Guest Post – Why Kickstarter by Rachael Renee Anderson

 

Author Rachael Renee Anderson

Rachael Anderson is the author of five novels and two novellas. She’s the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

 

 

Why Kickstarter–My Perspective by Rachael Renee Anderson

Recently, someone posted a comment on Goodreads about our upcoming Ripple Effect series that made me incredibly uncomfortable. She mentioned that while she enjoys clean romances, she didn’t appreciate the way we were going about marketing with a Kickstarter promotion or by soliciting friend reviews on Goodreads. I’ve given her frustrations a lot of thought and can definitely understand why she might think that, but at the same time, I’m feeling misunderstood and would like to share our perspective on everything, especially when it comes to Kickstarter.

The last thing any of us want to do is come across like we’re begging for money. When the idea of doing a Kickstarter was brought up, we all had reservations about going this route, but eventually made a collective decision to move forward, and here’s why:

When it comes to releasing a professional book, it’s not a cheap process. Not only do we authors invest a ton of time writing these stories, but we have to pay for things like cover design, editing, typesetting, marketing, etc. And because these are novellas, they will be priced low, which means an even lower royalty rate for us. We’re all entering into this project knowing we probably won’t make much money from it, and because of that, we’d love to be able to offset some of our initial costs. Kickstarter is such a great tool used by so many people in various professions (photographers, writers, artists, chefs, videographers, musicians, etc) for the purpose of raising funds to help with various projects that they feel strongly about but can’t afford to do on their own.

The bottom line is this: All six of us authors don’t like how difficult it is to find clean, well written romances in the world today. It’s frustrating how so many books contain sex and more sex, not to mention strong language. As a mother and person, I hate that and don’t want to read books like that. I don’t want those kinds of thoughts, images or words in my mind and definitely not in the minds of one of my children. Because of that, we’d like to keep contributing our small portion of fun and uplifting romances and this series is one of the ways we’re trying to do that. But we also can’t afford to pour all this money and time into a project like this that we might not recoup.

That’s where Kickstarter comes to play. We’re hoping that there are others that feel as strongly about getting cleaner books out there as we do and wouldn’t mind supporting our efforts. But at the same time, we don’t want anyone to feel obligated in any way.

So, for those of you who are interested, if you would like to donate to our project (and get some free advanced copies of the books in return), wonderful. If you can’t afford to donate but would still like to support us by posting about our project on your blog or FB or Twitter or wherever, we’d love that too. If you’d prefer not to do either, no worries–really! This project will come to fruition regardless of whether or not we raise the money. We feel that strongly about this series of books and the potential good it will do.

If you’d like to read more about this project, see what incentives we’re offering, or find out how Kickstarter works, feel free to check it out by clicking on the picture below:

Now to address the solicitation of friend ratings on Goodreads. (This is turning out to be such a fun post. :))

Let me start by saying that we haven’t solicited any friend reviews, or, at least I haven’t (and I really don’t think anyone else has either). This is the third book I’ve done a cover reveal for prior to releasing the book, and for whatever reason, I always get some random, unsolicited ratings from people I don’t know. Most have been either been 1 or 5 stars. Right now, by book has one of each, giving me a lame average rating of 3.0–and that’s BEFORE the book has even been released. I honestly can’t explain why this phenomenon happens. Maybe people meant to add it to their “to read” list and accidentally hit the rating option. Maybe they don’t care for my cover and blurb and have based the low rating on that. I really don’t know. All I know is that it happens, and I’m sorry if people feel like we’re soliciting friend reviews because of it.

My 2 C ents on the Subject – by Inspired Kathy

As many of you know I’m a huge fan of clean romance and a fan of these authors.  I’m helping them promote their books because they are the kind of books I love to read.  I’ve contributed to many Kickstarter Projects for authors & musicians. It’s just a few dollars and when pooled with the contributions of others a few dollars can make a difference.  Some of the projects I’ve donated to have been funded, some haven’t so I’ve never been charged. I have never felt obligated to contribute but do when a campaign appeals to me.  So if a campaign appeals to you and you want to contribute – great, the authors appreciate it – if not no worries there is no pressure or obligation to do so.
As far as ratings on Goodreads – lots of people rate books prior to their being released.  Take a quick look at The Host #2 by Stephenie Meyer – 848 ratings & 276 reviews for a book that none of them have read.  It happens, Goodreads is fine with it so why worry about it.  Here is their policy:
Pre-publication reviews. Many of our members receive advance copies of books to review, either through Goodreads giveaways or another source. We have no way of knowing the exact date that review copies are available. As such, each book is eligible to be reviewed as soon as it appears on the site.
Occasionally I rate a book prior to having read it.  Usually it is one I’m really excited about and know I will love it. When I do I usually leave a comment along the lines of: 
Can’t wait for this one!  I know I’ll love it! 
Sometimes as in the case of this series it’s to counteract a 1 star rating from someone who obviously hadn’t read the book yet so I leave this type of comment:
So excited for this series! No I haven’t read it yet but neither has the person who gave it a 1 star review so I am rating it 5 stars to counteract that 1 star review 😉
I’m all for helping authors out anyway I can.  Especially ones who write great books.  So yes I encourage you to visit The Ripple Effect Romance Kickstarter Page.  If you are able to I encourage you to donate a few dollars towards their campaign.  If you enjoy clean romance then please add them to your Goodreads Shelf.  From what I’ve seen of this series I know it will be something I can stand behind and back as being worth your time to read.  In no way do I feel like the authors are begging for money.
The Ripple Effect Romance Series Kickstarter Campaign

We’re asking for your help to fund this project. The money will be used to pay for the cover design, professional editing, formatting for both paperbacks and e-books, and inventory for launching the series.

There’s a market for clean romances–books you can share with your daughters and your mother without blushing. This doesn’t mean they’re boring–it simply means they’re not filled with the nitty, gritty details.

This series is different–a sort of experiment. The lives of the characters in the books are connected. The main character in the second book is introduced in a meaningful way in the first book and so on, throughout the series.

“Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love.”

ripple effect
For more on Kickstarter and how it works see this post on Karey White’s Blog.
So what are your thoughts?  What do you think of Kickstarter?  How about reviews that are posted prior to a book being read? 

Comments

  1. I’m thrilled to see authors joining the ranks on Kickstarter! My brother funded his start up video game through Kickstarter with amazing results. I’m an author of clean YA romance who had the opportunity to publish with a small press. This was after realizing I couldn’t really afford to publish my trilogy myself due to astronomical costs.

    People love to comment on Goodreads that a book needs a good copyeditor because it’s riddled with small errors. I doubt they have any clue what a decent copywriter charges! So much money, time, blood, sweat, and tears go into the publication of a novel. (Well, I don’t think I’ve bled yet, but the others apply!)

    I wish you all the best of luck with your Kickstarter campaign. Check out my blog Kimber Leigh Writes Saturday 10/5 for my spotlight on the Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series!

  2. My first reaction to reading the first couple of lines was: “What? Someone actually complained about a kickstarter and a book having reviews already?” I see books rated early all the time from people not related to the author(s) and who haven’t read the books. Anyway….I think this series is great (or will be)! 😉 I actually missed the kickstarter info somehow. It has been kind of crazy lately. Because of this post, I’ll be looking into it. 😉