If you’ve read Part I and Part II of this series, you know I decided to crowdfund my next picture book through Kickstarter with a HYBRID (not self, not traditional) publishing model. I’m running a five-day series on my blog discussing some of the potential benefits of crowdfunding. Today’s topic is experimenting with viable publishing models and helping other writers.
Before I started writing full-time, I had a career in online banking and payments – so a strong business background. One of my responsibilities was developing new ideas for products and services and testing them. I bring that enthusiasm for “the next great thing around the corner” to my publishing career.
I’ve been observing crowdfunding for quite some time now, and I’ve backed at least a dozen projects – some successful and some not. I even set up a crowdfunding project through Kickstarter a couple of years ago, but decided against going forward at the last minute for various reasons.
One of those reasons was that I didn’t feel that books published via crowdfunding were taken seriously, and that there was a stigma attached to them. I didn’t want to put my work in that bucket.
Now , even bestselling authors are publishing via crowdfunding. The world is waking up to the idea that so long as a book is GOOD, the WAY it gets published doesn’t matter as much.
As a writer who needs to make a living, my highest priority is writing the best books I can and getting as many of them published as possible. Therefore, I’m willing to look at each and every viable option available to me (including digital publishing, which I have already done). I think other authors and illustrators should do the same. We have the opportunity today to take control over our careers in ways that wouldn’t have seemed possible even five years ago. That’s exciting!
But I know many writers still have fears about the state of the publishing industry and what role they will play. I am a proponent playing the most active role possible. I’m demonstrating, through this project, that an author can actually put together a fantastic team, including an editor, publisher, agent, and illustrator, in order to get a cherished book published.
Crowdfunding is no longer synonymous with self-publishing. It can be self, traditional OR hybrid (a combination of the two) publishing. The path I paved is just one of myriad ways I’m sure will open up as publishing continues to evolve. But I hope I can take some of the mystique out of the process by sharing my experience with fellow writers. I also hope that the model we’ve created for building a team, crafting the contracts, and actually producing the book can be a model for authors, illustrators, publishers and agents going forward. Here are just a few of the ideas we are hoping to prove with this project:
- Authors CAN have some control over their own destinies and forge relationships that will lead to publishing opportunities
- Editors and art directors are STILL critical – no matter the publishing path.
- There are opportunities for small publishers to add more books to their lists without taking as much financial risk.
- There is a HUGE role for agents to play as boilerplate contracts tend not to apply to hybrid models.
NOTE: It’s important to state that we have no idea (yet) what the outcome of this experiment will be. I am NOT saying that success is guaranteed relative to other forms of publishing. FAR from it. Crowdfunding is a HUGE amount of work that takes a great deal of dedication and passion. What I AM saying is that I believe it is now a viable path to successful publishing and that is part of what I hope to prove.
So, I hope this project piques your interest and you find yourself learning a great deal, even if you never crowdfund a publishing project.
Don’t forget to follow along with the rest of the posts in this series!
Wednesday, Why Crowdfunding Part III: Experiment with New Publishing Models, Teach and Share with Fellow Writers (This Post!)
Have questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Hope you’ll join me for this crazy adventure!Categories: Agents, Authors, Books, Children's Books, Creativity, Crowdfunding, Digital Publishing, Picture Books, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writing · Tags: Agents, Author, Books, Children's Books, Crowdfunding, Digital Publishing, Future of Publishing, Julie Hedlund, Kickstarter, Picture Books, Publishing, Writing