My most recent article for PBS’ MediaShift details how a midlist science fiction author bypassed traditional publishing completely and raised $11,000 on Kickstarter. Despite the rosy outcome of his experiment, you might be surprised at his outlook on self publishing:
In August of this year, Pratt uploaded his project onto Kickstarter with video and text explaining his goal. Like before, he offered a series of prizes: For $5 you could get your name in the acknowledgments; for $10, a bookmark; for $50, “a signed limited-edition chapbook featuring a new Marla Mason story”; for $75, “a signed trade paperback” of the novel; all the way up to $2,000, which would result in Pratt writing a “Marla Mason short story just for you, featuring any supporting character of your choice, to be produced in a signed chapbook limited edition of a single copy.”
By this point, Pratt had already serialized two Marla Mason books and had received a fair amount of fan mail for the first four books. Altogether, he had collected several hundred email addresses from fans in the series, and so when he announced the Kickstarter project he sent out a note promoting it to this group. Kickstarter also pushed the project to its front page and tweeted it out to its followers, resulting in donations from people who weren’t even fans of the series. In only 13 hours, he’d met his fundraising goal of $6,000, and by the time the project closed, it was up to over $11,000.