Wednesday 25 July 2012

Dates & Numbers

This post was originally meant to go up on Monday. But I'd spent the weekend (and the days since) recuperating from post-campaign burnout (amongst other things). It was a much needed break, and I indeed feel better for it.

Now. If you'd visited this blog anytime within the last month or so, then you must have surely heard about my crowdfunding campaign for my 6-part epic fantasy series, Guardians & The Lost Paradise. The goal was to raise $3,000 in 30 days. The money was to be used to pay for the services of a professional artist and editor. The plan was to self-publish all 6 books in 6 months.

Well. After 30 days of non-stop telling, asking and the occasional begging, the campaign received 142 visitors, 200 views and 234 referrals. And in the end, we managed to raise $400, spread out between 8 contributors.

What does it all mean? Well, for starters, that I'm very much grateful for those that did contribute, and all those that helped spread the word. I know I must have said this about a half dozen times by now, but it bears repeating. Thanks guys, for believing in my project enough to show some support.

That said, I believe I did everything that was within my means to give my project a fighting chance. I took the time to craft my pitch and really worked on the presentation of the campaign. Then I told my friends, family (big waste of time) and basically everyone I know. I even wrote a press release, even though this was done a mere two weeks before the deadline.

In retrospect, the press release should've gone out at least two weeks before the start of the campaign. Also, I should've ensured I had built a mailing list of people more inclined to be interested in my project, rather than relying on fairly random people I'd had prior email conversations with.

Finally, I shouldn't have spent as much time and effort on Twitter. The fact that I had a big name author (with 10,000+ followers) tweet a link to my campaign with zero results more than proves why. I did get to meet a lot of cool new people though, including the big name author in question, which I guess made it worthwhile.

All in all, I consider the campaign a success. $400 is a far better amount to work with than $0. What this simply means is that I'd have to find other ways to get to where I am going. I've since adapted my original plan to make room for a Plan B and C. Plan B involves using a second artist. Plan C involves using stock photographs and photo manipulation software. Any recommendations?.

I find that I work best under pressure. This is why I have drawn out the following schedule for the release of each book in the series:

Book I – The Journey – July 31st
Book II – The Fall – August 28th
Book III – The Gathering – September 25th
Book IV – The Shadow – October 30th
Book V – The Passage – November 27th
Book VI – The Other Side – December 18th

And if my calculations are correct, then it means the first book is due out next Tuesday. That's less than 6 days from now. Yikes. I'd better get back to work.


  1. At least it's enough to get you started!
    Roland Yeomans' artist does the most amazing covers for his books, but I don't know how much the person chargers. Vic Caswell also does great covers.
    If you're really good at PhotoShop, you could do something great on your own.

    1. I don't have much experience with PhotoShop, sadly. But I'm a fast learner. :D

      Thanks for the recommendations. I'll check out their portfolios.

  2. I suppose my approach of waiting for these kinds of covers for later editions is crazier than I originally believed...Basically, congratulations on keeping your head up in all of this, and for figuring out what to do when your original plan didn't work out. You're a much wiser businessman than I'll ever be.

    1. Thanks, Tony.

      Most of us know that the quality of a book cannot be judged by its cover alone, but it seems that is what everyone tends to do anyway. The only ones exempted are the major blockbuster writers. They get to endorse or slap on any kind of cover they want without repercussion.

  3. Sadly, that is far short of your goal, but I've seen some amazing covers from "so-called" non-professional artists. You'll make it go a long way Michael. Sorry I couldn't be one of the "eight" contributors.

  4. Michael, have you thought about going with a traditional publisher? One thing I am thankful for with my small pub is they take care of the cover art, editing, and formatting of the book. I just do all the marketing and all the writing (when there's time). Sure, I only make a 30% royalty but so what. You wouldn't have to crowd fund your book.

    1. My original plan was to have it published traditionally. I was in fact already gearing up to begin the query process. But then I experienced an epiphany, after which I realized that I wanted the books out before the 21st of December, 2012. :)

  5. Wow, what a ride! Looks like you've got some exciting things scheduled for the future. Best of luck!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  6. Even my publisher uses stock photos for their covers. You should talk to Carrie Butler or at least read her post about making blog buttons because she covers photo manipulation using a free online program comparable to Photoshop. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Nancy. I just finished reading Carrie's post. I'll be sure to also check out her work. :)

  7. Agree with Nancy. Carrie's the bomb when it comes to techie stuff and art.

    Another author did a post on making a cover. Let me see...
    Yes. Rachel Morgan with her Creepy Hollow series. The post has some great instructions.

    As far as Twitter goes, you either have to have multiple tweets (from many) or repeated tweets from one or a few. People only see them if they're online. I follow hundreds, and my twitter feed speeds by faster than the winning car at Daytona. LOL

    Good luck! :)

    IWSG #179 (At least until Alex culls the list again. :P)

    1. Thanks, Melissa. I'm off to check out Rachel's work. :)


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