Diary of a Kickstarter Day 26. In Dire Straights, in more ways than one.

direstraightsIt’s day 26 of the Kickstarter for The Hawaii Project, Monday, April 27.

5 days left. $10,735 pledged, 30% funded, 137 backers. 4 days to go. <bleep!>.

Brief Commercial Interruption: The Hawaii Project brings you books and book news you’d never have found on your own, by tracking hand-selected sources of great books, uncovering things that match your favorite authors, personal interests and current events, and bringing them to you daily. 10% of our revenue goes to 3 great literacy non-profits. If this resonates, back us on Kickstarter


Breaking with tradition, I’ll list my music first. Nobody does wistful guitar like Mark Knopfler of Dire Straights. Today I get a song stuck in infinite repeat, his song “Beryl”, about novelist Beryl Bainbridge, who was posthumously awarded the Booker prize for best literary novel. Getting stuck on a “bookish” song was funny, and the ironies for me in the lyrics are plentiful and painful, in a “black humor” sort of way:

Beryl was on another level
When she got a Booker medal
She was dead in her grave
After all she gave

Every time they’d overlook her
When they gave her her Booker
She was dead in her grave
After all she gave

It’s all too late now….


Yesterday I ran some experiments posting in Facebook groups. Got a good reaction but no donations. After prodding from some folks on LinkedIn, I decided to run some Facebook ads and see how they performed. (I’d previously ran some Google ad tests – I’ll post about all of that after the Kickstarter).

For today, just the Facebook. So I put in $25, set my targeting to US only, targeting people with Books and eBooks in their interests, and let ‘er rip. Here’s the results:

reach: 2,857 ads served, 91 clicks to my Kickstarter page. That’s a CPM of $8.75(absurdly high considered on it’s own), but the 91 clicks means as CPC (cost per click) of $0.27, which is actually quite good. That’s the good news. The bad news is I get no donations from it. Of course, it’s quite a small sample size, and I ran the campaign late in the day. I’ll run the test again tomorrow at the same price point and see what I get.

I spend the rest of the day emailing authors. First, I crawl my author / blog database to find author websites, then crawl those sites for email addresses or contact forms. In a morning’s work I have about 500 author contact details. I don’t spam though, I write each one individually. I get in contact with James Patterson (who’s donated millions to schools and libraries), Anne Rice (of Interview with a Vampire fame), David Baldacci (famous thriller author), Danielle Steel (romance novelist), Veronica Roth (of Divergent fame), Hugh Howey (one of the most successful independent authors), and about 30 other authors. It’s surprising how many authors just put their email address on their websites, and are reasonably approachable. I’ve had a number of email conversations with Steven Pressfield, one of my favorite authors of all time. To me, they’re celebrities, but approachable ones. But, so far, no responses. 8(.

Tomorrow, I’m visiting the Nahant Library, they’ve expressed an interest in working together. Looking forward to it.

The end is near, but I’m going down swinging.


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