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17 July, 2012

The Rise and Rise of Crowdfunding (and How My Book Will be Published)

A while ago I visited the Emerging Writer's Festival in Melbourne. I blogged about my experience here and took copious notes about the experience here. I revisited my notes about the festival the other day after a friend said they saw me on television, and sure enough there I was:

Asking the tough questions, with Marshwah (Source: ABC)

But that wasn't the only experience that piqued my interest, in fact, there was a session even more critical to the book than addressing Tough Topics. And this was to do with something I hadn't heard before, it was to do with crowdfunding.

What is crowdfunding? I hear you ask. At its essence, it's sourcing funds for a project from the public. But more importantly, it's democratising projects that deserve to be realised.

There are sites out there such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, that are international. But at the Festival I heard about an Australian site, Pozible that's doing really, really well and going toe-to-toe with these big names. 

Rather than just support large-scale commercial projects, the site is doing its bit to support those in the arts as well. At the conference I heard about Kate Toon, and how she raised funds for her book of poems. The story was inspiring, and I jotted down an idea, but I'll come back to that.

Some of the other projects that Pozible's helped that have caught my attention include:
  1. Patient 0 - an IRL zombie first-person shooter concept that is going to get off the ground and be realised.
  2. reallybigroadtrip - lady that works in the digital arts who wanted to travel around Australia in a bus and spread digital culture - she was halfway with 40 hours to go and then romped it in - she even received a tweet from Hugh Jackman supporting the cause!
  3. Soften The F*** Up - a campaign that's now 80% there and that I contributed to, looking to help prevent suicide in young males.

Pretty inspirational stuff right?
What's my idea then?

Well, it's no secret that I want to see my book published. How about crowd-funding production of the book? I'd get manuscript appraisal, an editor, and anyone contributing would receive a book... what's that? How would I publish the book? With Blurb of course.

Blurb is another site I heard about at the Festival, essentially it lets you self-publish for a nominal fee and no minimum on the amount of books published.

I'm still wrapping my head around the finer details and logistics of the thing, but rather than rely on gatekeepers, agents, and publishers, I can empower myself and get this thing done. That's what I love about the crowd-funding concept, it really is helping realise dreams.

You don't think it's possible? I dipped my toes in the water on that forum I frequent and mentioned I'm looking to get into crowd-funding, the thread transformed into a proposition that if I could lose 20kg in six months, $800 would go to the book fund. I am well on the way to achieving that.

You call down the thunder, now reap the whirlwhind.

Next steps are to develop the Pozible proposal and send it live, if you've got any tips let us know in the comments. 

16 July, 2012

Life, Writing, Travel, Digital (+Business)

Almost five months ago to the day, I mentioned in my blog that I was looking at repositioning the blog to have a bit more relevance within certain segments. These segments would be related to what I enjoy writing about, and divided up by tags to denote subject topics and make certain areas of my writing more digestible.

So I've divided it up into five segments: life, writing, travel, digital, and business.
I've taken the liberty of trawling through all of my old posts and re-tagging them appropriately.

Here's what each segment is about for the past, present and future.

  • Life - without a doubt, and without shame, my favourite topic to write about is myself. I've been writing since 2001  and oddly enough, most of it has been about me (and probably in the early years, my poor ex-girlfriend). I love to share, and at times overshare, and this propensity to has seen me adopt a policy whereby I don't name or include other people. It's not you, it's me.

    While I love to think that most people would love to read what I e-spew via keyboard, I think it's safe to say that anything with this tag will be written for love (of myself).

  • Writing - almost an extension of myself yet not, my eagerness to get my book published has seen many an entry written conveying my progress (or lack thereof). Needless to say it's a subject close to my heart and will continue to be, and I'll be documenting it's progress here.

  • Travel - so anyone following this for a length of time would have realised that I've become a full-blown travel wanker. I love it so much. I hasten to extol the virtues of travel to passers by on the street and happily show off my ink-splattered passport pages to complete strangers. Maybe it's not quite this bad. But it will be within these electronic pages. You've been warned.

  • Digital - for the foreseeable future in my career, I will eat, shit, live, and breathe digital. I do it for work and I do it for play. It's more entertaining than television for me and I fail to see television getting more innovative at anywhere near the same rate. This excites me immensely. Have you seen this? Or do you follow this? This be the shit that interests me the most and I intend to blog about it a bit more under this label.

  • Business - what's this one doing here? Well, I've recently started laying the foundations for a side-project with a partner in relation to starting our own venture. I really want to document the experience from a broad perspective and share information and findings of my own. There are a tonne of resources out there and I'll cover off some of the ones that have helped me in these infant stages in a future entry.

I'll make some changes to the layout of the blog (hopefully faster than this tagging initiative) and these little blogging adventures will continue rolling along.