Amanda Palmer's TED Talk

8 years ago | Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

With all the talk of subscriptions (M.C.A. Hogarth), donations (many others), Kickstarter, and other ways of raising money from online writing, I thought I'd pass a link to Amanda Palmer's talk about crowdfunding music.

Granted a lot of people here may have watched this already, but I thought I'd pass it along.

If nothing else, it might prompt thoughts and discussion about how to do this better.

Read responses...


  1. Kess (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Thanks for this! I'm in the process of putting together a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to convert Starwalker (the series and the related short stories) into ebooks, so this is really good timing for me. Much appreciated! :)

  2. casanders (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    This is very big with indie musicians these days. I like the concept.

    The Watchmage of Old New York. At Jukepop Serials
  3. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Hm... I'm not sure how it compares to the experience of a musician, but my husband ran a very successful kickstarter campaign and I feel lucky to have watched him over his shoulder. Despite raising a significant sum of money we barely broke even, mostly because of shipping costs overseas. Also, factoring in the hours required to package/ship/reship damaged books and actively update/interact with the audience rather than working on more books... the project was essentially a vanity project that didn't yield a profit. Maybe he could've ran the project better (I doubt it), but I'm not sure if one can live off of crowd-funding alone.

    Also, just because you're published by a big publisher doesn't mean you don't get face-to-face time with readers. When I was doing graphic novels I felt like I was constantly speaking to people -- teens, librarians, moms. Word of mouth, to this day, is still the biggest and best marketing tool for even the biggest publishers. Then again, the book world is a little different than the music world, I guess? I don't really know.

    Having said all this I look forward to starting a kickstarter campaign for Rema someday. HA. :)

  4. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Oh, no, Amy... it's so easy to arrange your kickstarter so that you end up paying instead of earning. :(

    If you have good library access, ask them to request my book for you ( It will help you figure out how to set your prize prices so you don't run yourself into a hole!

  5. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Thanks MCA! So you've made good money from kick starter? Thats awesome you wrote a book about it! I'll check it out to see what I could do for my own project. We didn't lose money and made a profit, but not enough profit to rely on it for stable income for our company (again the time spent shipping and interacting with the kick starter page was pretty time consuming, and we factor in his time as money). It was still a lot of fun thoug and I'm so grateful to have the kick starter option available for projects that are difficult sales. I guess I'm not entirely sure if crowd-funding is the end game as it is for Amanda Palmer though.

  6. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Last year I used Kickstarter to double my income! I made a profit on all five of the Kickstarters I ran (some more than others!). It is hard work, though, and you really have to think out the business case beforehand, and plan for all the scenarios that could hit (from failure to burdensome success).

  7. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    That's great, MCA! What an achievement! I know how hard it is to do everything yourself and go grassroots. I think for me, even making one dollar would be doubling my personal income because I make zero dollars a year haaaaa XD I look forward to reading your book. :)

  8. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    If you decide to read it, tell me if you have trouble getting it to your library, Amy... all the distribution channels (e-book and print) have been set up to ship to libraries, but I don't have any confirmation yet that it's working! :)

  9. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I should have asked this earlier, but how would a person go about getting distributed to libraries? Or did you simply mean that libraries can buy the book?

  10. MrOsterman (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    As I understand there are a few ways to get into a library:

    First if your book is set up with the Library distribution channel it can be ordered (usually at a discount) by any library that requests a copy. I'm not ~entirely~ sure how that works but I know that CreateSpace has a setting and I ~think~ that my school's library was able to find FantastiCon that way.

    Another way is to simply donate copies to them. Depending on the library, however, they may decline the donation. Every librarian is different in how they approach independently published books so your mileage may vary.

    Mind the Thorns a Reader Directed Urban Fantasy
    Bastion: The Last Hope a web novel of the end of days
  11. Kess (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Also, if you publish through Smashwords, they offer library distribution channel options now. All you need to do is opt in (though I think distributing is the default, so... all you need to do is nothing!).


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