So....I read The Art of Asking several months ago and as is often the case when I read something written by someone with a similar approach to life and similar standing in society I was all: OMG-SO INSPIRED!
Amanda Palmer is all about crowdfunding. The ‘Who Killed Amanda Palmer’ campaign was so successful it landed her a TEDtalk, which landed her a book deal which has set her up for a Patreon.com page.
Patreon, for those of you who don’t know, is the newest and coolest iteration of the crowdfunding platform. It invites people to crowdfund on a monthly or ‘per project’ basis. It’s ongoing, relatively stable income for the person creating the stuff. And it works really brilliantly for people with regular comics or who put out songs or do large performance piece
I got excited about it. Really excited.
My idea was this: Get people to crowd fund all my monthly output on a monthly basis (I have a regular podcast, I create art and I write and post my writing to my blog and Medium and Huffpost) and use that regular contribution to fund the publication of more books!
An allergy to procrastination is my super-power so within a few weeks I’d set up my Patreon account and started planning for an official launch. I wrote a page pitch and came up with ideas for perks and set tasks for targets – like, ‘If I get $1000 worth of patronage a month I’ll hire an editor for my manuscripts!
And then on the weekend I made this genius video:
Like, filmed it, edited it, got some sweet music to accompany it and ...
Suddenly I balked.
Not because I don’t still love this idea and not because I don’t feel like my writing is worth crowdfunding and not because of a lack of energy or commitment or any of the things you *might* expect.
I balked because I questioned: Is this actually the best platform?
I’m a Canadian-Brit. Born in Canada, resident of the UK for almost six years now, citizen of both countries.
Patreon, while really super-awesome, is also really super AMERICAN.
The Terms & Conditions are intimidating. And confusing. And led me to wonder several things:
How confusing will this make my taxes?
Do I want to add to the confusion of my international finances further by throwing a USD income stream into the mix?
Are my Canadian & British friends and family and supporters going to be frustrated by having to make a contribution in American dollars?
Is the headache of all of this, including the fees, going to be worth it if I only get, say $53 worth of contributions per month...or less?
The way I figure it the absolute minimum I need to publish my next book is $5000CAD. That’s just to cover the costs of paying for an editor, having it proofed, the design programme to lay it out and the initial print run of promotional copies plus a bit of online marketing.
The ideal amount would be $20,000 because then I could do a book tour and have a lot more time to dedicate to getting it into bookstores and going to book festivals and all that marketing and selling stuff that is absolutely necessary these days.
I don’t think Patreon is going to work.
But I’m not going to be dissuaded from publishing more books.
At the moment I’ve narrowed it down to two alternatives: Indigogo or Publishizer
I still want to launch some kind of crowdfunding something early next year. But I have some Terms & Conditions to read.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Internet Hivemind: I invite you to share your thoughts on both of the above platforms. Especially if you are not an American resident and have use either of them in your country of residence. How do the fees translate? What’s the what with the taxes? What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?
When not writing, making art or recording podcasts,
Kaitlyn can be found in trees, listening to Dharma talks on her iPod, Boon.
Thusly named because
Brian Froud = Awesome.