Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Crowdfunding-6 - Launch Week at Last

Thirty-Seven Days Left

Saturday was a soft launch, called that because only team members and first supporters actually knew about it. It was when the campaign link first went live. We spent the day working out promotional strategies and I once more went through the pages, checking for typos, spelling errors, and unclear narrative.

Campaign Contributors

Eve Paludan
Mikaela Quinn
Karen Walker
Mike Flynn
Connie Walker Gray
Laurie Fagen
Kim Richards
Bryan Flynn
Daniel Zollo
Linda Style
Rick Walker
Cathy McDavid
+Anonymous (5)
If you've read earlier posts you might have seen my plea for a videographer. I was looking for a beginner who wanted some practice but as a friend of mine told me, they probably preferred working on their own stuff. Other candidates wanted several hundred bucks for their efforts. Come on, I wanted to say, my campaign goal is just four thousand dollars, why would I spend hundreds on the video when the Indiegogo experts say professional quality is not needed to have the desired effect.

I suppose we'll find out. As things went, my incredibly patient son became my cameraman and he spent quite a big chunk of time helping me nail down my message, which is about how I became a writer and my reason for launching a crowdfunding campaign.

I spent Sunday morning struggling to get my pitch out of my mouth and to people's ears without stumbling over every other word. While I'm no stranger to public speaking, the idea that every word would be frozen in the digital universe scared the hell out of me. 

After thirteen takes, we got a take that works. Yes, I stumbled over words but I was told that it makes me more human. And so far nobody's emailed to ask, "what were you thinking, posting that video?" However, one can never underestimate the muting power of good manners.

So on to the exciting news. Yesterday was the first day in business and by the end of today I am overjoyed to announce that the campaign already has ten contributors and is nine percent funded. After being open for business only two days.

Hell, yeah, I'm excited.

I expected the majority of contributions to go to the 400 Club, so they could get the finger. The premise behind the club is that if 400 people contribute $10 each, my campaign goal of $4000 will be reached. Maybe that was more for my benefit because small bites like that don't seem so impossible.

Today I've been using Facebook, Twitter and the power of my campaign team to bring traffic to the campaign. If it's not too much trouble, I'd be delighted if you shared this blog with your Facebook friends. I also invite you to visit the campaign site if just from curiosity. But a warning—if you visit and take time to read my story, you could find the prospect of toppling Goliath one book at a time too seductive to resist. :-)

Week #1 Considering Crowdfunding?
Week #2 Getting Started With Indiegogo
Week #3 Pulling it Together
Week #4 Show Me the Money
Week #5 What if No One Comes
Week #6 Launch Week at Last

To Connie Flynn Site

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Crowdfunding 5, Pre-Launch Week- Remembering to Exhale

What if Nobody Comes?

Paper bag anybody? I've spent the last couple days curating my mailing list, tweaking the copy for my giveaway perks, contacting people who promised to help promote and vacillating between high excitement and total panic.

Last week I worked on the emails I'd be sending potential contributors and writing the remainder of my perk copy. As I was telling people what they would get from the perks I offered, I realized I was no longer anxious about asking for money because I'd decided not to ask. Does this mean I don't want contributions? Oh hell no, I'll be delighted with every dollar contributors decide to bestow, but I would prefer you shop the perks and make up your own mind, while I continue striving to come up with new and delightful perks (Yes?)

Why? Because my job as a campaigner is to offer an entertaining campaign and interesting perks like, for instance, the foam finger with the campaign slogan printed across the palm. I also have a goal that many readers can get behind and a general rising curiosity about the crowdfunding process. I hope you'll be among them when the countdown begins, stopping by to see what crowdfunding is all about.

For me right now it comes down to forty days. Forty days to reach my fundraising goal. Forty days to push KNOW WHEN TO RUN to bestselling status. It really is time to exhale. I have reason to feel confident, but . . .

. . . will it be enough? I don't know, I just don't know. Paper bag anybody?

Week #1 Considering Crowdfunding?
Week #2 Getting Started With Indiegogo
Week #3 Pulling it Together
Week #4 Show Me the Money
Week #5 What if No One Comes
Week #6 Launch Week at Last

To Connie Flynn Site

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Crowdfunding Week 4 . . . Show Me the Money


This is the week I was supposed to start asking for money… I spent a full day writing a template for an email that my family and very close friends would send (for me) to their other family members and close friends – the ones I hadn't already asked. The deal here is to reach as wide an audience as you can. Like Twitter, it works on quantity more than quality.

But there has to be a certain kind of goodwill going on. If you walk up to someone on the street and asked them for ten dollars – well, that is begging. If however, you persuade them to go to your Indigogo campaign page and get the nifty foam finger for a mere ten dollars, while at the same time offering pricier more elaborate perks – well, that isn't begging, it's fundraising. Marketing. Bait and switch. Right? Can't get more twenty-first century than that. So, you might wonder, did I follow my own advice? Do I have perks that will make people want to shop in my particular Indigogo cube, as it were? Did I write a snappy, appealing pitch? Was I entertaining enough? Was I sincere enough?

Truth is, I have no idea. 

400 Club Perk - We give you the finger!

The campaign will begin with a soft launch on July 25. Two days later, will come the pushy launch. Where I've been advised to blast family and friends and even acquaintances with appeals to visit my Indigogo campaign site and leave some cash to help me reach my goal and also to draw attention to KNOW WHEN TO RUN and send it soaring up the bestseller ranks.

Will they come? Will the book rise? Only when I launch will I begin to have those answers. I still have a few more perks – several, actually – that need more beguiling copy from me. Am I up to the challenge? Only my potential contributors can tell me for sure.

Which is why this audience might just be the ones to ask. If you knew someone who was doing a campaign like this (oh wait, you do) and that person was pushing a romantic suspense entitled KNOW WHEN TO RUN, and had a heroine named Ky who has amnesia and was given a little pink derringer when she awoke from her coma . . . .  Well, would you find a replica of that little pink derringer appealing, especially if it came with some swag and a copy of the book?

Or how about having my next book dedicated to you. What if a character was named after you? What if you collaborated with me on writing a short story and got full credit? Are these perks interesting to somebody browsing a crowdfunding campaign?

Feedback so Appreciated

I  would really appreciate feedback on my questions. While I was to some degree venting because I'm reaching the scary part, it would help me to know what others think, Because here I am. I've written the first email and this following week I'll get to the rest. Next week I reach the point where I can no longer indulge in avoidance. Cheer me on, please. It will keep me from panicking.

Week #1 Considering Crowdfunding?
Week #2 Getting Started With Indiegogo
Week #3 Pulling it Together
Week #4 Show Me the Money
Week #5 What if No One Comes
Week #6 Launch Week at Last

To Connie Flynn Site

Monday, July 6, 2015

Crowdfunding Week 3 - Starting to Pull it Together

You Gotta Give a Little to Get a Lot 

The reason I’m I'm titling this blog "Pulling it Together is because we'll be doing just that over the next few weeks before the July 25 launch.   This is just the beginning. And it’s the fun part. 

As I've sought out devices to attract contributors to my Indiegogo campaign page, I’ve added a new little twist to my slogans. 

To remind you, the campaign title is:  Help Create a Runaway Bestseller 
My tagline is: Toppling Goliath One Book at a Time
Then I was shopping for perks and came across  six inch foam fingers. This gave rise to our slogan:

Help create a runaway bestseller and we’ll give you the finger

As promised, here it is.  THE FINGER

Now this isn't the actual giveaway finger. They're on order right now. They'll have a big #1 inside the finger, and the campaign logo will go on the palm

So why am I talking about Runaway Bestsellers, Toppling Goliath, and giving people the finger?

Because it made me realize you have to give a little to get a lot. I became determined to carefully craft my campaign pitch and, more importantly, to give serious thought when selecting my perks (a token gift or a discount on a purchase).  

The biggest author mistake I saw when reviewing other Indiegogo campaigns was they only offered copies of their books.

The spread between the successful author/campaigner and the unsuccessful was pretty obvious. The ones that have made their goals or are close, put together pitches with humor, humility, and authenticity. They added value to their giveaway books, even a lollipop can do if it somehow relates to the campaign.  

The next mistake was staggering up the contribution amoun for perks that didn't increase in value. The third was a lack of attention to the campaign pitch. 

Crowdfunding isn’t Lawrence Welk land. People who browse crowdfunding sites are seeking a product that engages them.  This isn’t always easy for people in the creative fields  – writers, filmmakers, musicians, artists, actors – who don’t have pricy products to sell. Their success is based on the perception of their audience. For them, snappy writing, catchy videos, and clever perks are a necessity.

So this explains the little six inch foam finger. Plunk it on the finger of your choice, stow it on top of a soda bottle, wave it around. Give a virtual one to anybody you like.

What I’ve gleaned from scrolling through dozens of campaigns is that you have to set aside thoughts of how much money you’ll generate and put your attention on who would want to read your book(s) and dream up perks that might make them smile and craft a chit-chatty pitch that will amuse and engage them. And charm them into helping you reach your goal.

There’s more to know on this subject, of course, but next week I’ll be blogging about the crowdfunding element that sends many wannabees hiding under the bed: Asking for Money.
When you log off this blog, you might want to take a look at some of the campaigns that Indigogo is running . In particular, check out the ‘writing’ category. Also, browse all the instructional material they offer their campaigners. They’re a very impressive company. Indiegogo.

To make sure you don't miss a week, subscribe to email delivery using the link on the right hand sidebar.
Week #1 Considering Crowdfunding?
Week #2 Getting Started With Indiegogo
Week #3 Pulling it Together
Week #4 Show Me the Money
Week #5 What if No One Comes
Week #6 Launch Week at Last

To Connie Flynn Site

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


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To Connie Flynn Site