The battle for perfection and a happy anniversary.
I wanted to write a book. More than that, I needed to write a book. This desire soon multiplied into a series of books… Before I could catch up with myself, I had more than half of the first book written with no way to fund it.
Some believe anyone can write a book. Whether that be true or not, an author’s attention to details mingles with their intention and expectation. This willingness to create a tailored work truly dictates the published outcome. Sure, I think anyone can write a manuscript. They can even publish it online through a variety of websites.
Even though I love the idea of making your work and ideas easily accessible, I still believe that self-published writers and aspiring novelists, need to do what they can to fight against the stereotype of “vanity writing.” Many people in the publishing industry, and sometimes even readers, see self-publishing as a way to “cut-the-line” and sneak past quality control. This is where being a perfectionist is helpful if not imperative.
When one writes a work and then skips the copy-editor, designer, or beta reader review process, it’s likely that the quality of the book will suffer. Each of these steps and consultants take time and usually cost money. The struggle to fund what are sometimes moments of inspiration can be difficult.
My case was no exception. There I was, living in Spain, with no money to get any of the services I needed to craft Lost in the City of Flowers into a finished, professional, and enjoyable historical fiction novel. Although I had heard of a few crowdfunding projects, I had never created a campaign, nor did I ever think I would. After a few weeks of deliberation and research, creating a Kickstarter campaign seemed like the only viable debt-free option for funding my “dream.” That same day, I spent the fall afternoon scavenging around my in-laws garden to create a cover image for my crowdfunding adventure.
Overall, I spent over a month putting the campaign page together. Just down the street from where we lived, was a family friend who had studied film. Pedro graciously helped me put the campaign video together. With only one morning to film, he directed me and my awkward ways around the medieval section of Barcelona. To tie off the project, I added a chapter from the Lost in the City of Flowers and a few pictures I had taken in Florence a few years ago.
Once the page was complete, I had to figure out the reward packages… This took the most time. My father-in-law, who was a banker, patiently listened as I tried to communicate my money woes and concerns for the campaign. In the Kickstarter, I needed to estimate how many books backers would buy, how much the book would cost to produce, the shipping materials, and the postage. All this was then added to the bare sum I needed to actually get the novel closer to my idea of perfection. None of this would be necessary, if my goals had been more modest. Alas, they were not. In fact, the goal was, and still is, to get as many people as possible to fall in love with art history. Although ambitious, it keeps me daydreaming. None of my books will ever be perfect but that doesn’t mean I can’t try. Just reaching high is enough for me.
All in all, I am happily celebrating the day my Kickstarter was successfully funded. This anniversary would not be possible without my backers. Several of which are dear friends, family, and colleagues. The Histories of Idan and their author truly adore your constant support, love, and inspiration. Although it’s unlikely I will do a crowdfunding campaign for my books again, it was a wonderful experience!
If you’re thinking about designing a project using a crowdfunding approach, feel free to ask me any questions. I’d be happy to answer and help you in any way I can.