Why Is Dad So Mad?

Why Is Dad So Mad by Seth Kastle

In our search to find how a writer can self-publish their books and get funding to kick start their self-publishing journey, we have found some amazing Kick Starter projects that have not only been successful at funding their self-published book, but many of them have exceeded their funding goals.

Here we interview Seth Kastlewith his book, Why Is Dad So Mad?, with Illustrator Karissa Gonzalez-Othon and creative Director and publishing partner Lyndsey Dugan of Dugan Design.

Book Synopsis

Why Is Dad So Mad?  is a children's issues book for children in military families whose father struggles with combat related PTSD.

Book Funding

How did you use to get funding for your book?
We choose Kickstarter as a means to raise awareness on the subject of PTSD and military families, which is the subject of my book. Kickstarter has a great ability to catapult your project into a large area of self publishing and independent publishing if you run a creative and well designed campaign.

Why did you choose to use KS to kick start your book?
Kansas is where I grew up and where I call home now.

What was your funding target?

How much funding did you get?
$4,750 currently, but there is still 17 days to go in the campaign.

How long did it take?
The initial funding goal of $3,000 was met in only eight hours.  The first stretch goal of $4,500 was hit in ten days.

Why did you choose this and did it work to your advantage?
I knew that I was going to have to look at crowdfunding for this project.  Supporting a family of four on a teachers salary doesn't leave a lot of room in the budget to fund free lance projects. Because of the global stage that Kickstarter has my project was viewed by a producer at NBC Nightly News.  They are coming to Kansas to film a segment of their "Making A Difference" segment on March 24th,  This is going to have a monumental impact on the visibility of my book.

What success rates did you have?
100% in 8 hours, 150% in 10 days.

Did you take the risk and spend any money upfront on materials such as book cover or editor prior to your project going live?
Yes, I fronted almost the entire amount out of my personal savings.  It was a tough decision to make, but for the project to work it needed to be nearly complete when the Kickstarter launched.  This campaign is also doing a great deal to fund the partner book that is currently in production; Why Is Mom So Mad?.  This book is for children who have mothers who struggle with combat related PTSD.

Did that work better for you or would you say your may have reached your target without that injection upfront?
I think this is how it had to happen.  Because the process of illustrating the book took almost 6 months, I don't think it would have been as enticing to potential backers if they had to wait this long for their rewards.

Funding Rewards

What rewards did you offer to give readers the incentive to fund your book?
$5 Handwritten postcard with illustration from the book.
$10 ebook of Why Is Dad So Mad?
$20 Printed and signed copy of Why Is Dad So Mad?
$25 Printed and signed copy of Why Is Dad So Mad and
ebook of Why Is Dad So Mad?
$45 2 Printed and signed copies of Why Is Dad So Mad? and
ebook of Why Is Dad So Mad?
$75 Limited edition Fine Art Giclee print of illustration from Why Is Dad So Mad? signed and individually numbered,
3 Printed and signed copies of Why Is Dad So Mad and
ebook of Why Is Dad So Mad?
$100 2 different limited edition Fine Art Giclee prints of illustrations from Why Is Dad So Mad? signed and individually numbered,
3 Printed and signed copies of Why Is Dad So Mad and
ebook of Why Is Dad So Mad?

Did you spend money upfront on things like book marks or other little promotional items?
I had to spend a negligible amount of money on promotional items upfront, but since most of the rewards are books they will be made after the campaign ends.

What were the best/most effective rewards you offered and why?
Over 40% of my backers were at the $20 level which got them a signed copy of the printed book.  I think this an amount that makes people feel like they are really helping the project, and it gets them a tangible piece of the overall success -- the finished book.

Funding Project Marketing

What marketing and PR you do to ensure you reached your target?
I put it out on the Kastle Books Facebook and Twitter accounts.  At the time of the release Facebook was the most well established social media I had, so this obviously yielded the greatest results.  Since then I really have began to figure out how Twitter works;this is doing a lot for me currently. 

What would you do differently if anything?
I personally use Facebook, but that was the extent (mostly) of my social media knowledge.  I would have taken the time to learn other mediums so I could engage supporters on additional venues of social media at the onset of the campaign.

Did your KS project give you an instant list of readers and how many?
A great deal of my backers are from Kansas, but this project serves an issues that spans the US.  I have had backers from all over the country.

Overall Feedback

What was the overall experience like and would you do it again?
This has been a great experience, and I would absolutely do it over again (with some lessons learned). 

What tips for any authors who want to kick start their project?

I don't think I was prepared to manage everything that comes with a book release.  I knew it would be busy and taxing, but I don't think I was mentally prepared for the amount of time this was going to take. 

Your advice to anyone wanting to fund their self-published book?
Get help - unless you are quitting your job and this is all you have to do, you will need assistance.  My creative director Lyndsey Dugan of Dugan Design (http://www.dugandesignstudio.com/) has been absolutely invaluable to me through every aspect of this project.  It is also worth it to consult with specialists through the process.  It was very tempting for me to just try to do everything on my own, and I may have been able to...eventually.  If I had went that route my project would absolutely not currently be done, and would not have the quality that is does.

Thank you Seth, we can't wait to see how your Kick Starter Project ends and to see your book on Amazon!


Paula Wynne is the founder of Book Hub. She started Book Hub out of a need to market and promote her own fiction. As well as running Book Hub, Paula is an author with several published books.

Paula's Book Marketing for Authors Series features the following books: Book Marketing for Authors: Essential Steps for Before, During and After Your Book Launch; Book Promotion for Authors: How To Grow Your Readers Fan Base With Cross Promotions; Email Marketing For Authors: How To Use Email Marketing To Find New Readers and Book Selling for Authors: 7 Steps to a Bestselling Novel. Find out more about Paula's Book Marketing for Authors Series here.

If you would like to find out how to get your book into the bestselling charts with little money needed, download a free copy of Paula's Book Selling for Authors: 7 Steps to a Bestselling Novel.

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