Crowdfunding, like public speaking, is scary. The day of my first class for Osher Institute at Vanderbilt, I was so excited about leading these writers deeper into their memoirs! But the flip side of excitement can be stress. I got a violent case of vertigo in the first ten minutes of my lecture, staggering out to find a toilet for my stomach contents! It turned out to be a great class for six more weeks and thank goodness, it was highly evaluated, too. And I’ve learned to take my vertigo medicine along, just in case. Now again I’m going to be in the public eye, this time online, with a Kickstarter.com campaign. I’ll face many old friends like you, who will be supportive. But I’ll face the chance of failure, too. Crowd funding asks others to commit to one’s project. With Kickstarter, you ask others to choose from Rewards which cost different amounts of money. If your monetary goal isn’t met within your time frame, then no one is charged anything and the project ends. Nothing is gained and I suspect there is a loss of face. So there’s the risk.
On the other hand, if your goal is met within your time frame, then the sponsors pay for their rewards, and you make your project with that advance funding (in my case a colorful nonfiction book and music CD) and the send out the Rewards to the sponsors. It works for a lot of people, including my friend Betsy Thorpe, author of The Day the Whistles Cried [ previous blog], She has just announced the sale of 1000 copies! Of course Betsy put in a huge amount of work on her own before asking for help. That’s one of the keys to successful crowd funding.
If you have written and published your book already, you are truly one of the Captains Courageous! It’s important to have one’s say, and leave one’s story for family and the next generation. Those people read with love. To offer one’s life story to strangers, or even one’s words of advice – well, that scary and vulnerable action has a flip side too. It can bring joy to many readers! And that’s what I’m hoping. It’s Time to Tell your life story and family history. That’s what my book and cd is about, encouraging others to make that commitment to recording their own stories, however possible. Coming Soon!