Saturday, September 30, 2017

My Kickstarter Relaunch

The Relaunch

As soon as the ball dropped on my campaign, I launched the new one but not before doing a few things to ensure my success this time.

  • I created a new and improved video for upload
  • I notified my friends and any backers that I could to let them know what to do after getting the this project was not successful notification
  • I evaluated and dramatically reduced by funding goal
  • I set a shorter time frame to run the campaign

The Result

  • My funding goal was reached in 24 hours!
  • I am currently 150% funded with 6 days to go!

Check out the new campaign

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Why My First Attempt on Kickstarter Failed

The Crowdfunding Concept

First, let's talk about crowdfunding and Kickstarter in general.
Crowdfunding is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain exposure and backing from the general public to make their concepts and inventions into real products. With the explosion of the internet, sites like Kickstarter, still the most popular crowdfunding site in the world, that community of people grew to a global community of potential backers.

Kickstarter is compensated by taking a healthy bite of your campaign funding when you run a successful campaign, but if you can meet your objective and fund your project, it's worth it. Also, in return for backing a project, backers are given rewards. That's compensation that you, the developer must provide at the end of your successful campaign. Usually, a copy of your book or a free product along with other incentives that developers create to determine funding levels. For my campaign, $25. or more got you a signed copy of the book. $60. got you signed copies of the book series. You get the idea.

Kickstarter is an all or nothing venture, meaning, if you don't reach your funding goal, you get nothing and your backers do not pay or receive any rewards. You also walk away without getting the contact information of those backers. That's the worst part because if they believed in your project, they could become very important additions to your mailing list!

The publishing category on Kickstarter is not the most popular and many campaigns fail, so why do it? FOr exactly the same reasons you set up preorders and mailing lists. To develop a following of readers and to, hopefully, boost your Amazon sales rank and get more reviews at launch. Also, to help fund your project: Book Cover Art, Editing Services, Etc...

So Why Did I Fail?

That's really a one sentence answer. My funding goal was too high. I shot for the stars at $4,500 and ended my campaign with just under $1,000 pledged. So, the question is, why was it too high? It wasn't my rewards. I still think they're awesome and creative and have gotten excellent feedback on them. What prevented me from reaching my goal?

  • I didn't have a large following ready to pledged at launch. Basically, my friends and family and a few members of the Kickstarter community were my backers. I should have been pushing this campaign to my blog and Twitter followers and on my Facebook Book Pages well in advance to garner some momentum. I could have tried a local press release and advertised at my local library reading club. I needed to have a decent sized fan base ready to pledge. I didn't
  • I should have had my friends and family committed to making their pledges on launch day! Getting 20% funding in one day is enough to propel your campaign to the front pages of Kickstarter so that community members who aren't looking for you can see you.
  • My video was lacking. It has been 5 years since I last made a video from a slide show and since then, Microsoft has changed all of the software. I needed to download new, learn how to use it, and being a writer not an artist, I don't have images of my setting or characters so I had to improvise. 
  • I didn't market my campaign soon enough. I eventually boosted a post on Facebook and ran a sponsored ad on Google with all the right key words and I did see an increase in traffic, but by then it was too late.
  • I was a first time Kickstarter with no credibility in the community and no success rate to back up my claim that my project would succeed and be worth it. 

I have since relaunched my campaign with a very low funding goal, simply to help absorb some costs and to, more importantly, let the 20 people who really wanted me to succeed have another chance to get their rewards fulfilled. I am confident that this will be a successful campaign and thus, help to grow my credibility in the Kickstarter World.

I will also become an active member in the community. I'm sure there are projects out there that I would love to see become a reality and hopeful developers like me, who deserve to have their dreams fulfilled. This too, will help me grow credibility for future campaigns, should I decide to give it another go.
Take a look at my improved, but not epic, video

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Read and Rate a Preview of "Zac's Guitar"

Would you like a sneak peak at the first two chapters of 
"Zac's Guitar"?

Would you like to rate these chapters and leave me feedback?

Now you can! The first 25,000 words, (excluding the introduction) are now available to preview and review in the CreateSpace Community. 

Simply click this link to get started. Your feedback will remain private, (only you and I will see it) so please be honest.

Preview Link: Zac's Guitar Preview

Zac's Guitar New Promo

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Not Forgotten Series

Not Forgotten - Lilly's Story

A must read by Louisiana author Bonnie Taylor

Lilly was a seemingly normal teenager until the sudden death of her older brother, Tony. When Tony's spirit begins sending her messages, she gains the attention of other entities and embarks of a paranormal journey that is both frightening and enlightening. She enlists a cast of unique characters who plan to help her put a stop to the evil that has now invaded her life. Lilly's story unravels with a unique blending of ideas suggesting that there may be connections between the paranormal, modern spirituality, and the philosophies of ancient civilizations.

At Second Sight

The gripping second novel in the paranormal series by Bonnie Taylor. This one is a true page turner. You won't put it down!

At Second Sight brings paranormal romance, mystery, and folklore together in a unique and compelling tale. Young psychic genius Thomas Lynch ventures away from his paranormal investigation team to work with law enforcement on a case involving a missing coed. When Thomas finds himself entangled in a conflict with strange entities he calls upon his friends David Dean and Jimmy Redbush for help. As this gripping tale develops, the worlds of humans, spirits, mythology, and environmental conscience intertwine with an intricacy that leaves no doubt that everything in our universe is somehow connected though not always working harmoniously.

Get your copies today on Amazon!

What's in the Works for Release in 2018

It's hard to imagine that another year is swiftly slipping away, but 2018 is currently peeking over the horizon! With that, I'd thought I'd announce my current projects.

In October 2017 - I will be working on a short horror story for an upcoming anthology to be released mid-2018.

Also in October, I plan to participate in the Halloween themed events on Goodreads.

The release of Zac's Guitar!!! It's here - the anticipated release of the 3rd Not Forgotten Book will take place in October, 2018!

Individual works set for 2018 release:

"The Pizza Boys" - a semi-autobiographical novel about growing up in the pizzerias of rural New York. Part love story, part coming of age story, includes a little mystery, intrigue, and humor but not paranormal!

"Obscura" - the fourth title in the Not Forgotten Series. In the quest for proof of the existence of spirits, the Highgate Paranormal Society may stumble upon a more powerful and unexpected truth. Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?

In the meantime, you can catch up on the Not Forgotten Series by purchasing copies of Not Forgotten Lilly's Story and At Second Sight on Amazon.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hide a Book Day

Blanco and I embarked on our journey this afternoon. We were looking for the best place to hide our giveaway copy of Not Forgotten - Lilly's Story.

Blanco was very excited and took his job very seriously. He was on guard duty all the way to town!
We found the perfect location to hide the book. The West Branch Library entry pavilion.

We later discovered that this person found it!
Congratulations Shawn Scarbrock!

Book Fairy Hide a Book Update Number 1

Friday, September 8, 2017

Only 17 Days Left to Back the Book

On September 26, 2017, the Kickstarter campaign for Zac's Guitar will close. We are currently at 19% funding for this project and are hopeful that we can reach our goal. As an extra thank you to everyone who pledges to the campaign, I will be naming all of my backers on the acknowledgement page of the book. That's right, your name in print in every copy of the book!

Here's a look at some of the pledge levels. Each, includes a preorder of the book

$3 an electronic copy of the book in any format specified

$20 an autographed paperback and custom bookmark

$25 and $30 levels include the autographed paperback, bookmark, and custom pins and/or pendants designed and hand crafted specifically for this project

$60 signed paperback copies of all three books in the Not Forgotten Series

Zac's Guitar Kickstarter Link

Monday, September 4, 2017

Writing begins as an idea, a passing thought that catches the attention of the author and makes them stop and take notice. In the beginning, the author is just niave enough to believe that the idea was theirs. They find themselves clever and are proud of their unique way of seeing the world.

In time, the author grows suspicious. They wonder if the voices inside their head are really a part of them at all. They seem to know things that the author doesn't remember learning. They've observed things that the author has never witnessed. 

The author shrugs this off at first, chalking it up to inspiration. He personifies it, calling it a muse. 

If the author is a good little writer, he will finish the work without incident and continue to believe that it came from his own mind.

It's only when the author strays from his task that the truth is revealed. The voices will wake him, screaming their monologues, demanding to be heard. 

You can only fight it for so long.
If a story needs to be told, it will find a way to bleed from your fingertips on to the page.

The story has a will of its own.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Zac's Guitar - Jimmy's Vision

David Dean got in his car in the University Garage at 9:00pm. He’d spent the evening giving a lecture on the difference between poltergeist activity and true hauntings. As he reached for the key, he noticed his cell phone sitting in the console. He wasn’t big on technology and often made a habit of forgetting his phone. He picked it up and saw that he had two missed calls. The first was from his assistant, Kerry, no doubt checking to make sure he remembered the lecture. The second was a familiar number, his old friend and colleague Jimmy Redbush.

He had a voicemail and played it hoping it was Redbush and not Kerry. Luck was on his side.

Jimmy Redbush said, “Hello, old friend. I’m calling you because I’ve had a vision and in my vision, there are many arrows. First, the crossed arrows of friendship which made me think of you. Then, I saw the two arrows pointing at the stone which are for warding off evil and the two arrows flying toward each other signifying war and I thought of our trials with young Lilly Roberts.  The last arrow flew alone signifying peace. This told me that victory is possible and that this is not the final battle.  I saw one other thing, the butterfly. This I do not understand, but I called you to ask if you’re okay and to inquire (A long pause), about your mother.”

David saved the message and stared at the phone a long time. He said, simply, “Mother”.