Adam introduces Justin Fike, who launched a successful Kickstarter campaign. Find out if a Kickstarter pre-sale is right for your project.
by Adam G. Fleming
Running a campaign to launch your book is essential if you want any traction in the market.
There are two main reasons to promote your book: to generate revenue in the short term; and to build an audience over the long term.
I have tried sharing my books at ultra-low rates for a limited time, or even giving them away for free, in exchange for reviews on Amazon. It’s a nice tactic but it has a couple of drawbacks. First, people are forgetful, and second, not everyone will like your book. That’s just the way it goes—liking a book is a subjective thing. Third, not everyone who gets a free book even bothers to read it. If they don’t read it or do read it but don’t like it, they won’t review it (unless they really hate it, and then the review won’t be good) and even those who do read it and enjoy it are prone to forget to review it. These three factors make me hesitant to give away hundreds of copies, even if they are e-books and therefore don’t cost me anything.
I’ve heard of many authors who tried purchasing social media advertising to go after a specific target audience for their book with no success, though I’m sure some have done it well. Every strategy has risks, and every tactic has success stories and failures, too. The bottom line is that it’s not impossible to get your book on the bestseller list in some Amazon category. In fact, it’s very doable in the short run, and for people who want to be able to say their book was an Amazon bestseller, you have to launch your book on Amazon. You may want to offer it at $0.99, and with royalties at 70% and a great deal of hype, you might make a few hundred dollars in the first week—or even a few thousand. But unless you have something exceptional going for you already, like a mailing list of 500,000 engaged fans, it can be tough to break into the bestseller ranks and to stay there for long enough to make your investment back.
We have some great consultants at VVP who can help you launch on Amazon, and we do recommend it for speakers and consultants whose primary goal is to be able to say they were a bestseller. Amazon is always changing the rules and we have to stay on top of that; but with a good launch team and a good campaign leading up to your launch date, it can be done.
So today, I want to talk about my colleague Justin Fike and his experience with Kickstarter. At some point we’ll invite him to talk about it on our Youtube channel and do a guest blog, but we want to introduce him to you now. Justin and I will be running a Kickstarter campaign together soon for our “Stetson Jeff Adventures” books which we publish jointly through our Cha’am Cowboys Publishing company, and I’ve done a few Kickstarters myself with modest success for three of my own titles: “White Buffalo Gold,” “Old Roads, New Friends,” and “The Art of Motivational Listening” all successfully launched on Kickstarter.
But what Justin did in the summer of 2022 blew me away. In just a few short weeks, Justin’s “Farshore Chronicles” grossed over $10,000 (before printing and shipping costs for paperbacks) and that’s why Justin is Victory Vision Publishing’s consultant on Kickstarter. If you’re going to go all in and publish your book with professional quality, including great graphic design, etc., why not take a shot at getting your entire investment back when you launch your book?
This won’t mean you get thousands or even hundreds of reviews on Amazon. It won’t mean you get ranked as a bestseller. In fact, the book may not even be available on Amazon yet (which means you could still run a second launch campaign for anyone who missed your Kickstarter, and anyone who loved your book so much that they want to buy a copy as a gift!).
What it does mean is that you’d have a shot to gross quite a lot more revenue in the first few weeks. If that interests you more than bestseller status, get in touch with VVP and we’ll help you learn how to launch on Kickstarter.
Adam G. Fleming, PCC, is an ICF certified coach and trainer. He has trained people in coaching skills around the world and has also led other seminars as speaker and facilitator. Using both traditional and DIY methods, Adam has published 13 books in a variety of genres, and serves as the CEO and lead ghostwriter for Victory Vision Publishing, Inc. He lives in Goshen, Indiana, with his wife Megan and their four children. Contact: email@example.com.
Justin Fike has been hooked on stories since his grandma first started tucking him in with tales of her life on the South Dakota prairie swimming in his head. He grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and was blessed to have a mother who didn't complain when he came home from the woods covered in mud and burs, and a father who told him the stories that sent him out there in the first place.
He has a Master's Degree in Creative Writing from Oxford University and is the author of The Farshore Chronicles, as well as Fire in the Dawn, Book 1 of the Twin Skies Trilogy.
Justin lives in Colorado with his amazing wife and two pixies in disguise who allow him to claim them as his daughters at parties.
You can learn more about his work at www.justinfike.com.