Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG: When a Writer Encounters Backlash

Today is IWSG day. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for organizing this monthly event where writers share about writerly insecurities and other things. 

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2015 be a fruitful year for you all.  One of my resolutions this year is to finally finish my novel. (Was that last year’s resolution too? Yikes, I don’t remember.)  


Update: I'm supposed to include an intro of myself for today's New Year IWSG post...so here it is....My name is Cynthia and I'm a writer and reader living in California. I read all kinds of books- adult and kidlit/YA fiction and non-fiction. I'm currently working on a picture book and a YA novel. 

I am writing today’s Insecure Writer's Support Group post with an author in mind, someone whose name has been appearing on my Twitter feed.  Putting the pieces together, I learned this author recently set up a Kickstarter account to ask for optional donations so she could write a sequel to one of her books. Apparently, some people criticized her for this, and the author ended up taking down her Kickstarter page. 

I don’t know this author personally, and I haven’t read her work yet. Still, I feel bad for her. Her fundraising idea was clever, and not uncommon, as many (and I mean MANY) online campaigns seek donations for aspiring projects. I also imagine it’s not easy for many people to set up an online campaign seeking donations from the general public. It was a gutsy thing for this author to do. 

I hope that when the author recovers from the backlash, she would reopen her Kickstarter page, raise adequate funds, and write that sequel. I’d really hate to see someone put their publishing dream away because of others’ negativity.

What are your New Year resolutions? What motivates you to donate to a campaign or cause? 

22 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Happy New Year! I don't have resolutions this year but I am working on eating right and exercising. And I'm working on finding a new job since I'm laid off.

I tend to donate to causes for low income and homeless people in my community and to help kids in those families.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Terrible thing to do to someone. I know lots of writers who have Kickstarter campaigns. Nothing wrong with that.

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah the negative turds online sure ruin it for many

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I think I know who you're talking about. Either that, or Kickstarting your writing has become really common. There are a lot of artists who use Kickstarter to fund their work, and they must end up getting the money or else people wouldn't do it.

As for what motivates me to donate money to a cause ... I've become very cautious since I discovered that the last Go Fund Me thing I contributed to (again, saw it on FB) turned out to be a fraud.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I just clicked on the link above and no, it was not the same author I was thinking of.
So, apparently Kickstarting your writing career is very common.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've seen a lot of writers using Indiegogo and Kickstarter to fund their work. My ex forced me to make a page on Indiegogo, but I didn't really want to, and I never completed the page and thus never raised any money. In future, when I'm not being forced, I might voluntarily sign up for a fundraising campaign, my way.

J.L. Campbell said...

Happy New Year! I went over and ready Stacey's post on her experience. It's sad that she decided to end her funding programme. To my mind, if people are willing to donate then that's their business and hers. Too often these days, people forget the concept of 'live and let live'.

Hope your year is shaping up to be a great one.

Stephen Tremp said...

Our family will begin helping a group of people one Sunday a month feed the homeless. They go every week sand its amazing how many people are joining in to help. Goes to show if you start something good others will jump in to help.

David P. King said...

That's really too bad. Hopefully the author will find the means to bring out her books.

Wishing you a Happy New Year, Cynthia. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

Kickstarter campaigns are huge and there are many projects like this going up--but no, I wouldn't donate to a book or a movie unless it was related to a cause I believe in. The only commercial projects I've even thought about funding on Kickstarter have been cool gadgets or products where I actually got something I needed in return. There are so many books out there for purchase for $2, I can't imagine paying for a Kickstarter project to get one to read.

S.P. Bowers said...

Happy new year! My resolution is to query my current book. I'd like to say it's to get an agent but I don't think I have any control over that.

We donate money and time every month, mostly but not entirely through our church, which does a lot of service.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Cynthia,

Happy New Year.... Good luck with your picture book and novel. Sounds like a good start to the year.

I hope to get back into my writing. Last year was a year full of other work, keeping my head above ground, and finally selling my condo and moving onto my next adventure. Which is what 2015 is all about for me!

Wishing you al the best this year!

John Wiswell said...

I felt awful for Stacey Jay. As I understood it, people invested in the Kickstarter ecosystem didn't mind her request, and those enthusiastic for her work were ready to pledge. It was the moronic outrage machine that got people to scream at her. Such individuals are deluded as to how Kickstarter funds are used. Unless the usage of money is strictly broken down and excludes it, professionals seeking to use KS as a pipeline are always using a portion of the money on living expenses, and what is wrong with that? It guarantees they can produce the things you're interested in!

Margo Berendsen said...

There's no getting around that there is a lot of negativity in the writing/publishing business. The negativity that makes me cringe are the cruel book reviewers out there. So even if you do get lucky enough to get published, then your book goes through the reviewer guantlet. However I also strongly support a person's right to their opinion, so if you put yourself out there, like this author with KickStarter, then you HAVE to expect negativity, and try to have a thick skin!! Thanks for stopping my IWSG post and off to see you on twitter now!

Emily R. King said...

She was criticized for it? By whom?

That's too bad. I hope she bounces back. I'd hate for her to be done with writing because of the backlash.

Sherry Ellis said...

Kickstarter is good for funding philanthropic projects, but I'm not sure it works real well for author funding. It's too bad she got backlash for it. Hopefully she'll think of other ways to earn money.

Donna K. Weaver said...

That's unfortunate. I was part of a book series with five other authors, and one of the authors has used Kickstarter quite successfully to help with projects. The key is to make sure that anyone donating toward your project gets something good in exchange for their donation. Our amount wasn't very high, relatively speaking, but it made it possible to get the necessary things for covers and marketing. The series did fabulously well too, as a result.

Michael Pierce said...

Why not try everything in your power to get your novel published? I commend her for exploring every avenue. It's too bad there is so much online negativity. Best of luck with getting your novel finished this year. Happy New Year!

Nick Wilford said...

Having read the post I'm saddened that some people had a knee jerk judgemental reaction, thinking an author was being greedy when she was trying to produce a project there was actually a demand for. I don't think there's ever a good reason to pour scorn on someone's ideas, if those are their opinions it's better they don't voice them, but sadly they do. Anyway I hope this year is good to you and you get that book done.

Empty Nest Insider said...

It's a shame that people have to be so critical. If they're not interested in donating, that's their prerogative, but they shouldn't try to dissuade others. I think some movies have also used Kickstarter for financing. Good luck with the rest of your novel, Cynthia! Happy New Year!

Julie

Cherie Reich said...

I feel so bad for that author too. There's nothing wrong with asking for donations to finish a project. People are getting something--a finished product--for their donation. Artists used to have patrons all the time. I really hope she can take a deep breath and finish the sequel, even if it takes more time than she'd like.

Claire Noland said...

We should be trying to encourage each other!

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