As discussed in Part One of this blog series, crowdfunding has recently exploded as a means for many authors—self-published, hybrid or traditional—to raise money for their creative projects. Besides some of the mainstays that have been around for a while, namely Kickstarter and Indiegogo, in recent years several literature-specific crowdfunding platforms have popped up, meant solely to support book publications in their various forms. Below are some of Midnight Publishing’s favorites to explore:
This company began in 2012 by a mother-and-daughter duo who felt that the publishing industry was, for many, too difficult to break into. By offering several services ranging from crowdfunding to facilitating a pre-order campaign, this site can assist authors in successfully funding and marketing a book launch (they even analyze important reader data for a better outreach strategy). You keep all rights to your book, and the site offers flexible funding: campaigners are allowed to set minimum and maximum payment goals, and even if they don’t reach their maximum, they can keep what’s been allotted (as long as it’s $500 or more). Various fees from Pubslush and credit card transaction fees are taken out of received funds before they’re transferred. Campaigners must offer rewards for backers, and Pubslush has a philanthropic side: they promise to provide a book to children in underprivileged areas for every book that’s sold through their site.
This “subscription” site was founded in 2013 by musician Jack Conte and developer Sam Yam as a way to regularly support artists. Instead of “one time” campaigns that can be a lot of work for creators, Patreon allows its creators to set up profiles in which supporters can pledge to donate a certain amount every time they release their art (or monthly). Kickstarter phenomenon Amanda Palmer now utilizes Patreon, and her posted payout per “thing” she releases is approximately $36,000. Patrons can pledge a variety of amounts ranging from $1+ a month/“thing” to more than $1,000 per month, and Patreon takes a 5% commission (with additional credit card fees ranging from 2-4%). The most popular utilizers of the site so far are YouTube video creators, web comic writers and authors, but a variety of different projects are encouraged to sign up.