Thursday, May 15, 2014

Have you tried to Crowdfund Your Book?

I'm trying something new to fund research on my new book - Crowd Funding.

My new book is a history of the Black Hawk War of 1832. It's going to involve extensive travel and research, and as such is going to take much longer to write than most of my other books. Plus, it's going to be scads more expensive. I've got dozens of old books and documents to track down; pictures to study, and travel. My goal is to visit all of the old stockades along the Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin frontiers.

It's going to be fun, but oh-so-much work.

I'm asking for $7500. Odds are it's going to cost a whole lot more, but I don't want to sound greedy. So I cut the amount I think I need by about two-thirds. If it works, maybe I can go back for a second round of financing.

The two major crowdsourcing sites I'm familiar with are Go Fund Me and Kick Starter.

I examined them both, checking what other authors have done and finally settled on Go Fund Me. My major motivation was if you don't raise the whole amount, they still give you what you is pledged. Kick Starter cancels the whole project, and you don't get a dime if your don't raise your entire target amount. I could see me missing the mark by ten bucks and winding up with a bag of rocks (Just like Charlie Brown on Halloween). Losing all that moola would break my little heart!

The way it works is you register with Go Fund Me, share a little bit of information about yourself, and describe your project.

You can also include Reward Levels or a Wish List of items you want people to donate. It's a really cool concept, and I considered adding a wish list, but I finally settled on using Reward Levels. I'm not sure I chose the best reward levels. Mine are a copy of the Kindle book, an autographed copy of the paperback book mentions on the donor page, or in the book dedication. And, the big one, is a special hardbound edition of the book - limited to just five autographed copies - depending upon how many people offer support at this level.

I may not get a plugged nickel in support. Who knows? But, it's a really cool concept, and I think it has real potential for authors and artists. I know Sean Platt and Johnnie Truant authors of Write. Publish. Repeat. recently raised over $50,000 for a project using Kick Starter. Check out their Kick Starter here.

You can visit my project by clicking the Go Fund Me link in the side column of this blog.

I'd love to hear what you think about my project or the idea of Crowd Funding in general. Leave a few comments below.


Update 6/04/2014

What a dud!

I think I had twenty-five or thirty looks, but no pledges of support. Maybe I chose an off topic that no one was interested in. Perhaps I needed to spice it up a bit, throw in a few kittens, puppy dog eyes or something. Whatever the case, I will be funding the Black Hawk War project on my own.

I do have one more idea I'm trying for Kick Starter.

I'm going to have to liven it up a bit. Add a bunch of pictures, some video, and some really clever content.

What I'm thinking is travel, blogging, and eventually a book on my experiences.

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