16 February 2011

Kickstarting it with Belinda Kroll

Say hello today to indie author Belinda Kroll, aka Worderella. Belinda and I have been on-line writing pals for several years now and I read an early version of Haunting Miss Trentwood. This fall, she ramped up her project and now has a finished book to show for it and we invited her here today to talk about how she did it. 

Oh, and to give some stuff away... more on that at the end.
 Kickstarting It, by Belinda Kroll
Thanks Bethany, for hosting me!

I’ve been invited to talk about my experience using Kickstarter and I’ll do so with pleasure, as that is how I funded my newest book Haunting Miss Trentwood.

First, Kickstarter, the micro-funding for creative projects website, doesn’t accept just any project. Your project needs to be creative and something that requires funding, so a book, an art project, a movie, a product, are all acceptable.

Amazon’s Merchant Services fulfill the funding, so the backers only need is a credit card to pledge, and I didn’t have to worry about processing anything. Kickstarter does take a little off the top to pay for the website and events that they hold around NYC. I had a number of pledge brackets that went anywhere from a $3 to $100.

And then the real work began.

I had a video for my project page that asked for support, but it didn’t have enough energy. I made another one, but that didn’t really work either, according to my lovely, oh-so-honest friends. The video you see took 15 tries, and boy, do I respect movie makers more after all that work. I edited the project description, and even the project title, multiple times through the 40 days that I had given myself to get to my $1500 funding goal. I was doing whatever I could from the project page to ensure that I was targeting my audience properly.

On top of all this, I had to... you know... finish writing the book and send it to my editor. Talk about self-induced pressure. My friends call me a masochist sometimes when it comes to my writing, and I think they’re only half-joking.

The majority of my backers were people I knew already; friends my graduate school, family, and then some generous strangers who absolutely blew me away with their kind offers. As we got within a week of the deadline, and the project being $300 short of the goal, I began to ramp it into high gear.

I was tweeting multiple times a day. I was telling backers to tell their friends and family. I was reporting what the editor thought about the book. I unveiled the “surprise” that the backers would receive if they pledged $25 or more (which made some earlier backers to up their pledges because they liked it so much!)

It was the kind of marketing rat race that writers dread. But there was no way I was going to give up so close to the deadline. I was shocked when I hit the goal days before, and even more so when the pledges kept coming. And all of this without the help of the Kickstarter team and marketing!

The experience was stressful, invigorating, thrilling, and fun. I would do it again just for the rush. Though, I would shorten the length of time from 40 days to 20 so the energy is more sustainable for me and the backers.

I’m thrilled that Haunting Miss Trentwood is published and getting great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It was a lot of work, but that kind of creative work feeds me.

Belinda Kroll resides in central Ohio with her laptop, handmade-over thrift shop furniture, and books. Many, many, delicious books. She is the author of Haunting Miss Trentwood and Catching the Rose. She loves to pay it forward with her fellow indie authors. Visit her website at worderella.com.

Now to the things you can win. Up for grabs is, a signed print copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood and a bar of the coffin soap that came with the $25 pledge at Kickstarter. The soap has a cinnamon scent and is truly the most adorable coffin you will ever see, so says Belinda.

What must you do to win this prize? Belinda gave away the coffin soaps because it fit with her story. What would you giveaway with your book if you could (price not a factor), or what would be the perfect giveaway with you favorite book ever? Submit an answer, or just throw your name in for consideration by 5 pm. Feb. 22 and we'll announce a winner on Feb. 24th! The contest is open to everyone, even if you've won something from Word Nerd before.


Lisa954 said...

I love Gone With the Wind! So I would give away custom made dresses made out of drapery material! I'd love a signed print copy! Thanks!

Andy Hollandbeck said...

Wouldn't it be great to give away conch shells with Lord of the Flies?

Congratulations on your success with Kickstarter. I had never heard of it before, but I'm definitely going to look into it now!

Jennifer Lane said...

Haunting Miss Trentwood is a great read! Thanks for sharing how it came about.