I’ve been noodling on a few book-related projects lately, and as part of that I’ve done a bit of a deep dive into the various crowdsourcing options available. There are some really cool bookish projects out there that I’ve come across and I wanted to share some of them with Book Riot readers, in case you’re looking for a worthy creative endeavour to help fund.
Unbound is a UK-based publisher funded through readers’ contributions, many of them in the form of pre-orders. They always have interesting things happening—Book Riot recently highlighted an anthology by British hijabis they are publishing.
Through Unbound, Nikesh Shukla crowdfunded what became a best-selling anthology of essays by BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) authors in the UK. Now he’s following up the success of The Good Immigrant with The Good Journal, and once the costs of that are covered, remaining money will go towards the Good Literary Agency, which will be “focused exclusively on representing the under-represented from all backgrounds: BAME, disabled, working-class and LGBTQ+”.
Patreon works a little differently from the other crowdsourcing platforms, in that you pay monthly to support someone creative in an ongoing way, often in exchange for exclusive content. One of the projects on that platform is the Print Run podcast, hosted by two literary agents who discuss the ins and outs of the publishing world. The perks include access to patron-only bonus episodes in which they pick apart agent queries, discuss the first pages of aspiring authors’ novels, and analyse successful writing in published books.
Over on Indiegogo, Rose City Book Pub sounds super fun, and I’m a little bit jealous it’s all the way over in Portland, Oregon. It aspires to be a meeting place for the community, with rooms you can reserve for book clubs and other events or even just hang out in for quiet reading. They plan to host karaoke nights, poetry readings, wine tastings…a whole lot of great-sounding stuff.
Bookselling Without Borders are raising money on Kickstarter for “a permanent fund that will allow American booksellers to attend international book fairs for years to come”—with the aim of increasing access to and awareness of international literature in the US. Rewards you can choose from include a Blind Date Book Package, advance review copies, a phone call with a bookseller to help you choose your next read, and a themed book package, like women in translation, or international experimental lit. There’s also the chance to have a literary agent read your novel and give you feedback.
And that’s just for starters. There’s plenty of potential for losing yourself down the rabbit hole on each of these platforms if you just type “books” into their search bar…