See Jane Kickstart

A few months ago an artist friend talked about how it is such an exciting time for artists because we get to take our work into our own hands, and through indie publishing, crowdfunding and other user-friendly methods, we can bring our work to fruition. Artists, writers, inventors and creatives of all types have more control than ever.

Art patronage has gone viral due to crowdsourcing. As many of you know, I have written a novel that I am shopping around to agents. So far, all reports are positive, but I’ve not found the right match yet. My friends who have published tell me that since I am receiving positive, personal feedback from agents, then I am on the right track! This is great, but what is a writer to do during the hurry-up-and-wait process of querying?

Well, this writer wrote anther novel. I’ve completed the draft for a book about a woman who is dealing with some very serious life blows when she is invited to travel to Ireland. She leaves her life behind in Chicago, including her soon-to-be ex-husand and his mistress, and runs away to the Emerald Isle.

The book has a parallel story set 200 years in the past and has some magical realism thrown in to help the characters along their way, because, why wouldn’t you include some magic in Ireland? And if the Celtic people didn’t invent magical realism, then they are certainly some of the most dedicated champions of the literary device.

After completing the draft, titled The Knowledge of Sorrow, I was thrilled with the material. Except for one thing. The setting and language seemed two dimensional. So, I watched a bunch of Irish films, read some books and reworked some of the draft. Nope. Still flat.

I realized I needed to do some deep research in order to do the book, the people of Ireland, and myself justice. I knew this book could be better and no matter how many drafts I wrote, there was only so far my imagination could take it. I knew I needed to experience Ireland, study the people, interview historians and study customs particular to Galway where the story is set. To know the rhythm of a place, the sights and smells, is invaluable to making a book come alive.

Then I met a lovely, talented, energetic writer who told me, “You should totally do a Kickstarter!” She and her writing-parter husband had recently concluded a very successful crowdfunding campaign to indie publish their book on the writing process. She graciously agreed to go to lunch with me and tell me everything she learned about crowdfunding because she’s that wonderful. And because the writing community in Austin is that generous and supportive.

So, a couple of months later, I had followed all of my friend’s advice, researched the crowdfunding industry and was ready to launch my project. A good friend helped me with the filming. I set some enticing rewards for backers and I am now one week into the three week campaign. I decided to use Kickstarter because they have superior analytics to help creators know what is working about the campaign.

I am happy to report that I am halfway to my goal of $5500. The funds will cover travel, lodging and research costs during my three-week stay in Ireland. I’ll be visiting with university professors, historians, writers and shop owners to get the details correct in The Knowledge of Sorrow. I am very excited about improving this book.

The caveat is that some crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter, only fund if the campaign goal is reached. If I don’t raise the full amount then I receive nothing and the donors are not charged. So, I’m working diligently to make sure the project moves forward.

Please take a look at the video below for more details. If you help spread the word and/or make a donation, I would be ever so grateful to you.


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