Asking isn’t easy

It feels a little bit premature to talk about the lessons I’ve learned during the Kickstarter (FYI: 3 days left to raise $195. Achievable but looming). Normally, I try to give myself a few days after any experience to settle down before reviewing and analyzing it. But there’s an ongoing lesson that I’m wading through right now, and I want to talk about it here.

Just like the blog title says, asking isn’t easy. It takes a considerable amount of self-esteem and a resilient ego to create something and present it to the world.”Look at this thing I made, universe! Everyone, stop your activities and pay attention to me!”. And your ego takes a real knock when the world, except for your immediate circle of wonderful friends and family, responds with a disinterested ‘meh’. But you soldier on.

On top of that, I’m now asking for the world’s support in cold, hard cash. Repeatedly. Every day. Confession: By this point in the kickstarter, I’ve run out of ideas on how to continue promoting it, other than “MONEY=YES. MORE!”. The lesson here is about planning your promotion well ahead of time, and having some of the promotional content ready to go live in advance. Coming up with a new sales pitch everyday is just a tad fatiguing.

And yes, there were days that I didn’t do any promoting at all. Some mornings, the prospect of harassing my friends and family for the umpteenth time was too much to handle. The last thing in the world that I want is for my circle of support to feel like I only love them for their money. While it’s nice to have money, I really love their unconditional support and enthusiasm.

At our regular Friday night board game night, I get questions about the book, about the kickstarter and about the next project on the horizon. I know that the crowd around the table are rooting for me and that is more important than anything else. So thanks Dan, Toad, Jeff, Andrea, Gord and Carol : you’re a great gang of nerds.

While I’m at it, thanks to Emily, Paul, Leanne, Nick & Kelsey, Roy, Brad, Jesse, Mike, Kevin, and every friendly face that’s given me encouragement over the last few weeks.

And as always, my number one fan, my love, the foundation of everything good I have built, my darling wife Kristen, thank you for believing in me completely.

To wrap up: Go go go! Less than 200 bucks left! Let’s finish this thing off! Yay team! (Here’s the link. GO GO GO)

My next adventure in independent publishing

Learning to swim by jumping in the deep end

I’m happy to announce that the third novel in my “Spellbound Railway” series is now complete and almost ready to hit the shelves. It’s called “The Patchwork Boy” and I’m immensely proud of it. Now that the creative part is done, I have to switch gears and focus on the publishing side of things. And this time, I’m trying something a little different. I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to pay for the first order of printed copies.

What’s Kickstarter, you ask? Good question! It’s a website that allows you to raise money for a specific project from a large group of people. If the crowd believes in your project enough to contribute enough to reach your goal, then the money is collected and you’re off to the races. If you don’t reach your goal, then no money is collected and you’re back where you started.

The good news is that failing to meet the goal doesn’t cost you anything, but let’s not talk about failure. I’m already nervous enough as it is. Asking all of your friends, family, casual acquaintances and internet strangers to spend their money on your wild idea is a nerve-wracking experience. You’d think that I would be used to it, after selling my first two books in much the same way, but evidently that’s not the case. So, if I seem to be a little distracted, that’s because I am.

I’m sorely tempted to spend the next 28 days perched on the edge of my seat, constantly refreshing the project page as I wait for the next backer to sign up. That’s probably not the best use of my time.