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)
EditingI 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.
ProofreadingThis 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.
Cover DesignI 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!