Friday, 23 September 2016

Helping Writers One Story At A Time

Writing is a struggle. Not just creatively, but financially. Unless you're lucky enough to have a rich patreon as Harper Lee did, you'll be balancing the cost of writing alongside all the daily expenses of living. There are times when there is nothing left. We writers have to become creative in raising the funds needed to publish and to get our name out there. We have to find ways to pay for editing, cover art, promotion, and so on, while we wait for the book, the one which will sell thousands of copies and fund future releases.

How do we raise the funds needed? Fellow Untethered Realms member Misha Gericke is trying to answer that question by taking two very different routes - fiverr and Patreon. 

I love Fiverr. If you need something done at an affordable rate, it's the place to look. When I purchased new covers for my short story collections, I bought them from a pre-made book cover site. They weren't expensive, and I was not charged extra for a few minor tweaks. When I realised I needed 3D renders, and the same site charged $30 per cover, I knew I had to find an alternative. One quick fiverr search and I found someone who would do all three for $15. It wasn't a tough choice.

Apart from the obvious cost-saving element of fiverr, I've often wondered if it's a viable way to earn money myself. There are of course well established members offering everything from cover design to editing. But like any new starter, they would have started at zero and built their reputation from there. So, Misha joining fiverr has given me the perfect opportunity to learn what it takes to succeed. I will be following her progress with keen interest.

Misha is a talented writer and driven in her desire to succeed. If you use one of her services, from beta reading to mentoring, you'll get the very best she can offer. Drop by her fiverr page and take a look at what she's offering. If you need any of those services and you'd like to help another writer in the process, why not give Misha a chance? 

The second route she's taken is Patreon.



Patreon is radically different to fiverr. Much like Go Fund Me and Kickstarter, it's a crowd-funding site. However, there's a big difference. Rather than trying to raise a fixed amount for one big project, patreons pledge ongoing monthly amounts. Pledges can be as little as $1. Misha does a great job of explaining how it works and why she's joined here. In short, it's not so much about the money, but about getting her name out there. 

Over the years, I've read some scathing attacks on authors using crowd funding sites to raise the money needed to publish. There are those writers who believe it's lazy and bad form to ask for help. Writers should shed blood and tears to raise the money needed to publish! While I appreciate their perspective, there are writers like Misha who are already working a day job, another job offering writing services, as well as trying to find the time to write themselves alongside the milieu of daily life. In the end, they don't have any time left to earn extra money or promote their books. Should these writers give up their dream because they fall just short of what they need? I'm sure you'll have already worked out my answer.

I'm keeping everything crossed for Misha. It's time all her hard work paid off.

16 comments:

  1. Awe Ellie! Thanks SO much for spotlighting my efforts! I really appreciate it. ^_^

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    1. You're welcome. You deserved the shout-out.

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  2. People raise money for other businesses - why not for a book?

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    1. Exactly. Maybe it's to do with the way writers are perceived? We must suffer for our art.

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  3. I should prompt my illustrator to get on Fiverr but I'm currently keeping him pretty busy.

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  4. I agree that writing is a struggle. To write a book is by itself a big struggle and to get it published is a bigger struggle and to live off the money we make as writers is the biggest struggle. Thanks for telling me about fiverr and Patreon, I hadn't heard of them.

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  5. I don't understand why some writers would believe it's lazy and bad form to ask for help.
    It's not stealing, it's rendering an honest service.
    I'll definitely give Misha a chance!

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    1. I'm glad you agree, Michelle. We shouldn't let the judgement of others put us off asking for help.

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  6. I completely agree with your perspective. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings on a manual typewriter, but we don't have to. Readers are free to use or to not use these fundraising techniques.

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    1. I'm pleased you agree, Mark. It's good to know that not everyone is so critical of crowdfunding.

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  7. My fingers are crossed for Misha too. She is such a hard working woman!

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  8. Ellie, you rock. So does Misha. She definitely is a talented writer and deserves all the support she can get.

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