Crowdfunding has become a financial beacon of hope for entrepreneurs of all walks of life—from performing arts to technology. Stories like the potato salad campaign on Kickstarter, which raised more than $55k (far exceeding its modest $10 goal), make it seem as though crowdfunding is an Internet bank vault, opened with magic fairy dust, raining money down upon any idea with heart, spirit or imagination.
The reality, however, is that most campaigns fail. Kickstarter campaigns, for example, succeed about 41% of the time. This number is even lower for publishing campaigns, which are successfully funded about 31% of the time.
Enter Pubslush, a fundraising platform that has shifted focus from publishing to pure crowdfunding.
Pubslush: In the Beginning
In the beginning, Pubslush offered a new kind of publishing venture. Authors would sign up with Pubslush and backers, instead of pledging dollars, would pledge to buy books, a model similar to Unbound.
In 2012, Pubslush was described in Mashable as “the publishing lovechild of American Idol and TOMS Shoes,” a place where authors could sidestep the infamous slush pile of publishing houses worldwide and prove their work was worthy of publication by proving an audience was there and waiting. Once an author reached 1,000 supporters, Pubslush would fire up its presses and publish the book.
So, it was a publisher with, perhaps what one could consider, the largest editorial board of all time—the wide and varied audience that could only be delivered via social media.
Being a publisher, however, had its limitations.
“We chose to reevaluate our model when we realized that being a publisher prevented us from working with a lot of people in the industry, including self-publishing authors, publishers and industry professionals,” Pubslush Development Director Justine Schofield explained. “Our belief was that by opening our doors to work with everyone, we would have a bigger impact on the industry as a whole.”
So, Pubslush evolved, moving away from publishing and focusing its efforts on crowdfunding.
Pubslush: Crowdfunding for Books
In August 2012, Pubslush relaunched under the leadership of mother-daughter duo, Hellen and Amanda L. Barbara, determined to serve the unique needs of authors, literary agents, small presses and publishers.
Gone are the publishing contracts. “We now work closely with publishers and continue to roll out progressive programs and platform options that will benefit all in the industry,” explained Schofield. “We feel more of a need to be a friend to publishers in the industry than to be a publisher ourselves. Today, we do not publish any books and are not a publisher.”
Pubslush seems to understand that there are two things authors enjoy very little of: money and support. The road to publication is often paved with rejection and even success is more a thin slice of cake rather than a three-tiered masterpiece of profit. With the introduction of new technology, self-publishing is possible and authors—at last—may command their destiny. But the road to success isn’t less rocky. Different bumps, perhaps.
Books getting lost in a collection of flashy tech and glittery film campaigns on platforms like Kickstarter was one bump in the road Pubslush thought it could do something about.
“A niche literary platform provides direct access to the audience of book projects, connecting writers and publishers with readers,” said Schofield. “Pubslush is based on community and, through our author-centric features, focuses on helping authors to publish more successfully.”The Pubslush community runs the gamut. Industry professionals are invited to host specialty pages on Pubslush. Publishers may run pre-order campaigns and collect market research through the site. Book marketers and printers, are encouraged to create partner pages, from which they can build their professional network and even invite authors to crowdfund through their page. Readers can set up pages too and join groups of similar literary interests. For the rest of the article go to:
S.E.Whelan: YOu can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org