Turns out he, too, had questions about how to make a pledge.
Both are, like me, on that side of the digital divide.
Crowd-funding, I explained. A social media twist, the Medicis-meet-NPR. They both chipped in, generously.
It’s newfangled, but it seems to be working. With support coming in the past 36 hours from family in Las Vegas and St. Louis and Hannibal, Mo., friends and neighbors in Morningside, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Rappahannock County, new friends in Chicago (that’s you, Leela!), and a huge turnout from Anne’s former colleagues (now we know who the real fund-raiser is), WE have crossed the $3K benchmark and blasted past 70 percent! Now 19 days to go. I’m going to sweat it to the end.
And why, you might ask, am I asking for pledges to support the publication of Mother Fracker? Me, seemingly well off in retirement? Isn’t this for young hipsters-musicians-artistes?
Well, the funds we raise help us pay the excellent local Rappahannock County and South Florida talents who helped us get this little venture off the ground. We don’t even expect to break even. The money’s not the point.
Self-publishing is a whole new world. Without the supporting backstop of an agent or traditional publishing house, it’s on our shoulders to pump up the volume. Sure, I’d love to see HarperCollins on the spine, but I’m kinda proud of the Morningside Press logo.
Kickstarter is risky, right out of the entrepreneur’s playbook. All or nothing. Win or go home. I’m practicing what I taught at UM. Right now, I like the trajectory. But that upward chart on the Kickstarter page still has a looong way to go.
Kickstarter is really about building awareness, ginning up enthusiasm, finding the audience. Whomping up the crowd, my dad would have said. Pledges make it all possible. Thank you.
Anne delivered signed hard copies in the pouring rain yesterday to our favorite yellow retail shop and mailed copies to reviewers while I continued to wrangle with the devils keeping us from uploading the ebook version. Got our first review on Amazon. I did a little song and dance in front of the Lions Club. A good day.
Bottom line, this is a fun book with a serious message about the risks and rewards of fracking. And pledges from Kickstarter backers are the new commerce in a new age of patronage.
So … thanks again … stay tuned … and let’s continue to kick(start) some butt!