Crowdfunding is becoming more and more popular amongst people working in the arts—writers, musicians, artists, film-makers—as a way of raising money for projects. Rather than going to official funding bodies for money, artists worldwide are appealing directly to audiences and readers through crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, Pozible, Indiegogo, and more. Some campaigns produce extraordinary results: one prominent example recently was the Veronica Mars movie, propelled by its creators, which raised more than $5million on Kickstarter, more than twice its target—a result guaranteed by tens of thousands of fans, who, annoyed by the fact the cult TV series had been canned by the networks before it was properly completed, were thrilled by the idea of the movie. Excellent people power!
In its essence, crowdfunding is not a new concept, especially in literature: the subscription model of past centuries, where investors clubbed together to publish books, is basically similar. You could say in fact that it is thanks to crowdfunding that Shakespeare’s plays occupy their central place in our culture for the First Folio was ‘crowdfunded’ by his friends and associates, not long after his death, because they did not want to see his plays(which till then had been circulating only in pirate editions)to die with him.
Modern crowdfunding has been greatly facilitated by the fact of the internet, of course, which makes it very easy for a wide circle of people to contribute to projects they believe in. Basically how it works is lots of small investors(or several bigger ones) contribute to your nominated project by pledging x amount of money, for which they get y amount of ‘perks’ which depending on value range anywhere from a simple ‘thank you’ to copies of the work, merchandise, all kinds of things. Many thousands of people have raised money towards their projects that way. Not only does it raise money, though: it also guarantees you sales, readership, audience, and is a great promotion and publicity tool. [Read more…]