So! We're into the last tick-tock handful of hours for my Kickstarter for Shiva's Mother, and I'd like to talk a little bit about how it went. As you may already know, the idea was to take a short story I wrote some time ago that I love, but haven't been able to sell to a market paying pro rates; instead of taking it to semi-pro zines or simply publishing it online, I decided to see if I had a fanbase willing to pay me money directly for the pleasure of reading it.
And did it work?
Holy cow, you guys. Holy cow. Not only did I fund in two hours, but I went on to collect well more than I had hoped -- my goal was for $250, and as of this writing I've collected over $600. I was astonished to find people actually willing to shell out $100 for a bespoke short story. I didn't genuinely expect anyone to go in for more than about $25, and I didn't entirely expect to fund at all. And yet -- well, just look!
So the follow-up question is: How does this much money relate to how much I could have made if I'd been able to sell the story to a paying market? If you're just counting the 2700 words of Shiva's Mother, then I made a whopping 22 cents per word. Pretty good, huh? But don't forget I'm on the hook to write another 4,000 words as a part of my rewards. Even taking that into consideration, I'm still making upwards of 9 cents a word.
That may not sound like very much, but the SFWA considers a pro rate to be any market that pays 5 cents a word or more. There are markets that pay more -- Tor.com pays 25 cents a word for stories under 5000 words, for example -- but rates like that are few and far between. So all in all, I came out way ahead of the game by doing it this way.
It's true that I wouldn't be able to spin this into a running thing. I don't think anyone would be willing to shell out for a ransom like this more than once a year or so, at best. But it certainly is an interesting data point for me... and maybe for you, too.
What an amazing time we live in, you guys. Oh, and thank you to every single one of my funders. You completely rock. I'll have the text version of Shiva's Mother up by the end of the weekend, with audio to follow hopefully by the end of next week. Thanks again. I am nothing without you.