Be a Better Crowdfunder

To date, my Indiegogo campaign for book Be a Better Blogger is a money loser. Costs exceed the pittance of contributions, and I appreciate every one made. Make no mistake, if you contributed—thank you! But with 11 days to go, and  the campaign about 1.8 percent funded, absolute failure looms large.

So with little to lose, but more money, I hired one of several crowdfunders that emailed or commented soon after the campaign’s launch. I don’t expect much from the $149 fee, which gets me one hour consultation, press release, PR distribution, journalist outreach, and feed submission (whatever that means). But I did receive important insight, which is more a lesson about interacting with others rather than working alone.

The consultant emailed today: “Your campaign is nice and direct.  I suspect one shortfall is that your campaign is directed towards a very specific niche audience; bloggers”. Except, that’s not true. The book’s eventual audience is writers, but not the campaign’s.

I replied:

There is something wrong with my pitch. While the target audience of readers is writers, the target contributor group is much larger. Every company, government agency, NGO, non-profit, or individual about which there is news or rumor will benefit from this book, should it achieve the goals set for it.

This book is all about identifying problems with online news writing; setting realistic principles for reporting and writing well; and proposing sensible practices for the new era of contextual journalism.

If the guy helping me doesn’t get that, I muffed my pitch. So today I rewrote it and shot a new video. Please have a look at the updated campaign page. Tomorrow, I may overhaul the perks, ejecting most. I wonder if it’s time for some David Thinking and changing the rules of engagement.

The GoGo philosophy is lots of contributions, even little ones, and social shares that raise the campaign’s visibility. Perks are the incentive. Thing is, my target is different. I want business contributors and corporate sponsors, but my outreach to them clearly is weak. I won’t tempt them with Android Collectibles or free ebooks.

Why business contributors? Because they’re the victims of bad news reporting, particularly evil rumors. As stated in the revised pitch: “Every rumor and inaccurate news report risks damaging your organization’s reputation, or if a public company, share price. Be a Better Blogger creates a baseline standard for all online news writers. Everyone benefits from responsible reporting”.

Every business in America should want this project to succeed and contribute to it. Because if I can raise funds to actually write the book, it will establish principles of responsible writing and compelling storytelling. Everyone who reads news, or is subject to it, can benefit.

If the campaign fails, as I increasingly fear, the book will go on the back burner, as I work when there is free time, or I produce something sooner that falls far short of the original vision.

To date, the only contributors are people I know, which is major reason for signing on for the crowdfunding service. My outreach sucks.  Even if that consultant’s effort fails, I will learn something for the future, should I ever try this thing again.

When I conceived the book, Be a Better Blogger seemed like such a good title. Now it’s a prison sentence. The consultant suggests that many people don’t get past blogger: “I think that the campaign’s title is steering away some people who instantly see the word ‘blogger’ which forces their brain to decide—then and there—’oops, this campaign [isn’t] for me., and away they go”.

I must agree.

For your information, the previous pitch follows:

Amazon lists hundreds of Kindle ebooks all about blogging, with the majority offering mastering or money-making tips. My forthcoming book, Be a Better Blogger isn’t like any of them. There is no advice about advertising, pageview tactics, or search engine optimization. I write something uniquely provocative, a tome for our times.

While the title refers to blogging, the book is for anyone who wants to write well and responsibly online. Professional bloggers and journalists have the most to gain. Triple B is a practical guide, offering real examples of superlative storytelling and its opposite—bad form, of which there is over-abundance.

However, Triple B is not a how-to book. Think of it as a state of the online news industry, from which a reader learns lessons about how to be a better blogger. Triple B offers the 30,000 expansive view, while dropping down to ground level. Both perspectives will show you how to write affirmatively, build brand identity, and expand readership loyalty.

Among the themes to watch for in Be a Better BloggerAdvocacy JournalismConversational Journalism, and Process Journalism. Additionally: original content and proper sourcing.

The book requires real research to complete, which is the major reason I crowdfund. I cannot quickly finish this provocative work, nor effectively market it, without your help.

My campaign stumbled at the beginning, and I’m scared of ending up like the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl XLVIII, who fumbled on the opening play and never recovered. So on Day 5 of 28 I soft relaunch the campaign, with this new and greatly streamlined pitch to start.

Please contribute. Give money if you can, or tell others about Be a Better Blogger. Perhaps you or your company could donate appealing, or unique, perks. Money isn’t the only valuable collateral.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or suggestions. I can easily be reached by email: joe at bunnybows dot com.

I post the previous pitch mostly for my own records and to document disaster, if that’s where the campaign ends.

Photo Credit: Thomas Galvez