Thinking about Kickstarting
Welcome to the third in a series of related posts about Kickstarter. I started by talking about Kickstarter in a very general way, followed up with an examination of Reaper’s recent crazily successful Kickstarter, and now (as promised) I’m going to talk a little bit about my Kickstarter plans.
I’ve decided to try to Kickstart a project to bring my Cthuloid children’s story, The Littlest Shoggoth, back into print, and to do it in a format I would be hard-pressed to afford if I was paying for the print run myself. That is, a hard-cover, high quality book that can be sold at a $15–$20 pricepoint. Right now, the story is in black-and-white, but I can build in a stretch goal that will let me do it in color, if I play my cards right. More on that in a bit.
Basically, I need to price out the cost of printing, do the appropriate calculations on taxes, fees, etc., and come up with the basic cost of producing the product in a print run large enough to both fulfill my projected Kickstarter orders and leave enough left over to sell the book into normal channels afterward. For argument’s sake, let’s call that $5,000.
If I can get $5k in Kickstarter pledges, then, I’ll be able to bring The Littlest Shoggoth back into print. But I want to do more than that. I want to raise a little extra money for myself (no one else is paying me for all this work, after all), and I want to pay for some additional improvements like, for instance, bringing the book into color. So I can set a stretch goal.
Now, I don’t want to do the coloring myself (frankly, I’m not that good at it), so I’ll have to price out the cost of paying someone to do the digital coloring for me. But let’s continue to talk in round numbers. If I can get the total pledges to $10k, then everyone’s order instantly is upgraded to color rather than black-and-white.
Of course, I can set smaller stretch goals in between. Post cards, bookmarks, digital wallpaper, and other cheap (or free) to produce items that all backers can get if a given total pledge amount is reached. But the colorization is the first BIG stretch goal.
After that? One or two more low-price stretch goals, for sure. But beyond that there isn’t much I can do with The Littlest Shoggoth. However, as it turns out, I have a bunch of OTHER stories and projects that are also in my personal queue for getting into print … and I can turn them into stretch goals.
If we hit $15k? Everyone gets a second book … let’s say, Dr. Symm Saves the New Year. At $20k, my George Washington story. At $25k, a new, premium version of my fantasy coloring books. At $30, I’d run out of already completed projects, but I have others that are on the drawing board. A new, longer Dr. Symm adventure? A D&D-themed alphabet book? More little-known tales of history? I’ve got plans for all of those and more.
If I wanted to get tricky, I could even switch it over to other media. How about an audio book at $18k? Or an animated version of The Littlest Shoggoth at $40k?
Again, these dollar figures are purely spitballs. I don’t know what it would cost to do ONE book, let alone four or five. And I have absolutely NO idea what the cost of audio books or animation costs. These are the kinds of things I need to research before I was ready to even think about launching my Kickstarter.
But I’m starting that research. And I hope that sometime in the not too distant future, I’ll be able to pull it all together and let you know for certain that a Kickstarter is coming.
What do YOU want to Kickstart? And what’s stopping you?