a guest post by Andrea Scovel (@AndreaScovel1)
If you are an indie author who has been holding out on publishing your latest work until you win the lottery, then check out Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Pubslush...and from what I hear, there are hundreds of other fundraising sites out there as well. I recently found out that fundraising for creative projects is a thing!
I know what you’re thinking: “Has this chick been living under a rock for the past year?” Fair enough. However, if you’re like me and this is new to you, it’s a big deal. People everywhere are using this crowdfunding technique to earn a lot of money for their projects. I have spent this week trying to find out everything I can about this phenomenon. Especially of interest to me was, of course, how authors may use this method to publish their work.
I was lucky enough to have Janine A. Southard of the successfully funded Kickstarter project Hive and Heist answer a lot of my questions. You can find the whole interview here. I am so grateful to have had her input in my quest for fundraising knowledge. What most resonated with me about my interview with Janine, was when she said, “I know people who put projects up on Pubslush. I know people who spend their money on Kickstarter.”
After talking to Janine, I wanted to investigate for myself; I decided to look at each site myself to see if Kickstarter was the site that raised the most money for people. I researched publishing projects exclusively. All that I did was begin searching the projects,whom all have bars that show their progress towards being fully funded and the amount of money that they have earned so far. What I found is that Kickstarter without a doubt helps to earn their clients the most money for publishing. Were talking high amounts too! The other 3 sites GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and Pubslush sites do not appear to be as lucrative for those looking to publish. Although, Indiegogo comes in as a close second to Kickstarter.
Indiegogo was interesting because they allow you to fund anything you can think of while Kickstarter only allows creative projects. However, that is perhaps another reason why Kickstarter raises more funds: they have a much narrower focus. Still, Indiegogo does seem like a credible site that does help to raise a lot of money but just not as much as Kickstarter.
Actually, I was pretty surprised that Pubslush wasn’t the best platform for those looking to publish.I really like the idea of Pubslush. It’s great that it’s only for authors and it’s a writing community of publishers, editors, freelancers, etc. The site also makes donations to charities to support childhood literacy. However, when I search the campaigns I find that not a lot of projects are being funded and those that are getting noticed aren’t raising that much cash. Maybe the issue is that it just hasn’t had an opportunity to take off just yet.
In the end, I think that it’s pretty simple. The platform that you use for your crowdfunding venture should be the most popular (the more visitors the more exposure you get) and have a history of success in helping their clients raise money. According to my research, Kickstarter is the place to go.
If you still feel that you need more guidance. Then I would refer you to Hacking Kickstarter: How to raise $100,000 in 10 days. This group has crowdfunding down to a science. They have put together a step by step process to duplicate their success in marketing their project. People can only donate to your project if they know about it. Another blog post that may be helpful is this one on Forbes. It gives an overview of all the top crowdfunding websites. The article also goes into the effect that crowdfunding has had on the economy.