Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Countdown to Hungry as a Wolf: Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo

In this week's blog post I'm going to compare the two top contenders for crowdsourcing my third book, Hungry as a Wolf. It's a weird western novel and the sequel to my novella Sheep's Clothing, which seemed to be pretty popular(ish), and in any case it turned out Wolf Cowrie had another story in him.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two biggest and most popular crowdsourcing sites I've been able to find, and the two best suited for a creative project like this. Since 2015 looks like it's going to be The Year That Everything Happens (between dental work and moving house) I need to save as much money as I can. Currently, I have a few hundred dollars in my business account--a tidy sum, but not quite enough to do what I need to, and I like to have a bit of a safety net just in case.

On to the comparison!



 Kickstarter is the most popular and best-known crowdfunding site out there. It curates its projects for applicability, meaning that not every project qualifies, so there's a higher chance that successful projects will be featured.


Indiegogo is a distant second to Kickstarter in popularity, having only about a sixth of the fanbase. However, they have much looser guidelines, allowing you to fundraise for any kind of project or financial need. It doesn't curate projects for applicability, meaning anyone can try to raise funds for whatever.

Funding Models


Kickstarter has an "all or nothing" model, which means that I only get the funds if I reach my funding goal. On the one hand, this cuts down on flexibility, but it can also spur potential backers to work harder to donate if they know that the project won't happen if they goal isn't reached.


Indiegogo offers the option of flexible funding. What this means is that no matter what percentage of the goal is reached, the project gets to keep all of that. This allows for more flexibility in projects where the project can still be launched even if the whole amount is not reached. However, even if the goal is not reached, creators must still deliver all promised donation perks.



Kickstarter applies a 5%  to all successful campaigns, while failed projects incur no fees.


Indiegogo applies a 4% fee to successfully funded projects, making it a slightly cheaper alternative to Kickstarter. Like Kickstarter, failed Fixed Funding projects incur no fees.



Kickstarter is much more popular than Indiegogo in this regard. In the United States, where I am, Kickstarter is by far the best-known crowdfunding sites, and in many ways, it has become synonymous with crowdfunding itself.


Indiegogo is better suited to smaller projects, but considering how much Kickstarter is dominating the crowdfunding market, their chances of viral marketing success drop off hard.


While I was thinking of doing Indiegogo due to their flexibility and their shallower learning curve, it's starting to look like I'll have a higher chance of success if I go with Kickstarter. I'll keep Indiegogo in mind in case Kickstarter isn't successful, though.

Next week: Working out my Kickstarter Campaign Pitch!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Heart of Steel Release Day!

As of 8:00 this morning, my SFR novel Heart of Steel is available for purchase! (WOOT!) Currently, it is only available via my CreateSpace estore here, but in 3-5 business days it will be available on Amazon.

To mark this happy occasion, I've also arranged a blog tour through Goddess Fish Promotions to get the word out. Here is the list of stops (starred entries include reviews):

Please pop by and comment on these blogs for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to Steampunk Emporium! I will post on Facebook as soon as Heart of Steel is available on Amazon, but I imagine the estore will work just as well. If you like quirky romance with a twist, I'm sure you'll enjoy my latest book!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Countdown to Hungry as a Wolf: The Budget

Next month, once I get the last of the feedback from my beta readers on my Weird Western sequel, Hungry as a Wolf, I plan to start a crowdfunding campaign to get this thing launched. In order to get that done in something approaching an organized fashion, I will, of course, need to outline what I will need and how much each element will cost.

I'm not going to ask anyone to fund my research or the time spent writing it, because it's already done. I'm also not going to ask anyone to fund an educational trip to South Dakota for last-minute fact-finding, because that will smack of greed, and I've heard what happens to people who try to get their writing entirely crowdsourced like that. (It isn't pretty).

Instead, I will focus on the concrete things that I still need that will definitely cost money: editing, proofreading, and cover design. These will be unavoidable expenses if I want my book to be polished and professional (even if I'm not, lol)


I always value a fresh perspective on my work, and if the red-pen approach leaves me with a better story on the other side, so much the better. I have too much pride to not edit, especially since I've seen what happens when others don't edit. (It's not pretty.) I've been fairly happy with Windy Hills editing with my previous novel, Heart of Steel. Their prices are decent, and I won't go bankrupt using them.
Price: $120.00


This may seem like an extra step, but this is distinct from editing. Proofreading will give Hungry as a Wolf a good final polish and typo hunt before it sees the light of day. I've used Julia Proofreader in the past, and I plan to continue to use her here. She charges $5.50 US per thousand words, which also works for me.
Price: $300.00

Cover Design

I think this is  where I'll have to make the biggest investment, to judge by past experience. If I go with Fiverr, I might pay less, but I'll need to choose carefully. I've never used Fiverr before. On the other hand, if I go with Creative Digital Studios, the designer for the Heart of Steel cover, I'll pay more to go with a known quantity. I will do further research while I'm getting my polishing done, and I might have to see how my budget pans out on the other side of my crowdfunding campaign. I'm not planning to cheap out on this, so $125 will probably be my minimum.
Price: $125.00 to $500.00

Total:  $545.00 to $920.00

So, yeah. Looks like $920 will be my goal. There's a good chance I won't end up having to spend that whole amount (in which case, BONUS) but I want to make sure I have enough to fulfill all my needs. Next I'm going to compare the two top contenders for my crowdfunding campaign, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, so I choose the best forum to raise the money I'll need. If any of you have any self-publishing experience (good or bad) with either of these, let me know!

But First...

Next Tuesday is the scheduled release date for Heart of Steel, and I've been really excited about that since, oh, last August. Unfortunately, Createspace has been having technical difficulties, so there is a chance that at least the paperback release date will have to be postponed. Hopefully if that happens I can still release the ebook on time, but regardless of what happens I will put up a blog post telling you what's what, and hopefully include the relevant buy links.

UPDATE: The issue with Createspace appears to be resolved. Heart of Steel is back on track!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Website Updated! plus, Countdown to Heart of Steel and other Progress Reports

In honor of my upcoming SFR novel Heart of Steel's release this month, I've revamped several sections of my website, mainly the works page. Mainly I'm taking a page out of Ksenia Anske's book and have made a separate page for all my works, whether they are completed, in editing, in beta, or even unfinished works-in-progress. This will make things easier in the long run. I'm also going to start adding links to reviews to works that have been published, so that you will be able to find everything about a given book on one page. Cool, huh? Check it out here!

Of course, the event of this month that has me in a big ball of excitement is, of course, the Heart of Steel release on the 17th. I feel like I got more things right with the run-up for this, but of course this is likely to be a learning process for a long time. Hopefully I will continue to get more things right with each successive book release, until I'm an ace at this self-publishing thing. (This will probably never happen.) For this book release, I signed up for a blog tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, the people who did my cover reveal late last year, to do a big book blast on release day! Check out the details here!

In other news, I've been getting feedback from my beta readers on Hungry as a Wolf, the sequel to Sheep's Clothing, and I have a fair idea of where I'm going to go with the next round of rewrites. I'm also making good progress with rewriting Necromancy Will Kill Your Dating Life and hope to be done with Draft 2 by the end of this month, at which time I will open it to beta readers. Also this month I will be vetting crowdfunding websites for getting Hungry as a Wolf polished, edited and launched (I have it down to Kickstarter and Indiegogo) and getting my budget calculated for all that.

Short version: I've been busy already this year, and I don't see the pace letting up anytime soon. This is good for me and me readers, because it means I'll be hammering away at getting my work out as quickly as I can. Now I just need to find time to work on my WIPs and I'll be golden.