The novelist Matt Forbeck (“Amortals”) has set himself an impressive goal: write twelve novels in twelve months, to add to his previous sixteen. He described the venture in a post at suvudu.com.
“I had the ability, but not the money, so I found ways to hedge my bets. In a world in which ebooks are starting to dominate, length isn’t as much of an issue, so I decided to go with shorter novels, about 50,000 words each. I also chose to line up pre-orders for the books through Kickstarter, the world’s top crowdfunding platform. Since I’d be writing without an advance, that gave me the money I needed to feed my family while I worked on the projects.
I call this plan 12 for ‘12. So far, it’s been a smashing success. I broke the dozen novels down into four trilogies of books, and I’m running a Kickstarter drive for each one of them. The first two were fully funded and then some, ranking in the top twelve — there’s that number again — fiction projects ever on Kickstarter. Today (March 31), I’m finishing up the third book, meaning that I’ve completed three novels in the last three months, each on schedule.”
The 56 people who pledged $5 will get an ebook edition of the first in the first trilogy, the 92 who pledged $25 get a personalized and autographed ebook edition, an mp3 of a song and will be named as a Player in the credits.
The 27 who pledged $35 also get a limited edition softcover of the first novel and named as a Citizen in the credits.
The 16 who pledged at least $50 get all that and will named as an Accomplice in the credits.
There are more levels, all the way up to one backer who pledged $1000 or more and will collaborate with the author to create a major superhero or villain (an Alpha) and will be named as an Alpha in the credits.
There were no takers for the $2500 or $5000 levels, the latter of which would have seen the author fly to the donor anywhere in the world to deliver 50 hardcover copies of the novel for a reading and signing for the donor and friends. (To see the video and other details of this part of the crowdfunding campaign, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/forbeck/12-for-12-10-bnw-novels)
The campaign for the second book raised $12,800, with the highest pledge being $500.
Obviously it helps enormously if you already have a loyal following. If you are unknown and want people to fund your book you will have to have a vey appealing story, a compelling video, some great incentives, and the time and energy to use social media to reach your target audience.
(Who knows about how to write? How about Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen? Their advice to writers--along with the advice of more than another modern and classic authors--is in 'Your Creative Writing Masterclass," published by Nicholas Brealey and available from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller now.)