Guest blogger Elspeth Rushbrook

Crows in treeI call this "crow funding" due to a typo when writing a proposal and rather liked it and I now nickname any public online call for financial support after the croaking corvids.

You can crowdfund for many things, and there’s a few sites out there, often American owned, to assist you. They take a cut of what you raise, in return for the public platform they offer. You usually have a goal amount and a time limit, a pitch and perhaps a video to spread your word, send dream into the ether and make it real.

Beware of those that are all or nothing packages - so if you miss your target, you get nothing. Flexible funding allows you to keep what you raise, but the site’s fees are higher.

My project is the novel I’ve been nurturing and decided to self publish, but have been held back by lack of funds – proofreading, typesetting, editing, design, buying ISBNs, advertising.

Some sites want to take your name and content irrevocably, so I opted not to create a video (which would use my own photography and music) and to have a link to my book’s pitch and beginning, rather than display it directly on the crowdfunding platform.

With a crowdfunding site, you have to follow a template. It was hard to fully push the ‘why help me’ story and my novel’s in the single space provided; I’d have preferred that spread over a couple of pages. Thus I felt my pitch was hampered by using a crowdfunding site. The pictures are my own and I know how to put them on a webpage – again I feel I am gaining little through Indiegogo but losing 10% of my funds for doing so.

What have I found in my first day of 30 on my first attempt?

  1. Some people are not keen to sign up and put their bank details online, they’d rather just give to you. This is allowed on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, but the donation isn’t counted on your running tally. They say you can add these donations to your site yourself, but it’s complicated, a hassle, and involves you withdrawing money from your own account to be put into the pot, less the usual fees. (So not putting it though their system gets you more money but you look like you’re less supported).
  2. Many of my comments are private messages which I suspect are from robots, and certainly don’t feel like personal messages which have paid any attention to my pitch. They claim to be from persons representing companies that can help people just like me. Some even claim to have been where I am. They don’t promote you or donate – if they had to they’d spam a lot less, I suspect.

I’ll be back with other thoughts and updates, but if any readers felt like checking out my pitch, passing it on, or more, I would be thrilled. I’d also be open to feedback on my campaign via comments on Indiegogo, but can you please send them as a private comments? (not via this site) Happy to check out other artists' work.

Elspeth Rushbrook is a writer who’s now written four articles on this site Her forthcoming novel (July 2016)
Her crowdfunding campaign to launch it (ended Oct 22nd 2015)