While Indiegogo was great, I'm not sure I'd crowdfund a book again.
You might not be aware, because my marketing campaign so far has been “sort of tell people that my book is available on Kindle,” but I've got a book out. Confessions of a Professional Blogger: How I Make Money as an Online Writer is suffering problems in terms of print, but you can get it on Kindle.
I decided to crowdfund a book on Indiegogo since I wanted to raise money to make this a truly professional effort. I reached my goal, was able to pay for top-flight services, and I'm generally happy with the result. Indiegogo made things easy, and the pay-as-you-go aspect meant that I could work on the project as the fundraising campaign was actually happening.
BUT there have been some stresses associated with the decision to crowdfund a book. I'm pretty sure that the next time I write a book, I'll just publish it out of my own pocket. And I may not bother about the print version (but that's another blog post altogether).
When You Crowdfund a Book: Giving Out Perks
There is no doubt in my mind that my awesome Indiegogo supporters deserve the perks that they will be receiving over the course of the next few months. However, providing the perks is a little more difficult than I thought, mainly because of the self-imposed deadlines.
I had no idea that it would be such a struggle to prepare a manuscript for printing, even with professional help. The print-on-demand people are rather picky. Everything has to be just so. And that just so is slightly different between IngramSpark (Lightning Source) and CreateSpace. The tweaking seems to never end. And now that I have a proof in my hand, I've discovered that there are almost 100 blank pages at the back. Just sitting there. I have no idea why.
It's frustrating as hell.
Back to the point. I'd hoped to deliver the print version of the book in October. But it's already November, and I have no idea how to fix this problem with the book; I'm waiting on customer service for instructions. And the bonus mini ebooks that come as perks aren't quite finished yet, in terms of design/formatting. Those were supposed to be ready by the end of October as well. AND I still have to organize the Skype consults and free content I offered as perks.
Frankly, it's been an ever-loving mess.
So I guess the real issue is that I set deadlines, and they it turns out they were unrealistic. And it's causing me stress. Because I feel bad about my lateness in this matter. But, because of the personal, professional, and procedural issues plaguing me and this project the last 10 weeks, there hasn't been a lot I can do about it.
Luckily, almost everyone has been super-fantastic about the whole thing. Most of those supporting my project are friends — true friends. They understand the difficulties. Some of them have even listened to tirades about the process. I feel blessed that so many of the Indiegogo supporters have been forgiving and patient, knowing that eventually, when I am satisfied with the end result, they will receive their perks.
So THANK YOU.
And, if I decide to crowdfund a book again, I think that I'll set deadlines at least two months beyond my original estimate. But I'm not sure that I will at this point. It's been something of a fiasco, and even with all the support I'm not sure I'm up for it again.