Today’s post is brought to you by Reena Jacobs, author of the paranormal romance novel, Shadow Cat. Her Kickstarter compaign is a deeply moving effort to follow her dreams and give her readers more of what they want–more books!
A few months ago, I did a guest post at Indie Authors Unite on keeping tabs. The basic idea was when you do something for someone else, don’t expect anything in return. There is no scoreboard. Just do it because you want to. And if you don’t want to do it, don’t. No need to get bitter. No need to feel guilty. Sometimes folks are motivated; sometimes they’re not. And that’s okay.
My experience with Kickstarter brings that idea to life: altruism.
Before launching the Kickstarter campaign for I Loved You First, I sent requests to some of my writer and blogger buddies. Will you help me spread the word?
Before I go into the responses I received, a little bit about Kickstarter. It’s an all or nothing fundraising website tailored toward creative projects: writing, film, art, gadgets. I’ve even seen a few projects that focus on brewing beer.
Whoa there… don’t ditch me for Kickstarter before you finish reading this post.
Project coordinators set a monetary goal and offer rewards to backers for financially supporting their creative ventures. Pledging is safe and managed through Amazon.com, so you’re information is safe from the coordinators and even the Kickstarter management, for that matter.
As I mentioned, it’s all or nothing. If the project reaches the goal then the project is funded. However, if the project falls even $1 short, no funds exchange hands – the backers are never charged, and the coordinator leaves the event with empty hands and a sad face. Fair enough.
So, I received mixed responses to my initial request. Some folks responded with aSorry, Reena, but this isn’t a project I want to support. Others with Of course. Whatever you need, Reena! Really, I wasn’t sure who would come on board or decline the invitation until after the fact.
Still, the help I’ve received from people has been beyond generous: tweeting, blogging, and even pledging. I’m amazed that so many would come forth. At times, I wonder why anyone would assist me. I certainly don’t deserve help. After all, I’m nobody special, and there are a lot of individuals needier than I am. Yet people have come through for me. Why?
I thought about that last Sunday in church. From time to time, someone I know will mention a mission trip and share pictures or videos. Regardless of how worn out they look after the trip, they have an inner spark which shines through. It always reminds me of the mission trip I went on.
As many know, I’m a late riser. We’re talking 11am during the weekdays… sometimes 2-3pm on the weekends. I remember thinking before the mission trip what a bummer it would be to have to get up like normal folks. I am telling you, I rose at the crack of dawn. People – 5am, and I was never tired. For 10 days straight, I ate beans and rice (and probably a few bugs too. Lord knows, I picked enough out of my bowls) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never got bored of it… was never hungry.
The plane ride alone for my mission trip cost me $700. I paid that just to go and work for strangers for free. Crazy. Who in the world would pay for the opportunity to work from dawn to dusk and receive nothing tangible in return?
Funny that. If I had the money, a mission group, and someone to watch my brats, I’d do it again in a heartbeat… today! I came home feeling better than I’d felt in years. I was on a high for weeks! Simply because I offered what I had to give.
So back to my questions: why would anyone help me – a nobody in the world. For that matter, why help anyone?
I’d like to say folk are motivated by the rewards. Trust me; there are some nice rewards out there. Check out the projects. You’ll see. I wish I had the funds to have my own shopping spree on Kickstarter. However, many individuals don’t even choose rewards. Or pledge and choose a reward listed as a simple thanks, man! Uh… or woman.
When I think back to my mission trip, I can’t help but think most Kickstarter addicts pledge because it’s a wonderful feeling to bring someone’s dream to life. Take a look at the projects ending soon, and you’ll find majority of them are meeting the funding goal. That’s amazing!
I mentioned the yes and no responses I received. I also receive responses which took me completely by surprise. Are you sure you want to get involved with something like that? Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I?
Here’s the truth of the matter. I have a dream – to put out the best book I can. I’m an indie author and have a beautiful story to tell. What I don’t have is the funds to hire a professional editor. It’s the one publishing task I can’t manage myself, because we all know, writers aren’t objective enough to edit their own work.
That doesn’t mean I lack choices.
I can polish I Loved You First the best I can and put it out there anyway. Stop cringing. I know writers can’t edit their own work. I just said that.
I can save until I have the funds to hire an editor. Not exactly likely since my household income remains the same while the cost of living continues to rise. Welcome to my downward spiral of economic recovery.
I can forget about publishing my college love story. In one of the forums I visit, one author said if a writer doesn’t have the personal finances to hire an editor, then the writer is not ready for publishing. If you don’t mind waiting while I get a broom and dust pan so I can sweep my broken dreams off the floor and toss them in the trash, I’ll be much obliged.
Then there’s the unorthodox – Crowdfunding programs like Kickstarter. I love the idea that individuals read/hear about a project and are moved enough to help make a dream become a reality. Now if that’s not fan support, I don’t know what is.
Are you the type of person who enjoys making dreams come true? Maybe you’re saying screw that, just give me the rewards. That’s fine too. Then I encourage you to head to Kickstarter and check out the cool projects happening.
Help comes in all shapes and sizes. Of course pledges are always wanted. I’m certainly not turning any down. But even Facebook liking a project which catches your eye or tweeting (both options are right under the project picture) is helpful.
Don’t know where to start? Try mine. I could certainly use the boost.
Angel, thank you for loaning your readers to me. And if you’re one of her readers who made it through my ramblings, thanks for listening. XOXOX
Reena Jacobs is just your typical writer who loves to see her words in print. As an avid reader, she’s known to hoard books and begs her husband regularly for “just one more purchase.” Her home life is filled with days chasing her preschooler and nights harassing her husband. Between it all, she squeezes in time for writing and growling at the dog.