I Want to Love Kickstarting Books

Oh, Squiders. I follow SF Signal in my RSS feed, and occasionally they cover scifi/fantasy (and related genres) crowdfunding projects, either mentioning their existence, or doing larger series on different stories in anthologies, for example.

I like the general idea of crowdfunding. I have kickstarted some things, most of which are fairly nerdy (dice rings to be used with table top RPGs, some excellent card games–I highly recommend Marrying Mr. Darcy, especially with the Undead expansion–Reading Rainbow, a fantasy style tavern in a town an hour and a half away from me, etc.) but I’ve stayed away from books.

Why, you ask? It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? I love books. And some of the books that I’ve seen come through Kickstarter have been really cool, such as taking an out of print classic scifi author and creating a collection of their work, or creating anthologies that tickle my genre loves in all the right places.

But the biggest issue I’ve found with the books is the price. It may just be me, but I feel like I want something physical out of a crowdfunding campaign (the exception being Reading Rainbow–I just threw my money at them and asked for nothing in return). But often, when I look at a book crowdfunding campaign, in order to get a physical book, you often have to go to a $30–or sometimes even a $50–level to get a physical book in your hands.

I’m a poor author. It’s entirely possible that some book may come along at some point that is so perfect that I won’t mind paying $40 for a paperback, but thus far it hasn’t happened.

I could, of course, pay $10-$15 for an ebook copy, but there’s something less fulfilling about that.

How about you, Squiders? Have you crowdfunded a book? What are your thresholds for paying for a crowdfunding campaign?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anna on 2015/03/25 at 1:41 AM

    I haven’t crowd-funded prose, but I HAVE crowd-funded a bunch of comic books – and yes, I’ve paid $30-$50 USD for physical copies (I always end up paying a bit more due to the cost of international shipping). However, I don’t back campaigns very frequently – because it’s expensive.

    Also, I think I am more willing to pay that kind money for comics and graphic novels because I know the printing-costs are a lot higher than they are for prose-books. And the stuff I have backed have been either really large in format (my Dresden Codack book is literally too tall to fit into any of my bookshelves, help) or really, really well designed (Evan Dahm’s stuff).

    I am considering backing the future kickstarter of Evan Dahm’s latest sideproject, in which he’s aiming to release an unabridged, illustrated version of Moby Dick, but that’s because I know Evan does really thoughtful, pretty book design, and also because I am unreasonably fond of Moby Dick.

    But yeah. $50 is my limit for Kickstarters. I only kickstart things if I really, REALLY want them (I’ve kickstarted… five things? in the last couple of years), so the total amount I’ve spent isn’t huge. And it all depends on my cash flow, of course – I missed out on backing Peter Bergting’s comic project, even though it looked amazing and cool and also I know Peter personally and he is, like, the friendliest guy and totally deserved that money. It all depends.


    • Yeah, as I said, it does depend on things, like money and the project. And I hear you on comics and graphic novels–I have some very nice, full-sized ones, and I bet you I paid at least $20 for all of them, if not more. There’s a whole other level of detail and work that goes into something like that (not that it’s necessarily easier to put together a prose book, but it’s certainly cheaper to produce!).


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