As you may know last week the Beyond Parallel Kickstarter Campaign sprung into existence.
It’s been a crazy few days and I’ve learned a great deal, but I’ve discovered many people don’t understand the concept of Crowdfunding – at least not the way I see it.
Of course, money plays an important role. It stands centre stage. If successful, you receive it all and can fulfill your dreams. If not, you get nothing, making the whole experience somewhat pointless. In my case it’s £2,743. If successful I can create the Paperback, Limited Edition Hardcover, T-Shirts, Posters, and other cool stuff. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
HOWEVER, that is the obvious side of Kickstarter and it isn’t the side I’m drawn to. Important, sure, but not the be-all-and-end-all.
Kickstarter’s Angelic Mistress
The side of crowdfunding I adore is The Journey. This isn’t a writer or artist or musician or inventor hiding away in her room and releasing it somewhere down the line as she works with large shops and distributors and teams of talented folk. Crowdfunding involves transparency and an invitation into the most vulnerable part of their world - a place often kept hidden and secret.
This is modern storytelling in its finest form. Sure, money is required and support essential, but behind all of that is a story that YOU can be part of from the very beginning. This is what I love about sites like Kickstarter. They provide the means of brining the creator and consumer together.
You don’t simply buy a product, you become part of its history.
It’s All In the Journey
I closely follow sites like Kickstarter and have done for some time. I’ve met amazing individuals and been introduced to incredible stories along the way. I’ve met people like Danny Fein of Litograph through crowdfunding, and although I loved his product in an instant, it was the video and the story that wouldn’t let me go.
The same can be said about Ian Schon, an inventor and someone I came across via his Pen Project. I didn’t pledge to this campaign because I couldn’t justify that much money on a pen (which I know sounds strange, considering I’m a so called writer), but I did share, reach out to him, and have followed his journey ever since.
We’ve all bought pens before and they’re usually everyday purchases from a large supermarket. It’s distant and stale and boring. With Ian’s Pen Project, however, you get to see how they’re made, why they were made, how he’s going to involve you in the entire journey.
Crowdfunding offers this, and it brings the creator and the consumer together like never before!
The Future For Writers
Writers are beginning to use sites like Kickstarter, but it’s still somewhat rare. I have no idea why though, because writers should be using crowdfunding more than most!
We craft stories and immerse readers into a make-believe world. We take them on a journey from the beginning, through the middle, and all of the way to the bitter end. We make them laugh and cry and FEEL. Yet, how often do you see a writer share the process? We build stories and take people on a journey, but we won’t allow them to be part of OUR story or join OUR journey.
Crowdfunding helps bring the writer and reader together like no other. People like Natalie Sisson has used Kickstarter to fund their project, invite readers to edit and be part of each chapter, and not only is she creating a dedicated team, she’s learning more about her skills, her readers, and what book she NEEDS to write.
For some reason writing and crowdfunding seems to be a taboo subject at present, but I’m not sure why.
The Future For This Writer
This is my first Kickstarter but it won’t be my last. I plan on running another one shortly, for my next novel, Tick to the Tock. Regardless of whether the Beyond Parallel Kickstarter is successful, I want to invite you into my next novel’s journey. It’s hard being honest and transparent. It’s scary as hell, but I believe it makes the story all the more compelling.
Writers are, after all, storytellers by trade, so we really should be leading the way.
Money is important as it often is in life. It sits centre stage in Crowdfunding, but I don’t see it as the most important aspect. The journey is. The invitation of being part of the beginning is. The story is, and the fact that you can be part of it, is. I’m not going to end this Post with a call to action toward the Kickstarter Campaign – you know where you can find it.
What I will offer is an invitation into my next novel’s journey – a sneak peek if you will.
If you’d like to read a draft chapter, a chapter that my editor hasn’t seen and will more than likely change a great deal between now and launch day; a chapter that’s raw and vulnerable; a chapter that probably isn’t ready for other eyes yet… Well, send me an email and ask.
I don’t want to journey onward in secret. It’s scary as hell letting others in, but it’s something I must do. It’s over to you.
Turndog – @turndog_million