by Carolyn O’Neal
UPDATE: Celebrate Earth Day with KINGSLEY!
Enter for the chance to win a copy, shipped to your doorstep, for FREE.
Writing a novel is a long, meandering journey, more akin to kayaking unexplored waterways than jetting to a known destination. Writing KINGSLEY took years.
Plot and character.
Revising and editing.
Critiquing chapters with my writing groups and sifting through their suggestions.
A thoroughly enjoyable adventure from start to finish.
That was writing.
Publishing is a very different adventure.
Publishing is where art and business join … and I knew I needed help.
Let me back up a bit. It was clear from the first time I met Bethany Carlson that she was a rare talent. Not only did she have the rich imagination of an author but she also had a practical head for business. I remember one writing group meeting several years ago in which I prophetically told her she should go into publishing. That’s why I take partial credit for the success of her company, The Artist’s Partner.
The Artist’s Partner is a coach for artists becoming entrepreneurs. We provide crowdfunding consulting, and have helped artists raise over $90,000 for their creative projects through Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
We work with arts companies and non-profits, authors, musicians, filmmakers, theater production companies, crafts persons, and other artists who seek to raise funds to professionally produce and distribute their own work.
One of her first Kickstarter campaigns was for Bob Perry’s biography Bowling for the Mob. Not only was his Kickstarter campaign a stunning success – complete with a professionally produced video to entice backers – but his book, now renamed Redemption Alley, How I Lived To Bowl Another Frame – was picked up by Rodale Books!
I had seen Bethany’s work ethic and her insightfulness. I had seen her honesty, her deep patience, and her eternal optimism. These were the qualities I needed if I intended to go from private writer to public author. When I felt ready to publish KINGSLEY, I contacted Bethany.
First thing she did was establish a clear timeline.
Bethany guided me through how to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign. We discussed the intense prep work needed, then blocked out the time for editing and cover design, and then we set a target date for proofing the final drafts, distributing the books to my Kickstarter backers, and finally, publication.
As I began prepping for the campaign, Bethany set up a meeting with local director Michael Duni to shoot my promotional video.
My Kickstarter campaign ran one month, raised over $5000, and presold close to 100 copies. Even more important, the campaign spread the word and built excitement.
KINGSLEY was coming!
Bethany put me in contact with Graphic Artist Mayapriya Long of Bookwrights to discuss the cover. Honestly, that may have been the best part of the entire process. Here are a few of the iterations…
She contacted copy editor Betsy Ballenger for the final review and then, KINGSLEY hit the presses!
It was a huge success and a wonderful experience! Here are some fun photos from the launch: