If you are a writer who wants to move beyond content writer services, there is a new route open for those wishing to get literary projects seen on a mass scale. Crowd-funded publishing is the next big thing for financing everything from fantasy novels to foodie mags. See, everyone’s broke these days, so it’s like pulling teeth to get someone to finance your creative project. However, sites now offer a catalyst for would-be authors to post their projects in hopes that random strangers will pay them to finish.
Crowd-funding is almost exactly what it sounds like–having your project funded by a group of individuals. To get started, check out a website that promotes crowd-funding, such as:
Essentially, you are hosting a fundraiser to finance your publishing project. “A Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood has done it, and so has Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. For those unheard of authors, the record breaking amount raised as of 2013 comes from the indie project To Be or Not to Be , which attracted 15,352 donors who gave $580,905. Sounds like a promising lollipop for a broke writer, no?
How Does It Work?
Go to one of the crowd-funding sites and post your visionary masterpiece, or whatever else you’ve got going on. You can post anything from a startup magazine about outer space to a documentary about children born in the desert. Whatever you’ve got brewing up there in your delightful daydreams, if you think you can find fans for it, consider it for crowd-funding.
When you post a project, you’ll need to decide how much moola you need to raise in order to complete the project. This will entail posting exactly what you have left to do on your project–the more concrete the plan, the better. For example, you may need an editor to slash through your rough draft or an artist to bring your cover to life. The next step is to post flashy prizes for the pledges, such as a signed copy of your book to those pledging $25 or a donor’s name used for one of the characters in your story for $50 pledges. If your book reaches your goal, you get the money to complete the project from the pledges, and in turn they receive the prizes. Don’t meet the goal? No dice.
Crowd-funding operates on a social structure that depends on the kindness of strangers. The premise is that strangers find it optimistically pleasing to support creative efforts. Plus, they get the chance to hear, and possibly get a signed copy, of the next big book, which for literary buffs is like playing the lottery. The bottom line for would-be no-name authors is that it takes a lot of effort, time and money to get a project anywhere near an audience. Imagine being able to find funding and social support for your sparkling new project without having to sell your soul to the Devil at the crossroads. For someone making ends meet with content writer services, it sounds like a groovy deal to me.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.