Challenge,  Kickstarter Campaign,  publishing

Diving Kickstarter Doing Great!

An Understatement There…

It funded in one hour (not a small ask, either) and hit the first stretch goal in ten hours. Still got twenty days to go.

So for those of you who supported this, both Kris and I want to say, “Thank you!”

Wow. And trust me, the novel THIEVES is going to be worth your time to read. Amazing and gripping. Especially if you are a fan of Boss and the universe in general.

(And I just love this title image for the campaign, so putting it here again. Josh at WMG did a fantastic job with that using PhilCold’s original art which we commissioned for the cover of the book. Links are below.)


Into teaching mode now… I did update the Teachable Kickstarter Best Practices (free class) some yesterday and will do even more this weekend. And Loren put up a simple, but important spreadsheet to help you all figure out your costs to do a campaign.

That is critical.

When it comes to certain types of rewards on any Kickstarter campaign, there are two ways of looking at them on a spread sheet. Either the reward will make you money, or the reward is an advertising or lost-leader reward.

For example, we have some Diving Universe masks available on this Kickstarter. We have four on order right now to test them, see how the design looks. If we don’t like it or want to make changes, we will order four more. By the time we are ready to fulfill the masks in about a month, we might have spent far more on testing them then the very slight profit we will make per mask on the campaign.

And that’s okay because they are great advertising, and we are working on different forms of licensing and if we can get them looking nifty, we will put them into a distribution system. And sell them on our own store. And so on. So the Kickstarter gives us a push to do some experiments and work out the kinks.

On the other side of a spread sheet, there are the profit items. THIEVES electronic book is a $5 item with little to no delivery costs. Basically like selling it through Amazon, only with an 8.5% Kickstarter commission vs a 30% Amazon cost. That is a win and also the focus of the entire Kickstarter, to get that book and the second Diving book to the Diving fans ahead of when they could buy it normally.

The workshops (like the special Writing Space Opera workshop) are somewhere in the middle. It takes a bunch of our time to record the three weeks of the workshop and lay it out, and then for me to do the three assignments, including Kris and I reading the short story third assignment. So calculating the costs of our time, and the fact that the workshop will never be offered again, makes the profit not great, but not small like the masks.

The Pop-Up stretch rewards make no money in the campaign, and cost time and money to make, but they will be available for years and should do all right in the long run.

Again, you figure all this out ahead of time for every reward, and Loren’s spreadsheet can really help with that. Help you run projections so even with a Kickstarter that you consider completely to get more fans, you won’t lose too much money.

End teaching mode…

Thanks again, everyone, for the fantastic and quick support of The Return of Boss Kickstarter.

Here is the video again with Kris explaining a tiny bit of her writing methods.



  • E. R. Paskey

    Congratulations!!! I know I’m excited about the new Diving books. (I picked up the series in the last Diving Kickstarter. *grin*)

    One question I had about the Pop-up stretch rewards–I’m sure the Kickstarter will probably reach all of them, but if for some reason it doesn’t, are you still planning on recording them anyway and putting them up?

    • dwsmith

      Yes, going to record all three of those over the next few weeks and get them up. Kris and I have already detailed them out. And they will be for sale.