If It Looks Like A Scam

Crowdfunding’s a bit of a strange one. To me it’s sort-of the same as advertising; if you help to crowdfund a project you get a mention. But it seems to me that if you crowdfund a project getting a mention isn’t anywhere near as good as getting a piece of the action i.e. some hard cash return. It would make crowdfunding more appealing to people with money to burn if they were to get a mention and some return. Otherwise they’d be better off scrawling their names on bus shelters and buying lots of scratch cards.

I was intrigued to find out more about a particular crowdfunding project. On the face of it, to me no-one would cough up a penny. It’s a book that’s taken more than twenty years to write, and the author’s stated that it’s due to be published by these chaps; take a few moments to read this carefully. Seems to me that the authors are doing all the work while, not doing all that much work, the publishers are taking a good cut of the royalties. Sound like a scam?

And I think this is worth pointing out: the author has to crowdfund the project, and the publisher sets a target of £15k. Obviously the publisher needs the £15k to produce and publish the project. Or do they? Simple answer: no.

But that’s other people’s money. Would the author care if the project budgeted £500 for cover design? No. Would the author care if they were charged £500 for cover design? Yes. There are very few, if any, potential or current writers who have or would pay a ‘publisher’ £15k to publish their book. That, I believe, is a throwback to the days of vanity publishing. Proper vanity publishing…

Whether you’re a fan or not of massive FREE online publishers like Amazon, one thing they have done (most likely as a consequence and not a deliberate action) is to see off vanity publishers. Why? Because, unlike these guys, they’re FREE. All it takes – and this removes all the hassle of (apart from writing a book) organising a rather ominously large and difficult crowdfunded project – is a little time and research. It’s all online and it’s all FREE. Not £15k.

However, if you do have a small budget, I would recommend investing in something like this. Or, if like me your budget’s £0, then you can always borrow a copy from your local library. It’s FREE.

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One thought on “If It Looks Like A Scam

  1. If you’re looking at the self-publishing route, you might want to buy the book, Aiming at Amazon by Aaron Shepherd. I don’t agree a hundred per cent with everything he says, but it’s the best guide I’ve ever come across for getting your book out there and shifting copies.

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