Re: Does Kickstarter work as a platform for books?
Thank you for Seth Godin's post on book publishing with Kickstarter. As
you note, Kickstarter helps with the audience you already have. As he
writes at his website, there's no shortcut to building an audience.
I want to write a book so that my philosophy is available to people.
My life's mission has been a quest for absolute truth: to know
everything and apply that knowledge usefully. Practically every day
since 1982, when I was 17, I've spent my best efforts on developing my
philosophy, noting the conceptual limits of my mind and perhaps all minds.
I've worked alone because nobody else was interested. It's a bit like
mathematics - it's very abstract, but has practical consequences, as in
engaging gangs or conversing deeply with people, looking from their
point of view.
I think the ideas - the absolute truths - can be the basis for a culture
of deep agreement, a culture for both the skeptical and the righteous.
Such a culture would let us be open to all, respect each individual's
will, the contribution they wish to make, and yet respond as one to our
needs, our doubts, our expectations, our dilemmas. It is a culture for
growing forever, learning forever, living forever here and now.
I want to discover people who would care to learn, apply and develop
these ideas. I want to build an audience. Why and how might others
embrace and foster a language of absolute truth? That's a question I'm
asking. (Pamela, in what you wrote about learning, what is the question
that you are currently asking? and what is your plan for coming up with
I'm most passionate about writing the book (electronic as well as
print-on-demand). I also need to look for some income, so it makes sense
to try to crowdsource it, sell it on Amazon and look for related grant
Kickstarter can help me see, at this point, who is my audience. Who
would read my book? In a sense, practically nobody. If I could raise
even $500, it would be a great moral support, but even that seems
unlikely. Yet at least I would get some feedback as to who is at all
interested and why.
But how could I write my book so that more people (or anybody) would be
interested? And that it would be meaningful to them?
Over the years, while organizing my online laboratory Minciu Sodas, I
collected from people their answers to two questions:
* What is your deepest value in life, which includes all of your other
* What is a question that you don't know the answer to, but wish to answer?
People's answers have been most inspiring, wonderfully unique and
profound. People typically find these questions unexpected and
meaningful. I've collected answers from more than 600 people.
Art also helps me interest people. They don't buy my art. But when they
see my art, they'll let me talk about my philosophy for half-an-hour or
more, which they wouldn't otherwise.
People don't seem to be interested in "absolute truth" or my version of
it. But if I say that I have a "private language" - which I do - then
perhaps it is more interesting and less threatening. Especially if I
express it in art.
Last Saturday, at the Kickstarter workshop, these ideas came together
for me. I could write a book called "Talking to Andrius". It could
consist of two parts: a grammar (how I think) and a phrasebook (what
others might like to say). The phrasebook would be made up of people's
deepest values and their investigatory questions. I would organize them
and express them with Egyptians hieroglyphics, Chinese characters,
Indo-European roots (as in Lithuanian - Sanskrit - Latin) and pictures
that I make up. I would show where the values fit in my philosophy. I
could describe how various "ways of figuring things out" could help
explore the questions people are asking.
I am encouraged that I might thereby be tuning in to why people might
care about such a "universal language" and what they might say with it.
It's easier to imagine people supporting such a book and wanting to be a
part of it. I've written up a preview at Kickstarter:
In a sense, I'm encouraging people to think about their own "personal
philosophy" as I present my own. "Personal philosophy" is a topic that
Bob Lichtenbert has been championing.
The combination of "grammar and phrasebook" allows me to integrate what
I care about (the grammar) with what others might care about (the
phrasebook). That gives me a lot of hope. But what do you think?
I will need about 3 months to do this project, so I will try to raise
2013.05.23 05:14, Pamela McLean rašė:
> Possible interest to you Andrius.
> BTW - I went to a presentation about Crowd Sourcing. The guy said it
> was really more "Peer sourcing" because on the whole the crowd
> sourcing success stories are 90% funded by direct "friends and family"
> contacts, about 9.9% by friends of friends, and only the tiniest scrap
> by "the crowd beyond".
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: *Seth Godin and the friendly folks at the Domino Project*
> <sethgodin@... <mailto:sethgodin@...>>
> Date: 31 December 2012 12:47
> Subject: Does Kickstarter work as a platform for books?
> To: pam54321 <pam54321@... <mailto:pam54321@...>>
> Does Kickstarter work as a platform for books?
> In This Issue...
> * Does Kickstarter work as a platform for books? <#13bf1009e3d8fab2_0>
> * Search The Domino Project <http://www.feedblitz.com/f?Search=720389>
> Those that have been following along have seen the Kickstarter posts I
> did here
> and here
> Feel free to go catch up, I’ll wait…
> THE THEORY: The hardest part of book publishing is getting the first
> 10,000 copies of a book read. After that, the book either resonates or
> it doesn’t. It’s talked about, handed from person to person, used as
> an example in a book group–or it’s not. Sure, you can add more hype,
> but at that point, you’re pushing water uphill. I’ve always focused on
> how my books do their second month on sale, not the first month. The
> first month is a testament to the author’s ability to self promote,
> which is far less interesting.
> THE TACTIC: Kickstarter seems custom made to solve the 10,000 copy
> problem. The author with a tribe can reach out to her readers,
> activate them and make an offer: if enough of you agree to buy this
> book today, I’ll write it and send it to you just before a publisher
> puts it on sale…
> Book publishers are smart enough to see the powerful marketing
> leverage that this creates. When the author has done the hard work of
> finding those readers in advance, the risk the publisher faces is
> significantly less. Sure, there’s the risk that the book itself might
> not be great, that the word might not spread beyond the first circle,
> but at least the first circle is secured. Most of what a publisher
> does (in terms of effort, cost and risk) is aimed at that first
> circle, after all.
> IN PRACTICE: The Kickstarter platform is a bit of a nightmare for the
> independent author. I’m not sure I could find the intestinal fortitude
> to use it again. There are significant structural flaws in the way
> information is collected and used that virtually guarantee that 5% of
> the readers who use it will end up disappointed or need a lot of
> handholding. What should be consistent and coordinated ends up failing
> at both. And the cost of fulfillment and international shipping is
> high enough that it’s likely no money will be made (which is fine if
> the other elements fall into place).
> The good news is that the enthusiasm and support that early adopters
> bring to the table is extraordinary. This is an untapped human need,
> and people (some people, anyway) really enjoy the role of patron and
> early supporter. Others, of course, magnify the impact of their
> investment and are hard to please, but I found that the vast majority
> of my readers fell into the first camp.
> AND THE PUNCHLINE: The book goes on sale today. You can see the
> that have been posted already–by readers who paid their money for the
> book months ago. And Barnes & Noble will be making the book easy to
> find, directly as a result of the fan base coordinated via Kickstarter.
> But, it’s also clear that other books launched today without this
> pre-seeding are going to do far better in their early sales, because
> they are satisfying pent up demand, whereas my strategy exhausted pent
> up demand among those most likely to buy it instantly. And I think
> that’s a smart trade to make, or at least I hope it is.
> I won’t be the last person to try this pre-coordination approach. I
> think it’s particularly attractive as we enter a digital-only world.
> Article by seth godin
> Seth Godin is the founder of The Domino Project
> <http://www.thedominoproject.com> and has written twelve books that
> have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has
> been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the
> way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all,
> changing everything.
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