What was I thinking? I mean, running a Kickstarter for a book series that no one outside my editor and beta readers have ever heard of? Even though it’s gotten great reviews and has caused a few emotional outbursts?
Some people have been very nice to me. They’ve told me they like my books. They’ve read my short stories and complimented me. Obviously they were just being kind. They didn’t want to tell me what they really thought, that the stories were passable at best.
I’ve set myself up for failure. No, I’ve set myself up for disaster. When only two people back the project – both of them related to me—and surely they only back out of pity, not because they’re convinced that I’m actually producing anything good—well, I’ll finally be forced to look and see I’ve been deceiving myself.
These are the thoughts that have threatened to drown me. All this, despite having a number of short story credits to my name. Despite having a publishing company having bought two of my novels, with more on the way. Despite receiving so much encouragement from so many.
Am I going to get rich off this Kickstarter? Yeah, not so much. If we break even with what we’ve already invested, it’ll honestly be a pretty big deal. But my wife and I sat down. We ran the numbers. We think we have a decent-to-good chance of getting funded.
No, we’re not insane for attempting this Kickstarter. Well, not any more than most people who run Kickstarters, at least.
But then my brain goes the exact opposite direction. I’ve figured out stretch goals all the way up to getting funded 3000%. Well, we can offer these side stories and spin-offs and enrich the books with maps or maybe illustrations! I’ve plotted out several possible stories that will add to the overall narrative if we just get funded that much! Oh, it’d be great if we made enough to actually do an audiobook of the series!
I dream up how amazing it’ll be to have that much support. Imagine having to order cases of books to ship out! How will that work at the post office? Maybe we’ll have to have packing parties! Some of my favorite authors have had to do things like that. Maybe I will, too!
And my brain keeps swinging between these two extremes as the Kickstarter inches ever closer. Disaster! Riches! The world ends! I am declared king of the universe!
But there’s the psychological side of this, too. I’m looking ahead and yes, I’m nervous. I know I’m a fraud. I’ve fooled so many people into thinking I’m a good writer, and now I’m publicly staking a chance that I’ve fooled enough people that they’ll fund a six-book series they’ve never seen.
But maybe I’ve fooled enough people that it’ll superfund!
This is part of the struggle that pretty much ever writer has. It’s called Impostor Syndrome, and it’s real. I don’t know that I’ll ever get over it.
But what I can do is keep writing, and keep putting it out there. If people want to indulge me? Cool. If I fool them into thinking I’m a real writer? Awesome.
And if the Kickstarter funds?
That’d be pretty sweet.
Also, check out this preview of the cover of book three: