Gail Z. Martin · Guest Posts · Library Happening

Interested in doing a Kickstarter Publishing Project? Author Gail Z. Martin has a few thoughts to share.

Welcome, Welcome to author Gail Z. Martin, the first guest to post on our blog. We are thrilled to have you Gail!!

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Five Things I’ve Learned About Kickstarter Publishing Projects

By Gail Z. Martin

I’m a Kickstarter anthology junkie. There. I’ve admitted it. I love the rush of watching the donor and dollar numbers rise, the camaraderie of promoting the project, especially as the clock ticks down the last minutes, the excitement of seeing stretch goals reached and rewards purchased.

I’ve been part of six successful Kickstarter anthologies so far, and one of those, Athena’s Daughters, was at the time Kickstarter’s most successful literary project of all time. All of the projects over-funded, in some cases, by several hundred percent. And while I haven’t done a solo project myself, I have several author friends who have funded novels, novellas, and multi-book projects. I watch and learn, and I’ve discovered a few things along the way.

#1 Promotion determines success. Kickstarter projects require constant, relentless social media promotion. If you’re shy about promoting, this probably isn’t a good fit for you. It’s a marketing truism that seven to thirty ‘touches’ are necessary to turn a window-shopper into a buyer. On Kickstarter, that’s more like seven to thirty times a day. One reason is because the Twitter feed goes by so quickly, many people won’t see a single post. Facebook suppresses your organic post reach, hoping to force you to pay for ads or boosted posts. That means your best bet, if you don’t have an unlimited budget, is a mix of paid Facebook promotion and frequent updates to your profile and fan page. The trick is to keep the posts fun, funny, engaging or intriguing so that your readers remain engaged. But since only 10-30% of your friends and fans will ever see your posts thanks to Facebook’s algorithm, odds are good you won’t wear out your welcome.

#2 Anthologies do well. One reason anthologies lend themselves well to Kickstarter is that by definition, they’re a group project. Having a group that is active on social media promoting a common goal gets a lot more visibility than most people can drum up on their own.

#3 Solo projects are harder. Unless you’re already a celebrity with a huge and active social media reach, you need a very loyal, motivated core of dedicated fans to fund your Kickstarter project. That’s because of the need for incessant promotion required to fund even modest goals. In most cases, you need to reach not only your ‘friends’ and followers but also two or three degrees of separation from their friends, and nab some media coverage as well to boost the signal. It’s certainly possible, but it requires serious work.

#4 Structure contributes to success. A good video and well-planned and attractive rewards and stretch goals are a huge element of a successful campaign. The video needs to look professionally produced to compete with what people are used to seeing in other campaigns. Stretch goals are extras earned when incremental funding levels are reached, and properly planned, give you lots to talk about as you are continually coming up on or surpassing a goal. Reward levels help you fund more quickly by offering extras like dedications, Tuckerizations or special bundles.

#5 Keep rewards and extras downloadable. Extra short stories, artwork, and bonus content make great stretch goals and rewards without adding to your shipping and printing costs.

Kickstarter is a great way to reduce the risk for small press and self-published books. It’s also a wonderful way for authors to continue series with strong fan appeal that have lost a traditional publisher, or to bring out stories that speak to a highly engaged niche audience. Spend some time studying what distinguishes the most successful projects and then wade in and launch your own!

Check out my new Steampunk novel Iron and Blood, co-written with Larry N. Martin, set in an alternative history Pittsburgh in 1898. In stores July 7!

The Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event includes book giveaways, free excerpts and readings, all-new guest blog posts and author Q&A on 28 awesome partner sites around the globe. For a full list of where to go to get the goodies, visit http://www.AscendantKingdoms.com.

Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin

Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books and Orbit Books. In addition to Iron and Blood, she is the author of Deadly Curiosities and the upcoming Vendetta in her urban fantasy series;The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) as well as Ice Forged, Reign of Ash, and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga from Orbit Books. Gail writes two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures and her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies.

Larry N. Martin fell in love with fantasy and science fiction when he was a teenager. After a twenty-five year career in Corporate America, Larry started working full-time with his wife, author Gail Z. Martin and discovered that he had a knack for storytelling, plotting and character development, as well as being a darn fine editor. Iron and Blood is their first official collaboration. On the rare occasions when Larry isn’t working on book-related things, he enjoys pottery, cooking and reading.

***Find them at http://www.JakeDesmet.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin or @LNMartinauthor, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com, on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin free excerpts, Wattpad http://wattpad.com/GailZMartin.  ***

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You all know that I am a HUGE fan of Gail’s work and WeGeekGirls is honored to have her guest post on our little blog! Please mark your calenders for the July 7th release of Iron & Blood (isn’t that cover AMAZING!?) and prepare for an adventure with Jake Desmet!!!

~CC

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2 thoughts on “Interested in doing a Kickstarter Publishing Project? Author Gail Z. Martin has a few thoughts to share.

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