Go, go, Shylygirl! Understanding my #kidlit Indiegogo campaign as a marketing appeal.

“Leadership is more than just going first.” –Shyly D. Lightful, The scientific art of getting lost, for dogs

“Leadership is more than just going first.” –Shyly D. Lightful, The scientific art of getting lost, for dogs. http://igg.me/at/ShylyLost

I have a brand new Indiegogo campaign as of this morning, a crowdfunding appeal for my forthcoming #kidlit bedtime story book, The scientific art of getting lost, for dogs.

I’ve been talking about it a lot lately – hard-headed philosophy served up as rollicking fun for kids of all ages – and later today at church I’ll be going into the over-arching aesthetics as meta-philosophy. There will be riots in the virtual pews, I’m sure. For now I want to talk about what I’m up to as a marketer.

First, art is a business, and I wish I had better evidence for that proposition. I am as appealing as glowing plutonium to the publishing biz – which is perfectly understandable. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is dinner. I am happy enough to be ignored, if the alternative is to be imprisoned or exterminated.

But indie publishing promises to choke every choke-point standing between me and my vast audience of dozens. It has, too, to some degree. But the problem for indie books is buzz. Publishing-house books have it, either from the fame of the author or with paid-for publicity. Indie books have to make their own.

Enter Indiegogo. I see it as a marketing channel masquerading as a crowd-funding platform. Some campaigns are all or mostly fund-raising appeals, but many are some or mostly on-line shopping: Support the project by buying the product.

I like that part, because, considered as actual, tangible trade goods, books are a relatively-easy product to produce. It is the writing that’s hard – or so I’m told. In any case, it’s duck soup for me to knock out a book, taking care of every back-end job from soup to nuts. It’s the getting the books sold and read part that’s the problem for me.

So I’m wondering if Indiedgogo could prove to be an outstanding way for me to stand out from the crowd.

The site lives and dies by the long-copy advertising format, and the ideas I’m playing with are very easy to sell that way. And books are easy to build freemiums around, which is how canine author Shyly D. Lightful has managed to put me into the stuffed-animal business.

There’s more: Because I am selling a product that is technically not finished – ‘technically’ because I never start a story with knowing how it ends – I am able to feature your best-beloved, most-admired dog as a character in the yarn. To be remembered by our descendants is as close to immortality as any of us can come – and you can have that for your dog.

All of which, I hope, will help me build a following – for this book, at the least, and, if I can manage to run the table, for everything I have to say.

That’s where you come in. Indiegogo campaigns thrive on action, so I need for you to do these things:

  • Buy in. I’m offering good value for the money – nothing repays its costs like a bedtime book – and I can deliver on all the perks whether or not the project fully funds.
  • Share the campaign. Politics is downstream from culture? Where does culture come from? If you want for 24-year-olds to think better, teach four-year-olds to think better.
  • Share the preview book. Can you sell a book with just a pitch and a trailer? Books are meant to be browsed, so Part I of The scientific art of getting lost, for dogs is available for free – to read yourself, to share with your friends – and to beta-test tonight at bedtime.

But speaking of trailers, watch me make a movie that’s only 30 seconds long!

Feel free to share that, too, and the image at the top of the post is born to be memed – particularly in our current presidential-election frenzy.

As it says every day at the top of this weblog, changing the world is easy – with the right leverage. I’m taking care of my part. I need for you to step up and do yours. Share this campaign, and you will make a lifelong difference for every child who falls in love with Shyly and her pack-mates.

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