Log in

No account? Create an account

haikujaguar in crowdfunding

Crowd-Requesting... a New Gatekeeping Model

In my continuing quest to refine new publishing models, I got stuck on how you "gatekeep" a hard-copy novel. You can't crowdfund it in advance because that's either not fair or it describes an existing model (pre-ordering). What I wanted is a way for people to gauge how much interest other people have in a project without monetary markers.

So I'm experimenting with something I call "crowd-requesting," where an author/artist/what-have-you asks for people to show a sign of interest in a project, and when enough people say "Go for it," you hit the button that makes it available.

I came up with this because if I saw that a crowd of people had requested the publication of a self-published project and that group was sufficiently large that I decided it wasn't just the author and his/her friends, I think I'd be more inclined to pick it up than if there was no such marker. So for me, crowd-requesting would be a valid gate-keeping system, something I might use along with other markers to decide whether the book was worth my time.

For my project, The Worth of a Shell, I've asked for 100 people to request the novel: have a look here. If I get that number, I'll add a line to the copyright page and marketing descriptions that "this novel was crowd-requested."

Feel free to use this model, refine it or discuss it! And if you want to sign the petition, hop on over there. :)


So the difference between this and pre-ordering is that the release date is based on when people hit the pre-ordained number?

Pre-ordering implies people are buying copies in advance. Think of this more like a petition where people are requesting that the book be made available for purchase.
It's more like market research...nobody is parting with their money, she's just finding out if enough people would be interested.
In a pre-order no one is supposed to be parting with their money if they product won't be shipped within 30 days. So with no date that part isn't really different then a pre-order, except no payment information is tracked/collected.

So basically the difference is that you are setting it up based on how many people "think" they might wish to buy the product.

I would be interested to see how this turns out. Especially what the coversion rate between that original number and actual purchases.

I'll be curious to know how this works for you.
Being still out of a day job, and my "crowd" still being small, so my crowdfunding efforts are still small as well, I have no idea when I will hit a point that I am no longer hoarding my cash to pay for necessities, I have no idea when I will be able to buy this, but

Do I want it?

Oh, absolutely!

And I'll recommend it to my friends.
Huzzah! Please post over there on that entry, though, for my tracking purposes. :)
Jonathan Coulton uses this model to determine where he goes on tour.