Serendipitous -(adj) found by accident; a fortuitous or beneficial discovery
Serendipity is not a word I use often (except when talking about the John Cusack/Kate Beckinsale film), but it perfectly describes what happened about ten days ago. While researching various aspects of the publishing process for my novel The Last Word, I accidently typed "publish" wrong in a Google search. The top results: Pubslush.
I would normally just retype the word, but the second entry caught my eye. It was a Forbes article titled "Pubslush: Crowdfunding Just for Books." Considering that I was near the end of an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign that had gotten lost in the crowd (pun intended) of film, music, and video game projects (books aren't as sexy to some people), this looked very interesting.
As it turned out, interesting didn't even scratch the surface. Pubslush is indeed a crowdfunding platform dedicated solely to books and authors. No Zach Braff or Veronica Mars movie projects, no indie bands that really aren't indie anymore, no latest knockoff of World of Warcraft. Just books.
The site is clearly designed with books in mind. In addition to the standard video and contributor level/rewards sections, the landing page of a project includes things like a short blurb of the book, a longer synopsis, a 5-10 page sample of the book, and an author Q&A section.
They also grasp that in most cases you don't need to raise the same amount of funds to bring out a book as you do to produce a feature film. Books can now be produced very cost-effectively (something I learned a great deal about through contacts I've made in the past month or so), and Pubslush encourages realistic funding goals.
Even better, unlike other sites they allow both a minimum goal and a higher target goal. For example, you can set a minimum goal of $500 with a higher target of $2500, and as long as you reach the $500 level, the project will be funded. The fee they charge is a flat percentage regardless of whether you reach the minimum or higher goal and is among the lowest out there; no other site offers this flexibility.
If you need assistance with any part of your project, Pubslush has an Author Relations Coordinator that you can contact. And this is not some automated chat feature; I have emailed them several times and always received a response the same day, usually within an hour or two. Try that with any other crowdfunding site.
Finally, and maybe most impressive of all, is their commitment to literacy. Through their Pubslush Foundation they aid in the fight against illiteracy by providing books to children with limited access to literature. All campaigners have the option to donate a portion of their proceeds to The Pubslush Foundation.
After looking over the Pubslush site itself and the volume of positive reviews it has received on other sites (like Forbes), there is no doubt this is the route any author looking for a crowdfunding platform for their book should take. And because I try to follow my own advice as much as possible, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Look for the Pubslush project for The Last Word on April 1...or maybe even March 31. Like I said, their Author Relations Coordinator is very responsive. I will post the link here as soon as it's available.
The Last Word is coming...stay tuned.