Prior to becoming a published author, I knew very little about publishing, and just as little about crowd funding. On January 3rd, 2020, I announced that I was going to publish and between then and January 15th, I decided that I would not take the traditional route of pitching to agents and publishers. This left me with a couple of self-publishing options. Of course there is Amazon...there is always Amazon... and their Kindle Direct Publishing platform where you upload your manuscript and art work and they publish and print your books on demand (this is a very simplified explanation). There was also the other option to leverage crowd funding.
I had only known of one other author who self published through crowd funding and she is a social media and marketing genius with a powerful network. The possibility of crowdfunding did not even occur to me...I had a very small network after all and no marketing experience to speak of. What I did have though, was a powerful determination that I was going to figure it out because The Purple Grasshopper had to be shared with the world! After a little research and the insights of my editor, I decided to create the project on the Kickstarter platform.
Between mid-January and months end, I developed the Kickstarter project and worked with my illustrator to get preliminary illustrations that would introduce my audience to the project. I also set reward tiers, produced a project video and sourced the rewards I would be providing; including finding a printer to run the first edition of the book.
In parallel, I created a Facebook page for the book and invited everyone I could to join and get involved in the pre-launch. On January 29th, 2020, I pre-launched the Kickstarter campaign that would go live on February 12th, 2020. Between the pre-launch and the launch of the campaign, we celebrated the girls birthday with a horrible trip to a local lodge and salvaged it with a surprise birthday party at home. I also encouraged my network to sign up for Kickstarter notifications for when the campaign went live while continuing to build my network.
February 12th was an insane day! I took the day off work knowing that I would have to focus on the campaign, but I ended up spending the majority of the morning doing work for grad school, taking the girls for their annual checkups and then attending the launch of a local junior board that I had joined. Somehow, in the midst of all of that, I messaged and text everyone I could to remind them that it was launch day! That evening, on launch day, the campaign was 20% funded! The Purple Grasshopper was 100% funded on March 4th, 2020 and reached 110% funding when the campaign ended on March 13th, 2020!
Click the image below to visit the campaign and see the project updates!
Stay tuned for details on leveraging social media to help support the campaign as well as all of the details that went into the campaign!