Amanda Palmer, BBC Radio Sussex, Brighton, City Reads, crowdfunding, digital publishing, James Ellis, literature, Lonny Pop, Pierre Hollins, Rachael de Moravia, Rattle Tales, Sarah Gorrell, short stories, spoken word, Stephanie Lam, Stephen McGowan, TED, The Brighton Prize, The Nightingale Room, Unbound, writers
I am half way through! And it’s not been easy I can tell you. I feel like I’ve had to coax each pledge into being. My short story collection In The Future Everyone Will Be World Famous For Fifteen Minutes is so close to 30% funded. Obviously, I need a lot more pledges to reach 100% in the next 6 weeks. I am banking on momentum. Word of mouth, people wearing down in the face of constant bombarment. I would hate me right now if I wasn’t me. Once again thank you to everyone who has already pledged; I am in awe of you because you are making this book seem possible and when it is funded you will have helped create something new.
I have just started on an all out email campaign. Emailing everyone I know either directly or through Facebook. It’s a bit soul destroying. I can’t shake the feeling that I am begging but my friend and fellow writer Stephanie Lam directed me to Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk on crowdfunding (The Art of Asking) and that made me feel a whole lot better. I’m not begging, I am offering people the opportunity to co-create a book that wouldn’t otherwise exist, to be a part of the art.
It’s interesting who pledges and who doesn’t. It’s not what you expect. People you haven’t seen for years reply immediately and say they’ve pledged and ask how you are. People you’d expect to be onboard from the off flat out tell you it’s not their thing. I wonder if the digital aspect is putting some people off. The book will initially be available in digital format only. This isn’t to say you need an e-reader to read it, when the book is published you will get a copy emailed to download onto whatever, laptop, PC or phone you prefer. There will be paper copies I am told, for events and signings and if the book gets enough pledgers it might even get a full press – but that is a long way off. Right now I need to meet my target of 253 more pledges.
One thing which hasn’t surprised me is the community around the Unbound crowdfunding process. There is a Facebook group for shell-shocked Unbound authors to swap tips and give each other encouragement. Most authors are lovely supportive people – and I’ve met a lot of them in the last ten years! I put a post up about doing an event in Brighton and several writers replied and after a few email exchanges it’s going ahead in Brighton on the 18th April. If you are in the area please come along – entry is free. So is the venue, thanks to a tip from City Read’s Sarah Hutchings I managed to book the wonderful Nightingale Room in side the Grand Central Pub right next door to Brighton Station. Unbound authors James Ellis, Stephen McGowan, Rachael de Moravia, Pierre Hollins and me will be reading from our books. My fellow Rattle Taler Lonny Pop will be hosting and there may even be someone from Unbound editorial to answer questions about crowdfunding. I will be on BBC Radio Sussex tonight at 5.50 to talk about The Brighton Prize but always on the look out for new supporters I will be mentioning this event too!