March 21st, 2013
Last week at our SCBWI Professional Series Meeting, we hosted artist Anne Belov who told us about how to get a Kickstarter project rolling to crowd-fund your dream. I’d also been consulting her about funding my participation in a workshop, modeled on her successful campaign that funded a painting workshop in Italy last year. I put in hours of work shooting and editing a video, writing my story and coming up with rewards. It seemed as if nothing was in my way. And then, one of the worst things that could happen did: Kickstarter rejected my project! After an hour of devastation, I got back on the horse and went with Indiegogo. To be sure, there are more than two platforms for crowd-funding, so for the curious, check these out.
Because of that rejection, I want to fill you in so you figure out which platform best suits your needs and ability to produce rewards. So why did Kickstarter reject my proposal? Here is the exact response from Kickstarter:
Kickstarter is not a site for raising general tuition expenses. A focused, finite project that has a clear beginning and end and expectations that everyone can agree to is essential. Is there a specific creative project here that you can focus on? Rewards, in turn, should reflect the project coming to fruition.
My plan is to raise money to participate in a writing workshop. The rewards I offer are not a product of that workshop, rather, they are services and experiences that I provide as incentive to support my campaign. This does not meet Kickstarter’s criteria. I was aware of the risks of rejection, but I gave it a go anyway, based on Anne’s success. Also because her rewards were not a direct result of the workshop she went to, but they were indirectly a result of her trip. That tiny difference makes Kickstarter a challenge for writers who hope to fund professional development or get their books published conventionally. If you’re raising money to self-pub a book, then Kickstarter may be the one for you, or not. Take a look at this great article comparing Kickstarter with Indiegogo. With Kickstarter’s all or nothing approach, the stakes are certainly higher. In fact, they have a lot of rules and regulations that you need to pay attention to. Indiegogo, on the other hand, says this:
There is no limitation on who can use Indiegogo as long as you have a valid bank account.
Pretty straightforward, eh? In the end, Indiegogo suits my needs better. They both end up costing roughly the same, both are a lot of work to set up, keep going, and finish off, but if the project is near and dear to your heart and you are ready to reach out to your community, then go for it. So go ahead, browse Indigogo, and while you’re at it, check out my campaign: Teen Mermaid Dives into Novel Workshop. Thanks!