About the Episode
If you’ve ever considered using Kickstarter as an author, you won’t want to miss today’s episode with long-time novelist, Becky Wade. In our conversation, we talk about Becky’s writing and publishing journey, her thoughts on using Kickstarter as an author, literary agents, and book marketing!
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About My Guest
Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing sweet contemporary romances laced with sizzling chemistry, mystery, faith, banter, and humor. Her twelve novels and five novellas have been recognized with a Carol Award, INSPY awards, and a spot in the Christy Award Hall of Fame.
Becky’s Newest Release
Click for Transcript
Becky Wade: [00:00:00] This is such an unlikely story. No one could replicate this, but I was at a backyard play date, and a woman in my neighborhood had been a full-time literary agent before she had kids and then she was stepping back into agenting, but just part-time. And we chatted at a backyard play date and I said, well, believe it or not, I have a manuscript that’s almost ready. Would you be willing to take a look at it?
And she said, sure.
Rachel: So when you said God will provide, he really did provide for you.
Becky Wade: Exactly.
Rachel: Well, welcome back to the podcast. I’m so excited for today’s guest to join me. I’ll have to tell you guys that once a couple weeks ago, I posted a thread that said if there was one author that you, it didn’t matter what book you bought from them, like it didn’t matter what it was about, you would just buy that book. If they had a book available, who the would that author be? Today’s [00:01:00] guest name came up a lot in that thread, and so I’m excited to have her. Welcome, Becky Wade. Thank you for joining me today’s podcast.
Thank you. I’m excited to hear that my name came up in answer to that question, that it did such a lovely compliment.
Multiple times, which made me know that I’m like, this is somebody who understands what it means to cultivate a true fan, and I know we can learn a lot from you.
So I’m looking forward to today’s conversation to dive into just your publishing journey, the things you’ve learned, marketing, things that you’ve done. You have published a your 12th novel just this last week.
Becky Wade: That’s correct. I published Memory Lane on Valentine’s Day and it was number 12. Yay. For me. In terms of my novels, I’ve also written some novellas, but in terms of novels, this was my 12th.
Rachel: So neat. And you did an audiobook. Did you release audiobook already as well?
Becky Wade: I have not, the audiobook is in progress as we speak. The narrators are [00:02:00] hard at work on that, and it should be out in early March. So it’s coming soon right around the corner, but it’s still, it’s still in the pipeline.
Rachel: That’s awesome. Well, I’m looking forward to getting into our conversation, asking you all the things, but before we do, why don’t you tell us just a little bit about you as a person, not necessarily you as a writer.
Becky Wade: Okay. I live in Dallas, Texas, but I’m originally from Southern California. I grew up in the sunny town of Riverside, and my parents and one of my sisters still live there, and so I go back quite a bit to visit.
I went to Baylor University and met my husband there. He was a Texas boy, and so after we married and lived overseas for four years, because the job was here and we wanted to live either near his family or mine. Mm-hmm. , we settled here in Dallas and we’ve lived here ever since. That was in the late nineties.
We raised our three kids here, two of them are now in [00:03:00] college, and we have one left at home who’s an eighth grader.
Rachel: Oh, fun. I’m actually not that far from you. I’m in Houston .
Becky Wade: Okay. My sister lives in Houston. Yeah.
Rachel: Not too far at all. It’s like I love this time of year. It’s like gorgeous and not humid. So
Becky Wade: actually I’m a huge fan of Texas in the winter, the spring and the fall.
Mm-hmm. . It’s just our four month long summer that I have a hard time bearing.
Rachel: Yeah. And I just recently moved from Chicago. So like it was a. A little shocking. That’s past summer, I can imagine. Yes.
Becky Wade: Very hot .
Rachel: It was very hot. Well, Becky, can we start with just how you got to your 12th novel? I know, like you’re gonna need to condense it down and, it’s a couple, quite a few years of that.
You’ve been in the publishing world, right? You’ve published your first novel way back. , what was it? 20 20 13 with Christian. Your Christian novels, right. [00:04:00] Is when you started? 2012. 2012, okay. Yeah. So, but you’ve published some books before that, previously, right. So you’ve been at this for a while now.
Becky Wade: Yes.
I’ve been at this most of my adult life. I fell in love with writing when my husband and I were living overseas, and that love of it has carried me through. Most of the years since then, since we were newlyweds. So at when I began writing, I started writing general market historical romance. Mm-hmm. , and spent four years trying to break into that before I finally did.
I published three of those, and then right around the time I had my first baby. My publisher decided not to offer me another contract because the books really hadn’t sold well, and I really felt in that season that the Lord was just leading me to focus on taking care of my baby, which frankly was more that I could sort of do.
It was very challenging Yeah. [00:05:00] To be a new mom. And so really all I wanted to do in that season was focus on that. And so I did for the next many. and then I heard the Lord calling me back to writing and I knew for sure he was guiding me towards writing Christian Romance. Mm-hmm. still romance, but now Christian Romance and Contemporary.
Mm-hmm. , which I had never integrated either of those two things in my prior manuscripts, and so I. Sat down. At the time I had two kids and I was expecting the third. And while they were in preschool, I just spent those hours writing and I wrote my first Christian fiction novel, my Stubborn Heart during that season.
Now, when the baby was born, I put it aside for a long time. I had no contract, no pressure, so I just waited until I was ready and then I rewrote that and submitted. and that’s what began my Christian publishing journey. And then, yeah, it’s just been a [00:06:00] blessing that I’ve been able to do this year after year for 11 years now of writing a novel a year and still protecting and growing my love for this job because I still feel very passionately about it.
I still feel so grateful that I get to do this. .
Rachel: That’s so neat. I love, I always love hearing from people who have been in it for a while, because I think, mm-hmm. , sometimes it takes so much to get that first novel out, that it can get really disheartening and it can get really, like, discouraging. Like, is this ever going to happen?
And to hear from people who have been in it and have gotten, you know, walked down the road a little further than the rest of us, it’s like, okay. Yeah, it, it is possible. You just. keep going. And to hear from others who have been there and saying, looking back and saying, yeah, you just gotta keep going. It’s gonna happen.
You just gotta do the work and show up. And it’s encouraging to hear that, those testimonies of it.
Becky Wade: Yeah, [00:07:00] absolutely. It’s all about putting one step, putting one foot in front of the other. Mm-hmm. just step by step and continuing perseverance counts for a lot. Mm-hmm. in this mm-hmm. It’s tempting to think when you are striving towards getting that first book out in the world, that publication is the goal.
Mm-hmm. But actually, that’s just one more step along a very long journey. Mm-hmm. Really publishing as many books as the Lord calls you to write is the, is the longer term goal. Mm-hmm. and that has really, been satisfying, you know, to get that first one out there, but then to follow that up with 11 more years mm-hmm.
of novels is really what, what makes me feel happy and what inspires me towards what to, what’s to come in the future, you know, should he continue calling and equipping me to do this. I will continue at this and hopefully there’s many more books still to
Rachel: come. [00:08:00] When you published that first one, were you intend, was it like,
I know you had published the first couple, the fir you had three before you Yes. Switched markets. Right. So, but when you approached the Christian market and you’re like, okay, I, I have this new story, I wanna publish it, were you approaching it with like, this is what I wanna do to make money? Or was it like I just have the story that I, and I wanna
Becky Wade: share it?
It was 100% the latter of those two things. It was nothing at all to do with trying to earn income. Mm-hmm. It was more, it was, well, it was totally wanting to write the story that was laid on my heart. And wanting to be obedient in that and faithful. Mm-hmm. . And what’s interesting is as soon as I felt led to write that book, suddenly my love of writing returned because for all those years I’d taken off.
Mm-hmm. prior to my stubborn heart. I hadn’t wanted to write, it wasn’t like I was thinking to myself as I was [00:09:00] taking care of babies and toddlers. Oh, I wish I was writing novels, , it was like, I was more than happy taking care of babies and toddlers. Mm-hmm. . But as soon as I heard the calling, and this is just so like God mm-hmm.
as soon as I heard the calling to write again, I wanted to write again. Mm-hmm. and as soon as I wanted to write again and made time for it, he provided the inspiration, the characters, you know. seen by scene. Yeah. And all of that stuff came rushing back, but it was just all about doing the thing he had called me to do.
And I had no idea what would ever happen with that manuscript. Mm-hmm. , I was completely out of writing circles at that time. I had no connections with writing groups anymore, , right. No agent, no publisher connections, nothing. And I just wrote it that way without even trying to create any of, and then I just was trusting that when it was finished, he would open doors for it if he wanted to.
Mm-hmm. , and [00:10:00] that’s exactly what he ended
Rachel: up doing. That’s, oh, that’s so powerful to just be obedient to the calling. I, I have talked about this in, in other spaces before, but this idea that you’re talking about, not really feeling like that drive to have to write when you had the babies and toddlers and.
That was not my case when I had babies and toddlers. I was like, I want to be writing, and somebody had said to me, oh, well maybe you’re just not being content. And I’m like, no, I don’t think it’s discontent. Because when God places something on your heart and has a calling on your life, it’s this like compulsion.
It’s this thing that just pushes you for it, and you’re like, I know there’s something I’m supposed to be doing and I need to follow. After it. I need to follow through because he’s calling me to be obedient. And so I just, I love that you’re saying like in that season he said, no, you’re calling us this.
This is what you’re supposed to focus on. But the moment his calling for you changed to this other thing, it was there. That passion, that desire to write. And so I [00:11:00] just think that’s such a powerful reminder to us that when God calls us to it, you know it. You know it. And you need to be obedient to it.
Becky Wade: That’s right. And he will provide everything else that is needed. You just have to show. .
Rachel: Yeah. So you have published quite a number of novels with a traditional publisher. Did you have an agent, like when you got that first novel published, it published in 2012?
When did you start that process? So that first.
Becky Wade: I, we began submitting my stubborn heart in the fall of 2010. Okay. And it’s sold in the fall of 2010. Okay. And I did have an agent, yes. Okay. I had a literary agent, and so we went that route. I found once the book was finished, I found a literary agent to represent it, and she was the one who submitted it to Bethany House and Bethany House picked it up and contracted that one all the way through.
The book that I released last May, which was called turns Me So 11 novels. [00:12:00] Yeah. They published of
Rachel: mine. So Cool. Did you find that literary agent through Well, how did you find your literary agent ?
Becky Wade: This is such an unlikely story. No one could replicate this, but I was at a backyard play. date and a woman in my neighborhood had been a full-time literary agent before she had kids at the same time that I was.
A writer. She was a literary agent. And then we both stepped back when we had kids and then she was stepping back into agenting, but just part-time because of her son. And we chatted at a backyard play date and I said, well, believe it or not, I have a manuscript that’s almost ready. Would you be willing to take a look at it?
And she said, sure. And she said, I’ve made some changes though I’m no longer representing General Market Romance, I’m now representing Christian Romance .
Rachel: So when you said God will provide, he really did provide for you [00:13:00]
Becky Wade: Exactly.
So. Everybody what? I guess the, the takeaway from that is go hang out at backyard play dates.
Exactly. Until you find a fabulous agent, ,
Rachel: which really is just networking, right. . Put yourself in spots where you can network with people. We’ll just
Becky Wade: call it networking. Yes. Yeah. We’ll just call, we’ll just chalk it up to networking. Yeah.
Rachel: That’s so funny. Did she stay your agent or did you. Switching.
Becky Wade: She was my agent all the way through turn to me.
And then her life has taken her in a different direction. She’s now coaching pickleball. And so , she has stepped out of Inc. Completely. Oh, that’s so fun. So this last year, I am now being Agented by Christie Cameron. Okay. And she’s awesome too. In both cases, those women were my friends. Mm-hmm. and I really enjoy having a, an agent who.
Feels like a friend. Yes. And so I’ve been, really, really lucky in that respect with both of
Rachel: them. I would think that it’s important that you have that kind of [00:14:00] repertoire, at least like that, that just comfortable, comfortable. Com, it’s not gonna come out. The word is not gonna come out. Comfortability.
Yeah. No. Okay, we’re gonna restate that because it’s not working today. . I know what you mean. Yeah, I know what you mean. So I would assume that it’s important that you have just being comfortable with an agent because it is kind of a vulnerable spot you put yourself in to have that agent represent. To these publishers to just trust that they’re negotiating a good deal for you.
That they’re, you know, that they’re, that they really, truly have your best interest at heart. And so I would assume it’s really important that you have that connection, that feeling of just, I can trust this person. They’ve got my back. Would you agree with that?
Becky Wade: I would. And I think that, . Sometimes authors can feel so intimidated or starstruck by an agent that they don’t feel comfortable talking with them about some of the things [00:15:00] that they’re probably going to need to talk with them about or mm-hmm.
reaching out to them or communicating with them as often as they want, or whatever it might be. And I really think that as writers and business women, we do need to have an agent that we feel comfortable communicating. as openly and as frequently as we want. Mm. So, just be very, my advice there would just to be very careful in who you solicit as your agent, because that person is going to become, if they pick you up to represent you, is gonna become your representative.
Mm-hmm. . And you wanna make sure that they are the kind of representative you would want for your work. Right. And so there’s a lot of ways to get to know agents. A lot of them blog, a lot of them are on social media. You can really get a good feel for them too through the books they’re representing.
Rachel: I was gonna say authors reaching out to authors that work with them.
Yes, absolutely. You know, if you have a friend who works with, Hey, can [00:16:00] you share your experience with working with this agent?
Becky Wade: Absolutely. That would be so helpful. So to do all of your due diligence mm-hmm. From the writer’s side of it, when you are selecting and looking for an agent is really critical.
Rachel: This last novel you released is not with of traditional publisher. You released this one on your own, correct. You self-published it? I did. So, yes. What kinda led to that decision, and maybe how has the experience been similar to what happened in the past, and how has it been different for you?
Becky Wade: I had a great experience with Bethany House, my traditional publisher.
I had been there for quite some time, so I just felt a tug to try something different and change things up a bit. I had Indy published some Novelas in the past. Mm-hmm. , but I had never done a novel and I had never done a full series. Mm-hmm. . And so I just sort of felt like I wanted to give that a try.
Yeah. And [00:17:00] so that’s what led to my decision to independently publish Memory, memory lane and the two books that we’ll come after in the same series. The experience has been the same in some ways and different in others. So I tried to keep the whole editorial process very similar to what I was accustomed to.
I was working on my same yearly schedule Okay. And I was working freelance with one of my editors from Bethany House. Mm-hmm. , so her name is Charlene and she worked with me at Bethany House on some of my novels there. Subsequently went freelance with her editing, but she’s helped me on my indie novels and so I hired her to edit Memory Lane as well.
And we did it very similarly to how editorial would work at Bethany House. So when the novel was done, and I’d rewritten it once I submitted it to her, she. gave me revision requests. I rewrote it again, sent it back to her, and then she did a line edit, copy edit, sent it back to me. I went through it [00:18:00] again.
So all of that was very much what I was accustomed to and comfortable with. Mm-hmm. . And I kept all of that the same. Now, what happened after the book was ready to go was different because now I sent it, it was on me to get the book published from that point. Mm-hmm. . So I sent the to beta readers to try to hunt out all the typos, , and then I went through the process that all.
in the authors go through of deciding where I was going to make the book available and how, and then followed through on all of that, which has been a lot of work and there’s been a big learning curve, but I’ve found that it’s work I enjoy. Okay. And it’s been empowering. I mean, there have been a lot of moments where I’ve been.
Overwhelmed and confused . But I’ve worked through those and I’ve just continued learning and figuring out new things and in a way, change while scary is also energizing. Yeah. And so overall [00:19:00] it’s been good. It hasn’t been, I wouldn’t say easy, but it has been
Rachel: good. as an author who’s with a traditional publisher versus an author who’s indie publishing, both require you to have like an entrepreneurial hat, but I’m assuming that they would be a little bit of an a different entrepreneurial hat.
Can you talk to that a little bit?
Becky Wade: Yes. I’m a business major actually. Okay. I did not know that I wanted to be a writer when I was in college, and so I got a business degree. I’ve always loved the business side of publishing. I’m fascinated by it and find it very interesting. Love talking about it, love learning about it, et cetera.
And so for me, I was always trying to steward the business side of writing just like I was the creative side. Mm, now that I’m indie publishing, that’s even more true. Mm-hmm. . And so I. . I do think that I’ve had to [00:20:00] be even more entrepreneurial here. Mm-hmm. and strategic and really think about making decisions concerning the business side.
Mm-hmm. . And so that part of it has ramped up, but it’s a part of it that I’ve always liked. Yeah. And so it suits me Yeah. To learn more about it.
Rachel: So I actually, I actually majored in business as. , they have a creative writing and a business double major. And so I too have always been fascinated by the business side of things.
But I found that what I learned in college, like while the principles are the same, like this whole world of online marketing is like a whole new thing. Yes. And like you kind of have to, you’re like, oh, okay. That’s where this business principle applies. But it’s kind of like a whole new world I’ve had to learn.
Has that been true for you?
Becky Wade: Oh yes. When I went to Baylor , I distinctly remember being in a class and the professor saying, there’s this brand new thing [00:21:00] that’s on the cutting edge, and it’s called email . So we weren’t even using email. I graduated 1993 and. Think about just how the technology has completely revolutionized business
Rachel: since then.
Yeah. So it’s funny cuz I know you and I were talking about the internship I did right af after college and I did that internship right when eBooks got released and right when social media, like Facebook had just launched and they were just starting to have business pages. And so the talk around that internship, like while I was at the internship, all the people working there were like discussing.
are eBooks gonna like do away with paperback? Like it was the question of the day. Right. So just to think like how much business has changed in the publishing industry? Like just how much has changed in the last couple decades. It’s just mind blowing. It really is.
Becky Wade: It really is. I started writing in 1994, and so I have [00:22:00] seen from the author side all of that.
Yeah, just the complete transformation that was made. eventually buy eBooks and the ability to publish. Mm-hmm. . And it’s nice to see that paperbacks have still. Held their ground. Yeah. And are selling really well. But with all of this change has come really great opportunities for authors. It used to be, when I started that traditional publishing was your only route to publication.
Mm-hmm. and think how limiting that was. I mean, there were just so few slots and there still are, and traditional publishing was just so few slots. Mm-hmm. and back when I started, that was your only. . Mm-hmm. . If you, if you couldn’t get one of those few slots, then you couldn’t get your book into the hands of readers in a wide way.
Mm-hmm. . And now you can. So I, I think a lot of these changes, while hard to keep track of, have been really positive ones for authors.
Rachel: I was just gonna say [00:23:00] like you have had to navigate all the changes over the years and all the different ways to market that have shifted and, and evolved. You’ve had to navigate all of that and, have you, I would like to kind of pivot our conversation now more into those details of marketing and just different things that we can do as fiction writers to get our books into the hands of the readers as far as platform building and.
trying to get our books to sell like those, sometimes it feels very overwhelming and kind of where do we put our focus there? Everybody’s got a, like everybody’s got a, this is the way to do it. This is what you gotta do, but we obviously know that that’s not necessarily true. It’s, there’s a couple different ways that you can go about it.
And while there’s best practices is kind of what you choose to make of. . And so what I would like to hear from you is kind of what marketing tactics have you found really beneficial? What do you see as an opportunity for fiction writers that maybe we even don’t even [00:24:00] realize?
What’s some of your insights into that and from your experience?
Becky Wade: I think that for me it was important to find marketing that I. and not to try to spread myself too thin and do everything mm-hmm. . And so the way that I started was with two things, email and Facebook. Okay. And I enjoyed both of those things.
And so because I enjoyed them, I was able to be consistent and follow through with those mm-hmm. . And then over time I added things. So I added Instagram. , I’m on Twitter, but mostly just to support other things I’m doing. I am part of a group blog. I, I blog twice a month. That gives me an opportunity to delve a little bit more deeply into a subject.
I added things but only things that I enjoyed and only one at a time, so I didn’t try to jump in and do all of that at once. [00:25:00] I was slow about deciding where to place my time, and I think it’s important. . As writers, we do reevaluate often whether or not something is still worth the time that we put into it.
Mm-hmm. , because if we’re putting time in there, that means that’s time we’re not spending writing. Yeah. And so it needs to be productive time and time that we enjoy. Mm-hmm, so that’s kind of how I started out with marketing. I still think that for me, Facebook, Instagram, and email are my most effective.
Platforms and the data bears that out as well. Mm-hmm. . Now, one thing that I’ve tried that’s new in marketing is Kickstarter, right. Which I did in January, just last month. I had never tried that before. I think it’s a new approach for a lot of authors who haven’t tried that before. Mm-hmm. and I did find success there, but like all of these things, it [00:26:00] requires time, it requires learning, it requires effort, so you just have to judge for yourself whether it makes.
Rachel: So if you were a brand new author, haven’t been published yet, trying to build a platform, where do you, where would you start?
Becky Wade: If I were a brand new author at this point in time, I would probably start with Instagram or TikTok. Mm-hmm. , because there are very, very active book communities there. Yes. And you can jump in and I’ve seen even.
even people who’ve only been on Instagram, maybe just over a year. Mm-hmm. , I’ve seen them really jump in and grow a following and become involved and cultivate book Instagram friends and mm-hmm. like-minded readers. And it was because they came in, they were consistent and they were engaged, you know?
Mm-hmm. , they put themselves [00:27:00] out there to support others and make friends and be a friend and, mm-hmm. Contributed to the social part of social media. Mm-hmm. The other thing I think that’s very, very helpful, not only just marketing wise, but also for the writer’s soul is gathering like-minded friends.
So it’s really helpful if you are a writer just starting out, trying to build a platform to find other writers who are at your same kind of point in the writing journey. Yes. And pour into them and. Build a friendship. Mm-hmm. with a group. And then also reach out and support authors in your same genre who are further along than you.
And do everything you can to kind of establish a friendship there. Because then if you’ve got a friendship there, you can ask them questions and that author might be willing to sort of mentor you a little. Mm-hmm. and, and then when you have a book kind of help pull you up and support you. So just [00:28:00] I think, spending time.
Really getting involved in the community. Mm-hmm. Both with writers at your same level, writers who are years further in the journey, and then also the reading community. I think that is really key to social media as well as
Rachel: consistency. Yeah. I’ve also noticed on YouTube that same kind of book community is on YouTube as well, and so if you’re somebody who enjoys video, Right.
That might be something that you can get involved in, that just to kind of go a little deeper into that concept of like building friendships amongst re amongst other writers, where would we find that, or how do we go about finding those other writer friend? Yes.
Becky Wade: I found quite a few through a C F W, American Christian Fiction Writers.
That’s where I found my very best people that turned into like my very best friends in the world. . Okay. Katie [00:29:00] Ganard and Courtney Walsh. Yeah. And Danny Petri as well. We were all. Publishing our first Christian fiction novel the same year. Mm-hmm. . So we were in that same graduating class. Right. And we have been very relatable ever since through the highs and the lows.
Yes. So I think, a writing organization like A C F W is a great place to find writer friends, but you can also read. in your genre. So in, even in your like micro niche mm-hmm. . So let’s say you’re writing historical romance, but you’re actually writing historical romance set in the 1880s in America.
Mm-hmm. . Okay. There’s, there’s authors writing that same thing. Right? So really kind of being strategic about finding people that are writing what you are writing, supporting them. That’s one way to build friendships. People have built friendships like that with me before they, long before they were published, just because they were working on books that were in my same micro genre.
Hmm. [00:30:00] And they were cheering me on and now I’m cheering them on as their books are beginning to hit shelves. . That’s so cool.
Rachel: Lot of great wisdom in how we can practically go about making some writer friends, so that’s really great. I wanted to circle back to the Kickstarter that you have ran this time around.
You said you found success with it. What about Kickstarter, do you think? Helped you find that success? What, what part of it resonated with people so that they joined the Kickstarter, and how has it really supported you in this release of your recent book?
Becky Wade: Kickstarter is a platform specifically for creatives who are working on a project.
So in my case, I wanted to make an audiobook of Memory Lane. Mm-hmm. . And I wanted to hire, I wanted to handpick the narrators, and that meant I was gonna have to hire them upfront and pay them. quite a substantial amount of money, and so I thought Kickstarter [00:31:00] is the perfect venue for this. Mm-hmm.
because I’m a creative and I have a specific project that I really want to get made. Right. So that’s what Kickstarter is for. Mm-hmm. , I think what helped it be successful is the following. I. offered things that people wanted. Mm-hmm. . So basically I was giving the very first pre-orders I did of my book memory lane, I did on Kickstarter.
Mm-hmm. . So before you could go and pre-order it, and Amazon, for example, you could order it only on Kickstarter and Okay. Not only did I give pre-orders of. The print book, the e-book, and the audiobook, but I gave all kinds of swag that people could buy or not buy. So you had lots of different options, but all of the swag was really fun.
It was all stuff that I, myself, wanted to own , so I was hoping that readers would want this stuff too. Yeah. So I was appealing to readers with things that I really hoped [00:32:00] that they would want. . The other facet of Kickstarter that I think helps to make it successful is the fact that you set a goal amount.
Mm-hmm. , and that’s very public. Yes. And then in real time on the website, it shows you how much has been raised towards that goal. Mm-hmm. And so every reader that went there could see what my goal was and how close I was or wasn’t to hitting that goal. And I think that encourages people. To participate because mm-hmm.
you know, they want, readers are so kind and generous and they want you to hit your goal and so they would see, okay, she’s halfway there or she’s. three-fourths of the way there and oh my gosh, I’m gonna buy something to help her get there. Mm-hmm. . Well, the fact that the amount being raised is so public and there’s a time limit.
Mm-hmm. , mine was just 10 days. I had to hit that in 10 days. Oh wow. Okay. That spurs people to that sense [00:33:00] of
Becky Wade: Yeah. That sense of urgency. Yeah. Spurs people to participate and I think one of the hard things about it, , my read on it was that very, very few of my readers had ever purchased a book or swag on Kickstarter before.
Right. The platform was new to them. Mm-hmm. and so, It was tough to sort of overcome that. None of us love a brand new platform having to learn something unfamiliar. That true. But because I was offering things I hoped they wanted, and I had a big enough readership, and there was that time limit and that dollar amount, a lot of people did end up giving Kickstarter a try that had never, ever done anything on Kickstarter before.
Rachel: That’s so fascinating to me. But a couple things stuck out to me as you were talking. One, you know your audience, like, you know your readers, you know, you have an idea of what they would want. Like of course you can’t read their [00:34:00] minds, but you interact with them. You engage with them enough that you are like, I think they would appreciate this swag.
I think they would go for this. I know they want an audiobook. I know they want these things. So that was, I think that’s something to important to note, like, you know who you’re serving. , and the better you know them, the better you can serve them. And then two, you have very loyal fans and you’ve done a lot of work to make them loyal.
And so that in itself is just. That concept of having true fans who will just do the things they want to support you because they value you and the work that you do. And I’m always saying that here on this podcast and then other things that I create. But that’s the end goal. You really wanna create those super fans that just.
Love you and wanna support you and support you creating. And so that, that sounds like what, that, that translated over that work you had already done that, that [00:35:00] investment into your audience that you had already made over the last few years, you know, of just showing up. consistently, and with openness and honesty and integrity, like that translates into book sales.
That translates into support on something like Kickstarter. So I think that’s really interesting as well. The other question I had for you, about Kickstarter, did you treat it like pre-sales or did you treat it as a fundraiser? How did you approach it in the like wording with your.
Becky Wade: I let them know that my specific goal with every penny raised in that Kickstarter was the audiobook. Okay? So I guess in that respect, I did treat it more like a fundraiser, and I was very, very transparent. in the Kickstarter about how much, approximately how much profit I would be making on every reward sold and how much money I needed to raise in order to pay the narrators.
Like I was very transparent. And [00:36:00] Kickstarter actually really values that. They tell you that that’s what they want from people who are launching Kickstarter projects. Oh, shoot. Remind me what, remind me what the question. Well, I was just,
Rachel: I was . That’s ok. Sorry. No. So when you, when you, yeah. When you’re telling your readers about it, you were very like, open about what all the funds were going towards.
Mm-hmm. . With kind of like the base level, like if you contribute, you get a copy of the audiobook, is that kind of like how you, I’m just curious how you kind of like formatted it and kind of positioned it so that people. Were willing to jump in on it.
Becky Wade: Yes. So I wanted to make sure there were many different rewards and that they cost.
all kinds of different things. Mm-hmm. . So I think the least expensive thing I offered on there was the ebook. Okay. And you could buy the ebook. You could pre-order the ebook by itself. Mm-hmm. or the paperback by itself, or the audiobook by itself. Okay. And then from there you had different choices about swag plus the [00:37:00] audiobook, or even more swag plus the paperback.
Okay. Or all three formats of the book, plus lots of swag. Okay. So you had just this, this long list. of different rewards you could choose from. Okay. I do think what you were mentioning there about how I had cultivated a readership was the main thing that allowed the Kickstarter to be successful. I wouldn’t recommend launching a Kickstarter unless you’ve had time in which to grow quite a large audience.
Rachel: And by large, what do you mean? Like what that
Becky Wade: Well, I mean that. Kickstarter is not going to be for a lot of your readers. Mm-hmm. . And so you’re gonna need to have quite a large group of readers, , to have enough of them willing to try the Kickstarter to make your Kickstarter successful. Right. So it’s probably not for authors just starting out with their first or second book.
Mm-hmm. . It’s for authors who maybe have a mailing [00:38:00] list. over five an email mailing list of over 5,000 people. Okay. That’s a good number for us to shoot for. Yeah. I mean, just like a large social media following and all of that stuff is going to matter and add up. I had people come from different social media platforms to the Kickstarter.
Had a lot of people from my email newsletter come, I could see where they had come from. Mm-hmm. and it took all of those places. For readers to come from those different venues. Right. To Kickstarter to make it successful, so. Right. I do think you need to have the sense before you go in of I have a pretty engaged and large group of readers.
Mm-hmm. here. And a pretty good sense, like you mentioned, of what kind of stuff they like. Right. If you’ve done giveaways over the years, you probably have a sense of, oh gosh, readers go crazy for this, or they’re not really as interested in this. And so you do, you have to have some experience under your belt and some time Right.
Doing this before, I would probably recommend a Kickstarter. And if you were sort [00:39:00] of newer and towards the beginning of your career, I would make the Kickstarter project for a lower dollar amount. Mm-hmm. too. Okay. I would make it probably not paying narrators up front because that’s such a hefty Bill
Yeah. I would make the project something more affordable. Right. Because then you’re more likely to hit that, hit that. .
Rachel: Okay. So two technical questions. How do people get the ebook delivered to them or not in, not ebook, I’m sorry, the audiobook. How do you, if you’re having them buy into the, is this like, how are you delivering on that once it releases?
Becky Wade: I use book funnel. Okay. I use Book Funnel on my website as well. Speaking of entrepreneurial things, I sell all the formats of my. through my website bookstore. Mm-hmm. . And so that becomes a question then of, well, how do you deliver the ebook? Or how do you deliver the audiobook And book funnel is great at doing both.
Okay. That’s what they become so successful at, and [00:40:00] they, they deliver the ebook and the audiobook in such a way that you can listen or. Through book funnel. Mm-hmm. , or with the ebook, you can move it onto your e-reader, which is how most of us prefer to read. Right. You can move it onto a Kindle, for example, and you read it exactly like you would a book purchased from Amazon.
You read it the same exact way on your Kindle. ,
Rachel: that’s, so, I, I am familiar with BookFunnel and I was, I was like, wait, these people are contributing to the Kickstarter. How are they gonna get the audiobook? Are you sending them link? What are you doing? So that’s interesting and there’s so many tools out there like that, that we can use.
Yeah, it just takes a little bit of research. It just takes a little bit of digging to get to them. So, but they are available for us to utilize. Absolutely. That was very cool. I forgot my second question, so I’m going to, As we start to wrap up, I’m going to just ask you what advice you have for somebody who’s just starting out in this journey and they’re trying to navigate the whole writing and the publishing side of [00:41:00] things, and it’s just kind of overwhelming and they’re not really sure how to navigate it.
What advice would you give to that person?
Becky Wade: I would suggest that they focus on the writing. Most. Mm-hmm. So before you’re gonna be able to worry about marketing a published book, you’re gonna have to work on your skills at writing something that’s worth being published. , yes. Likely for years. Mm-hmm. So at the beginning I would spend most of the time that they have on.
working on the craft of writing, working on developing what? What is the genre that they really love to write in the most? Mm-hmm. And continuing to improve manuscript after a manuscript. I think you learn a ton every time you finish a manuscript from beginning to end and then rewrite it from beginning to end [00:42:00] and just do that over and over.
Hmm. I do think though, as you are doing that and concentrating the lion share of your effort there, it is smart to begin to begin to plug into these communities we’ve been discussing. Mm-hmm. communities of fellow writers, also looking towards seeking publication or indie publishing, making friendships with them and connections with.
getting involved in social media with these reader communities, reader slash writer communities. Mm-hmm. . So spending some time there I think is really smart. But focusing most of your time and attention on increasing your skills as a writer, because before you’re ever gonna have a book that readers are telling their friends, I loved this, you have to read.
you’re gonna have to put in a lot, lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of work to get to the point where you’re writing something that readers love.
Rachel: So at [00:43:00] what point would you suggest a writer start building that platform? Like how far into the manuscript process, how far into writing it would you suggest them to start plugging into those communities and building a.
Becky Wade: during the writing of the first manuscript. Once you see that you are serious enough about this to be disciplined enough to be writing steady output mm-hmm. , even if you realize, okay, this, it’s gonna take me at this rate two years to write this manuscript. But if you see, hey, for six months now I’ve been working steadily towards that, this is a really serious goal of mine.
I’m gonna do this . Mm. , right at that point is probably when you should get involved with writer communities and reader communities because they will help spur you forward toward your goal. Yes. Yeah,
Rachel: that’s such good wisdom for us and just, you have shared so much valuable tips and thoughts and just, [00:44:00] just advice for the writer who’s coming along and I so appreciate it.
I know it’s gonna benefit those listening, and help them to make decisions and. Writing their novels and getting them ready to be put into the hands of a reader. So I just thank you so much, Becky, for being here and for just sharing so generously with us. I do appreciate it.
Becky Wade: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.
I love to talk about writing and I have a heart for fellow writers, so this has been a joy. Thank you.
Rachel: Before we let you go, tell us where can we find your books? Where can we find, where can we hang out with you on the internet? That’s the other thing I always like to ask.
Becky Wade: Well, if people go as far as the first part of that question, where to find my books of becky wade.com spelled the way you think is a place to go and learn more about my books.
And then you can, from there you can figure out where to purchase one if you wanted. And then online, I am most active at Becky Wade, writer on [00:45:00] Instagram and also at author Becky Wade on Facebook. So either one of those two places is a great place to connect with me. I answer all the emails and all the direct messages as well.
If you want to ask me something personally, I will definitely answer.
Rachel: Great. Well, thank you so much. And so definitely for those of you who are listening, make sure to go follow Becky on Instagram or Facebook. Let’s support her, make sure that we are, just like we said, supporting other writers, having that collaborative mindset.
And make sure you share this episode with another writer, friend of yours who is wanting to learn more about the business of Christian fiction. Once again, thank you, Becky for joining us and for those of you who are listening, join us next week as we continue this conversation. Talk to you later. Bye.
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Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!
I help Christian fiction writers figure out how they can make an impact and an income from their storytelling while keeping rest a priority.
You can learn more about how I’m in your corner here.
And you can learn more about my personal journey here.
One last thing, if you’re looking for a bit more rest in your life, be sure to check out the Rest & Reflect guided journal.