It is probably no surprise that one of my particular joys is finding out about writing projects that utilise crowdfunding to come into existence. After all, it’s the intersection of my two different passions – publishing and crowdfunding!
I’ve worked at the cutting edge of new technologies over the years: the early days of building internet content sites from book material; working out how to get mobile content onto phones from (mostly) internet sites; experimenting with digital marketing and setting up an ebook program.
To me, crowdfunding is a new frontier. It has grown due to social media and the ability to share the projects with your friends, family and colleagues through social media.
It is also enabling projects – writing or otherwise – to be created that may never have had the chance to exist otherwise. This is of particular interest to me because for many years I’ve been speaking to authors about producing quality self-published books and ebooks. There is no doubt that it is possible to create great products but the author needs to outsource or spend a lot of time on many of the functions that a publisher provides. These include editing (MUST include editing), ebook conversions and/or digital book printing, purchasing an ISBN, ebook cover design, internal layout for printed books, marketing and liaison with retailers, distributors and bookshops (for printed books).
All of these costs add up and it’s only a small number of authors who have the pot of money put aside to invest in their publication or project without any assurance of return. It’s challenging.
Crowdfunding has the potential to fund your project upfront and is offering writers and entrepreneurs a new avenue of network and financial support.
On the Crowdfund it! blog I’m starting to feature writing projects and thought readers may be interested in these two:
The Red Room Company is a not-for-profit organisation that creates, publishes and promotes poetry in unusual ways. They received funding to create a poetry app called The Disappearing. This app maps poetry around Sydney and is available for free on the iTunes Store or Google Play.
Read this post to find out how they used crowdfunding to expand their app to map poetry from all over Australia.
Of course, not all projects reach their funding targets and preparation and research are needed. More than half the projects listed on crowdfunding sites fail to make their target funding and with an ‘All or Nothing’ model used by most platforms the creator won’t receive any money, no matter how close they come.
Sometimes failure is a great learning opportunity and this was the approach of journalist, PR Consultant and blogger Johanna Baker-Dowdell. Her first project to raise funds for publication of her book Business & Baby on Board fell a heart-breaking $320 short of target.
Find out how Johanna turned failure into success by re-running her project and achieving her funding target in this post.
I have some more posts planned where I speak to writers to find out how they crowdfunded their writing projects.
To read more inspiring case studies of successful crowdfunders around the globe purchase a copy of Crowdfund it! directly from the publisher website for $7. It is also available on ReadCloud bookseller partners, Amazon, Kobo, iBookstore, Booki.sh partner booksellers, Booku, and Bkclub.