Using Kickstarter For Graphic Novels With Ben Galley

Ben Galley transcription>>JOANNA: Hi, everyone, I’m Joanna Penn
from and today I’m here with Ben Galley. Welcome, Ben!>>BEN: Hi there, Jo, how are you doing?>>JOANNA: I’m good. So, just as a little
introduction, Ben is the best-selling author of the dark fantasy Emaneska Series, as well
as advising indie authors through his site, Shelf Help. Now, Ben, just start by telling
us a bit more about you and your writing background, and what you’re up to these days.>>BEN: Yeah, well in a nutshell, I’ve been
writing since I was a kid. I wrote my first book aged 11, maybe 12, and to date it is
still the longest book I’ve ever written! So, writing, as you can imagine, was in my
blood since a, since a young boy, and I’ve always been raised on a diet of fantasy, um,
so after I was, I wrote my first book, er, at that age, I went through college, er, school
and college, and got distracted. So I only got back into writing sort of about 2008,
2009, and it felt natural for me to just jump back into fant- er, fantasy. Er, I was studying,
um, music at a college called ACM and working in a number of dead-end jobs, and I wanted
to get out. So books seemed the best option for me, and so I went straight back in to
writing, straight back into fantasy, and five years later, here I am. I’m now, er, I’ve
got four books out in the Emaneska Series, I’ve just launched a self-publishing guide
called “Shelf Help: The Pocket Guide to Self-Publishing,” er, I’ve launched an
e-book store, I run Shelf Help, my self-publishing consultancy, and have a graphic novel on the
way, as well.>>JOANNA: Fantastic!>>BEN: So a lot can change in five years!>>JOANNA: And, er, just so everyone knows,
how old are you, Ben?>>BEN: I’m only 26.>>JOANNA: Ahh! It’s lovely!>>BEN: The baby.>>JOANNA: Yeah, I feel like such an old woman
next to you!>>BEN: Rubbish!>>JOANNA: I often, you know, it’s funny,
because I get emails from, um, teenagers, and asking, you know, about writing and publishing
and things, and I, it makes me really excited, and I think, “Gosh, if I-“ because I started
when I was like 35, if I had started, well, you know, except that when I was 26, there
wasn’t Kindle, there wasn’t, you know, these things didn’t happen, but it’s just,
we’re living in this, such an amazing time, aren’t we, and->>BEN: We are indeed.>>JOANNA: The opportunities are there.>>BEN: I agree. A lot of my clients are teenagers,
and yeah, even for a 26-year-old, when an 18-year-old, 17-year-old gets in touch with
me and says, “I’ve written a book,” and they send it over and it’s great, I’m
just, “Ah, [unclear 02.15].” But it’s a great time to be an author, you’re absolutely
right. I wish I’d started even younger.>>JOANNA: Yeah, I know, exactly. Right, so,
I wanted to talk to you about Kickstarter, because I get a lot of questions about it,
and I have quite a, um, I have a lot of barriers around Kickstarter, which we can go into.
But I think there are a lot of misconceptions about it, you know, a kind of free money misconception
which I think is wrong. So, first up, tell us what your Kickstarter project was for.
Describe, you know, what it was about.>>BEN: OK, well, essentially, the Kickstarter
project that I ran last year was to turn my first book, “The Written,” the first book
of the Emaneska Series, and turn it into a graphic novel. Er, a 120-page graphic novel.
So, it was very, very straightforward, it was a simple adaptation from a book to artwork,
so that’s what I did.>>JOANNA: And why did you want to do that
particularly?>>BEN: Well, it’s always been something
I’ve wanted to do: I’ve always been a bit of a comic book geek. I don’t know if
you can see the poster behind me with all the comic book art on it! So, as you can tell,
graphic novels and comic books are something that I’ve always been into. Er, that, combined
with the tagline for the Emaneska Series, which is “Lord of the Rings meets Sin City,”
I wanted to fulfil the Sin City aspect of it. Er, as you said, it’s dark fantasy,
it’s epic fantasy, and so the fantasy market and the fantasy genre is seeing er, graphic
novels surge in popularity at the moment. So it’s a good bandwagon to get onto. So,
those two things sort of combined, and, and that’s why I really wanted to do it. And
I think it’s also, it’s just important to move into a different market, as well,
and, and grow a different sort of fan base that would add to a pure Emaneska book series
fan base as well. So it was also a business decision, as well as just something I really
wanted to do.>>JOANNA: Mm. And why did you do, why did
you go for Kickstarter? Why didn’t you just save up your, erm, your royalties, and pay
for it all outright?>>BEN: Well, essentially, um, this was a
year ago, I mean, I didn’t have that sort of cash lying around. I, I mean, I needed
5 to 6,000 pounds. So to just dump that straight into a project, ha, that’s the thing, I
mean, I’ve got, like you, loads of different projects on the go, so that cash probably
would have been repurposed elsewhere, and, and sort of would have been chipped into,
unfortunately. Um, for me, it actually seemed like a good business decision to use a crowdfunding
platform, mainly because it, it’s clever in the way that it act- it gets people invested
at the very, very start of the project, at the roots of the project. And that’s something
you can’t really do with books. I know you can do sort of crowd-reading, and you can
use Wattpad, essentially, but a project like this, it gets people in at the very, very
ground level, and keeps them through to completion. So, when you launch, you’ve already sort
of marketed to a, a group of people, and you’ve already got buyers as well. So it made sense
to me.>>JOANNA: Mm. So, just explain, if people
don’t know, how does Kickstarter actually work?>>BEN: Yeah. Well, it’s actually very,
very simple. What you do is, you basically come up with a concept, you, er, log on to
the Kickstarter platform and you set up a project. And this project, er, consists of,
um, a time, the amount you want to raise, a, and also just your description, and you
can basically put loads of different media into that, it’s advisable to do so, such
as videos. For instance, for my graphic novel project, I had a video of myself talking about
the graphic novel project and why I wanted to do it, I had an excerpt of the book, I
had, um, some artwork that I had already produced for it, so there was a lot to get your teeth
into. So, once you build your project and your pitch to your backers, essentially, what
happens is, it goes live, er, it goes live for a period of whatever you set, so it can
be anything from 20 days to 60 days, that sort of thing. And then people just come along,
they browse through the Kickstarter, you drive them to the Kickstarter page. And they, essentially,
back your project, in return for a reward. And the reward can range from, you know, 1
dollar, 1 pound, up to, I think I had a 500 and a thousand, sorry, it was a thousand dollar
reward. Er, so, there are loads of different reward tiers, and backing tiers, so people
can choose how they want to support, and in return they get rewards. So, one of my rewards
for 60 dollars was the chance to actually get your face into the graphic novel, which
I thought was part of a, quite a novel idea. So, essentially, it’s, it’s all about
using the rewards to, not convince, but encourage people to invest in you, and hopefully reach
your goal. And mine was 5,000 – I hit 5,600 at the end of 50 days, which I was really
chuffed with.>>JOANNA: That, that is very, very good.
And you mentioned there, er, you have to drive people to the Kickstarter page.>>BEN: Absolutely, absolutely.>>JOANNA: Now, that is a misconception, I
think.>>BEN: Absolutely.>>JOANNA: People believe that when they just
put up a Kickstarter and money appears. But what do you mean by driving traffic to the
page?>>BEN: Well, the idea behind Kickstarter
is to, er, you know, it acts as a hub for your project. So, yes, Kickstarter gets a
lot of traffic in general, a lot of organic traffic, and a lot of the users of Kickstarter
will browse for projects that they want to back, again, because the rewards can sometimes
be really, really clever, and exclusive, as well. But, it is a huge amount of work: it
does take marketing, just like an actual book will, or an actual website will, if, if not
even more work, because essentially, you’re trying to part people with their money, before
something’s even been created. So it’s, it’s a strange concept for people to get
their head round. But that’s why it takes a lot of marketing. So I did, um, some paid
marketing, a huge amount of social media marketing, a, and it’s a full-on job, and one of the
sort of, I think I misunderestimated, um, sorry, I underestimated how much work it would
be, or how much work it would take, er, and it was for those 50 days that the project
was live, it was constant, every day, emailing people, using my mailing list, chatting on
Facebook and Twitter, driving people to it. Because otherwise you simply, you don’t,
you don’t reach your limit, and if you don’t reach your limit, the concept behind Kickstarter
is, you don’t raise anything. It’s you hit your limit and exceed it or nothing. So
those, I mean, the two months of work that I put into it beforehand would have simply
gone to waste.>>JOANNA: And what about the fees? Because
you don’t get all that money, do you?>>BEN: You don’t, no. There are fees involved.
Er, the Kickstarter fee is 5% of the total funds raised, er, so that’s, 5% doesn’t
sound a lot, but if you raise a lot, it can be quite a large chunk for Kickstarter. So
it’s wise to look into the fees and how Kickstarter works, before setting up a project.
And there’s also payment fees involved, as well. There’s 3% plus, I think it’s
20p per pledge, er, which is taken out of your funds, so the actual backers don’t
have to pay anything. If your, if your pledges are under ten pounds, as well, there’s sort
of a micro-pledge fee, which is slightly less. And there is also, in the UK, there’s, um,
VAT to pay on the payments as well. It’s not charged on the actual funds raised, but
it’s the, um, sorry, it’s not charged on the, um, the actual funds raised, it’s
charged on the fees as well, so that 5% plus VAT. So yes, you do have to learn to be aware
of these, and do the math beforehand, essentially.>>JOANNA: Yes, and, and that doing the math
seems to be the downfall for many people. I’ve heard stories of people who’ve, you
know, saved, done 5,000, then realized that they actually needed 10,000.>>BEN: Absolutely.>>JOANNA: So how did you that, the math,
for your project for a graphic novel?>>BEN: I worked it out all ahead of time.
Er, and again, that’s a very, very important thing to do. So, for instance, I worked out
how much I would need to pay my artist, Mike, and then I put into, into that equation all
of the rewards. Let’s say if, for some reason, everyone went for the most expensive reward
– I don’t mean the most expensive reward in how much they give to me, but how much,
you know, the unit costs of the reward that I would have to give to them, and then you’ve
got to factor in shipping costs; you’ve got to factor in packaging costs, things like
that. You have to add all of these things up and then add that to your golden amount
for, basically, what you want to raise, and then factor the fees in, as well. So you just
sort of have to do a lot of math beforehand, to make sure that you’re aware of the chunks
that are going to be taken out, your costs to facilitate the rewards, and also do the
project, as well. So those are the three aspects, essentially. [[LB1]START CUT OPTION 1 09:45]>>JOANNA:
Mm. And did you put in a contingency, in case – I mean, like postage, for example, and
I’ve had, I’ve backed Kickstarters where I’ve a- ended up having to pay more later
because of the postage from the US to the UK. You know, how did you work that out? Because,
of course, you don’t know, you know, you’re in the UK, what if the backer is in the US,
what if they’re in China or Australia: how did you work out the postage-type fees?
[START CUT OPTION 2 10:09]>>BEN: Well, I worked out the, ba- I have quite a lot of
fans in the US, so I worked out, essentially, if I’m going to send a couple of hardbacks
and a graphic novel and some posters out for the top backer, how many backers, er, how
many of those will I most likely have, the answer is probably, let’s say, a dozen for
the 500 award, er, 500 level awards. So, essentially, I, I thought of the, um, er, oh I’m going
to have to say this again, Joanna, sorry. I’ve lost my train of thought. Let’s start
from the – do you want to ask the question again, I’ll launch straight back into it.>>JOANNA: What was the question? Oh, the
postage. Yes, so, um, [END CUT OPTION 1 10:44] So did you add a contingency fee? So, for
example, I’ve backed a, a um Kickstarter before, and ended up having to pay extra for
the postage between the US and the UK on a very heavy physical object that the person
didn’t work in. So, how, how did you do that, because you have, obviously have fans
all over the world, and you’re in the UK? [END CUT OPTION 2 11:03]>>BEN: Absolutely. Well, most of my fans
are in the US, so what I did is factor in, if I’m going to send a couple of hardbacks
out, I factored in the most expense or the, the most it would cost me, a, and then basically
figured out, um, if loads of people go for that particular reward, how much am I likely
to be paying out here? And sort of developed a worst-case scenario. And also, Kickstarter
facilitates, um, shipping fees, as well. So when you actually back, there might be a £2
or £1 extra um, fee, depending on your country. So I actually set an extra three- sorry, not
pounds, dollars. I actually set an extra amount for those backers in the US or Australia,
etc. So, so, if you are a backer in the US and you’d fund my project, you’d see an
extra little charge on top. Which isn’t much, compared to most of the actual backing
or, or reward amounts.>>JOANNA: Mm, no, that’s fantastic, because
I actually had, um, er, a graphic artist on the podcast, um, recently, um, Nath- Nathan
Massingill, who’s awesome, and we talked about this, and I’m very keen to do this
graphic novel kind of Kickstarter, too, for my ARKANE books. But I’ll tell you my biggest
issue is having all of those people – like, being an author’s great, because you can
write as – as we are, write what you want, and then see if people want to buy it. So
no one’s telling you what to do; no one’s saying, “Where’s my book, where’s my
book?” like they do to George R. R. Martin! You know, nobody, no one can tell me what
to write. And that’s part of the reason we’re indies, right. So, with Kickstarter,
what you basically do is all these people, I mean, with £5,000, so, I don’t know,
how many people did you have in total backing?>>BEN: I had a hundred and- off the top of
my head, I think 156.>>JOANNA: OK, so you now have 156 people
who want something from you, within a certain time frame: I’m sure they’re emailing
you and asking questions.>>BEN: Oh yes. Absolutely.>>JOANNA: Now, that’s what puts me off.
So, how, how are you dealing with that and, and, you know, what are the pros and cons
of that having a lot of bosses idea?>>BEN: Well, yeah, you are right: it is a
scary concept to have that many people chasing you for something that you’ve potentially
never done before. I mean, I, this is my first graphic novel, it won’t be the last. However,
what you have to be honest about is the amount of work it will entail. So, in the project,
Kickstarter guides you through setting up a project, and at the end of your main project
strip, there is a section sort of, I think it’s called “Challenges.” And in that,
you have to be, I recommend being completely 100% honest in that section, and saying, “This
could take a year, this could take a year and a half, it’s something that my artist
and I have never done, however, we are keen to do it, we have the skills, you can see
that from the artwork.” That’s exactly what I did. I said, “The project itself
will take a year.” It’s taken over a year now. But also you can facilitate, sorry, Kickstarter
facilitates updates as well, so you can actually go on and update your backers privately or
publicly. So you can keep people updated as the project goes on, and I do that with artwork
from Mike, with concept art, with updates in general, publishing news, things like that.
And every time, people are very, very keen to know more, but also very happy that you
are updating them. So it’s a very, it’s a back and forth relationship. It’s not
like you suddenly get your money, and you start getting emails from people going, “Where’s
my reward, where are my things, where are my signed photographs” or whatever. It’s
an on-going project. People realize that, er, Kickstarter is getting up to that start
point, and then it’s the, you know, that’s the Research and Development and fundraising,
and then it’s the actual creation. So they realize that they are coming in at a really
early stage, and they could be a year or two years until they get, there could be one or
two years until they actually get their rewards, or the project is completed.>>JOANNA: Mm. No, it’s interesting, and
I mean, in terms of – I’m sure you get these emails, too – people say, “Oh, I’m
writing my first novel ever, and I can’t afford editing fees or cover design, so I’m
going to do a Kickstarter for my very first book.” What, what is your advice to those
people?>>BEN: I wouldn’t use Kickstarter. Nor
would I use other crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo. The reason being is, like I
said, it takes a lot of work, and it takes a lot of marketing to have a, to make a Kickstarter
project successful, and to reach that target of yours. And so you do need a bit of an existing
platform, i.e., you need fans, you need Facebook contacts, you need Twitter followers. And
the reason being is that those are the troops that you muster to either fund you or to tell
people that you can now fund my, er, graphic novel. So, essentially, you do need a bit
of a platform before you do it. So if you are a new author with a brand new book, the
likelihood is that not many people will have heard of you, or your fan base will be very,
very small, so actually the troops, the amount of troops that you can muster, aren’t that
many. So, what I would recommend is doing it later on, for later books. [START CUT 15:36]
And, also, you know, if you are going straight onto Kickstarter as well, as a new author,
you’re only relying on your actual – bear with me, I’m going to cut that bit there!
Sorry, Jo, I’ve switched round my points. Where was I? [END CUT 15:53]. So also, with
Kickstarter, you’re, you are relying solely, as a newbie author, without a fan base, you’re
relying solely on the concept and making that as attractive as possible to the browsers,
to the organic visitors to your page. And that’s a hard job. You know, you do need
to drive people to it: organic browsing is not enough with Kickstarter. So, for a newbie
author, it’s difficult.>>JOANNA: Yeah, I think so too. And I think
about what I’ve funded on Kickstarter, so, um, I’ve recently funded the Morbid Anatomy
Museum in New York->>BEN: Oh, great.>>JOANNA: Which is an awesome project, making
a museum, I love that. And I’ve funded a font based on Sigmund Freud’s handwriting->>BEN: Oh, brilliant.>>JOANNA: Which was, which is just a very
cool idea. And then I did help with Seth Godin’s big project, um, which he did. He produced
a massive hardback book, you know, really, really huge, and, you know, I was thinking
about, so the things that I would pay for on Kickstarter, I’m either a real fan of,
or they’re kind of quirky, unusual->>BEN: That’s it.>>JOANNA: Things. So, wh, you know, who should
– those are some examples of mine, but in your, in your, um, experience and your research,
what are the types of things that do amazingly well on Kickstarter and what doesn’t?>>BEN: Mm. Well, essentially, there are plenty
of books on Kickstarter, as well, so it’s not just the fact that you, as a new author,
you might not have the fan base, or be prepared for the workload, etc., um, essentially the
concept needs to be very, very strong, and that’s why I mentioned, if it’s a, a brand-new
concept, a brand-new book from an unproven author, it, it might be difficult to get people
to invest. So, essentially, a concept, like you said, could be quirky, it needs to be
interesting. It needs to be shareable, as well: it needs to be engaging, and something
that someone feels compelled to support. So for mine, mine was an adaptation from, er,
a successful novel, so, yes, I used my fans, but the concept is pretty strong, because,
you know, this novel, I’m saying to people who haven’t even heard of me before, “This
novel sold very, very well. It’s now being turned into a graphic novel. If you like graphic
novels, here is some artwork.” So, it’s different: it’s not a book by an unknown
author, and, you know, books, essentially, are commonplace. There are books all over
the place. Everyone can write a book, or everyone seems to be writing a book, at least. So,
for a graphic novel, it’s something slightly different, especially as it’s a fantasy
novel, er, sorry, fantasy graphic novel: even though they are rising in popularity, a lot
of people still haven’t seen a fantasy graphic novel. So, you know, again, those are the
quirkinesses that I had there that really, really helped me. So I think, yes, your concept
needs to be different: it can’t just be – yes there, have been successful book Kickstarters,
but it needs to be slightly outside the box to really get people interested.>>JOANNA: Yeah, I think so. So some, some
angle of originality I think is->>BEN: Absolutely.>>JOANNA: Important. And, yeah, so not just
a basic thing around editing. I just don’t know why anyone would pay, necessarily pay
for editing on a, on a book, you know, with a Kickstarter.>>BEN: No.>>JOANNA: Well, I guess a graphic novel might
have some editing involved, but->>BEN: It will do, yeah, absolutely. I mean,
that was part of the cost, but it was mainly for the creation of the art. And Mike’s
a brilliant artist, and I think his art really, really inspired people to fund it as well.
And if you get a chance, if any of you have seen it on Twitter and Facebook, I know, Jo,
you’ve seen a bit of it as well, but the artwork is, is, is absolutely great. He’s
an incredible artist. So I think if I’d perhaps had a different artist, I might not
have been successful. So->>JOANNA: Mm, that’s a very good point.
And a visual, visual stuff is critical, isn’t it.>>BEN: Oh, yes.>>JOANNA: You have to have a really good
video.>>BEN: Yeah. Kickstarter actively- sorry,
Kickstarter really recommends that you use a video. It’s something that I wasn’t
really keen to do, because, you know, videos can sometimes be a little bit daunting, back
then I wasn’t doing as many videos as I do now. But, yes, absolutely, you do need
to do a video, because you need that personal touch with a Kickstarter. Essentially, you’re
saying, um, you know, it’s the digital version of approaching someone in the street and saying,
“Sorry, have you got a couple of quid for this, this thing I’m working on?” and
you have to sort of convince them with that conversation, but it’s a very one-way conversation
with a Kickstarter project: you basically put your project in, on the page, er, and
you let people browse it, and the people that you drive to it have to browse it and go at
the end of it, “Yes, I’ll fund it.” So it absolutely has to be as compelling as
possible. And personal.>>JOANNA: How did you find your, sorry, how
did you find your artist, by the way?>>BEN: That, again, was crowdsourced. Um,
as you can tell, I’m a bit of a fan of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding in general: anything crowd.
Um, I used a site called, which is a very, very good way of finding
many graphic designers, but, again, there are a lot of editors on there, a lot of freelance
professionals in general. So what I did is, before I went to Kickstarter, I held a People
Per Hour project, and basically used that to find a graphic artist. And Mike – Mike
is a strange character. Not personally, but his circumstances are very strange, in the
fact that he was born in the West Country, but then decided to go and live in China for
no apparent reason, without speaking the language, and not even in a big city, in a rural part
of China. So, he sort of came to me via People Per Hour and I realized, suddenly, even though
he had this West Country accent, that we wouldn’t be able to work face to face on this, that
it all would be based on email. But that’s the thing: the scope of crowdfunding and sites
like People Per Hour, you can find anyone across the world, so you’re not limited
to your territory at all. And again, it’s another one of the beauties behind the digital
revolution. So, yes, I work with a West Country designer in China, while raising the money
here in the UK. It’s great.>>JOANNA: That is great. And I use People
Per Hour as well, for different things. I highly recommend, you know, especially authors
like us who are entrepreneurs, doing all kinds of stuff, we, we do need to outsource sometimes,
and, of course, you know, you’re a writer, not a graphic artist, so, you know->>BEN: Not at all. Er, I can’t draw at
all!>>JOANNA: Well I, I’m really, so just tell
us about more, where is the graphic novel right now? Where’s the project?>>BEN: Well, there you are: those are the
people chasing for it! Um, the graphic novel will hopefully be two to three months away.
Again, I’m sort of saying two to three, just to give myself that space. But essentially
the process is on-going. Er, we are at the stage now where we’re sort of 90 to 95%
finished with the artwork. It’s been a long planning process, and, of course, the actual
pr- production of the artwork from Mike takes a long time. He does a lot of work regarding
actually painting the pages before digitally designing them as well. So, he’s a very
true artist. So, for us at the moment, it’s getting towards the last few pages: I think
we have about six left to, to create. And then it’s the coloration, the tweaking,
it’s the editing, like you said, and it’s also the, basically combining these pages
into a book file. And, and then publishing it. So that’s going to take about a month
or two as well. But, essentially, we’re really, really close. It’s been a great,
great process, and I can’t wait to get it finished. I can’t wait to get it out there:
for me, and the backers.>>JOANNA: No, that is exciting. So, so what
have you actually learned from the, the process of, of doing the Kickstarter? As in, if you’re
going to do it again, um, what would you do differently or what are any mistakes?>>BEN: I would – that’s a good question.
I would allocate more time to it. As I said, I think the amount of time that it took from
me, er, I underestimated. Mainly because, like I said, there’s a lot of marketing,
there’s a lot of, er, mailing, emailing to do. So I would allocate more time to it.
I wouldn’t necessarily make the project longer, because it can, there’s a certain
aspect with Kickstarter where projects with long timetables can actually sort of get lost
in the mix and the interest dies away. And there’s also that sort of urgency with shorter,
um, projects with shorter timescales. So, I wouldn’t change that aspect, but I would
give myself more time: more time to market. I’d do a lot of marketing ahead of time,
as well, to create a bit more buzz around the project.
Essentially, I, I think I was, er, I went into it with an open mind, which I think was
good, so, for me, I think that was the main thing I learned. Er, I think I was very lucky
with Mike, as well: I was lucky that he came across my project, because he’s been great
as well. After the Kickstarter project itself, once we were successfully funded, he’s been
a great person to work with. So I think a lesson that I would share with you is that
you do, you do need to find that right person to work with, if you aren’t a graphic artist
yourself, that is. If you are working with a freelancer, a professional, you need to
find the right one, someone who suited my style, someone who is, you, you can work with,
worlds apart, you know, over Skype and over email, very easily, who can understand you,
understand your feedback, essentially, as well. So, that’s a key, er, a key point
to take away.>>JOANNA: Wow, that’s, that’s fantastic.
And just, er, for people, because the thing with Kickstarter, you do need to use Amazon
Payments, don’t you? And some people – to actually pay the money – and some people
don’t like that. So, you mentioned Indiegogo. Tell us a bit more about the other options
for crowdfunding.>>BEN: Yeah, there are, um, there are quite
a few options. There’s a, especially the fact that there are now some literary um focused
crowdfunding sites, as well, which are really, really great. But Indiegogo is a UK-based
version of Kickstarter, they have a very similar, it is growing all the time. It started after
Kickstarter, so it doesn’t have the punch, or quite the punch that Kickstarter has. That’s
not to impugn it in any way because, like I said, it is up and coming, and it is good
for sort of UK authors – sorry, UK users, as well. Um, it’s used more in the UK, whereas
Kickstarter’s more of an American-based platform. They are both good. The fees are
slightly different between each, so definitely go and research and have a look at what suits
you better. Um, some of the functionality is different. But one literary-focused crowdfunding
platform is one called Pubslush, which is a newer platform on the scene. And what it
does is essentially work exactly the same as Kickstarter, even the way that the projects
are displayed and the rewards, very, very similar to Kickstarter, but it’s focused
on books, so people actually pitch a book idea. It could be a completed manuscript,
or it could be a manuscript, um, that’s basically just a scribble on the back of a
packet: an idea, a concept! And so people who are using Pubslush understand that this
is where books are funded. So, it’s actually, it’s a really good step, because it’s
focused on books. So, for newbie authors, while Kickstarter might not be the best platform,
Pubslush might be. Again, your concept needs to be strong: you need to put in a lot of
work, etc. So, concept’s the same, but just focused on the books.>>JOANNA: Wow, fantastic. Now, just on other
things, you’ve recently put out this “Shelf Help Pocket Book.”>>BEN: I have indeed.>>JOANNA: And I’ve got to ask you, because
so many of us have these books out on self-publishing: there seems to be a little crop of them right
now. Tell us what makes yours stand out, in case people are interested. [START CUT 25:52]>>BEN: Yeah, um, I’ll
take that one again. In fact, Jo, can I just actually grab the book, because I have a physical
copy. Came through yesterday. I’ll try and sit in the exact same place. There we go.
So, I’ll just start from your question[END CUT 26:13]>>BEN: So yes, “Shelf Help: The Pocket
Guide to Self-Publishing” came out just last month. The, what stands out about it
for me is it’s designed to be a one-stop shop: it’s an end-to-end guide from, as
I say, manuscript to royalty check, so it’s designed for brand-new authors primarily:
designed to give you an introduction to the industry as well as the concept of self-publishing.
And not just any type of self-publishing: er, I’m a DIY self-publisher, which means
I take all control into my hands, er, I am an authorpreneur, the phrase that you coined,
and essentially it’s, it’s what I believe is the best and most beneficial way of self-publishing.
Like I said, because it gives you all the power, it gives you maximum royalties, and
you are free to do Kickstarter projects and be, basically be the master of your own destin-destiny.
So “Shelf Help” is a guide to DIY publishing. No, it does have something for everyone: it
covers a huge amount of aspects, from, er what I call the polishing process, the publishing
process, and also then the promotion, er, process as well. [START CUT 27:07] So, basically,
er, writing or creating a manuscript, sorry, no, [END CUT 27:12] So, basically, polishing
a manuscript into a professional product, then actually the act of publishing an e-book
and paperback, and then selling it as well. So, like I said, end-to-end solution almost.>>JOANNA: Fantastic. So you are a busy man.>>BEN: I am indeed, yeah. It never stops!>>JOANNA: So tell me where they can find
you and your books online.>>BEN: Well, you can find me at
or you can find me on Twitter, @bengalley, or you can find me on Facebook at /bengalleyauthor
– and all my books are regularly talked about on my website, Twitter and Facebook.>>JOANNA: Fantastic. Thanks for your time,
Ben.>>BEN: Thank you, Jo. Cheers.
[LB1]Two cut options here, Option 1 includes your first go at your question, Option 2 includes
your second go at your question.

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