Discover more from The Cascadia Chronicles
The Campaign: One Week Down
The Blue Beacon's first week was a rousing success. So what happens next?
Before all else, I owe you Cascadia Chronicles/Green Room readers a heaping cornucopia of thanks.
While I felt confident in meeting my fundraising goals, I did not expect The Blue Beacon to fund in a few hours. It was a rush of a day, and immensely gratifying.
The campaign currently stands at $7,274 pledged, 363% funded, has 113 backers, and 22 days remain in the campaign.
Here’s a graph of the project so far.
Outside the funding itself, the most substantial effect of this onrush was the campaign earning a Projects We Love badge from Kickstarter, intended to set aside their standout projects. This badge is an honor, and also means we’ll be featured more often on the site’s main page.
How everything felt
On Launch Day I was ready to go.
I believed in my product, in the high quality of The Blue Beacon’s story and design.
After months of research, consideration, and assembly, I felt confident in my campaign strategy and build-out.
I knew I had an excellent video, written by me, shot by Lana, and directed and edited by my esteemed writer compatriot, Aaron Donley.
As previously mentioned, I was confident in meeting my goal early in the campaign. That was part of my strategy, to receive pledges well enough over the target that my funding percentage number (currently 364%) casts The Blue Beacon as an underground hit.
The problem was, I wasn’t ready to capitalize on this strategy.
Missteps & Reconsiderations
According to what I read, the best way to build off a fast-funding is with a steady plan for Stretch Goals. Stretch Goals are basically bonuses, where each milestone a project hits (in The Blue Beacon’s case, every $5k) unlocks a new item for funders.
I was strongly advised to have those goals prepared in case the project funded faster than expected. And while I had a rough draft of Stretch Goals in mind, I didn’t have a design ready, which proved to be a problem when I was funded by Hour 3 whilst out on the town at meetings.
Eventually I got around to finalizing my list and laying out the design. Behold: The Blue Beacon Stretch Goals.
The goal of this campaign was more than funding a project. It was to get a strong book launch, and as many copies of The Blue Beacon into the hands of readers as possible.
With that in mind, the other aspect I’ve second-guessed was my funding target. The $2,000 goal was basically the minimum I needed to make a launch feasible, and everything else would be extra. Yet did setting the bar so low show a lack of ambition?
I think $2k was the right call, though, especially for a first-time campaign. All in all, the strategy seems sound, though it’s natural to wonder how a higher goal might’ve changed dynamics.
The Joy and Pain of Marketing
With the campaign live, I’m now in Marketing Mode. And while I’d readily admit to preferring Creative Mode, part of what’s fun about this project is how many different fields I’m learning. And promotion is increasingly vital to authors as publishing paradigms shift.
My main steps last week were to gently post about the book in Reddit and on Facebook. I say “gently” because those communities tend to abhor self-promotion, so you have to come in humbly and say, “Hey, guys, I’m a fan like all of you and I think I made something you’ll enjoy.” And while I did build some familiarity with the project, this process generally yielded modest returns.
I’ve also judiciously sent out eBooks and some of my first 27 copies to folks and media outlets who might be able to help, who might write a review or who might spread the word. If you’re one of those people, let’s talk!
I also plan to keep making videos for Instagram telling behind-the-scenes stories. Another marketing project is this newsletter, because my Cascadia Chronicles and Green Room readership were by far the campaign’s strongest supporters. 💚🙏🏼✊🏼🎉
What I’m pleased by is how much more meaningful it is to market a product I believe is well-made and which readers will enjoy. And since my role with The Blue Beacon is to be more of a conduit of creativity than the novel’s only true builder, the pressure’s more bearable.
For inspiration, I recall a line Jeff Tweedy penned in Wilco’s “What Light”":
And if the whole world's singing your songs
And all of your paintings have been hung
Just remember what was yours
Is everyone's from now on
Obviously, we’re not there yet. The paintings aren’t hung and only a few handfuls of folks know The Blue Beacon’s song. But there are a lotta weeks left in this campaign, and a lot of readers left to find. For now I’m riding the wave of gratitude and buckling up to keep on building the foundation you helped lay down. Thank you, again. And stay tuned for more as we march on through this campaign.