A couple of weeks ago, I did some math and showed my work on how much time I expect to spend executing the project, and what my expected payoff will be. The upshot: Writing and designing Lucy Smokeheart will optimistically make me the delightful sum of $6.52 per hour. Probably much less; possibly as little as half that, depending on how fast the writing goes.
As of yesterday afternoon, Lucy has funded and all that fat cash will be mine! But what happens if I hit my first stretch goal, $7500 for cover illustrations? Well! Let's have a little more fun with arithmetic, shall we?
The objective of the stretch goal is to allow me to commission Heather Williamee, my delightful illustrator, to help me with covers for all twelve installments of the story. Possibly also a few more odds and ends that I am choosing to be secretive about at this time. I expect illustrations are going to cost me about $1500, given the hourly rate Heather has charged me and the number of illustrations I'm hoping to commission.
But -- o-ho! That still leaves me with an extra $1000 in my pocket! ...Uh, sort of. I'm still losing Kickstarter fees and self-employment taxes off the whole extra $2500, remember, which knocks it down to $2125 out of the gate. Minus the illustrator fees, that additional $2500 for the stretch goal only really ends up as $625 lining my pockets.
So my total earned income for Lucy Smokeheart in the event that we fund to $7500 and no further will be $4005, spread over the same 518 hours of writing, design, and production work.
That brings my hourly wage up to... wait for it... $7.73 an hour. We've hurdled the minimum wage bar! ...But I could still do a better getting a part-time job at Target, if money was the main objective here.
Not that I'm against money, mind. Heavens, no. That extra $625 would come in handy, and I'd really love to be able to create superior cover art. So will it happen? Ten more days to wait and see!