Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Quick Hits: 100 Controversial Truths Book

Greetings and welcome to a new segment here at Kickstarter Conversations, something less than an interview but more than just a quick blurb.  Today I’ve gone to the recently launched section and brought you the following:  “New Book: 100 Controversial Truths About Politics & Culture by Doug Pancoast.”  Thank you for joining us today Doug.

Thanks so much for inviting me

So this is your third time launching this project, what makes you keep coming back and trying to launch this book?  

A couple of things. Firstly, I really believe in my book. I read quite a bit and most political books these days are basically partisan hackery. Having been exposed to so many different kinds of people and viewpoints, I feel like my book is unique because of the balanced approach that it takes. I think I’ve made the book both informative and interesting for people.

But I also believe in Kickstarter. I never heard of Kickstarter until about a year ago or so when one of my MBA professors told us about it. I think what Kickstarter is doing is very special. It allows many entrepreneurs to gain access to the funding they need to complete their projects, but it also allows people who are interested in helping to get something back in return.

What have you learned from your previous two attempts?  Honestly all I’ve seen is a change in the video (from a clean and simple text video to a webcam type video of you with scratchy audio) and some minor rewording of the text.  Have you established a market since your last attempt?  

The main two changes I am trying to make is to make my appeal more personal and to build the market that you’re talking about. I talk to people in my personal life about the book all the time and many of them have mentioned they plan to contribute this time. In addition, I plan on spending more time finding places online I can share the link to my project, since the last time I launched I was busy trying to finish my MBA and didn’t have as much time to actively promote my own book. Before, I was hoping Kickstarter would basically spread the word for me and this time I have more time to spread the word myself.

I’ll keep working at improving the video. I felt like the simple text video was perhaps too impersonal and the project would be more successful if people could hear from me personally. I agree the quality of the video should be improved, and I am going to work on that, but I’m trying to do the best I can with the technology, financial, and time constraints I am under (currently I am in China working on some business opportunities). This book was written (part-time, for sure) over a 3 year period. Hopefully potential backers will forgive the poor video for now, until I can find some better equipment.

Updates are a key way to reach out to those backers “on the fence” who just press the “remind me” button and surf away.  What kind of updates do you have in store?  Stories about the project?  Examples from the work?  

I definitely plan on posting a couple of examples of chapters in the book in the future.

What are your plans for the project if this Kickstarter fails as well?  Launch again?  Try to sell the book to publishers?  Make an eBook?  

If I fail, my plan is to contact several publishers first. I believe the book is definitely good enough to get picked up by a publisher. Furthermore, I’m considering having a recommended readings page in the back of the book and I would contact the publishers of some of those books first. However, I actually prefer to do this on my own first. Publishers don’t pay much for first books and I really believe in this book. Furthermore, I’d have to find an agent first (since most publishers don’t accept manuscripts directly) and then they would likely try and edit my book in ways that might take some of the controversy out of it. I think if I can get it published on my own, through the help of Kickstarter and its wonderful community, then my book will be better, I will make more money in the long run, and it’ll be another success story for both myself and Kickstarter.

Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to share with the readers?

I just appreciate them taking the time to read the interview. Personally, I enjoy reading about interesting people and interesting viewpoints. I know politics certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people might have no interest. But I think regardless of who people voted for, there is a greater awareness among Americans that the political issues that divide us are unfortunately often important discussions worth having. Some of the issues, such as the debt and the gap between the rich and the poor, are reaching critical mass and things are going to have to be dealt with. I definitely think people would enjoy reading my book and find some things they passionately agree with...and hopefully they’ll learn something, as well.

Well I hope the third time's the charm for you!  We’ll be keeping an eye on your project and see what happens as it progresses.  

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