Why did you pledge…

Why did you pledge and/or promote?

I'm going to pose that question to my Kickstarter donors, just in case they feel like telling me. :-) I have some possible reasons in mind now, though -- this is what I have:

  1. because they were genuinely excited by the project concept, and wanted to read it
  2. because a friend they trusted recommended it
  3. because they've read other things of mine that they've liked, and thought that made it likely that they would like this too
  4. because they like other projects I've done in the past (mostly volunteer work, such as Clean Sheets, Strange Horizons, the SLF, DesiLit, the Kriti Festival, my postings at Whatever during RaceFail, etc.), and as a result trust that I'll do something they'll enjoy with this
  5. because they like other projects I've done in the past, and pledged as a kind of 'thank you' or payback, for my previous work for their arts community (whuffie at work!)
  6. because they're my friend (personal) and want to help me out
  7. because they're my internet friendly acquaintance and want to help me out
I'm interested by this in part because I know other writers will look at my success here, and wonder whether they can do the same. And as you can see above, only #1 and maybe #2 are independent of me as a person, based solely on the coolness of the concept. All the rest depend on the possible donor having some positive experience of me and/or my work in the past. I'd guess that most people who donated, did so for reasons #3-#7, which would indicate that for a book project to succeed, an author needs some kind of serious track record of positive success in the past. It doesn't have to be writerly success, I think -- there are lots of other ways to build up good feeling in the community. But you need something more than "Hey, I want to write a book. Give me money." That's my theory.

But I'm not sure. I'd love to know more clearly -- I think it would help people. So if you donated money to the project or helped spread the word (which is also a donation, of your time), it'd be great if you could post a response telling us which of the reasons above apply to you. If there were multiple reasons, you'd ideally note all the ones that are relevant, although you could also indicate if one was much more important than the others. And if there's something I'm not thinking of as a reason, I'd love to have that added too!


(I'll collate the responses from here and elsewhere and post them in a few days.)


7 thoughts on “Why did you pledge…”

  1. Tried to respond to your kickstarter email but it didn’t work – so, reason 1 and 3 were my primary reasons for going to the kickstarter link, )being able to get your cookbook pushed me to pledge at the level I did. And it was really just exciting to think about a bunch of stories with brown people!

  2. Greetings from Germany!

    Reason #3 🙂

    The first book I bought was “Aqua Erotica” and I got interested in your work as a writer. I followed your blog silently….well, so far… 🙂 now I’m commenting on it.

    I’m really excited about Demimonde! And I’m so glad that it’s been funded successfully! Yeah! Can’t wait to read some more stories written by you. 🙂


  3. I’m in the 5-6-7 range, and not sure that I’ll actually like the stories, but I can rationalize this in a totally self-interested way:

    I enjoy reading your blog. You blog more when you’re happy. You’re clearly happy writing this. By enabling you to write the book, I’m likely to see more interesting blog entries.

  4. All of these, speaking mostly for myself but also somewhat for Amy:

    1. Because we were genuinely excited by the project concept, and wanted to read it.
    2. Because a friend we trusted recommended it.
    3. Because we’ve read other things of yours that we liked, and thought that made it likely that they would like this too. (Jump Space in particular.)
    4. Because we like other projects you’ve done in the past, and thus thought we’d like this. (Especially Clean Sheets and Strange Horizons.)
    5. Because we like other projects you’ve done in the past, and pledged as a kind of “thank you”.
    6. Because we’re at least friends of friends — we think Josh actually went to your house once when you lived in Berkeley, for a roundsing that Jed organized. :^)
    7. And friendly Internet acquaintances too.

    As to your general question: We probably wouldn’t help Kickstart a project just for the first and/or second reasons. We probably would help Kickstart a project by someone whose work we knew and liked, but who we didn’t know personally; or by someone we knew and liked personally, as long as we didn’t actively *dislike* their work. (In particular, I think we’d support a project by someone trying to do something for the first time, if we thought they had a decent chance of being able to do a decent job.) But I think we’d be unlikely to support a project just because it sounded like a cool idea — there are so many many things that “sound like cool ideas”, I think we’d need some sort of more personal connection (either to the person’s work or the person) to want to pledge.

    Good luck!

  5. #6 although I also enjoy your writings and am wondering if this project might evoke memories of college. Typically I only fund relatives (however extended) and good friends.

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