"I haven't paid any money for advertising. I said that on the Kickstarter: If the Kickstarter was successful, I'd be able to better handle marketing costs. Whatever money I had left over from that could potentially be used for advertising purposes. But here's the thing: I don't click on Internet ads. I have software installed that blocks pop-up ads on my computer. They don't do anything for me, so my thinking was, I'm not going to pour any money into this campaign that I wouldn't even see if I was just casually cruising the Internet.
"I could buy a Facebook ad and a GoodReads ad and I'll have exhausted all I know about advertising. There are about 35,000 people on GoodReads who buy ads—the odds of people seeing or caring about my ad are really slim. For me, it's important that people talk about Penpal on blogs and social media sites. That's what happened with the woman who wrote Fifty Shades of Grey; it started out as fan-fiction and people liked it because it's a bunch of BDSM stuff. They read it, started talking about it, and sharing it with their friends, and it took off from there.
"That was the benefit of starting how I started. By the time I published the book, people already knew about it and were waiting for it, through Reddit and Kickstarter. And, fortunately, they went out and bought it once it was available. If you've got, say, an iPhone case on Kickstarter, you can have a video that shows off its flashy features, and somebody could stumble upon that and support the project and give you money. The video gives them something to see and get excited about. But with a book, it's much harder to do that. I can't put together a video of me sitting in a Corvette, reading passages from the book, and dazzling them with my stature.
"I got messages from people on Kickstarter, when I had my page up, asking me how mine was successful and what advice could I give them to make theirs successful. The bottom line is that I already had a reader-base established before I did the Kickstarter. Some people stumbled upon it and supported that way, but most of the people were carryovers from NoSleep."