Three months ago, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to try and bring my vision of a reality tv show where 40 writers compete over 40 days to prepare, polish, and pitch their book ideas to publishers who then compete Shark Tank style for the rights to publish them. There is no humiliation quite so great as failing in a big way in front of an audience. And my attempts to raise 1.25 million dollars in 40 days was a colossal failure.
I raised exactly $30. That’s it. I had two backers. Those were the only voices that were willing to make a financial sacrifice to support the effort. But one thing I teach, and I want you to remember, is that failure is not the end of your dream. It is just the end of one chapter in the story of you achieving your dream.
Where Did I Go Wrong?
Considering that I was getting good response on Twitter, with many people coming to the page and seeing it, it was hard at first to understand why they weren’t then willing to contribute to it. What was holding them back? Where was I failing to communicate that vision?
Putting Myself In Their Shoes
I’m a relatively unknown author. I’ve got not even one best seller to my name. At the time, I couldn’t even tell you that I’d made much money off my books. I was asking people to put their faith and confidence in an unproven product with no track record or history of recorded success.
To top that off, I didn’t have a single publisher on board with the project. Not one agent to support it. A coach who’d said he would support it if I could get it off the ground but who didn’t want to be named. And the team I did have to help me promote it was equally unknown to the vast majority of visitors. There were just too many questions and not enough concrete evidence to support them in taking that leap of faith to break open their wallets.
What I Learned From That Experience
If you can learn something from your failure, no matter how big it is, you will have gained something valuable that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Risks are worth taking, and failures are the best teachers. What I learned from my public failure is this: Don’t ask people to produce cash until you’ve got concrete evidence you can deliver what you’re selling. If you want to test your concept and get people on board with it, ask them for email addresses first and notify them on the progress of the project as it moves along. Email addresses are just as powerful as cash, but are very little risk for those who give them to you.
My New Resolve
I still believe that 40 Day Writer Reality TV is something that can and should happen. I feel even more strongly about this because Shark Tank, a show where entrepreneurs pitch the products and companies they’ve built to investors, is one of the most highly ranked shows out there even after 8 seasons. Only 56% of Americans believe they have the potential to be an entrepreneur. 81% of them believe they have a book in them. A show that is geared toward helping writers finish, polish, and pitch their book ideas to publishers in just 40 days? That show could be an instant hit with the right production team and the right backers. I am determined to see this project through to the end.
My New Plan
First comes the audience, then comes the show. I need to prove to publishers and producers that this show has a pre-existing following of writers who are ready, eager, and willing to support it. To do that, I’m going to start campaigning to collect the email addresses of every writer who has ever dreamed of seeing their book in print and would be willing to participate in the show when it’s ready to go live.
Are You With Me?
I promise – no spam. Here’s what I will be sending you with your email address:
- * Updates on the show’s progress such as publishers we’ve recruited, agents who’ve agreed to participate, coaches who are on board, when we’ve found a producer, and when we’ve secured a network to host it
- * Rough drafts of my Revised and Updated How to Write an eBook in 40 Days or less so you’re ready to write that amazing book when we’re ready to start recruiting show participants
- * Special invitations to participate in Twitter parties and other writing activities so you can test what you’ve learned
- * Notification when we are ready to re-launch the crowdfunding campaign and a special gift available only to you for supporting us all along the way
Sign Up To Bring 40 Day Writer Reality TV To Life