Ok, so I’m terrible at remembering when I should update this blog. I said I would do this crowdfunding one each week, but it’s pretty obvious I’ve been caught up with everything that is going on (read ‘slack’ if you like). Between running the campaign and working through the final copyedit for Blood of Whisperers, things have been a bit hectic.
But here we go.
It has improved somewhat. Some of my shouting got answers, and I don’t feel like such a fool anymore. We are currently sitting at 62% with 10 days to go, so I am happy. People have been amazingly generous, especially those who have seen me working hard at improving my writing for the last ten years. People I’ve never met before, or even heard of, are supporting my books, leaving comments about how good it looks and how they can’t wait to read them. This is naturally elevating to the spirit. I got myself in the paper, have done my first interview with a fantasy/science fiction magazine, and have a reading in five days. Things seem to be moving. A few people know my name.
And yet there is still a strange feeling I have about it all, about the fact that this is MONEY. What is the issue we have with money as a society? It is the cause of so much stress in our lives – having money, not having money, losing money, owing money, bills, mortgages, bargains, pay rises – why are we so caught up with the importance of money? Why does going to the mailbox and finding bills make my stomach twist into knots? I’m sure there are many answers to these questions and someone who has studied western culture could surely answer them, but it leaves me with this strange need to justify myself, to explain that – no you are not giving me money for nothing. I am not a charity. I have put SO many hours into these books and they are worthy of being read, but I find myself spending more time telling people that they don’t HAVE to pledge, even as I hand them a business card with the campaign address printed across the back. Is this my inability to sell myself? Or my ingrained awkwardness about the feeling that I am asking for your money? No, I tell myself, this is a transaction. A sale. You can go to the campaign site and you don’t have to pledge, as is proved by my traffic stats versus the number of supporters I have. But also you can, and if you do let it be because you think the books look good.
When I was doing an interview I was asked what the hardest part of crowdfunding has been so far, and I answered that it has been managing myself – my issues. It has been learning to accept being ignored, learning to believe in myself, learning to cope with the sharp ups and downs that can happen all in the same day and knowing I still have deadlines to meet and must keep working, whatever my mood. The hardest thing is knowing that this is the choice I have made, to seek the funds to publish professionally where so many people do not, and it will forever be the beginning of my career, for better or worse. I cannot change it and would not want to.
I am reminded that we live in a changing world. The stigma of “self-published” still exists, but it now only has itself to blame. I am reminded that people come to their goals along different paths, different journeys, and that no one path is better than any other. I hope when I come to success I will remember that and be humbled by where I came from, and the people who helped me get there. I am very sure I will. Something tells me this is an experience I am unlikely to ever forget.