18 March 2013 - 12:49 pm

Crowdfunding Starwalker


Everyone will want to support Starwalker! Right?

When I set out my goals for this year, I put down that I wanted to crowdfund the release of the Starwalker ebooks. It was one of those ‘if I can figure out how to make it work’ kind of goals.

Why crowdfunding? Because I can’t afford to do everything I need to do to make Starwalker into ebooks on my own. For example, covers are the biggest cost for me. I was lucky enough to get free covers for The Apocalypse Blog, but I can’t see that happening again, Also, I have a pretty clear idea about what I want for Starwalker‘s covers.

This is going to be a big project. It’s not just about the main Starwalker series: I want to release the short stories I’ve been doing on the crew as well, and collected editions of the main trilogy and the shorts. I counted them up: 18 ebooks. That’s 18 covers, 18 lots of editing, 18 of everything.

I want to do Starwalker justice and make a good, professional set of ebooks. I’ve read around a lot of advice about how to make a successful ebook, and they all say the same things:

  • Write a good story
  • Have a professional-looking cover
  • Have it professionally edited and formatted.

I’m hoping that I can cover the first one all by myself, but the rest takes money. At this particular point in my life, I just don’t have that kind of capital to spend up-front.

So, the crowdfunding idea has been niggling at the back of my brain, like a seed that is determined to make roots and then sprout a tree out of the top of my head. For the past month or so, I’ve been doing research to see if I can figure out how to make it work.

Ultimately, it doesn’t seem to be too hard. I’ve looked around for advice from other writers and at examples of other writing/publishing campaigns (particularly, the successful ones!). I know what would make me inclined to give a project money, too.

The key things that a project seems to need are:

  • Organisation. A well-organised campaign gives supporters faith that the project will be well-organised and successful.
  • Clear goals. It’s shocking how many campaigns don’t make this information easy to find.
  • Clear rewards, preferably with some creativity or something that can’t be obtained any other way.
  • What the money will be used for. This information can be hard to find in many campaigns, and considering how much money some artists ask for, as a potential supporter, I’d really like to know what they plan to do with it all.
  • A video. These drastically increase the likelihood of being successfully funded.

All seems pretty simple and straightforward. I’m naturally a pretty organised person, especially with something like this. I take pledges and goals pretty seriously, so I know how to make a set of promises that I am confident I can achieve. As a technical writer, I know how to lay information out in a user-friendly way.

The video is the main sticking point. Like graphics, it’s just not an area that I have any skills in. Luckily, I know at least one person who knows how to work this particular kind of magic. It’s going to take me some money to get it put together (and I’m going to have to film myself, ugh), but I think it’s achievable.

Work is underway. It’s all coming together. I’m excited to get the campaign kicked off. Soon, I’ll be begging you all for the spare change in your couch, to make this thing happen. Watch this space!

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