The Difference That Your Pledge Makes
What happens to your pledge? How does $500 turn into the book that you will hold in your hand, dog-eared and highlighted, by this time next year?
That money goes quite a few places, and the size of the share taken by the printing itself may surprise you.
You can see some of my early "back of a napkin" projections below, courtesy LibreOffice:
Or, if you prefer, literal back of a napkin estimates. :D
Why that larger "Likely Total" or that "Surprises" row? You and I will find out. In other words, it's the cost of learning.
I will print some prototype books before making the final order. Even professional publishers find errors, so I cannot predict how many prototype books I will require, especially as a first-time printer.
Some books will get damaged in transit, mis-printed because of errors in the printing process itself, or otherwise require replacements before I will even consider shipping them to you. These will add to the average per-book cost.
Other expenses will surprise me, as they surprise every author.
Speaking of expenses, you can see some project-wide ones below:
All that, and I still have more expenses to come!
Why did I ask for only $500, then, instead of a grand or more? Three reasons.
First reason: people love to back a winner. Based on research by Kickstarter itself and reports from more experienced project runners, fully-funded Kickstarters tend to get extra pledges just because they reached 100%.
More funds would still help, and you can look forward to more backers joining us yet! If you peek at the Kicktraq report, you can see that the project remains on track for doubling its goal. Had I aimed for that larger amount out of the gate, though, I could have easily missed it.
Almost all of you so far decided to invest in me well before that point of certainty, however, and that makes you winners in my book.
If you got in past the 100% point, you still show the bravery of putting your money on an unproven but enthusiastic writer. You've made the world friendlier to indie authors everywhere!
Second reason: I understand that my first book will neither break nor make my writing career. I could have stayed in my apartment if we had missed the goal, out only the costs of promotion. The investment in artwork, editing, proofreading, and the like would have carried over and I would have tried again.
That said, had I a more dire financial situation, I would have put in even more sweat and toil before launching. I want to make sure you get your book.
Third reason: it's a well-documented truism in publishing that nothing markets your first book better than your second book. Had we missed this modest goal, I would have learned my lesson and tried again, with the knowledge that Planet Oz, at least, needed more work before going public. Thank you for seeing me off to a wonderful start, instead. :)
You can look forward to a lot more novels from me. I have drafts for several different novels and for more than one series, all ready to get the Kickstarter prep treatment after you receive your rewards for Planet Oz.
In the meantime, your pledges have filled me with confidence. You have proven that I can create something that people want to support! It's hard to relate how much that means to me, speaking as someone who started writing stories back as a child, to see that you find my work and the work of these amazing artists worth a cut of your hard-earned paycheck. You deserve thanks for that.