Kickstarter--Some Questions Answered

Last week, I revealed the covers for The Ripple Effect Romance Series that I'm excited to be a part of. I'm writing Book 4, Lost and Found. My main character will first appear in the book before mine (Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson) and the main character from the book after mine (Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver) will play an important part in my book. I've never done something like this before. None of us have. You could call it a bit of an experiment.

When we revealed the covers, we also mentioned a Kickstarter that we're running for the next month or so. We've all had questions come up about Kickstarter. There have been some who have misunderstood what Kickstarter is and I know of one person who was actually annoyed that we'd be "begging for money" before the books are even written.

I'd like to explain a few things to answer the questions and hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.

Here's what Wikipedia says about Kickstarter:

Kickstarter is an American-based private for-profit company founded in 2009 that provides tools to raise funds for creative projects via crowd funding through its website.
Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors, such as filmsmusicstage showscomicsjournalismvideo games, and food-related projects. People cannot invest in Kickstarter projects to make money. They can only back projects in exchange for a tangible reward or one-of-a-kind experience, like a personal note of thanks, custom T-shirts, dinner with an author, or initial production run of a new product.
There are thirteen categories that are included (with many more subcategories). They are: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film and Video, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology and Theater.

I first became acquainted with Kickstarter last spring. Midas Whale, a group I loved on The Voice, who I followed on Facebook, launched a Kickstarter project to fund an album they'll release this fall. They were trying to raise $30,000 to finance the project. They ended up getting $36,442. I became a backer. My reward is a that I'll get one of the first CDs when it's released. I also get updates that tell me where they are in the process, show first recordings of songs they're including, and other things that make me feel like I'm part of the whole process. It's been fun for me and to them, it's like getting advance sales that help them pay for the project up front, instead of having to finance it and then hope they earn enough to pay back the debt.

I first had the idea to use Kickstarter myself shortly after I backed Midas Whale. I had decided to go the self-publishing route for My Own Mr. Darcy and there were some up-front expenses that were going to be difficult. I needed to establish my own LLC, I needed to design a cover, and I needed to be able to buy inventory and swag for my launch. So I used Kickstarter.
I figured out what I'd need to provide the rewards and pay for the expenses I was hoping to cover and set my goal at $750.00. I ended up getting $918.00. I was thrilled to reach my goal, but even more than that, I was happy to be able to finance the book without having to go into debt, AND (and here's the big thing) I didn't have to feel like a beggar. The people who pledged money did it because they wanted to and they were getting something for it. We were all able to feel good about it.

I'm a HUGE fan of Kickstarter. I've backed a few projects now. I'm eagerly awaiting some cookies that look phenomenal. (Look at those. I know you're jealous.) I have a book loaded on my Kindle from a man I've never met, but I thought the book looked interesting so I backed his project so he could pay for professional editing and cover design.
I think the creators of Kickstarter are geniuses. Seriously! What a brilliant idea to help creative people create! If you spend a couple of hours on Kickstarter, you'll see people hoping to finance publishing ideas, developing new cheeses, paying for new ovens for their bakery, making music, funding dance pieces, making movies that Hollywood might not be so interested in, developing new board games and video games, creating new software, funding the manufacturing of a really cool wallet they've designed, launching their own dressmaker shoppe. I find the site inspiring and exciting.
So when someone (like me) tells you about a Kickstarter project they've launched, we're not begging. We're just asking you to take a look at our project and see if it excites you. We don't want you to give us something for nothing. We don't even want you to give unless you want one of the rewards or you believe in and are excited about the project. There's no pressure or obligation. 
It's supposed to be a WIN/WIN.

Now, with all that said, check out the Kickstarter for our new series of books. If you're excited about a clean romance series that's written by six different authors and/or you think the rewards sound good, please feel free to pledge. 
If it doesn't, maybe there's someone making some brownies that look exciting. That's okay. I'll probably be backing the brownies, too.

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