Hit the Books with Dan Milnor, Kickstarter, and Author Meg Smiley

Hit the Books with Dan Milnor is a monthly webinar about all things book-making and self-publishing. This month we’re talking about the first stages of self-publishing: gauging interest, fundraising, and setup with Large Order Services. If you missed our latest live webinar, don’t worry! We’ve got the entire thing recorded below.

May: Getting Your Book Off the Ground

  • The process of fundraising through Kickstarter
  • How to gauge interest and rally your audience
  • Working with Large Order Services to print your book
  • Meg’s experience of creating, printing, and fundraising an art/children’s book

Watch the Webinar

Top 10 Questions from the Audience

1. Is it important to research what has already been done on Kickstarter?

Yes, it’s critical to research what has been done and how those projects fared. You can learn a lot by seeing what worked or what didn’t. And just because a similar project has been done doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your project.

2. What social networks worked best for promoting your book?

The two networks that jumped out were Facebook and Instagram. Facebook works well with people you already know, while Instagram is efficient and powerful for reaching new audiences.

3. What happens if my project is over-funded?

This is a great scenario to find yourself in. In many cases, the over-funding can go towards a much larger print run. The rest of the money is yours to keep and could be used to pay yourself for creating the project in the first place.

4. What happens after a project is funded, printed, and shipped?

One of the most important things to do is to stay in touch with your backers or supporters. Often times successful Kickstarter publishers will go on to fund subsequent projects, often with even higher success, by utilizing what they learned during their first campaign. So keeping in touch with your backers is key.

5. Is it important to alert people of your book project before the book is actually finished?

Yes. This is super important. Backers want to know the story of the book and the sooner you can give them a glimpse of your project, the better. It allows friends and backers to feel part of the project.

6. Are there any key ingredients to a good Kickstarter page?

Yes, there are. Use powerful images or GIFs and keep things organized with headers and bullets. Finally, think about creating a book video for the landing page. You don’t need to go to film school, or do anything complex. Just create a video that tells people a little bit about yourself and your project.

7. What about anything in addition to the Kickstarter page?

A book website is a good idea. Just something simple and powerful that tells a bit more of the backstory. You can use Wix or Squarespace for example.

8. What if I don’t get funded? Should I give up?

Absolutely not. In some ways, a failed Kickstarter campaign will help you the second time around by illustrating the areas you need to improve, so don’t give up. Instead, get more refined and try it again.

9. Do you have any advice for the reward aspect of using Kickstarter?

Yes. Try not to create an overly complex reward system. Think about providing digital rewards which have a far lower delivery cost, something like an ebook version of your project. Keep in mind shipping costs. You should know exactly what it will cost to ship your book.

10. Is it important for me to back other people’s projects?

Yes, for sure. First of all, as a backer you will receive emails and updates which will allow you to understand how it feels to back someone else. Secondly, when someone visits your Kickstarter page, they will see that you have supported other Kickstarter users.

Additional Resources:

Stay tuned for our next webinar on June 12!


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