So, it's been just over two weeks since Ashael Rising reached it's funding goal and one week since I submitted the manuscript for professional editing. I've had some time to catch my breath and relax a little. I've had the opportunity to look back over my campaign and think about what I've learned. Here are some of the lessons that I'll vbe taking with me into any future campaigns.
1 - Prepare to be humbled
The generosity of both people you know and those you don't is incredibly humbling. That so many people are wiling to invest in your book, sometimes pledging more than once, is wonderful and terrifying and inspiring all at once. Cherish it.
2 - Support comes from unexpected places
Don't discount any way of raising awareness about your project. I received support from areas that I would never have imagined.
3 - Support is about more than just pledges
Friends and colleagues helped to spread the word about my campaign, many giving me the opportunity to write guest posts for their blogs or conduct interviews, allowing me to reach readers that I would not have connected with otherwise. This support is just as valuable as a pledge. Remember that.
4 - Live readings are great.
I really enjoyed the public reading that I did in my local library, after I got over my nerves anyway. I met some wonderful people, raised funding for my project and made contact with people involved in supporting the arts in my local area. I highly recommend this type of event to anyone crowd-funding a book. In fact, I would make this a focus of any future campaigns. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to meet readers and talk to them on a one-to-one basis.
5 - Practice talking about yourself and your project
If, like me, you're a bit of an introvert, then this is probably the most difficult part of the process. You have to talk a lot. You have to be prepared to maintain your own social media accounts, blogging etc while guesting on others. My advice would be to have several articles or blog posts written in advance. I think having a schedule (and sticking to it) would also be very useful. Be prepared with topica that you're interested in and are in some way related to your writing. Then remember to post about those things as well as your project.
6 - Have your manuscript ready to go
Throughout my crowdfunding campaign, I was working on the second draft of Ashael Rising as well as running around after two young children and dealing with morning sickness. I'm still exhausted! Running a crowd-funding campaign is a time-consuming endeavour. With book 2, my intention is to have the manuscript complete before beginning the crowd-funding campaign.
7 - Enjoy the ride!
The campaign is exhausting and exhilarating and frightening and intense and heart-bursting. I feel like I'm still recovering, hopefully just in time for the serious editing to start! It has been a truly crazy ride but I have loved it and some part of me is looking forward to doing it again for the next book!
I'm sure that I'll have more to add to these as time goes on but that's it for now. If you have any questions about any part of the process, or about what comes next, please do leave a comment.
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