Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
It’s a term I first heard last year: “crowd-funding”. What’s that? I hear many of you ask. Well have a quick look over www.kickstarter.com and you’ll soon learn that it is a way to fund creative projects / entrepreneurial ideas through small donations from “the crowd” as opposed to the traditional way of large venture capital, expensive loans or self-funding. Of course lots and lots of small affordable donations can add up to a substantial sum, enough to get a project off the ground. Hence the crowd funds the project.
It’ is now an established and credible route for all sorts of projects to get their funding. The project owner often gives a small incentive to the “giver” if the project is successful. The “giver” has the satisfaction that for a small monetary gift they are helping someone to kick start their venture, their dream, possibly to make a living and help them become successful that, without the funding might easily fall by the way side. Win-Win is the game.
Well to some degree this has been used to fund books and other creative tangibles like music and art. There is a great article on Winning Edits that asks where crowd-funding books might go.
“Indie authors are flocking to sites that allow them to create fund-raising pages for their book projects. It’s a beautiful and simple idea: have your readers fund your next book directly in exchange for intimate access to the process as well as exclusive goodies available at various pledge levels.”
A “Wow” story is that Frank Chimero (author) tried KickStarter to fund and produce his next book “The Shape of Design” – he wanted to raise $27,000 – incredibly he SMASHED his target by $85,000. (look over his Kickstarter Bid here) . Another was “Twig The Fairy” who had a successful bid at 163% over her target. So it can be done.
However, even though the likes of Kickstarter have a massive head start – other’s are seeing the future in niche crowdfunding – so if you love books and want to encourage writing then there are now a few niche sites appearing with the sole purpose of finding funding for Authors/Writers. Of note are PubSlush & Unbound. The latter aims to be the Kickstarter of the Book World and a publisher to boot!
“At Unbound, authors pitch their ideas and you choose which books get written.”. Their double-meaning sub-title is “Books are now in your hands”
Will it change the way authors write, publish and distribute their work? Well unbound want to do that so are they the next BIG THING that will challenge the Traditional Book World like Apple’s iTunes did with popular music or will the likes of Amazon Kindle/ CreateSpace see a new direction and snub out these upstarts?
Well the industry needs a kick up the backside as clearly they have given many an author an independent route, that already bypasses the trad’ physical book publishers so the evolution needs to move towards funding and distribution for the Indie Author as we all know the next best-seller will already be written but no-one knows where it is or how to get it in front of the buyers.
Interesting times indeed in the literary world. Now I do have a new thriller book out soon “Death For A Starter” – maybe Unbound might be worth a go ?