Keffy

everything i do is so fucking amazing that sparks are going to shoot out of your eyes

Kickstarterrrrred out

I’m kinda KickStartered out right now.

Before anyone gets all upset that it’s somehow their Kickstarter, specifically, that I’m being pissy about, it’s not. It’s the cumulative effect of my feed being all Kickstarter all the time, every day. I used to feel relieved on the days when various fundraising efforts finally finished because I was looking forward to the constant “fund! FUND! fund! FUND!!!HEY @WHOEVER RETWEET US FUNDFUNDFundfundfund” to end. I don’t really get that relief though, because there’s always a new one starting up for something else.

And they’re successful, so whatever, people like them.

And some of them are interesting projects that nobody (including the presses behind them, I guess) has the funds to just do without the kickstart.

And I’ve funded several of them, based on how much I’ve got sitting around, and whether or not I really want the anthology/whatever.

And I’ve submitted to… one? Maybe two, after the fact, because I happened to have a story that I thought fit. (I was wrong! But such is life. šŸ™‚ )

BUT.

Right now, KS is feeding the same exhaustion that I feel when magazines have desperate fund drives, or the publishers of anthology series vent that they get more submissions than sales. This exhausts me because the result seems to be: find ways to convince authors to fund your press/whatever.

Lately I hear people lauding Kickstarter as the salvation of short fiction, or whatever. I guess? But it feels like a better way to convince writers to pay for magazines/anthologies/projects in hopes that they’ll be able to submit to them than anything else.

I guess I just feel like the atmosphere around short fiction is basically, “Nobody cares but you, so fund it!”

No, this isn’t some grand pronouncement of RAEG!!1 No, I don’t expect anyone to stop. I’m just overly sensitive to sales pressure of this type so it’s getting to me.

My kingdom for a week without Kickstarter.

6 Comments

  1. I agree… this is very sad for me actually, since I’ve been struggling to set up my fanzine fundraiser too and it’s been delayed months now because of my health problems. Now I’m not even sure if I should launch, period. Even though for me even a little money goes a long way, since I don’t live in a first-world country and I am normally paid in useless peanuts (also known as HUF). But my feed is also similarly overtaken by give-us-money pleas and I know just how annoying it is.

    It also makes me doubly sad since I can’t really afford to contribute to these, so it’s somewhat of a guilt trip. “Donatedonatedonate!” and me going like “…I WISH”.

    BTW reading a book now that has your name listed as a Kickstarter contributor :]

    • Keffy

      March 5, 2013 at 11:05

      Cool! (About the book).

      Well… they aren’t going to stop unless we sufficiently hit the point where they aren’t funded at all, but I seriously doubt that will happen. And I don’t really want that to happen anyway, I’m just burned out atm.

      I was also burned out 3 months ago and 4 months ago and 6 months ago and 12 months ago, so probably I’ll continue funding things I get excited about.

      • I’ve been expecting people to go over to IndieGoGo and other sites where it’s possible to get the funding even if the project doesn’t end up fully funded. (Also, because Kickstarter is US only.) But still people opt for Kickstarter and increasingly end up missing their targets. Though I’m surprised the new Fireside Kickstarter funded, with such a huge gap just a day or two before the deadline.

        I think it’s been getting worse the past two months, with more projects that I find cool not reaching their targets, by a lot. (Not only spec fic publishing fundraisers; I’m a gamer, so I see lots of game-related ones too.) Sometimes it’s due to overbudgeting and having an unrealistic pitch – more common in gaming than in SF -, but not always… I think burnout is an increasing concern.

  2. Amen. I don’t have the funds to support all these projects. Didn’t people used to get funding other ways? No matter how worthy the cause, I can’t support every one that comes along.

    • Frankly, I think many of these projects simply never came into being before, as there was no funding whatsoever. In the past few months there have been several SF anthology fundraisers explicitly focusing on diversity, stuff that simply didn’t appear before, as major US/UK genre publishers are traditionally very unwilling to publish any of this type of content. Now that there is a way for people to directly raise money from their readers in a convenient, more or less transparent way, niche projects like these really benefit. (Sadly this is “niche” these days…)

      IMO of course. But I’ve seen many similar venues struggle with raising ANY funds before Kickstarter and other fundraising sites, often ceasing publication altogether after a short period. Now, to my astonishment, many can pay pro rates. It’s no longer a question of “should we even try doing this thing, it looks hopeless” but rather “how much should we pay to writers”.

  3. I have supported a bunch of projects and will continue to do so. I’m just weary of the volume on twitter. It’s like non-stop cocaine-fueled public radio pledge week.

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