Friday, April 26, 2013

My thoughts on Kickstarter and self-publishing

I know it's none of my business, but I'm going to say it outright: It's kind of presumptuous of an author to expect other people to pay his or her self-publishing costs via Kickstarter.

Now, like I said, it's none of my business. There is nothing ethically wrong with doing this, and I completely understand why someone would turn to Kickstarter. Self-publishing isn't cheap, what with having to pay for editing, cover costs, printing, marketing, etc. If a reader has enough faith in this author to put out a good product, then by all means, let them contribute.

It's more the author mindset behind this that I don't understand. All I can do is look at this and go "Who the hell do you think you are?"

It's one thing to ask readers to buy a book, but asking them to cover the cost of books that may or may not have even been written is kind of, well, arrogant. Why should these people want to spend money on books that haven't come out yet when there are thousands of other books they can buy instead? Sure, if they read and liked the first book, then it makes sense that they might be willing to pre-invest in the second and third. However, if your sales figures for Book 1 aren't enough to cover the costs of publishing a second book, then what makes you think you'll have any success with a Kickstarter campaign?

I'm not saying "don't do this"--it's not my job to tell you what to do or what not to do with your publishing journey. But don't be surprised if the whole thing turns out to be an embarrassing failure.

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