Within a year, Hawkins has not only written the first and second books in the series, but has taken on the roles of editor, formatter, cover designer, marketer - and publisher. But no matter that Hawkins works ‘round the clock to bring in sales or that her product is worthy of publishers’ notice - there will always be a barrier to entry for indie authors: funding. “Self-publishing gives me total control over my content and my product,” says Hawkins. “But I am limited without the backing of a publisher. Kickstarter is an innovative way of turning the typical ‘starving artist’ into one who’s equipped to put his money where his mouth is – for me, it means getting my story to those who would love it.”
And love it they do. Since the explosion of novels like Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You, contemporary romance readers have been gobbling up the genre - some reading up to three books at a time. Hawkins immediately recognized the void in women’s literature. In January, she self-published Come Undone, an atypical romance that deals with the controversial topics of forbidden attraction and infidelity in an honest way. The eBook is gaining traction on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, where so far it has earned 4.8 and 4.5 stars respectively.
Hawkins feels that with diligent online marketing and good content, The Cityscape Series has the potential to make a dent in the romance genre. But taking on big name publishers is like charging into battle alone and unarmed. Kickstarter will allow her a more competitive advantage. It’s an all-or-nothing approach to crowd funding, so if she doesn't reach her goal by the project’s close, she won’t see any of the money. Backers can receive unique rewards ranging from signed copies to naming a character in the third book.
Jessica Hawkins’ The Cityscape Series Kickstarter project will end Friday, May 24th at 3pm. To show your support, please visit her project before that date: http://www.kickstarter.com/