News room: What I learned from crowdfunding a book on Kickstarter - by Daphne Kapsali

What I learned from crowdfunding a book on Kickstarter - by Daphne Kapsali by Sarah Juckes

CompletelyNovel author and One Big Book Launch winner, Daphne Kapsali, raised over £3,000 to write her début novel, via a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. We caught up with her to find out how she did it, and her top tips for writers wanting to do the same.

Have you had an experience Crowdfunding a book? Share in the comments below.



“A bit ambitious” – by Daphne Kapsali


A very strange thing happened to me last autumn: I was homeless and unemployed, and people – friends and strangers alike – paid for me to live alone on a Greek island and write full time. Seriously.

It started on the principle of “nothing to lose”. I had given up my flat and job in London and moved to the remote island of Sifnos with the sole aim of spending a few months writing. I dubbed this project 100 days of solitude and set up a blog of daily entries, recording my experiences. But what began as an exercise in self-discipline and a lonely pursuit quickly became a much bigger thing, with the blog gaining a loyal following and messages of support and encouragement pouring in. Everyone, it seemed, wanted this crazy project of mine to work out, so I took crazy to the next level, and asked them to fund it.

‘It’s a bit ambitious, isn’t it?’ my mum observed, diplomatically, when I told her about my newly launched Kickstarter campaign.

Setting a target of £2,500 and asking people to pull out their credit cards and pledge their own, actual cash towards someone else’s dream. To put their faith in you and in a product you have yet to produce, so that you may produce it; asking these people, effectively, to buy you time to write. A bit ambitious? It was crazy.

And it worked. Against the odds, it actually worked. At the end of my campaign, I had collected £3,240, exceeding my target, and I came out of my 100 days with not only a collection of 100 blog entries – now published as a book – but a completed novel as well.

It worked, and I still don’t know how or why. I don’t think there’s a recipe for success or failure; I just made it up as I went along. But this is what I learned:


  • Crowdfunding is hard work, and it doesn’t end when you launch your project. In the four weeks that my campaign was running, kickstarter took over my life. If you’re asking people to back you, you’ve gotta be prepared to back yourself, and that means being glued to your computer, mercilessly spamming everyone you’ve ever met, and becoming a shameless social media whore.
  • “Nothing to lose” no longer applies once real money starts being pledged, and you’re not going to see any of it unless you reach your target. Once you’re in this thing, you have to see it through. Especially when every single one of your backers is now in it with you.
  • Give people something they want, or believe in, or can relate to. Preferably all three.
  • Be honest and be yourself. Don’t try to adopt a tone or persona that seems appropriate but doesn’t feel comfortable. Your crowdfunding campaign, like your writing, is an extension of who you are, and no one’s going to buy it if it isn’t genuine. Looking like a fool is better than looking like a fraud.
  • People are kinder and more generous than we give them credit for. It’ll surprise you. Allow yourself to be surprised. As writers, the odds are always against us, and everything we try is a bit ambitious. Writing is a crazy thing, but we do it anyway. And sometimes, somehow, it works. Adopt the same approach to crowdfunding: be a bit ambitious; embrace the crazy. Go against the odds. There’s a lot to lose but equally a lot to gain. But only if you try.




To find out more about 100 days of solitude, visit 100daysofsolitude.com.

Daphne Kapsali was born in Athens in 1978, but that was a bit of a mistake on the part of the universe, because she’s actually a Londoner. She lived in that wonderful, terrible city very happily on and off since 1996, doing a variety of fun and badly-paid jobs, until she realised she was a writer, whereupon she promptly made herself homeless and unemployed to spend a few months living alone on a small Greek island and writing full-time. She dubbed this project “100 days of solitude” and the result, one hundred stories brought together under the same title, is now available in paperback and on Kindle. Her novel entitled “you can’t name an unfinished thing”, also produced during her stint as a reclusive author, will be available soon. Both will be bestsellers.

When she’s done being a recluse on remote islands, Daphne will be moving back to London, where she plans to carry on writing and take over the world with her crazy genius boyfriend.





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    Tom Evans
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    15 Jul 08:44
    A fabulous story of creativity on many levels – you can hear more about it (and other coincidences) in this podcast interview with Daphne https://audioboom.com/boos/3372752-100-days-of-solitude
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Written by
Sarah Juckes
Published on
07/05/2015
Tags
Crowdfunding and Completelynovel author

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