If you saw last week’s post, you’ll know I’m planning to fund the publication of The Oracles of Troy through a website called Kickstarter. Briefly, I set a target for the amount it will cost to get the book published and people make contributions to this target, in return for which they receive a “reward” (such as a copy of the book). The target amount has to be reached within a set period, usually 30 or 60 days, and if the project is successful then the contributions are taken by Kickstarter who then pass the funds on to me. I then get the book published and post out the “rewards”. If the target isn’t met within the timeframe, however, no money is taken, nobody gets a book and I end up with egg on my face. High stakes indeed!
The project won’t start until January, but I’ve been busy obtaining quotes for everything from the book cover design to paying for marketing and distribution. In total I will need around £5,000 to fully fund the publishing of 1,000 paperbacks and 250 hardbacks (or £7,000 to publish another 2,000 paperbacks). To reach that amount I reckon I’ll need at least 300 backers, which from everything I’ve read won’t be easy. One good bit of advice is to make your project sound so fantastic that nobody who reads it can possibly resist throwing their wallets/purses at you. Hmm, sounds like much marketing talent is required, something I’m not very gifted at. Another is to have a good range of rewards to allow friends, fans and philanthropists of all financial strengths to chip in. So that’s what I’ve been working on and here’s what I’m proposing:
- A £3 contribution will be rewarded with Kindle and e-pub copies of the book (and a thank you e-mail from me). As the e-book version is already available these will be sent the moment the target is met – and it’s a whole 70p cheaper than on Amazon!
- £6 will get the sponsor’s name on the acknowledgements page of the book.
- For a £12 contribution the sponsor will receive a copy of the paperback posted to their home. If you’re my mum, I’ll deliver it in person! But if you live overseas I’m afraid the cost will jump by a shocking £5 to cover additional postage (the £5 overseas surcharge applies to all other material rewards, regardless of how many books are included in the reward). I’ll also include an Oracles bookmark and postcard with every book! This level of reward isn’t limited in number.
- £18 will receive a signed copy of the paperback, posted to the sponsor’s home along with a bookmark and postcard.
- A contribution of just £21 will obtain a hardback copy of The Oracles of Troy, along with bookmark and postcard. This is a once in a lifetime chance as I won’t be reprinting any hardbacks. This level of reward is limited to 123 copies.
- £24 will get you an invite to the official book launch at my home town in Leicestershire and a pint at my local afterwards (my round!) The official launch is likely to be on a Thursday night in summer 2014, though sponsors are likely to receive their copies in the spring. Sorry, travel and accommodation not included. Limited to six sponsors.
- Just £27 will get a signed hardback of the book, with bookmark, postcard and the satisfaction of knowing there will only be 123 of these in the world, ever!
- Signed copies of the book cover are available for a mere £30. This is the reverse, spine and front of the paperback as it comes off the printing press, but before it has the pages added. It’s sad to say, but I framed the paperback covers for the first three books and hung them on my wall. They look great next to my cycling proficiency certificate and my First Grade swimming award. There’ll be just six of these available.
- For those sponsors who haven’t read the first three books in The Adventures of Odysseus series (that’s King of Ithaca, The Gates of Troy and The Armour of Achilles), £50 will get all three and a copy of The Oracles of Troy in paperback, all signed by me. Limited to twenty rewards.
- For hardback enthusiasts, the entire series in hardback – signed – will be available for a contribution of £80. Unfortunately, this reward is limited to just four sponsors
- Last of all, an original manuscript of the book that started it all, King of Ithaca. This consists of around 400 pages of single-sided A4 complete with my editor’s scribbled notes in the margins. There’s only one of these and it’s available for a contribution of £250.
Hopefully I’ve included enough variety here to whet appetites. I’ve also tried to keep contributions to sensible levels and I think they compare very well to other offerings on Kickstarter. I won’t promise that the eventual list of rewards will be exactly the same as it appears here, but it’ll be close. Also, if you have any suggestions about anything I can add or remove to the list, please let me know.
In other news, I’ve almost finished Chapter Six of the next book in the series, The Voyage of Odysseus. Only 40 or so more to go!