Twice now, I’ve used Indiegogo to help crowdfund my writing. Some crowd-funding outlets, like Kickstarter, offer an all-or-nothing deal. This means that if the entirety of the set goal is not reached, the artists involved will receive nothing from the campaign. It is a risky avenue, and certainly, for many, this seems like an ideal approach to crafting their art. I’m a little more of patron kind of guy, one who sees the value of every dollar, and can make everything stretch to accommodate small goals. For this reason, I went with Indiegogo, which offers a more flexible goal. This means that whatever is contributed actually reaches the artists. While some might see an inherent risk in funding this type of endeavor (“Who’s to say that they won’t just take my money and run?”), Indiegogo has ways to make sure that contributors are taken care of. The most common means of doing this is by hosting certain “perks”, which are gifts to the individuals who contribute to such artistic endeavors.
Another way to do this is by ensuring that any artist using Indiegogo keeps contributors abreast of the creative process. For me, as an author of novels, The Twelve Cataclysms, and Escape from the Spotlight, this usually means letting people know how the publication process was coming along (past tense, as both are available on Amazon even as I write this), how the cover art was doing, appearances, and the state of the perks that contributors are/were to receive.
Even when a financial goal is not reached (like what happened with Escape), such campaigns are really enjoyable. The cool thing about this is that it lets artists interact with friends, family, and even new potential fans. One of the reasons we write is because telepathy doesn’t exist yet. If we couldn’t write, we would not be able to share our stories and ideas with others. Such crowdfunding campaigns enable we writers to reach out and say “Hey, I’ve got a project going on.”
Sure, some people might say “So what? You want me to give money to you? Why should I?” A fair question. Really, it all boils down to faith. Faith that a project might actually be worth your time. Faith that the artist really will fulfill their stated obligations and reach their stated goals. Faith that they will be getting something more than just the satisfaction of helping an artist to reach their ambitions of making good art. Faith that the system involved in the crowdfunding outlets have got checks and balances that help ensure that your faith is not misplaced.
For me, financially, the perks that I’ve offered and am fulfilling have cost far more than I earned from contributors. For printing and shipping books, the cost of creating some special limited-edition flash drives, printing and shipping of posters, the editing, publishing, and creation of the book, itself – all this adds up to a much larger number than I even started asking for in this campaign. But that is not the real point of the campaign. The real point is to communicate with people. Through this process, I have gotten in touch with some wonderful people who have reached out to me in a wonderful and heartfelt way. Really, I am so pleased to be hearing from some old friends who I haven’t heard from in years, who, through this campaign, tapped me on the arm and said “I believe in you.”
It’s meant the world to me.
For those of you who contributed your way into the Scottie Terrier perk, I am pleased to say that your posters are shipped. Thank you
~ The Queen has spoken. ~