Science fiction writer Tobias Buckell did a speech for TOC about crowd-funding.
For those who may not know what crowd-funding is, it's a way for someone (artist, inventor, entrepenuer, etc.) to pitch their project to the public at large. Anyone who's interested pledges an amount to the project. If the pitcher gets enough pledges to meet the minimum amount for their project, the fund-raiser/escrow-holder collects the money from the pledgees and delivers the funds to the pitcher. If the minimum is not reached, the pitcher gets nothing, and the fund-raiser/escrow-holder returns the funds to the pledgees. Generally, anyone who pledges funds gets something extra, like signed copies or free tickets to a show.
Tobias makes a lot of good points FOR SOMEONE IN HIS POSITION. That is, he's an award-winning writer who's got a decent following. (Including GK. Anyone who writes a HALO novel automatically gets major cool points.)
Personally, I love the concept of crowd-funding, and I've donated to some projects that I believe in. But for someone like me, a writer who couldn't get her size eleven foot in a New York publishers door for the last fifteen years, crowd-funding wouldn't work. I'm an untested nobody.
I've already put my time in writing four novels. (Well, it's more than four, but I generally don't acknowledge the earlier ones.) The novels are sitting on my hard drive collecting static, which is why I'm out nothing but time by learning to format them as e-books and publishing them and paying a few bucks for a friend's kid to do a little Photoshop magic for the covers.
In other words, this is time I would have spent watching Season 3 of True Blood and a month's worth of Papa John's pizza with everything.
So when you're deciding how to handle your career, look at where you are and where you want to go. There are so many options for us all. Ain't it glorious?
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