Almost two years since my first campaign on Indiegogo, I started one to print my second novel. Last time my indiegogo campaign came out almost as an afterthought. I’d already released the book through the many self-publishing options (chiefly the smash words gamut and Amazon) and many friends had already purchased a copy. But, there were several who let me know that they really only read physical books.
And there was the problem. I live in Japan. And at that time Createspace, Amazon’s print-on-demand service, and Japan weren’t exactly friends. Buying a book that way could result in a two-month wait. Plus, I would never really be able to have copies on hand. If I wanted to sell domestically, I would need to do a print run. And that meant raising money.
I went for it and, thanks to many generous friends and family members, was successful. For some, this was their second time buying the book, but they wanted to support me. Others, who had already supported me, let me know that they were interested in future books, but they had already purchased a copy.
That was entirely understandable. Because I did things completely backwards. I put the book out into the world, sold it, and then asked for more money to put the book into the world. That was just dumb of me.
This time I am trying to do things right. I am raising the money to put the best version of this book out into the world. Once this Indiegogo dance has finished, I will still do my best to make it available as widely as possible, but it will be for a few dollars more. And, as far as the paperback is concerned, the quality won’t be as high.
But here we are at the hardest part for me. Asking people for money. I always feel so clumsy about it. I never feel that my attempts to get people to open their wallets are good enough. I just don’t know how its done.
All I really want to say is “Hey, my book is good. Buy it. And read it.” I have to fight the urge to bully people into sending me money. “C’mon, we both know you’ve spent more than this at the movie theater.” Or really even just the desperate “Please! I really need the $15 plus shipping! It’ll make me go away and leave you in peace!”
But for some reason that doesn’t seem to work.
The truth is I really like this second book. I think I’ve learned from the first and think this is a better piece of work. This is a book that I would want to read if I didn’t write it. And I’m good at writing. I’m just not very good at asking people to give me money.
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