Bisky's Twitterling's Scribbles! discussion

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All Things Writing > Crowd Funding

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message 1: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Pemrick I've been seeing this pop up a lot with authors lately and was wondering other's opinions since I'm up in the air. What's everyone's opinion on crowdfunding books?


message 2: by Neil (new)

Neil Bursnoll | 109 comments I guess it's a great idea if you have a strong concept or a good fan base. Books can be published for free so I guess funds would go towards editing, proofing, cover etc. I'm not sure. I doubt I'd do well if I tried it, I'm not great at marketing my current books!


message 3: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Moore (kevmoorewrites) | 63 comments Yeah, with print on demand and ebooks, I'm not sure what you'd spend the money on. Marketing budget? Is that even ethical?


message 4: by Samantha (last edited Aug 03, 2014 06:07PM) (new)

Samantha Strong (samanthalstrong) | 206 comments In theory, it's an OK idea, but you'd have to have a compelling reason, as in a fan base that was willing to support you while you wrote instead of doing your day job. I get annoyed with "Please fund my book!" retweets that have been popping up all the time. Not to be a jerk, but I don't know all these people asking for my money, so why would I do that?

But if the fan base is there, I would think they would be OK supporting you, as well as the nuts and bolts of editing/cover/etc.


message 5: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 390 comments I'm with S on this. For a first time author who has around 300 followers on twitter it doesn't make sense. It sounds like you are begging people to make you a professional author before you have proven that you deserve it. For an author who has a bit of a fanbase but is not quite making enough money to live off of this might make more sense. What I don't get are the people who have a ton of money and fame and they use that to crowdfund a project of theirs. They seem to always be successful which is baffling to me. Do people really think that these millionaires and celebrities need the money? If they believed in the project then why not put your money where your mouth is? Then again why risk your own money on a project when you can get someone else to pay for it?


message 6: by Bisky (last edited Aug 04, 2014 04:16AM) (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
It's not something I've seriously considered. It's a nice idea, I'd do it to afford editing I guess. But like what everyone has already said, you'd need a big fanbase and I don't think I'd feel comfortable asking people to fund my work when I haven't got any content out.

Maybe when I had a super book idea and people were asking for it. I had a pretty nice response on twitter to a project I mentioned but there is also another angle.

There was an indie artist I knew about who had a successful kickstarter for a huge project. He got much more funding than he asked for. But due to problems and pressures hardly anyone got what they were promised. And he scrapped the project eventually. I don't know how much it effected his popularity. But I don't think it helped him.


message 7: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Pemrick Kevin wrote: "Yeah, with print on demand and ebooks, I'm not sure what you'd spend the money on. Marketing budget? Is that even ethical?"

I don't see people using the money for marketing (though they could be sometimes and I've never seen it). It's usually to pay for editors and covers (and costs to cover the rewards).

S. wrote: "In theory, it's an OK idea, but you'd have to have a compelling reason, as in a fan base that was willing to support you while you wrote instead of doing your day job. I get annoyed with "Please fu..."

I see how a fan base is a must. I hadn't really thought about that part. Although, on the other side, if you have the fan base, would you really need to crowd fun? If you have enough people to support the cost of getting the book out, your sales, theoretically, should be high enough at that point to do the same since crowdfunding isn't usually used to have people support the author while they're writing. It's just to cover the cost to get the book out after draft writing is done.

Bisky wrote: "It's not something I've seriously considered. It's a nice idea, I'd do it to afford editing I guess. But like what everyone has already said, you'd need a big fanbase and I don't think I'd feel com..."

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that didn't reflect well on him. It's one thing for the project to not reach it's goal so it failed but to be given extra money and nothing come of it, he pretty much dug himself a grave.


message 8: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I should clarify a bit. Some of the circumstances were out of his control. The funding was for a project that would have spanned probably 3 years.

Writing a book is a long process and a lot can change. I personally don't think you can really put a deadline on a book. Because huge errors might be ignored if they take too long to fix. I think you have a deadline when you put up a kickstarter, I think that's what I think is most dodgey. If you are funding editing and things.

That artist might one day complete that project, but the deadline was what did him in, I think.


message 9: by Shannon (last edited Aug 04, 2014 07:30AM) (new)

Shannon Pemrick ahh, okay, I understand. Sadly, many of those who fund the project aren't as understanding (not all are like this but many are). People have a strange mentality when they fund a project that I have noticed as a negative side to the idea. Those who do fundings sometimes feel a sense of entitlement and if something happens to the project (whether it be the project failed or hiccups happened after it succeeded) they get really upset and can attack your credibility.

Happened recently with a game company. They crowdfunded a project, got the money they needed, and the project is going great and is on schedule, but they also announced they'll be working on another game at the same time (They have the staff to support it so it won't slow down the other game) and the people who funded the first project got real mad and started attacking them.


message 10: by Bisky (last edited Aug 04, 2014 07:51AM) (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
People can be mean with entitlement. It's a strange mentality and I don't think it's limited to money. I think it includes follows, likes and youtube views.


message 11: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Pemrick Entitlement baffles me, but that might be how I've been raised. My parents always told me to appreciate what I had and work hard to get and keep it. I agreed with their philosophy and it makes it hard to understand why people feel entitled to things. I have a hard time understand how someone could live like that.


message 12: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Strong (samanthalstrong) | 206 comments Unfortunately, I think Bisky's friend's experience might also be something that happens too frequently and discourages people from investing. When it really comes down to it, it is an investment, just like putting money into the stock market but without the monetary return (or, at least, I assume, usually without a monetary return).

I would have to say that I would be upset if I decided to fund something and it went nowhere. I mean, I'm not going to trash talk someone, but I definitely would not give them any more money and I would have to think twice about funding anyone else.

The biggest problem that I see with crowd funding anything is that just because you're an artist, that doesn't make you a project manager. (Says the project manager.) It's tough keeping a project to its budget and schedule, even when your only job is to keep the project to its budget and schedule. So when you're wearing multiple hats, including doing the lion's share of the work, it becomes even harder. And with no experience actually managing a project ever, how does an author know with any accuracy the true cost and time? How does he anticipate and mitigate risks? How does she know how to handle issues and tackle sticky relationship issues with her vendors?

My novel ended up coming out a month later and costing more than I had originally planned because I didn't have experience with *this* type of project. In the future, I'm sure it will be different because now I have that experience. But ten years of IT project management experience still didn't prepare me for managing all aspects of self-publishing.

Now I'm digressing a little bit, but I do still think it's important aspect to consider when crowd funding.


message 13: by Cem (new)

Cem Bilici (cembilici) The whole crowdfunding thing for books is perplexing to me. I had an email from Pubslush and I asked a few questions on the email and the person did respond a couple of times... But then it went dry.

If I were to ever approach such a thing it would have to be with something that is near completion and requiring polish, editing, artwork etc.

I also wondered if you could release an early draft to backers as both a way of beta reading and as one of the perks, like "see how it looks before and after" kind of thing.

I dunno.

The only thing I have ever crowdfunded was this little Android game unit called OUYA on Kickstarter. I got what I paid for so I was happy. I see books as a different kettle of fish though.


message 14: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I acn see kickstarter working for a series. Like if you've read the first book but the author needs help to write the second.


OT: What ever happened to the OUYA anyway? I don't think I've heard anything about that for a year.


message 15: by Deb (new)

Deb (soulhaven) | 103 comments Ripley Patton did it, but she had already written book one by the time she did her Kickstarter. She was after funding for the editing, cover, printing, etc. With the extended goal of getting enough money to pay for a trip to a location in book 2.
It helped she had a track record with short stories.
You've got to have good "prizes" and the wherewithal to deliver on whatever you promise.
My publisher is doing a Kickstarter now. They want to grow & be able to publish more of the books submitted to them, & so far have funded all our books with their own money. They, of course, have packages of already published books ready to go, so it's a pretty good campaign, even if I do say so.

Personally, I'd be nervous about delivering the goods in a timely manner & affordably (postage to & from New Zealand is pretty expensive)


message 16: by Cem (new)

Cem Bilici (cembilici) Bisky wrote: "I acn see kickstarter working for a series. Like if you've read the first book but the author needs help to write the second.


OT: What ever happened to the OUYA anyway? I don't think I've heard a..."


OUYA's still going but I hardly ever use it. Always get promo emails though, so they're still kicking.

Delivery, yes this was an issue with the OUYA too and I have given that thought on book crowdfunding also. Depending on where you're shipping from and to, and what, how much is it going to cost you? Are the authors thinking of that when they put up the campaign? From the handful I've looked at it doesn't look like it. Plus if there are multiple perk items your packaging gets bigger, costlier.

And some of the campaigns themselves look very slap-dash. I know not everyone has the skills to put together something fancy-schmancy, but most smartphones offer pretty good video quality for an intro of some sort.

A series continuation is probably the best as Bisky says. That way people know you have the capability to produce something and the author has had some experience in it.


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