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Kickstarter Failure! What happens next with… The Sunset Rises: A 1990s Romantic Comedy

January 19, 2023

Yeah, the Kickstarter project for my novel The Sunset Rises: A 1990s Romantic Comedy didn’t reach its goal. It didn’t even come close.

This hurt my ego a little bit. I’ll admit that. But if I take my ego out of the equation (I’m still working on stuff like that), the Kickstarter failure doesn’t change my long-term plans to publish The Sunset Rises.

The book is still (almost) done. That hasn’t changed. I still have a little of my own money to publish the book myself. That too hasn’t changed. I was hoping that more people I didn’t know personally would be interested in the book, but I have plans for that as well.

The Kickstarter data was interesting. About half of my Kickstarter supporters were people I knew, and about half were people that I don’t know (as far as I know). When I began the Kickstarter, I told a few friends/family members about it just so that I wouldn’t stay at $0 for long, but I didn’t tell EVERYBODY I know.

I’m a bit reluctant to tell EVERYBODY I know. I’ve had friends who have pitched their businesses (including books that they’ve written) to their social groups, and I’ve noticed that it tends to alienate people. I have friends, friends of friends, co-workers, former co-workers, and family who would have supported my book if I had asked them directly.

But I only want to do that once. I don’t want to be the guy who’s always asking friends to support his books (or other business proposals). And if I do it once, I want to be cautious about how I go about it.

I’m saving EVERYBODY I know (not necessarily everybody, but you know what I mean) until the book gets published. Having initial book sales is more important to me than having a successful Kickstarter.

Still, Kickstarter failure is a predictor of future book sales failure if I don’t make some changes.

I know that I’m not a good salesperson. I might be a decent writer, but I’m not comfortable selling stuff. I do, however, know somebody who is great at social media and can sell stuff. So when I publish The Sunset Rises, this somebody I know has already agreed to help me promote it. As much as I like Dysfunctional Literacy, this blog isn’t effective at selling my book by itself.

So here’s my plan:

* One more month (or two) to revise and make sure the book is really really good.

* Send it to a proofreader (I don’t know how long that takes).

* Format the book (I don’t know how long that takes).

* Publish the book (I don’t know how long that takes).

* Sell the book and have my shameless promoter do most of my sales for me (or at least do what my shameless promoter says).

Even though I’d like to have all this done by July, some of the progress will be out of my hands, and I like to work at my own pace. I’m retired, but I work two part-time jobs that together get me around 40 hours a week (usually more), so I’m pretty busy.

I think every new author, especially awkward quiet guys, needs a shameless promoter, and I have mine ready. So even though the Kickstarter didn’t go as well as I had hoped, I’m still going to publish The Sunset Rises: A 1990s Romantic Comedy, and I have a plan to sell a few copies as well.

Now I just need a shameless promoter to talk for me during my book signings.

  1. You can easily find a publisher. And it or they will charge you only a few thousand dollars!
    And even then might not do a good job for you.
    One friend who ignored my entreaties to let me publish his actually very good book got a terrible cover and even worse editing — although, to be fair, when I pointed out to him how lousy the editing was, he complained and the “publisher” did correct most of it.
    Before you waste any such money, please contact me. Privately. I might be able to help. Or might be able to steer you toward a publisher.
    You will need to do your own marketing, but at least you’ll have something to market.

    • I had an indie publisher for my book. They used a pro-editor, but I still found errors. One of my characters names had a mysterious e at the end. So weird. Bugged me to no end.
      Very sweet of you to offer to help!

    • Thank you for the suggestions. I’m definitely NOT going to try to do everything by myself from this point on.

  2. Any perceived failure is just the beginning of another opportunity to succeed. Remember that.
    If you’re looking to self-publish, there are a ton of amazing, free resources out there. You can do your own formatting, but most of us need help with cover design and theme type stuff. Choosing the best font for your category. I don’t know if the picture in this post is your working cover or your finished cover. Either way, it’s cute. If you’ve got the cover nailed down, good for you! That was my most expensive endeavor in self-publishing journey, because I did not use a pro editor.
    By far, the most expensive portion of self-publishing (because you can make just about any component yourself) is the editing process. Good editors are not cheap. If you cannot afford a great one, or even a semi-good one, ask your friends, family, and ARC readers. Anyone who says they’re willing to provide you with a book review, too. If they’re reading it anyway…
    I personally, am an avid reader and will often read/copy edit a writer-friends manuscript. If I read the Word file, I can use my Pro-Writing Aid extension to sim for mistakes.
    Good luck in your writing journey. And, please, never go with a publisher that want money from you. If you pay them, they’ve got no skin in the game. No reason to help your book sell. A real publisher, even the tiniest ones, will their money on book sales.


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