On Writing,  publishing

Slow Start As Expected… Mentor Program Award Added

When You Offer a Project Only You Are Excited About…

You have to expect it to not fund, and to start very, very slowly. That is something I will talk about in the Kickstarter Pop-Up.

Here is the Link to the Make 100 Kickstarter Project I started yesterday so you can take a look at it.

But I had no illusions that I would be the only person excited about doing 100 Short Story Paperbacks and three major collections from those short stories. Basically I want to do this to rebrand my short stories and get them ready to put in the restart of Smith’s Monthly this spring.

Kris and I were both sure this campaign wouldn’t fund without something major happening. (Like someone taking either a lifetime workshop subscription or three or four people buying three workshop credits or something else like the new Mentor Program award I just added.)

So why did we try this at all then?

For fun, actually. I spent exactly six hours of my time and about an hour of WMG Publishing time to launch this. No real costs at all. So why not? I have no fear of failure and I am really excited about doing the short story paperbacks to show people it is possible.

(If I do pull the plug on this in a week or so, I will find another way to do the short story paperbacks. Remember, if you pledge, nothing happens until the end when it funds. Many Kickstarter projects are ended early for one reason or another.)

Besides, we might have been wrong in what we believed. But $271 in the first day makes it clear we were not wrong.

I am not being negative at all. Just very clear visioned as you all should be if you try something like this.

Let me explain. Here are the reasons we understood when I started this campaign.

— Only I was excited about this concept. (Kris and Allyson both loved the idea, but we knew that excitement stayed with us almost entirely.)

— The campaign had no series book that the campaign could focus on. I didn’t even have a genre since all my short stories range all over the map. As I told Kris, if I said I was going to write 100 cat short stories and do this, it would have blown off the roof. Maybe in a future campaign, because I like that idea, but I have ten novels I am working on at the moment. (grin)

— I set my asking amount high because I felt my time to do this needed to be worthwhile. If I had set a goal of $1,000, this would fund easily before the deadline. But I set it at $3,000. That is a common mistake many make with Kickstarters, setting the goal too high. This was purposeful this time.

— We put workshops and lectures and such in this because I do the videos on all of them, but we knew that wouldn’t help that much. It has helped some. Most of the money from the first day is lecture pledges. Of course, they also get the three ebook collections, but people are buying it for the reduced lecture, not the ebooks. I understand that.

So today, here is what I added…


I only took three writers originally for the Mentor Program at the first of the year this year and everyone in that seems to have settled in fine and writing along. So tonight I added one spot in the Mentor Program to the Kickstarter campaign. (Update, I added two spots.) And yes, if someone takes that, it will fund this entire project and I will get to play in my 100 short story paperback books. (grin)

And I will get to help one or two writers for a year or more get their writing and business to the next level.

I did not discount the Mentor Program because that would be unfair to the other three who paid full price. (I did discount the Lifetime Workshop Subscription to $2500 because that is what we did in other Kickstarters.)

Summary of the Day

So now, after one day, that is how it stands with the Make 100 Kickstarter Campaign.

I personally think the numbered and signed hardbacks of the three collections containing all 100 stories and covers will be darned cool. And I love the idea of actually holding in my hands 100 short story paperbacks that I did all the work on. That will feel wonderful.

And it will feel great to get Smith’s Monthly back up and running and sent to my Patreon supporters after this last long year.

And I will find a way to do those things, one way or another.

If anyone has questions about workshops, the Lifetime Workshop Subscription, or the one spot on the Mentor Program, feel free to write me.

Make 100 Kickstarter Campaign


Someone jumped on for the Mentor Program reward about two hours after I added it, so the campaign is funded. How fun is that? I can do my short story paperbacks!!

Since I just announced this, I changed the limit on the Mentor Program to two in case someone else wants to jump into that who hears about it later. I have no problem at all helping five people this year with their writing. Absolutely none. In fact, from how the first three have started, it will be lots of fun.


  • Harvey Stanbrough

    I’m sure you aren’t looking for advice, but I hate the sound of crickets. You have a huge following. Maybe for the smaller pledge amount add in another smaller reward like 4 or 5 Cold Poker Gang mysteries or the first title in each of four series or something like that. I also hope you give it longer than a week before you pull the plug. The whole thing’s only 20 days if memory serves. Give folks more time to spread the word.

    • dwsmith

      Oh, I have all eight Cold Poker Gang novels there and the first eight Thunder Mountain novels there as two rewards. So already done that.

      I want to keep this going to see if Kickstarter kicks in with their promised promotion on their Make 100 thing. If they do that, it would help as well.

      And if it is climbing toward the final amount, I won’t pull the plug. No worries there. If we are about a third of the way by the 8th day, we keep going. (grin)

      Again, not an issue to me if I have to pull the plug. I set this up half expecting to do just that, to be honest. Again, I love this idea. But it is not a sexy, get traction kind of idea and I knew that going in.