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Crowdfunding butterfly ship

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Dec. 8th, 2014



It's $5 Sketch Day!

Good morning, friends and SilverFlame Art supporters!  Amyla here.  Last week was quite a time, getting things ready for the new crowdfunding art blog!  It feels wonderful to be getting back into the swing of things again.  Anyway, it's Monday, which means that I am opening for $5 sketch prompts from now until 5 p.m. CST.  This is a weekly event on the new silverflameart blog--$5 Sketch Day.

The concept is simple:  Leave a prompt in the comments, a short description of something you'd like to see me sketch.  Use the payment button at the bottom of the entry on my blog to pay, and I'll post your sketch both in a reply to you in the comments and in a personal message, where I will link you to the full-sized file.

Also, the first three prompts are free!

So, come on by and leave your prompts!  Please be sure to read the info on the blog post carefully before requesting.

Some sample sketches:

Nov. 11th, 2013


New Anonymous Social Networking Site.

Hi there

We are trying to promote Rue16, a new anonymous social network.This is a place where you can create new blogs, communities, magazines, albums, diaries, sketches etc. Whatever your creativity guides you to create will hopefully have a place there, if you help us build the community to support it.

You get to control exactly who sees your posts. Choose friends based on common interests. Share pictures, videos and ideas with others who think just like you knowing that your material is your property and yours alone. Allow yourself to be whoever you really are without having to conform to the sometimes constricting expectations of your real life.

Our website is now open and accepting beta testers. Join us and become one of the first founding members of  rue 16, a virtual network for a virtual you.

Please, do not hesitate to pass on the word. Any suggestions you may wish to make about new facilities that you'll like us to add to our product, things that aren't working as well as they should, general appearance, etc, will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers! :)

Nov. 5th, 2012


The 'Never-Ending' Prompt Session

I'm having another prompt session, this one a little different from the others.

(Taken from kajoneswriting.co.uk.) I’m looking for a number of different things. Names; personality traits; disabilities (both visible and invisible); song lyrics; pictures; short prompts (eg. yellow book or midnight lamp); and I may add more things as I think of them. Once I have a number of these I’ll put them into a randomiser, give them all numbers, and use them as a form of self-created bingo challenge. The reason I’m doing this is because I get inspired by lots of different things, I want to write more stories, and I think doing this will make it much more fun.

My plan is to write 500 words for every prompt I receive. For every link posted to this prompt session I’ll write another 500 words for a prompt of the linkers choice and write 500 words for a prompt/previously written story of my choice. If I receive ten prompts I’ll write 1000 words of a prompter’s story and then for every prompt after the tenth I’ll add another 500 words. (End)

Feel free to prompt here if you wish, or at the website, or at kajones_writing on either LJ or DW.

Oct. 2nd, 2012



October is Donor House month, so if you're interested in vampires then come and check it out. They're not your every day vampires, which may interest people who aren't normally interested in vampires. For those who may be worried they DON'T sparkle. I don't write about sparklepires.

World Walkers month, last month, went so well it is still ongoing. This is a fantasy based collection and has been great fun to explore, which means I want to write more stories in an attempt to get to know the worlds better.

I have a poll going to see which collection my readers want me to focus on in November and then I'll be having another poll as I have £10 to spend on posting stories.

Come and visit my website, http://www.kajoneswriting.co.uk, or check out kajones_writing, which can also be found on Dreamwidth.

Aug. 23rd, 2011

Rare Bird


It's a Wisdom and Magic Bonanza!

I'm trying something new at my Wisdom and Magic blog!

Come, leave a prompt, and I'll write either wisdom or magic (you can request which or leave it to me), and at least one thing will be posted free! I am accepting tips and there are incentives!

So, do you have a problem you are struggling with? Feel free to share it Dear Abby style. Maybe your fictional character(s) have problems they need advice on? Again, ask! Is there simply a word you want to eek all the wisdom out of? Try me! Do you think a magical spell or ritual might help you out? Let me know and I'll see what I can design for you!

Check it out! :)

Jul. 26th, 2011

Creative Joyous Cat


Persistence, Patience, Luck, and Finding the Right Audience

Over at http://www.dreamfarmer.net/?p=433 (which I'm following on my LJ friends page through some mysterious RSS-feed magic) Chrysoula Tzavela wrote, "I don’t like the popularity of the idea that you have to blog to sell fiction. I don’t like the focus put on crafting the perfect query, either. They seem equivalent to me. It might be helpful, but a lot depends on the audience and persistence and luck and patience and focusing on something that isn’t your fiction."

Part of me agrees with her. It's the story that matters, right?

But we all can cite award-winning stories that were rejected time and time again, from A Wrinkle in Time to Harry Potter. This is nothing new--plenty of people rejected Van Gogh's paintings in his lifetime. He didn't find his audience, though eventually his paintings did.  I wonder, if he'd had the internet, might things have been different? 

Another part of me chimes in, still wanting to simply agree with her.  I want to say, "I don't like the popularity of the idea that you have to dress for success. Your work at the day job should stand for itself!"  Even after all these years, it bothers me that putting on a costume (a suit is definitely a costume!) can be enough to convince people to take you seriously. But I know that, so long as the suit's message (that I'm professional and intelligent and competent) is true, it works.

The suit isn't what makes me good at my job--but it matters because it facilitates creating the business relationships that I need so I get to do the day job.

So, what does this have to do with blogging? Over at crowdfunding  , I hear again and again that people are more likely to fund a project or tip an artist if they feel a connection with the writer or artist.  I hear this from the occasional patron who's not too shy to speak out in public, and I hear this from the creators who see, over and over, that people are more likely to click on that virtual tip hat if they like and feel welcomed by the creator.  Like the people who need a lawyer, who want to meet and shake hands with someone before hiring them, many readers and viewers like to get a sense of who they're dealing with before they spend their money on the work itself. 

Will a blog sell your stories or art if the work isn't good?  I doubt even the greatest blog has that power.  After all, the most expensive custom suit won't convince a client to keep a lawyer if they find the lawyer isn't doing a good job.  And unlike the law, when it comes to creative ventures, each viewer is the only expert on whether they liked a painting or enjoyed a story.  If you don't give your readers their money's worth, they'll send that money to someone who does.

But there's lots of writers and artists out there.  A blog can help a reader to decide if the stuff you write is likely to be something they're interested in spending their time on.  And a blog gives people a way to tell their friends how to find you, if (like Van Gogh) you don't have a
publicist to help you find your audience.

One of my current favorite books is Feed by Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire.  It's a zombie book, which is normally the kiss of death for me--zombies are icky, ugly, and stupid.  I don't see the attraction.  But Seanan was blogging, while she wrote the book she was then calling Newsflesh, about epidemiology.  Epidemiology isn't about beauty--but it's complex and fascinating.  I look at a book inspired by epidemiology quite differently than I look at "a zombie book".  Seanan's blog helped that book to find at least one audience member who would have ignored it otherwise. 

Is it worth spending time on a blog instead of your primary art form?  That's a question each person has to answer for themselves.  Certainly a blog is not the only way to be persistent, and it is also not the only way to try to luck into finding the right audience. 

However, when it come to "expected" ways to present yourself to people who might hire you, I have to say blogging beats the heck out of wearing a suit!

Jul. 2nd, 2010

Crowdfunding butterfly ship


Tags for Money-Related Matters

crowdfunding has several tags relating to money, sales, etc.

Cyberfunded Creativity -- Use this to mark posts that deal with cyberfunded creativity/crowdfunding as a business model, or individual CFC projects that people can visit and support.

Economics -- This covers broad issues of finance, the bookkeeping side of home business, national trends, and so forth.  Frex, sometimes haikujaguar's series about "The Three Micahs" gets tagged this way.

Print On Demand -- POD publishing creates one book at a time when a customer wants to buy it.  Some POD publishers let the author buy in big batches for a discount.  red_trillium requested the addition of this tag, so I added it.  I know plenty of other folks here use POD and I wanted to make sure you'd see the new tag.

Shopping -- Any post about stuff you're selling can go here: jewelry, coffee cups, prints, etc.  Lots of people use sites such as Cafe Press, Etsy, Zazzle, etc. to market their crowdfunded projects. 

The etiquette of pimping stuff in this community:

1) People come here to look for projects, so it's okay to pimp your crowdfunded goods and services.  Don't overdo it, but updates for ongoing projects are okay.  (See also our Project Update tag.)  As a general guideline... For erratically updated or monthly projects, pimp when new material appears.  Weekly projects can be pimped weekly, although that's probably best reserved for popular ones; otherwise once or twice a month is probably enough.  Daily or otherwise very frequently updated projects should not be pimped more than weekly unless something unusual is going on.  Frex, I usually mention my monthly Poetry Fishbowl in this community.

2) People come here to look for ideas in crowdfunding models, so highlight the details of crowdfunding when you pimp your stuff.  If you want to try something that nobody has tried before, that's okay, but you'll have a higher chance of success if you explain how it relates to the overall concept of crowdfunding.

3) You can help put the "crowd" in "crowdfunding" by pimping projects that aren't yours but that you support.  This includes linking to things on someone else's LJ (check to make sure it's not Friends-locked), on another blog service, an independent website, or one of the big crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.  Long-running projects may be updated over time, especially if comments indicate audience interest here.

4) Followup reports are welcome!  If you do a print sale, fishbowl, icon day, etc. that you pimp here, please consider posting a followup report or a link to such a report on your own LJ so that people can see how it turned out.  This helps show what approaches work well.  It also gives you an opportunity to thank  your sponsors.

Mar. 5th, 2010

Crowdfunding butterfly ship


Crowdfunding Hub Site Outline

           There have been multiple previous discussions about what would be wanted/needed in a hub site, so much of the brainstorming is already done.   Notes have been collated here for future reference.
General ParametersCollapse )

Commonly Requested FeaturesCollapse )

Other Possible FeaturesCollapse )

Possible ContentCollapse )

Site DesignCollapse )

Previous DiscussionsCollapse )

Jan. 31st, 2010



Long vs. Short Posts

I came across a debate as to whether long or short posts are better in a blog.  So I decided to ask my readers.  They overwhelmingly prefer a mix of short and long posts.  (So do I.)  Several folks noted that it depends on the content; some things work better short, others long. 

I wonder if this applies to cyberfunded creativity.  Many projects seem to have a fairly consistent "chapter size."  With my poetry, one thing that happened last year is that we started doing microfunded epics, so that more of the very long poems got published.  People seem to enjoy the expanded diversity of size

If you are doing a crowdfunded project, you might take a look at your posts to see if they are all near the same size, or if there are some longer and some shorter ones.  Maybe ask your audience their preferences.

Jan. 14th, 2010

Crowdfunding butterfly ship


5 Steps to Crowdfunded Success

Following the recent launch of the Rose and Bay Awards, I've been browsing through a great deal of crowdfunded creativity ... and things that might be cyberfunded projects but I can't really tell, and things that would  be if they had a clear money path.  I realized that the most popular projects had certain things in common.  Doing these things doesn't guarantee success -- nothing does -- but will certainly move a project in that direction.

1) Name your project.  This makes it easy for people to discuss and recommend your project.  Now they can say, "I'm reading 'Awesome Content' by A.J. Muse" instead of "I'm reading this thing about ferrets with pictures and music."  Like the title of a story, your project name should be descriptive and memorable, something not already in heavy use.  Ideally, typing the project name into a search engine should put your project on the first page.

2) Design a landing page for your project.  On a private website, this can be a whole separate page or section; in a blog, it can be an individual post.  Title it something like "[Project Name] Landing Page."  Include a brief description of crowdfunding/cyberfunded creativity, a description of your project, a description of your particular business model, and tips on how people can help support what you're doing.  If your project is regularly updated, this is a good place for a link-list table of contents; otherwise feature or link to some other sample of the main content.  If you have separate pages such as an honor roll of donors or instructions for special activities, link those pages or posts here as well.  The landing page should be the one-stop-shop for linking to your project, so make sure all the information people need is on this page or accessible from it.  It's a good idea to link your landing page at the end of each individual project post.

3) Create tags for your project.  Tags are words or short phrases that identify what kind of content is there.  All blog posts concerning your project should be accessible through a project tag.  In a blog, tags appear above or below posts and in your tag list or tag cloud.  This way, when people stumble across a blog post they like, they can easily find more.  If you or your audience use Twitter, then you should also create a Twitter hashtag identifying your project.  This allows people to tweet and retweet your project, hopefully expanding your exposure and audience.  Some other social networks have other tagging systems, so keep an eye on this.

4) Establish definite audience interaction.  This distinguishes your crowdfunded project from anything that is simply an online store.  If someone looks at your site and wonders, "Is this cyberfunded creativity or just a store?" it should be easy for them to find your audience interaction for confirmation.  Popular types of audience interaction include polls, contests, asking for prompts, how-to or step-by-step posts in response to questions, inviting the audience to set themes or other goals, adding characters or scenes or other tidbits inspired by frequent commenters, and listing your patrons for community praise.

5) Post a donation button.  This makes your project instantly identifiable as cyberfunded creativity, even if you customarily use some other method of exchange such as subscriptions paid by check.  It's an easy option for folks who just want to say, "I like what you're doing; have some random cash."  PayPal is the most popular online money service for crowdfunding, but there are alternatives such as ChipIn, AlertPay, Moneybookers, Daopay, etc.  You may want a general button on your landing page or profile page, and a specific button for each project post.  If you're shy and/or new, put it on your profile page; if you're confident and/or experienced, put it on each post; if you're really organized, put it on your landing page.  Make sure you put a button in at least one of those three places.  They are the most likely places people will look when they want to give you money, and if there isn't an easy way to do it there, you'll miss opportunities.

Following these steps will give your project cohesion.  It's a good idea to do these things even if you don't plan on promoting a particular project as a big deal -- you never know what people will like.  Several of the more popular cyberfunded projects started out as whims, experiments, or practice.  Once you start repeating a particular thing, though, there's a chance that people will start watching for it and then it has a following.  Those folks should be able to tell you in a concrete fashion, "I enjoy this and want to see more of it."  Feedback is candy, but cash is concrete.  When people give you money, they are trading their time for yours, because money is crystallized time and energy.  Make sure your audience has convenient ways to indicate their interest and support.  Then you can deliver more of what they want the most -- and then you are truly on your way to crowdfunded success. 

Related posts:
"How to Start a Cyberfunded Creativity Project"
"How to Boost Your Audience"

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