How's this for a stretch goal? We have just under 2 weeks to go and this campaign has already gone farther than my wildest dreams. But why not dream wilder? If funding reaches $1,000, I'll add an additional perk for all Kickstarter contributors: further manuscript review, above and beyond what you'll already receive for your contribution, at 50% off.
Ever since I learned my hobby could also be a lucrative part-time job, I've lived, breathed, and dreamed writing and publishing. I've attended conferences and worked at writer's retreats, read books and written blog posts, joined forums and organized critique groups; in short, I've experienced firsthand as much as I could and what I haven't done myself, I've observed others doing, in the process of getting stories to readers. Through it all, I've tried to help others achieve the same: to fulfill their dream of finding an audience and making money from their writing.
The book started from a collection of blog and forum posts, now revised and expanded. It includes:
- Tips for defeating writer's block and finishing your story
- Things to look out for as you revise to make the strongest manuscript possible
- How to find markets for your writing and keep track of your submissions
- How to concisely and engagingly describe your story to agents, editors, and potential readers
- The relative merits of submitting to a press or self-publishing, as described by someone who has done both. The media is always eager to tell you about the latest self-publishing bestseller, but what is life like for the vast majority who never see the New York Times top ten?
- Scams to avoid in agents and publishers
- How to advertise your work, including tips on everything from author's websites (and who actually reads your blog) to promotional bookmarks, plus the outline of a marketing plan for a novel
The Starter Guide for Professional Writers offers an on-the-ground view of publishing and focuses on using inexpensive resources, many of them found through the internet (after all, writers should make money off their writing, not pay for it! Covering everything from getting unstuck with a story in writer's block to how to handle editor deadlines, its holistic perspective builds skills writers will use at every stage of their careers.
The Funding Goes To:
Through pre-orders, I've already raised enough money to release and distribute a print version of the Guide through CreateSpace. However, I still need to pay for formatting the ebook and possibly arrange for broader distribution of it. A campaign like this also allows me to collect more pre-orders for the book and to offer my services as a developmental editor. Aside from long experience as a beta reader and critique partner, I did manuscript editing as part of my internship during my last year in undergrad, and my feedback on manuscripts has previously helped friends place their work with various short story markets.
Risks and challenges
I might not meet the funding goal
◦If I don't raise enough, I can do the formatting myself using Smashword's useful guide and my own time. The core of the book, its text, will be a high-quality, high-density informational guide unaffected by any changes to its packaging.
However, if this campaign is unsuccessful any pre-orders made through it will be unavailable! This would be an inconvenience to interested readers who have to order it again, this time through Amazon or other booksellers when it becomes available. This is also true of manuscript edits--they can be reordered through my BlogSpot page, but it would be an inconvenience to everyone. That's why it's so important that you spread the word about this project to support it!
That said, the worst loss here is a matter of inconvenience, not total disaster.
The book might flop
◦It might, but you will get your copy and use its wisdom to launch your writing career whether or not anybody else decides to do the same (their loss, alas!)
The book might not be finished, or might not be any good
◦I've been writing and getting my work published--and helping others do the same--for over five years. As this campaign runs I am putting the 40,000 word manuscript through a grueling revision, though I've already received rave feedback on excerpts that I've shared on my blog and writing forums. Though revising always takes time, this book is also going to be a source of income for me and that encourages me not to procrastinate on it!
I might waste my money
◦The most you can spend ordering a copy of the book is $15, and I made more than that on my first day of selling short fiction (seriously--I'll share that tidbit of autobiography in more detail in the Guide). I guarantee that, following the advice in this book, you will be able to make at least $20 off your writing (provided you finish the stories) and that will recoup even the cost of a signed copy + shipping. I so much gaurantee it that if you buy the book, read it, and find yourself struggling to apply its advice, you're invited to email me and get step-by-step guidance to recoup your investment.
The Apocalypse may come about as zombie hordes rise from their graves to take advantage of these wonderful perks
- (36 days)