Interview with Memoir Author Suzanne Sherman…Kickstarter Project Begins

by Matilda Butler on June 12, 2013

catnav-interviews-active-3Post #103 – Memoir Writing – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler



Learn About Kickstarter from Memoir Teacher and Author Suzanne Sherman

SPECIAL INVITATION: Register Now and join us next Tuesday, June 18, for a special webinar on using Kickstarter to fund your book. It’s free, but you have to sign up. Here’s the link:

http://WebinarMeetingRoom.com/299/4rkrlihb3/webinar-register.php

What’s Kickstarter and How Can I Use It as an Author?

Kickstarter and crowdfunding is hot. Kendra and I have been learning more about it so we could share with you. Then we got an email from memoir teacher, writer, editor, and memoir author Suzanne Sherman telling us about her project to fund her new book using Kickstarter. Talk about perfect timing. We contacted Suzanne and she agreed to an interview where she’d share all she’d learned about running a Kickstarter project.

Kendra and I will air that interview on Tuesday, June 18 in our AWE webinar. Until now, our webinars have only been available to AWE members (membership in AWE, Association for Writing Excellence, is free to everyone who purchases a copy of our award-winning Writing Alchemy). However, we decided to open up registration for this webinar on Kickstarter to our LinkedIn Women’s Memoirs group and to readers of our blog (this means YOU CAN register even if you are not currently a member of AWE).

In addition, Suzanne has written this article for you.

Thanks Suzanne.

Kickstarter: Creative Funding for Writers

by Suzanne Sherman

Kickstarter.com lets people support creative projects without spending much. As a writer in this era of self-publishing, it’s a perfect way to potentially reach hundreds of people and “crowdfund” a book or series with contributions that can cost less than a couple of double lattes.

For a book series like mine — “100 Years in the Life” — Kickstarter can make all the difference. I’ve been a writer for most of my 53 years and a professional editor, memoir teacher and writing consultant for more than half that time. This series is the culmination and expansion of my life’s work. It’s about the life and times through a century — people’s stories — and it’s jam-packed with potential for everyone to be a part of it.

The first book in that series, “100 Years in the Life of an American Girl: True Stories 1910 – 2010,” will feature over 50 first-person stories about the life and times for girls under 13 in each of the last 10 decades. The stories come from all around the country and are full of fun and fascinating details of cultural history. It’s the stuff you’ll never find in history books and what life’s really all about.

If you like, you can check out my short video on Kickstarter at:

http://kck.st/10R9kUM

to learn all about it.

Kickstarter is a world-famous all or nothing funding platform for creative projects, which means that if I don’t meet goal by the June 24 deadline, no pledges are paid and the project receives no funding. If it is successfully funded by June 24 I will not only be able to publish this fabulous, almost finished book about girlhood through a century, but I can create the series described on Kickstarter. I’ll provide a new avenue for people to submit their writings to share with the world as we build our collective story of culture through the dramatic changes of 1910 to 2010.

Hot Reads versus Hot Sauces

Wow, you might be saying to yourself. What a great resource for me as a writer! But keep this in mind: Publishing is not the most popular category on Kickstarter, and I suspect it’s partly because we live in an era of stuff. Top Kickstarter categories are Technology, Design, Fashion, Photography, and Food. Hot reads don’t get as much attention as hot sauces.

But many writers have reached their publishing goals because of Kickstarter and they inspire me. Their supporters know the value of print and ebooks and their power and possibility for sharing what matters so much: the story. And with memoir and books like mine, that’s what it’s about: the personal story. Lessons of experience. Culture chronicled in exciting and unexpected ways.

Kickstarter requires writers articulate their vision and also create a short video that describes that vision. Gifts to supporters are key to the campaign: Every contribution — and mine start at $10 — gets a gift or gifts that I deliver when the campaign is successful at closing. My gifts are copies of the book, unique personalized notebooks, fun notecard sets, special T-shirts, and more.

As June 24 — closing — nears, I wake every day grateful for the support (I’m halfway to goal!) and hopeful that many more people will visit my Kickstarter and help this series happen. These fascinating first-person story collections will entertain, educate, open minds, and touch hearts. I deeply appreciate everyone who helps me put them into the world.

I hope you’ll visit: http://kck.st/10R9kUM.

And be sure to register for Matilda and Kendra’s new webinar about Kickstarter so that you can see Matilda’s interview with me. We go into much more detail both about my book and my take on Kickstarter.

Suzanne Sherman memoir authorSuzanne Sherman is an author, editor, writing consultant and blogger. Her upcoming book, 100 Years in the Life of an American Girl: True Stories 1910 – 2010, will feature first-person stories of girlhood from around the country in every decade of 100 years. See www.suzannesherman.com for her free newsletter and Kickstarter: http://kck.st/10R9kUM to learn about her book series and help it publish!

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Learn Kickstarter in Special Webinar — Memoir Writing Blog
June 14, 2013 at

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Kristen Stieffel July 26, 2013 at

I’ve contributed to several Kickstarter campaigns, and it’s exciting to be part of something like that. But not all campaigns are successful, and that’s disappointing.

Indiegogo is an alternative to Kickstarter that doesn’t follow the all-or-nothing model. If an Indiegogo campaign raises 99 percent of its goal, the author still gets the funding and can find the rest of the money elsewhere. But at Kickstarter if you raise 99 percent of your goal that’s considered a fail. Doesn’t seem right to me.

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