Now that the Goblin Queen Kickstarter is over and I’ve had a few days to recover, I thought I’d look at some of the numbers.
Let’s start with the big one. The Kickstarter raised $14,825 from 358 backers. It’s likely that a few of those pledges will fall through, but no matter how you look at it, that’s an amazing total.
Of course, Kickstarter takes 5% off the top, which comes to about $741. Payment processing takes another 3-5%. Let’s call it 4%, or $593, leaving about $13,491 for the book and book-related stuff.
With all the different rewards, I’ll be shipping out and donating a total of 351 print copies of Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen. I’m gonna need to buy a lot more envelopes and mailing labels…
How much will shipping cost? If my estimates were right, envelopes and postage should come out to about $1400 total. Everyone who supported the Kickstarter should be proud — you’re also supporting the U.S. Postal Service!
Sitting to my left is a box that arrived today, containing 1000 two-inch diameter stickers of Smudge the fire spider 🙂 I’ll also probably get about 500 bookmarks, but that has to wait until I’ve got finished cover art.
All five critique rewards were snatched up fairly quickly, which is flattering. This means I’ll be critiquing up to 37,500 words of fiction at some point in the future.
The most popular reward level was $25. 174 backers pledged at this level, for which they’ll receive an autographed copy of Goblin Queen, along with the ebook. They also get stretch goals, including a Smudge sticker, autographed bookmark, and an ebook copy of Goblin Tales.
Two people donated at the $1,000 level, which blows my mind. And makes me wonder what would have happened if I’d kept my pie-in-the-sky $10,000 reward listed…
The first day was the biggest fundraising day, bringing in 153 backers who pledged $5,557. Days two and thirty were pretty close to tied for second place, coming in around $1,900 each. Days 3-28 were more of a slow-but-steady increase.
I was excited to see Goblin Queen listed as a “Project We Love” on the Kickstarter site very early on. Looking at the stats, a total of four people clicked through the “Projects We Love” link to contribute. Definitely better than nothing, but not really a make-or-break boost.
I think that covers most of the interesting stuff. I haven’t been tracking the hours I’ve put in, either writing the book itself or organizing the fundraiser. I doubt I’ll bother tracking the time it takes to sign and pack and ship everything, either. Let’s just call it many hours.
Hopefully this will be interesting/useful to some of you. Feel free to ask questions. I enjoy sharing data.
Michigan is still under stay-at-home orders through May 28, but it also sounds like the Governor is opening up some businesses in the northern part of the state this Friday the 22nd. Restaurants and bars can operate at no more than 50% capacity, with customers 6′ apart and servers wearing masks and taking other precautions, for example.
To be honest, I haven’t been following the data and the news quite as closely. I got tired of protesters at the Capitol saying, “Don’t treat us like children!” while dressed up like Pikachu and carrying an AK-47, or dangling naked Barbie from a noose…
I guess the next protest is “Operation Haircut,” planned for Wednesday. I wonder how many guns and nooses they’ll bring to that one.
In the meantime, we’ve got partial layoffs at the state. I was already a part-time employee. Now I’m working roughly 20% fewer hours starting this week. I have no idea how this is going to play out with unemployment and such. Should be interesting.
Some of the things we’ve been doing to try to maintain sanity:
- Signed up for a virtual 4K run. The kids and I will be running (or walking, mostly) four kilometers, then sending in our times. It’s a Star Wars-themed event, so they’ll mail us Star Wars medals. Yay! And it raises money for cancer research.
- Had a streaming movie night with friends on Saturday, and watched Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. Highlander anime … I was amused. And it was better than Highlander 2, at least!
- Still doing weekly Zoom calls with my parents, and another with my parents-in-law.
- The Friday night readings of Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen have been a nice break. It’s another way for me to connect with folks. And we’re in the last week of the Kickstarter, so I’ll be able to start organizing and planning how to get rewards out to people soon.
- Writing is going very slowly, but it’s progressing. Had to take a break to figure out the history of two alien factions so I could sort out how the middle third of the book should work. As usual, I think I’d made things too complicated in the initial plan — and I’m using the word “plan” loosely.
How are all of you holding up?
Friday seems to have a broken LJ/DW crossposter…
- Men of Middle Earth as bad ex-boyfriends, by Alex Arrelia
- Good dog taking care of foster kittens
- Bats being cute
Eleven days left in the Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen Kickstarter, and we’re currently 300% funded! I’ve been working on this side getting the ebook set up, talking to the artist about cover and interior art, and working with author and artist Jenn Reese about one of the stretch goal rewards.
Many of you have already seen the delightful fire-spider sticker design she created, but I think it’s worth sharing again. I love happy Smudge and his candy corns!Everyone who supports the Kickstarter at one of the levels that includes a print copy of the book will also get a Smudge sticker.
If you want extras, or if you donated at the ebook level but still want a Smudge, I set up an add-on option today that lets most folks get up to five additional stickers. Because who doesn’t need more Smudge in their life?
In all seriousness, thank you to everyone for your excitement and enthusiasm for this book. With everything else we’re facing in 2020, this is a nice bright spot.
I think it’s safe to say the Goblin Queen Kickstarter is going well!
This is my first time doing a Kickstarter, so I tried to keep things relatively conservative. I set $3500 as a base goal that would let me cover the expenses of getting the book published.
Well, we raised that in the first four hours. We hit the first stretch goal later in the first day. Stretch goal #2 on the second day, stretch goal #3 on the third, and goal #4 on the fourth.
I don’t actually have a fifth stretch goal…
As of this afternoon, 215 people have pledged almost $9000 in total, which is amazing. Thank you all so much!
Of course, this doesn’t mean I’ll be $9000 richer 25 days from now. I don’t have an exact breakdown yet, but here’s where that money will be going…
- Kickstarter’s cut: 8-10% total, if I’m reading everything correctly. Call it 9%, or $810. Oof…
- Cover art
- Interior art (stretch goal #1)
- Bookmarks and stickers (stretch goals #2 and #4)
- Copies of Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen – 215 books so far
- Additional books for other reward levels – about 20 books
- Envelopes and postage
There’s also a significant time investment. I’ve got a lot of books and bookmarks to autograph. Then there’s printing out address labels, getting everything packed up and mailed… And all five of the critique rewards have been claimed, so I’ll need to do those as well.
I know there are services that can help with reward processing and fulfillment. (They’ve been sending me messages every day.) For now, I’m planning to handle this myself, but we’ll see how it goes.
From everything I’ve learned, Kickstarters get most of their funding at the very beginning, with a second spike near the very end. Things will probably slow down a lot for the next three weeks. I have no idea what I’ll be looking at when we finish. One of the Kickstarter projection sites estimated we could be looking at anywhere between $9000 and $21,000. I’m guessing it’ll be closer to the $9000 side of things.
In the meantime, I’ve got an artist working on the cover, and I’m going through the book to try to pick scenes for the interior artwork. I’ve asked an artist about doing the fire-spider sticker art. I’m slowly getting the manuscript ready for printing and ebook conversion. And of course, I’m doing the live readings every Friday night at 8.
I’m happy with how it’s going. Reaching the goal the first day helped a lot with the anxiety, but there’s still a certain level of stress. But it’s more than balanced by the excitement of seeing how many people want to support the project, and of moving forward on publishing this thing.
Thanks again to everyone for your help and support!