Frequently Asked Questions
First of all, here's what Margot (my reviewer at Kickstarter) had to say about the estimated budget for the project: "A creative project does have many costs, especially printing a book in color, and your reward tiers did not seem outside the range of normal publishing projects, nor did your costs. I think a lot of people underestimate how much good illustration costs! Congratulations on your huge initial success!"
Here's a breakdown of the budget for the book:
Out of the $25000, Kickstarter and Amazon take 10%, which leaves $22,500
$7000 to print 1000 books
$350 to have them shipped to my garage
$7500 for the illustration
$3500 for shipping and materials
$500 for the videographer
$500 to create the digital format of the book (for Kindle, iPad, etc.)
$225 for the ISBN (the scan code) and for creating an LLC for LOH for publishing
$270 for 750 stickers
$100 for 1000 bookmarks
$500 for the launch party
$400 to create a website specifically for the book (this funds one year)
$1655 for unexpected expenses
First and foremost, I am not a professional, but I have done months of research and have made multiple connections within the industry to help me with this process.
As far as the specifics...the quotes I got for printing were from SelfPublishing.com and IngramSpark.com, two well-respected book printers. The illustrator, Wes Molebash, and the videographer, Mike Libby, are both professionals and, honestly, should probably get more but have agreed to these amounts because they believe so strongly in the project. Shipping costs were calculated via my local post office. Creating the digital format and the ISBN and LLC are all necessary if the book is going to be distributed via stores like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I'm going to create a website specifically for the book for people to share stories and pictures and to make an online space for fans of the book. Also, if funded, I plan to throw a super fun launch party to celebrate publication of the book that ALL backers are invited to, of course!
"Ok, but what if you fund the project, but only have to ship 600 books? What are you going to do with those extras and the excess shipping money?" Great question. The first printing of 1,000 books will hopefully go a long way. I'll be able to sell them on the website to folks who missed the Kickstarter project and take them to schools with me when I speak. I budgeted shipping and materials for the full thousand because I can't personally afford to ship that many books for free.
"I'm uncomfortable with the amount for 'unexpected expenses' and including the 10% fees into the funding goal." That's understandable. First, the easier one. Kickstarter actually encourages creators to calculate the fees, shipping costs and rewards into the target number. That's normal. In regards to the unexpected expenses, I've actually been told that number is low by several Kickstarter veterans. At this point, supporting a family of five, I wouldn't be able to afford if a wrench was thrown in the works, so I hope you can understand that I worked in a bit of a safety net. My friend Kyle ran a successful campaign for a book that pulled in nearly $10k more than they budgeted for and they STILL lost money because they didn't have a safety net and the cost per book was more than they had anticipated. Stories like this abound on Kickstarter and I don't want to add one to the mix.
"Are there other ways projects like yours could be done that would be less expensive?" I'm sure there are tons of different ways to do it, but I've decided to spend the money to make a quality book that will last for a LONG time in homes and on bookshelves in libraries and schools around the world. Durability is incredibly important for kids books!
I put a lot of hard work into the preparation for this project with a lot of amazing people - professional artists and videographers, published children's authors, Kickstarter's team, and experts who have run many of them successfully, among others - and I'm confident you're going to love the end result.
Thank you for believing in the project. Thank you for trusting me. And thank you for being awesome!
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