Yesterday I received a email solicitation from an author who has both self published and published with a well known digital first house to promote her kickstarter campaign. I think we all know how I feel about kickstarter campaigns (don’t like them)
I wanted to let you know about my Kickstarter campaign, ‘XXX XXXXX!’. This is an exciting new way of self-publishing which produces a better quality product while giving readers great rewards. It really is win/win!
I need to raise funds to get my next self-published novel professionally edited. I love this book and I really want it to be the best that it possibly can be. You can see all the details about the editing costs on the campaign page here: [link removed]
Depending on your pledge level, you can receive a personalised ebook copy, a limited edition print copy (although how the author funds this when she doesn’t have the money for the editing, I’m not sure), or other sundries. Of course, any reader can choose to fund a project, but let’s be clear what this is. Readers are asked to gift money to the author. It is not an advance because the reader isn’t risking money for a possible profit at the end like the publisher. It is an outright gift, with different levels of thank you from the author.
The reason I have a problem with this is two fold. First, shouldn’t we readers get a professionally edited book regardless of whether a kickstarter is funded? In other words, if the kickstarter does not get funded does the book get put out unedited with a note: readers didn’t give enough to get this edited so you’ll have to live with this. Second, out of everyone in the publishing ecosystem, the reader is the only party that puts out money with no expected ROI unlike the author, publisher, or other parties involved with content creation.
It is up to each reader to decide for herself what she wants to do with her own money, but given the rise of the Street Team and now Kickstarter projects where authors beg for funding, the reader is being asked to do everything from fund a project to marketing it. I want to have edited books and I don’t like the idea that I have to prepay to get it. But if these projects start to become successful, then I would expect an increase in these sort of funding drives.
*At Scalzi’s blog, he writes one of the terms is as follows “Amazon Publishing will acquire all rights to your new stories, including global publication rights, for the term of copyright.”
Finally because I don’t want to start the weekend being outraged, I leave you with this. It is a 16 minute short film. It’s a romance about spreading joy: