By Brandy Lynn Maslowski-
Kristy’s Quilt is a heartwarming quilt adventure based on a true story featuring 10 year old Kristy, a spunky little quilter who blossoms at the In Stitches Quilting Retreat. A picture book for ages 2-92. And I’m funding it on Kickstarter.
Have you been wondering what’s all the fuss about crowd funding? Well, you’re not alone. Kickstarter (KS) is a way to fund creative projects. It is NOT an easy way to get free money.
I faced these questions on my road to Kickstarter, to gain a platform and funds for Kristy’s Quilt, questions (and answers) that might serve you well in your crowdfunding journey:
1. Is my book worthy of publishing? You have to know the truth, so find a professional editor. Picture book editors with great websites were either too busy or too expensive, so I asked them to recommend emerging editors they know. I ended up with several to choose from at a reasonable price. 2. Can I launch a KS campaign myself? The process is clear and simple. But, I found a KS manager to help create funding goals, edit my video, manage backers, updates and much more. A manager generally takes 15-30 percent of funds raised in a successful project or nothing, if the project isn’t funded. Do not choose a manager requiring payment if the goal is not met.
3. What about contracts? I signed contracts with my KS manager and book illustrator to cover art deadlines, fee schedules and a contingency plan. No contract required for the self-publishing company; I retain all rights.
4. How do I create a timeline? I chose a major sales event, the National Quilt Show, and worked my way back. Factor in the time for illustrations, to create backer rewards, and to print and ship. I chose a five-month timeline and launched on Valentine’s Day to make it memorable.
5. How do I determine my funding goal? Be realistic. You need funds to fulfill backer orders, cover the costs of the project and have print books to sell. Avoid a lofty goal that can’t be backed. You can raise more than your goal, but not less, at least on Kickstarter.
6. How do I create backer levels? Research successful picture book projects and back some to understand the process. I chose backer levels from $5, a pledge of support, up to the $500 legacy level with rewards from every previous level plus the backer’s name in the book.
7. What if the project isn’t successful? Backers are charged nothing if the goal is not met, so you can end the project, relaunch another KS campaign at a later date, or find a way to fund the project yourself with a loan or investor. Either way, honor any contracts.
A KS project is essentially a market test to determine the demand for your book. If you can’t sell it on KS then you may need to rethink your book and make it better. Be transparent in your campaign with clear updates for backers so they understand if there is any delay.
A great way to learn about Kickstarter is to back a project. For as little as $5 you can support Kristy’s Quilt from February 14, 2014 to March 14, 2014. Visit www.kickstarter.com and search Kristy’s Quilt. Or simply go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1295648186/a-spunky-little-quilter-blossoms-in-kristys-quilt
My KS manager? Heidi Berthiaume. Look for her new book The Kickstarter Companion – Answers to Questions You Didn’t Know You Had launching on KS this March.
Brandy Lynn is a quilt teacher, speaker and judge with a passion for sharing quilting with younger generations. Connect with her at www.brandylynndesigns.com