It is an understatement to say that I am optimistic about how the Kickstarter campaign is going. I had a battle plan going in, and while that plan was successful in driving tens of thousands of eyes to the Kickstarter page, it all resulted in almost no traction with people I don’t already know. My efforts included a monetary investment also — for a cover image, for advertising on Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I purchased domain names, web hosting, and content design elements. It is possible, if this campaign is any indication, that I may never see a return on those investments.
There are a number of possibilities as to what I can do after the Kickstarter if the campaign fails. Each has its plusses and minuses:
A.) Go the traditional publishing route: At no additional cost to me, I can send out queries, sample chapters, and manuscripts to agents and publishers. I am then at the mercy of the traditional publishing machine, which has already regularly told me that there’s no market for an adult novel centered in video games. I can pile up rejection letters like everyone else and let it languish in obscurity forever.
COST: LOW END QUALITY: HIGH POTENTIAL PUBLICATION DATE: POSSIBLY NEVER
B.) Forge on with the Beaver’s Pond plan, raising the money on my own over time. I can’t imagine being successful at this. If I felt confident in my own ability to raise that sort of money for a project like this on my own, I would have. That’s why I started a Kickstarter. But if that’s what it takes, and I feel like I should do it, I’m not going to say it’s impossible. But I will say it will take a long damn time.
COST: CATASTROPHIC END QUALITY: HIGH POTENTIAL PUBLICATION DATE: 5-10 YEARS.
C.) Find a lower cost alternative. I got more responses from people wanting my business for editing my book, proofreading it, designing a cover, and doing layout than I did backers. Freelancers are out there hoping that I pay them and not some company whose rates (they say) are unacceptably high. I have no references or knowledge of these people, although I imagine I could scrounge some up. But working with freelancers I don’t know is a crap shoot, and I could be flushing money down the drain for poor quality. But it might save me money and sustain a level of quality.
COST: HIGH END QUALITY: MODERATE POTENTIAL PUBLICATION DATE: 1-3 YEARS.
D.) Self-Publish. By using a service like CreateSpace, I could have my book for sale in paperback, hardcover, and electronic forms on Amazon, and potentially other markets, too, if I was willing to pay for it. It accepts a lower standard for quality in terms of cover design and interior layout because I’d be doing it myself in this form. It would be available to read earlier and provide some chance of recouping all my losses over time. However, it is the least satisfying from an artistic and professional standpoint.
COST: MODERATE END QUALITY: LOW POTENTIAL PUBLICATION DATE: 2013.
E.) Purge it all. Delete everything, smash my laptop with a sledgehammer, and go do something else for a living.
So I pose it to those of you who have shown interest in this book. How long would you be willing to wait for it? What sort of quality do you expect? What do you think I should do? I’m not necessarily going to go with the winning poll selection, but I am curious to know.