ChalkCircles: The Kickstarter post-mortem

Now it’s time for me to look inside that Kickstarter and see exactly what went wrong and where and all that jazz. My thoughts are probably wrong on all of this? Mostly because I’m pulling it out of my ass. Who knows. So-

  • Kickstarter Fatigue
    This is mostly with publishing KS’ers, I think. But it does seem like every other week someone else is posting a KS’er and asking help, whether it’s for a novel, an anthology, etc. It gets exhausting after awhile, even when you try and support ones you love. I knew this going in…
  • The timelimit was too short
    This was done on purpose, in a way. The main reason I was going with a KS for this rather than just submitting it the old fashioned way, as I normally do (and will do now this is over…) to publishers/etc is that I need money to pay bills ASAP. I won’t go all sad story on you. It’s an emotional thing for me, and the people I want to know, know about it. And that’s that? Anyway, it didn’t have time for a slow burn. And since I’m not A NAME or I don’t have the support of A NAME, a slow burn is what I needed. But couldn’t really afford to do.
  • The Amount was too High
    I wasn’t sure about the amount at the start. I knew that other KS’ers that were successful at this amount (but not in that time frame). I also knew that post-kickstarter, sales for a work usually drop to nil. So I knew that this would probably be it, whatever I got is whatever I got. And because I had certain monetary issues that needed to be remedied post haste, I went the route that I did. Did I doom the Kickstarter? Probably. But at the time I wasn’t thinking quite rationally.
  • I assumed the word would spread
    Word of mouth is a bitch these days. That’s the slow burn right there. It takes awhile to pick up traction, but once it does, it explodes. Sadly, I couldn’t risk a slow burn paying off. Not in this instance, if I wanted a slow burn, I would’ve gone the route of a publisher/etc. I also expected to at least have a mention on one of the big(ger)SF/F blogs. Nope nada zip zilch.
  • I thought a great idea and great art would be enough
    If no one knows about it…then what’s the point?
  • The cool stuff came too late in the game
    The animation trailer that the artist did came near the end. The interactive fiction game also came near the end. Both had a chance to move outside of the group of writers I know and love, and into a wider audience. Both came too late to do any good.

There’s only so much you can do in 15 days. But I didn’t have the time to really sit on it (since it takes over 14 days after the KS’er ends for the money to transfer to your account). The big two was time and amount. The other one was the fact that the whole world seemed to exploded during the last week. And what the hell, right? I mean everyone was distracted with real issues that were more important than this little KS’er, and to be honest that shit is more important. So my timing just sucked in that aspect.

Will I regroup and do this again at a later point with what I learned?

No. I don’t plan on doing another Kickstarter again any time in the near future. Here is why-

  • Emotionally I can’t handle it. It’s very nerve racking, very stressful.
  • I hate asking friends for favors. Even distant friends. I hate it. I feel guilty if they help out. The same with family, etc. I feel embarrassed.
  • I had a multiple sclerosis relapse four days in. This limited how much I could work on it. I’m not sure I could handle doing this again. Not until they get my meds right. Which could take awhile.
  • I would rather do it the proper way/old fashioned way anyway. I like having my books in bookstores. It’s a thrill unlike any other. I never get tired of it.

So that said, I do have a complete novel. I was going to break it up and serialize it for the Kickstarter, but it doesn’t need to be like that. I’m still trying to decide what to do with it, exactly. I still need to think on that, but I have thoughts. This book is probably some of the best shit I’ve written in a long time.


So, some other news:
I plan on using this blog and Twitter more often and Facebook less and less. FB as a company/etc feels so sleazy these days. Like how much info they take/etc. A few of my writer friends are doing the same. I plan on keeping my FB account, and commenting on some awesome writers I know there and I consider friends, but that’s it. So expect more here.

Also, trying to figure out exactly what to do with litpunch. I might just keep bullshitting. I don’t know. We’ll see.


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