Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  workshops

April and May Workshops Now Up

Room in Both Months for New Workshops…

Stay turned if we start a few new workshops in April and May I will announce them here. We have created room in both months. So I will announce if there are new workshops coming. But right now you can jump into any in April and May and if you haven’t taken a workshop yet, start with Depth. That is the basics workshop for all of them.


Loren’s Crowdfunding Your Fiction: A Best Practices Guide is going great. Folks, you can get the book for $2 in this campaign. Anyone who has ever thought about doing a Kickstarter for a piece of fiction needs this book. Loren has done an amazing amount of work on it to help you all.

Gotten a few questions about that from writers today, so guessing others are wondering the same thing.

One was “Why do a Kickstarter if you can just put it up on Amazon?” You can do both, or wait until after your campaign to put it up wide around the world. Kickstarter is another way to make money on your work, to get more readers and more audience. Nothing more. But sadly, most writers are so afraid of it, afraid of making a mistake (Which Loren’s book will help you not make) that they just leave money on the table.

Another question was “How can a new writer with a first book make money on a Kickstarter campaign?” Good question. First, the book must be done. Completely. And don’t ask for editing or cover costs or silly things like that. You just show you are not professional and don’t know that you can get a friend to read the book to find typos and get art for a cover for $1.00. Just tell them you will give them the book early, before it publishes. That is enough.

And study small fiction Kickstarters on Kickstarter constantly. Loren and I are on there studying numbers of times every week. We are sort of junkies at it, seeing what others are doing. You have to do that for a while first.

Also, you need to have a little bit of reach for promotion. Say you have a decent mailing list for your doll collecting. And you have a good following on Facebook. Then your first novel will have some reach. Then keep your ask low. $300 for a first novel is pretty good. It can always go higher. But nice to start out with some sales on the book before you even launch it worldwide.

If you have no mailing list, no web site, no presence on Facebook, spend a few years writing more books, getting them out wide around the world to find readers, and getting all that promotion stuff together before trying a Kickstarter campaign.

But first, before you do anything, go get Loren’s book. You can’t lose at $2.00. Maybe the best investment in your writing and business that you will ever make.


The Return of the Fey Kickstarter campaign for a new Fey novella from Kristine Kathryn Rusch after twenty years is going great. The campaign is well on its way to the next stretch goal and wow are writers who are backing this making a killing. And don’t forget the special 3-week workshop you can only get through the campaign and no where else.



  • James Palmer

    Great Kickstarter advice, Dean. My campaign failed to fully fund, but it did pretty well. I feel like if I had asked for more money it would have funded and then some. But I don’t regret doing it. It was a fun learning experience, and I’m definitely going to do it again and again. Once I read Loren’s book, that is.

    • dwsmith

      James, got it backwards. Asked for less money. A campaign that funds gets momentum. And you can give readers more things to read with stretch rewards and things like that. Making the ask too high just makes backers wait to see if it will fund and then it doesn’t. Better to ask too low and fund and make money than not fund.