Crowdfunding PART ONE: What is it and why should creatives consider it?

Last month, I wrote about finding the ‘one’; an illustrator who brings your words to life. You can read it, here. The next step in my journey was confirming finance of book production and how to create awareness of my work and its impending release.

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I’d recalled several colleagues over the years, utilising crowdfunding for their creative projects (and with great success!). The concept was still new to me, but intriguing nonetheless, so I spent months thoroughly researching the history of crowdfunding, and examples of successful campaigns (also analysing why they were successful). I decided this avenue would be most beneficial to my self-publishing goals and began working on a campaign to crowdfund my first picture book.

Crowdfunding appears to be quite a controversial concept. Some believe it’s a great way to be seen and heard, establish your craft and have your dreams brought to life (which it most certainly is, and the reason crowdfunding exists!). Others see it as simply a ‘hand-out’ or charity, or that the project creator is ‘sponging’ off family and friends to establish their business. These misconceptions sadden me. Please know, crowdfunding is none of these things.

For those new to the concept, here’s how crowdfunding works…

Crowdfunding sites (such as Pozible, Kickstarter, Indiegogo) provide a platform for project creators to present ideas, such as creation of books, albums, artworks, inventions, films etc. If the audience loves what they see, they can support it by pledging money or ‘backing’ the project. In return, creators offer rewards matched to the level of funding provided. For example, during my campaign, if a pledge of $20 was made, the supporter received a personalised signed copy of my book, posted to them, and a personal thank you, published on my author Facebook page. The pledge (or backing), was simply considered a book pre-order, not a donation, and the supporter certainly wasn’t throwing their money away. Project creators set up a target amount of funds required to complete their work, and (on most sites) the creator does not receive the funding until the target is reached within a specified time-frame. If the target is reached, supporters’ pledges are processed and they receive their rewards once the project (i.e. book published, album/film produced etc) is complete.

There are many benefits to crowdfunding. Here are some of the reasons I chose this avenue:

– It is a wonderful marketing tool.
– It provides an opportunity to get your name and brand out into the big, wide world.
– It allows exposure to many networks.
– It encourages continued commitment and dedication to your project.
– It enhances relationships with those supporting your project and being part of its progress.
– It allows you to see your creation (e.g. published book) in a more efficient time-frame.
– Its challenges are motivating and rewarding.
– It’s fun!

Stay tuned for Part Two on crowdfunding; How to set up a campaign and tips for its success. In the meantime, if you’d like to see an example, you can view my 2014 Pozible crowdfunding campaign, by clicking here.

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See you in 2016! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Crowdfunding PART ONE: What is it and why should creatives consider it?

  1. It certainly does enhance relationships between the author and supporters. I feel part of Digby and connected to you as an author as I watched the campaign become successful. It was exciting to receive Digby’s Moon Mission knowing I helped it happen (along of course with the other supporters).

  2. I have heard and seen and also been a part of numerous successful crowd funding projects. I am very interested in the possiblity for books and have only just started thinking about it’s possibility for one of my own projects.
    I liked reading about the time commitment. As I can spend days researching the most basic thing CF will no doubt be very time consuming for me but I like the idea and like the possibilities and love that you say it is fun! congratulations…

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