I just signed up for a crowdfunding campaign on catapooolt.com to help me raise money to market #tnks. The campaign is live on the catapooolt website. Please go see it. Here is a small intro I made for it.
So why I am doing this? What do I hope to get out of it? What is the exact status of the book? You must have like a million questions. Hopefully this post will answer all those. I like the QnA format the best. Here it is.
U: What is the status of the book?
SG: As we speak, the book is with the printers. Should be available in first half of November. The publisher (Grapevine) has sent requests to Flipkart and Amazon India to list the book but I don't know the status as yet. I need to check with the publisher for it.
U: What do you hope to get out of the campaign?
SG: Two things actually. A, Reach out to more people. And B, raise some money (Rs. 5 lakhs to be precise) that I plan to use to market my book.
U: Thats a lot of money. How do you plan to use it?
SG: To be honest, Rs. 5 lakh would not translate into a lot of actual cash. A large chunk of it would go towards the cost of running the campaign (cant get into specifics buts it's in low double digit percentage points). Then, each contributor will get atleast one copy of the book. Another large chunk will go towards its cost. Finally, I would be left with about a couple of lakhs for marketing. I hope to spend it on conducting a book tour, physical meetups, placing sample copies at libraries across the country and online marketing (SEM, FB and other online platforms). No, I will not take home any money that I raise from the platform. Please do ask me in case you have questions around this.
U: Do you have marketing plan in place?
SG: Yes I do. Available on request. Please ask me and I would share.
U: Why crowdfunding?
Few reasons. Here is a list.
- I am poor. No shame or guilt in admitting it. Heard of poverty porn?
- I need money to market. Like any product, the audience (people who read books) needs to be told that a product that they may like (my book) exists and they ought to try it. This telling the audience bit requires money. And hence crowdfunding. Simple.
- Access to "crowd." As much I hate calling people "crowd," it's an accepted term. So, crowd is a set of people spread all over the Intenret - who I may or may not know - that often help others realize their
goalsdreams. Most crowdfunding websites have a long list of patrons and a ready community of such people.
- No other alternative. I have to spend money to get attention. Everyone may hate the book. That's a different matter. But they need to read it first. So, I don't have a rich father or long-lost uncles. Not dating a rich heiress. Worked for peanuts all my life and hence no savings. Don't like the concept of loans. And hence no other source of money.
- Marketing. Every person who sees the crowdfunding campaign gets to know about my book. That's a motivation in itself. The entire idea of getting as many people possible to read the book is driving this bit. Higher the number of people who read the book, more feedback I get and better I get. I am in this (writing) for the long haul and I better get better with time.
- Finally, why not!
SG: Boat load of thanks. That translates into good karma. In terms of tangibles, you ofcourse get a copy of the book.I volunteer to sign and write a personal message in each copy that I ship to people who support me. I know I am no big deal and my message is not important to anyone. But your support is important to me. And writing a message is the least I can do for you. A few goodies that the Catapooolt guys have thrown in (more details on the campaign page). I also plan to work alongside other first-time authors come up with their books. I am definitly not the best writer out there. But I am sure that I know how to finish a book and get it in a shape that a publisher may want to see. To me, that was the biggest challenge while I was working on the book. And I want to work with other first-timers on it. And, an opportunity to pitch your book to my publisher, Grapevine India. Trust me, its a tough ask to get a face-to-face meeting with a publisher.
U: What if the campaign is a flop and you can't raise the money you seek?
SG: Big deal. Things often don't go as planned. That does not mean we stop living. I would atleast learn a few things about this thing called crowdfunding. No? That's it. I've run out of questions. You have more questions? Yes? Please ask me. No? Please support me.
Thank You! Oh, one more thing, Catapooolt guys are really really cool. If you are looking to raise funds for a project or something, please do consider them. I would be happy to connect. It's been an absolute pleasure to work with them.
Originally published on #tnks blog.