Let’s say you wrote a book about crowdfunding. How would you fund it? Chance are you would use your expertise in crowdfunding to crowdfund it. You would be very successful in doing so, right? Wrong.
The book “Crowdfunding: A Guide to What Works and Why” was put up on Kickstarter with a $35,000 goal. A mere 103 backers offered up a total of $3,878, which Nik Cubrilovic (via Uncrunched) points out on Twitter, just doesn’t cut it:
Kickstarter project for a book on how to successfully fund Kickstarter projects failed to fund itself on Kickstarter: kickstarter.com/projects/glenn…
— nik cubrilovic (@nikcub) September 30, 2012
Author Glenn Fleishman pitched his work as follows:
My book, Crowdfunding: A Guide to What Works and Why, will cover planning a project, carrying it through its funding phase, and fulfilling goals by offering a combination of case studies of successful (and unsuccessful) projects and detailed, specific guidance on each phase. Accompanying the book will be extensive video interviews with people and groups that figured out the knack of making crowdfunding work for them.
Given that crowdfunding is largely an Internet phenomenon, I think the project that is being pitched has to appeal to the Web generation. In other words, if you really think that you can sell an informational guide on the Internet, don’t you think you should format it in digital form? Fleishman seems to have figured that out now; here’s what he wrote when he closed the project down:
I’ve decided to suspend the Crowdfunding book’s project for now, given that it’s unlikely to reach its funding goal. I learned an enormous amount in this process, and have terrific ideas about how to build an audience, reshape the project, and launch again.
What I’ve learned primarily is that the pledge levels were too high for many of you (and many folks who like the project and didn’t back it) to recommend to others. The first-degree folks who backed this project (people I know) may be interested in the subject, but are also trying to show support. Folks out a degree or so are much more interested in the tangible deliverable.
I have ideas about retooling this, in part by blogging regularly about crowdfunding and building an audience interested in the topic at my crowdfunding blog. When I relaunch the project, I will take a slightly different approach, and reprice backer rewards to $10 for the ebook and $25 for a paperback book, eliminating several reward levels and the hardcover option. (Backers will still get something special in the paperback book, though, that won’t be in the version that I would sell later.)
One learns by acknowledging when things aren’t working, figuring out the causes, and trying again. Thanks for all of your support. I’ll be back!
It’s great to see that Fleishman is landing on his feet.
Image credit: Mike Slocum