Full disclosure: the campaign is still ongoing and is currently funded at 30% … So, not sure if I’ll be successful with it or not. And this post is both aimed to be informative and to maybe also spur a few of you to back this project.
You can’t back a project you don’t know about. And transparency is important. Can you tell I used to work as a press officer?
If you don’t know, on Kickstarter, you can pledge amounts for rewards (or just because you want to support a project). The creator is the one coming up with the rewards. Your pledge is only debited if the full project is funded.
So, for this project, the rewards range from: a digital postcard, to talking to me about self-publishing, an early copy of the audiobook, your name in the credits, choosing a name in an upcoming novel/novella, signed copies and so much more… Backers support a creative process. You basically become a “patron of the arts”.
Here are the three reasons I am giving Kickstarter a try this time around.
The Kickstarter can serve as a pre-order for the audiobook. All rewards backers can choose (except the $1 reward) include the audiobook. It’s a win-win for listeners since they receive the audiobook ahead of publication (all they have to do is download an app to listen to it) and it is cheaper than it will be after publication. For me, that means that I receive almost the entire price of the audiobook instead of a much lower royalty when a listener purchases it online and can then use the project funding to compensate my narrator…
I want to distribute the audiobook to libraries. To do so, I cannot have the book exclusive to audible. That means I cannot do a so-called royalty-share plus agreement via ACX with my narrator. This also means I need to compensate my wonderful narrator a higher price per finished hour. Trust me, narrating, mastering and editing an audiobook is a very demanding job. You not only have to be a talented narrator; you also need to be tech savvy and have the needed software.
Financing the project via Kickstarter enables me to not put money up-front—except to run a very low-budget ad. This allows me to use parts of my budget for other projects. Being a self-published author means I remunerate an editor, a copy editor for my books. I have software costs and marketing costs. I also have an ad budget and a translation budget. In addition, if you sell books on certain retailers, you only get paid for those sales about two months later. Financing the audiobook via Kickstarter might enable me to realize other projects during 2022, such as more bilingual books.
And I offer rewards in exchange for your pledge to fund said-production (rewards include: an early electronic copy of the audiobook, your name in the credits, pick a name for a character, more audiobooks, chat with me about self-publishing and so so much more…).
The project will only be funded if it reaches its goal and you can choose your reward (they start at $1 or even pledge whatever you’d like without a reward here).
People who back Kickstarter projects are offered tangible rewards or experiences in exchange for their pledges. This model traces its roots to subscription model of arts patronage, where artists would go directly to their audiences to fund their work.
Closed caption: My story? I was born in 1981 … Oh no, not my story but the story of this project…Oh, okay, Keep reading…
There we go.
#TheLeftoverBride is a book I wrote not long after my autologous stem cell transplant as I needed a novel I could concentrate on that would make me smile. And a book that I hoped would make people smile.
This is the dedication of the book:
It seems it worked for many readers.
Those are some reviews the book has received:
“This book is so much fun! The perfect combination of romance, angst, and humor, it’s your favorite Hallmark movie’s sassier, steamier cousin.”
“Sweet, sassy and fun!”
An audiobook allows me to reach out to so many more people around the world. Maybe making them smile, too.
And by funding this project, you ensure that it can be made available to libraries as well as retailers. In addition, I can make the book available at a lower price around the world if this project is fully funded, than if it was made exclusive to only one distributor.
This book has characters who have been through a lot. Sorcha has OCD (wonder where I got the inspiration for that?). Ryan dealt with a tough childhood (that I’m lucky I had to research a lot as my experience differs from his) and thinking his career defines him (hmmm).
And an audiobook production requires investment up front for my wonderful and amazingly talented audiobook narrator.
Do you know the amount of work for one hour of finished audio (narrated, edited and mastered)?
It takes about 6 hours to produce one hour of finished audio: about two hours of narration and going through the audio to edit it (take away possible repetitions, mistakes, extraneous noises, clicks) and master it (ensuring the noise level is to the requirements. One also needs to re-listen to the finished file for quality control.
So, when you’re listening to an audiobook of about eight hours, it may have taken the narrator/producer about 48 hours to produce, not counting the breaks when you’re recording for your voice or for the way you sit or stand.
That also doesn’t take into consideration the pre-work that might be needed like reading the entire book before you record, making notes to make sure you keep the characters’ voice the same throughout and so much more…
When you hire a narrator/producer, you hire someone who can not only act and perform, you also hire someone who knows the intricacies of audiobook narration and production.
Once the audiobook is distributed, I receive between 10% and 40% of the price of audiobook (depending on the royalty share agreement, on the way a listener buys or borrows the audiobook, on the retailer).
With this payment structure, I might decide to put the audiobook available in places where my return on investment might be higher. It not only means the audiobook wouldn’t be available everywhere, but recouping said investment can still take quite a long time.
In addition, the narrator may also take a risk when they agree to a part of their return being royalty-share because what if the audiobook doesn’t do as well on the retailers? Not from any fault of their own, but maybe the marketing or advertising plan doesn’t work the way it could/should?
So… this would be how the project funding would be used:
First, the audiobook will be made available on a larger distribution platform, which would include libraries. Libraries can then purchase the audiobook at a much lower price;
$2000 for the audiobook narrator/producer: this would be an actual remuneration of $40 per hour for the work done. (This is the median hourly rate for an experienced audiobook narrator). This narrator has gone above and beyond for previous audiobooks which she had agreed to do via royalty-share (where she had reduced her rate per finished hour but, like me, ended up making a loss);
About $130 for Kickstarter fees;
About $130 in processing fees;
About $200 for shipping (including some international shipping);
About $70 in taxes;
About $20 for the platform enabling distribution of audiobooks electronically;
About $250 for ads once the audiobook is available worldwide;
And because I can dream, right? Anything above the goal would be split this way: half for the narrator and half for me.
By funding this project, you not only will help me make more people smile. It will make it easier for me to have the audiobook possibly available in libraries and in more countries around the world where people speak or learn English. But you will also enable me to accomplish other projects (such as more bilingual books and more actual writing…)
So, thank you, thank you, thank you SO MUCH! It means the world to me.
Risks and challenges
All the rewards are either already in production or will be as soon as the project is successfully funded. The only one is the short story reward. That reward might take me a bit more time to get more to, which is why the delivery is longer. When it comes to the short story, you’ll be able to give me names, tropes or story idea. There will be a survey to fill out. If the story idea is out of my competencies or a topic I do not write about, I will deliver a short story that might be slightly different but will still be exclusive.
I may have spent ten minutes trying to come up with the perfect headline for this blog post. How to grab your attention within a minute and make sure you either click on the link or read this post in your email…
Oh, and I think I’m supposed to exude absolute confidence – DOH.
Why “TODAY” in all caps? Well, because by saving it today, you’ll be the first to know when it launches and can grab some of the very limited reward items. Plus, if you click on “notify me” before Monday, June 27th, send me an email and I’ll send you an exclusive short preview of #SweetsForLove (authorelodienowodazkij AT gmail DOT com)…And last but not least, seeing that number climbs does give me endorphins.
How can you save the project?: You need to create a kickstarter account and click “Notify Me On Launch” – that’s it.