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13 January 2011 @ 02:38 pm
Angles = Kickstarter project?  

amberley asked if I’d thought of doing a Kickstarter project with Angles (or presumably anything else). I have, yes, of course, but I don’t know a whole lot about book *production*, just writing. I do know how much I get paid for a novel, so I figure that under any reasonable circumstances to produce a limited edition print book, I should probably at least double that number to account for production costs (editing, layout, cover art, interior art because what the hell, if I’m going to do it I might as well do it right, shipping, kickstarter’s percentage & probably many things I’m not thinking of), then probably add some percentage for just in case. That’s $30K on the shallow end, which takes into account I’m revising, not starting a novel from scratch.

That’s 10 times my most successful crowdfunding project. That’s a lot.

Now, Kickstarter has a much broader base to draw from than I do, and they don’t collect any money if the goal isn’t reached, so nobody’s out anything. They also have levels of donations, many of which people do entertaining things with. I can mostly only think of fun/ny things to do at the high end of the scale, but I imagine it would go something like this:

$10: a PDF of the book
$25: a PDF & a signed print edition of the book
$50: & your name in the acknowlegments
$100: & a print of the cover art
$500: & prints of the interior artwork
$1000: & four additional copies of the book to hoard until you can sell them for an obscene amount on eBay
$5000: & I will hand-deliver your signed edition to you
$7500: …and sing “You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings”
$10K+: …in public.

Another thing Kickstarter suggests is making a video to sell your product. This is high on the list of things I’m bad at. I’m also not sure how well “I’m too busy making a living writing books to revise this one book I really really love and need to get paid so I’ll actually do it” would go over as a reason for a project. :)

amberley also asked “If you can sell it direct (as a Kindle e-book or a limited physical edition or both) for enough money, why do you care about selling it to a traditional publisher?” to which the answer is largely that I still believe traditional publishing is the way to reach a wider audience. I can round up about 200 direct buyers from my blogs & other web presences. I can probably get to a lot more if a project pops up on Amazon/BN.com/etc as “by CE Murphy”, but ultimately, I think there’s nothing like browsing a bookstore and finding new titles there. Maybe someday that’ll change, but for now, I still think dead trees are the best way to sell books.

At some point I /will/ try doing a direct sales through Kindle/etc, but there’s also the matter of editing. I think my books are better when a professional editor’s had a go at them, and I’d just as soon not be in the position of paying somebody to edit a book when normally somebody pays me so they can edit my book. There’s a lot to this business that the publisher takes care of, and I don’t, by and large, want to go into business as a publisher myself.

(eta: my mother would like me to make it clear that this idea is nuts and I’m not going to do it. So just for the record: this idea is nuts, and I’m not going to do it. I’ll do the crowdfunded revisions, probably. That will be Quite Sufficient. :))

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Laura Anne Gilman: editor kittehsuricattus on January 13th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
There’s a lot to this business that the publisher takes care of, and I don’t, by and large, want to go into business as a publisher myself.

Speaking as a writer who was on the publisher side and knows what happens over there on a first-hand basis, oh hell yes. Publishing has a few deep-seated flaws as an industry, but the publisher, in some iteration of that beast, is not a useless appendage but a very useful one.

Although others may enjoy it, I have neither the time, energy, nor talent to not only write and edit, but produce (and yes, even e-books have to go through production, or all you get is a lot of ugly, messy type in a very basic .docx), market, sell and handle the backoffice finances required.

(rest of post cut off, as it could threaten to take over....)
kitmizkit on January 13th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
If you ever feel like writing it, though, I'll happily link to it! :)
Laura Anne Gilman: editor kittehsuricattus on January 13th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
um, yeah. after I finish this set of revisions, and the next set of revisions, and the essay that's due today, and the book that's going to be due soon, and...

*hides under desk*
kitmizkit on January 13th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
*laughs out loud*

*puts you at desk, not under it* :)
silkiemom on January 14th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Awww, I was wondering if my husband would let me pony up for the public rendition of "You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings", but I guess that's a moot question now. :)
kitmizkit on January 14th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
I will absolutely hand-deliver a signed print copy of RatF to you and sing "Wind Beneath My Wings" in the Sacramento town square if you pony up for the public rendition of it. :)