Thursday, January 16, 2014

Patronize Me

Salon.com's Laura Miller has an interesting article here on the future of authorial income, in which she spotlights Kickstarter as an excellent way for an author to raise funds for a novel project. Over the last couple of years the crowd-funding website has become a popular platform for indie authors and other publishing entities to employ when seeking the always-elusive financial support they need for books they can't/won't sell to publishers and other special projects.

What Ms. Miller doesn't mention in her piece is that Publishing has the second-lowest successfully funded rate of all the categories on Kickstarter; according to Writer's Digest only 32% of the book projects placed on the site are fully funded. I'll also take an educated guess that the majority of Kickstarter book-funding successes are enjoyed by established names who can attract a large number of donors and/or widespread interest from funder crowd. Still, Kickstarter has successfully funded 4,000+ publishing projects since it began in 2009, so if you already have a following and don't mind seeking financial aid in this manner it could help with the cost of producing an indie title.

4 comments:

  1. A fan base is essential, and the power behind it can be amazing. Phil and Kaja Foglio raised $390K, enough to allow them to reprint all 12 volumes of their "Girl Genius" webcomic. But Phil Foglio has been drawing comics since the 1980s (that I know of) and "GG" is a fabulous strip. They also offered a lot of incentives and stretch goals.

    But they also needed this so that they can keep their cash flow going to print and sell new books. Not that they would go out of business otherwise, but they (I assume) would have had to borrow the money, and that would have cost them in interest payments. In essence, the fans are acting as their bank.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-12-printing-and-reprint-frenzy

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    1. You're up early today, Bill. :) Thanks for the link to the Foglios's success story; that's a fairly incredible feat ( and here I was agog over Seth Godin raising $247K on Kickstarter.)

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  2. What are the incentives for someone to invest in a book via Kickstarter? Do they get characters named after them or a limited edition of the book?

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    1. From what I understand the folks who run Kickstarter campaigns for book publishing do offer various incentives based on the level of contribution, but I believe what they are is up to the campaigners. I've heard these can be anything from free and/or signed copies of the books to things like having a character named after you.

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