Conflicted About Crowdfunding: With A Side of Gifs

Writing isn’t easy. There are some days you don’t feel like writing. There are days when you want to write, when you have several scenes just waiting to written out, but you just can’t. There are times when you really don’t know how to continue the plot. Your creativity seems to have stepped out for the day. Despite all that, a writer has no other choice but to go back to the keyboard and try. Some people are able to quit writing and move on to something else, but the rest of us know that no matter how long it takes we can’t completely stop.

While this kind of block is bad writers know that it won’t last forever. The worst thing that happens is that we have to shelf our current story and work on something else. We’ll come back to it later. Maybe that story just isn’t going to work. Eventually we will write something else that does.  Writing a story is actually the easy part, when you finally take a look a how much it might cost to publish that story. Warning: this post is about to take a more personal turn.

Self-publishing should be looked at like going into business. You are the company, your books are the product and your readers are consumers. For a book to be a great product it has to be well-written, look nice, and be marketed, promoted and produced well. It is a lot of work, but when you have time to devote to it and really learn about the process you’ll be surprised at what you accomplish. I’ve learned much and I’ve been working in small steps to build up to my book’s publication. I have plans for how I want to promote my books and ideas for things I want to do in the future. There’s just one small problem, and it’s called money.

I want to publish this book. I know how I’m going to get it done, but things happen and the short of it is: there will be no extra money to spare for a long time. Having a book out could be a little extra income, but I still need money in order to get it made. I had resigned myself to rolling with the punches. I told my Papa, “hardship helped Stephen King write Carrie and looked how that turned out.” I was (and still am) trying to remain optimistic, but I’m a worrier and a stresser.  The situation  made me sad and I wished I there was a way I could contribute through my writing. At least if I was working on a project I couldn’t sit there and drive myself crazy.

I was on Facebook and once again it seemed like the universe was sending me signs. Amber Jerome~Norrgard posted a tweet via Rachel Thompson about an interview she was doing on Crowdfunding with Pubslush.

What is crowdfunding? Crowding funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

In short, you set a campaign for a project, along with rewards at certain dollar amounts, to give people incentive to donate to your cause or project. You might have heard about the highly successful Veronica Mars Movie campaign on Kickstarter. That was thanks to crowfunding. Likewise author, Rachel Caine, achieved success with her Morganville: The Web TV Series campaign on Kickstarter. Two other crowdfunding sites are Indiegogo and Go Fund Me.

As if that wasn’t enough, there was this:

So I watched the video and I was again surprised. I had a lot of questions, but this seemed like an option. A light at the end of the tunnel. There was hope. I was excited about the possibilities of what this could mean. A way to get some financial support for my books, something that could be a fun (and distracting) project to work on, something that could start getting people interested in reading my future books, all while possibly simultaneously helping a charity that seeks to increase child literacy? I knew there would be a lot of research and discussion before I made any decisions, but my initial reaction was something like…

After a few hours had passed though, this was a slightly different story. I started to question everything. Wasn’t asking for money to publish sort of extreme? There were people in the world asking for donations to get new organs, to fight disease, to fight cancer, to have clean drinking water…and here I would be, asking people for money to publish a book. Yes, this is my dream and I want to support my family with it, but would crowdfunding be selfish? I felt guilt.

I was am still conflicted about what’s right or wrong. I admit that my pride is part of the conflict. We are a proud family, and it’s way the rest of my family doesn’t know what’s been going on with us. (If you’re reading this by any chance, I am sorry but I still can’t tell you any details. I made a promise. Even alluding to an issue knowing that the whole wide world could be reading makes me twitch. I don’t like to get personal on my blogs, but personal reasons are part of this decision.) The idea of asking people that I know on Facebook to donate makes me cringe. I don’t want to seem pathetic or pitiable, or like I’m begging.

Okay, so it’s a little cute when he does it…

On the other hand, the idea of putting together a crowdfunding campaign seems fun. I already have ideas about possible rewards and outline of the rewards per levels. The idea of organizing something has already taken my mind off the big stuff, and the excitement has upped my writing productivity. There’s something more pressing for me to work towards. I’m starting to work out a timeline. When do I want the book release date to be? That will tell me when to crowdfund. Which tells me that I’ll need to start talking about the campaign a month before…Things like that.

Also, if I decide to set up my campaign to where a portion of my raised money goes to charity I will be helping someone other than myself. That is the type of thing I love to do, it is true to me and it helps alleviate some of the guilt. Papa has other concerns. Mostly he worries that any company I go through will be untrustworthy and try to steal my information. Or worse.

He has a point, and it’s why I’m making sure not to make any rushed decisions. I’m checking everything I can, but in the meantime I’m still working hard and implementing things that will help me out later. A small part of that is going to be asking questions about publishing and books through polls, so if you haven’t voted on the book Format Preference Poll please think about it. Every opinion counts and the poll will only be open until January 26, 2014.

I’m also working on my draft and I started an N.J. Ember Pinterest account. If you’re curious about The Desiccated, which is the book I’m working on, there’s an inspiration board about it on there. I know my button for Facebook is in the sidebar, but I haven’t activated it yet until I get a decent picture to put there. And of course, the decision to write about my indecision over crowdfunding was a way for me to see what all of you thought and start promoting the idea.

I’m working hard to get everything done. Including my drafts.

I didn’t talk about Pubslush in-depth because I wanted to talk more about my feelings toward crowdfunding. If you want to learn more about it please look on their website or watch Rachel Thompson’s interview.

What do you think about crowdfunding? Are you for it? Are you against it? Which crowdfunding platform do you like better? Would you ever consider it?

[Featured Photo credit:]

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