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Kickstarter Users Pledge $1.24 Million Every Day

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by David Rogers

Kickstarter Logo

How much is pledged to Kickstarter every day? $1.24 million is how much.

Wow.

Kickstarter just released its financials for the first quarter of 2014, and the numbers show that a total of more than $112 million has been pledged to the various campaigns live on the site from January to March. During that time, 4,497 projects have been successfully funded. As far as backers go, 887,848 people donated to projects during that time period, and 679,413 of those were new backers.

These figures come about a month after the company revealed that a total of $1 billion has been pledged to projects throughout the history of the site.

And in the midst of all the projects and the millions of dollars is the publishing category, where authors of all manner and ilk raise money to turn their dreams into books.

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Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer & More: A TED Talk on the Importance of Crowdfunding to the Arts

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by David Rogers

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms continue to gain popularity and become more and more familiar to internet users around the world. Of course, this is inherently great for the sites since they rely on those very users to fund the myriad of projects being created every day.

Because of the growing popularity, it’s great when creators – particularly those with successful crowdfunding experiences – speak in-depth about the platforms. And that’s exactly what happens in this video, a collaboration between Skype and the consistently great TED.

Author Neil Gaiman, musician Amanda Palmer and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler sat down with TED Ideas Editor Helen Walters to discuss creative crowdfunding at an intricate level. Other panelists including Ivan Askwith (“Veronica Mars”) and Tim Schafer (Double Fine Productions) joined the conversation via Skype.

As Walters put it, the conversation is primarily about “what is working and what’s not working” in crowdfunding – but the panelists dive deep into the questions rather than keep tops at the generic level. Musician Frank Bell is the only panelist that hasn’t previously had big success on Kickstarter, and uses the opportunity to ask many of the questions many creatives new to crowdfunding have. It’s nice to see answers coming from those that have already done it.

Definitely worth a watch if you’re thinking of using Kickstarter or any of the other crowdfunding sites to fund your self-published book. You also can check out our own article on how the different platforms work for writers.


 

Are Books the New Vinyl (Or, Should Ebooks be Bundled with Printed Books)?

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by David Rogers

trout-mask-replica-vinyl-sound-and-the-fury-book

Perhaps surprisingly to many non-audiophiles, there has been something of a vinyl album resurgence in the past decade or so. And during much of that period vinyl lovers had to make a choice:

1. Buy the beloved vinyl LP and tether yourself to record player and home.
2. Buy the digital file and be free to move about the world with your new tunes.
3. Shell out a somewhat absurd amount of money for both.

Being something of a vinyl enthusiast myself, I was extremely excited to see a new trend begin emerging circa 2008: purchasing a vinyl record also entitled you to a digital download of the same album at no extra charge.

I got the best of both worlds when it came to the listening experiences, and it didn’t cost the band (or record label) any extra to include a digital copy.

Now the question arises as to whether books could (and/or should) follow a similar path.

Book & Ebook Bundles Coming Soon?

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Which Crowdfunding Site is Best for Authors?

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by David Rogers

best-crowdfunding-site-for-writers

It’s easy to see why crowdfunding has become so popular among self-published authors. Using donations to cover some or all book costs can be a way to turn a book project from a dream into a reality.

But still there are questions:

1. What is the best crowdfunding platform for writers?
2. How much money should authors ask for from their donors?
3. What kind of rewards should be offered?

Of course there are no one-size-fits-all answers to these questions. For this article we want to focus on the differences between several crowdfunding sites, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. First up is Kickstarter:

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A (Brief) History of Printing [Infographic]

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UPrinting.com posted with this awesome infographic last year that explores the history of printing from the eighth century through the early 1940s. This is super cool and informative, though it could probably use another section or two for the recent rise of digital printing.

To check out the entire graphic, you can either click here or just click the photo preview above.

 


 

World’s First 3D Printed Book Now Available

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by David Rogers

3D Printing of On Such a Full Sea

Image Source: Penguin.com

There’s no doubt that 3D printing is a hot buzzword right now, and in some cases the new technology is living up to the hype. From cars to hearts (the former now available, the latter coming soon!), the technology seems to be the wave of the future.

However, as traditional printers we wonder if the added dimension can still be labeled ‘printing’? Some in the print industry have weighed in with a resounding ‘NO!’ (“3D Printing needs a new name”), but the name seems to be sticking around, at least for now.

Regardless, despite the common word, book printing and 3D printing have safely kept their distance from each other… until now. Today, Riverhead Books released the first 3D printed book, produced in conjunction with 3D Printing company Makerbot.

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Why Are Books Good for You? Because They Literally Alter the Mind

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by David Rogers

why-reading-is-good-for-you

It’s unlikely that anyone would argue that reading is bad for you, but we now know a little more about exactly why reading is good for you. Emory University – right down the street from us in Atlanta – has released a new study finding that reading novels heightens brain activity. What’s more, that increased connectivity can linger for days after you have finished reading.

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New Year’s Resolutions from Mark Twain, Charles Bukowski, Bob Dylan and Other Writers

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by David Rogers

mark-twain-new-years-resolutions

The folks over at the Telegraph have put together a list of quotes about New Year’s resolutions from 30 authors. Other than the fact that they refer to “U.S. President Benjamin Franklin,” the list is pretty stellar. The best quote comes from Mark Twain, and really, I’ve never seen a list of quotes that included one from Twain where his wasn’t the best. Here’s what he has to say about resolutions:

“New Year’s Day: now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual . . . New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions.”
– Mark Twain

[*Update: The Telegraph has corrected the Franklin error.]

There’s actually part of the above Twain quote that was left out in the Telegraph article, which I think should probably also be included:

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Is the Book Really Better than the Movie? Yes, it is. [Infographic]

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You’ve probably heard it many times: some variation of, “Yeah, the movie’s okay, but you have to read the book — it’s so much better.”

But is it really? Well, according to this infographic from LoveReading.co.uk, the answer is “Yes” in most cases. The chart gives an aggregate account of the critical reception of popular movies and the books they are based on from the past 22 years. Let the arguments begin! Click here or the image below for the full graphic!

Books vs. Films Infographic


 

The Next Big Thing in Book Design: The Deluxe Edition Book

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by David Rogers

We’ve come to that time of year again where it seems everyone online is scrambling to put out as many “best-of” lists as possible. When it comes to book lists, I’ve added to my reading list for the New Year by perusing the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2013 (which includes fiction and non-fiction), and it also was pretty interesting to see the top selling books on Amazon for 2013 (not-so-spoiler alert: Dan Brown holds the top spot).

There have been many other lists, too. But one I found particularly interesting was Buzzfeed’s list of 19 great cover designs. Though I don’t usually turn to the social site looking for a book recommendation, the list lead me to think about the future of book design.

Looking into the Future of Book Design: Deluxe Editions

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