Kickstarter

Kickstarter Fights Lawsuit After Pulling Plug on Book Project

12 June 2013

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Ever wonder what sort of legal trouble would be in store for Kickstarter if the upstart platform decided to terminate service for a user in the midst of a big fund-raising campaign? Wonder no longer because the subject is front-and-center in a pending court dispute.

The plaintiffs in the case are Kristen “M.K.” Ducote and her husband and professional race car driver, Chapman Ducote. M.K. is the author of a book entitled Naked Paddock about life, love and drama in the world of professional motorsports. At the end of 2012, the Ducotes decided to use Kickstarter’s platform to raise funds they say were needed to publish the book.

. . . .

But in January, after Kickstarter approved the initial project, and five days after it launched on the site, Kickstarter allegedly hit the breaks.

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“The unexpected and unexplained actions by Kickstarter in suspending the Project on the website at the same time the Kardashian appearances were occurring on television was an unexpected and huge shock,” said the lawsuit first filed in Florida state court in April. “It is almost as if Kickstarter decided to pull the plug at the exact moment they knew MK, Ducote and [their publisher] War Chest needed them the most.”

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The lawsuit is premised on the theory that Kickstarter holds itself out as a successful innovator in the field of crowd funding with advertisements that state that $500 million has been pledged to more than 3 million people for over 35,000 projects.

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But Kickstarter also gives reasons why it believes the lawsuit fails.

First, the popular crowd-funding platform points to its Terms of Use, which states that “Kickstarter reserves the right to reject, cancel, interrupt, remove, or suspend a campaign at any time and for any reason.”

The Ducotes accepted the Terms of Use, says Kickstarter, which allegedly “explicitly negate(s)Plaintiffs’ breach of contract claim.”

Link to the rest at The Hollywood Reporter on Yahoo and thanks to Elizabeth for the tip.

How Kickstarter is replacing the traditional publisher

31 March 2013

From author Michael J. Sullivan on A Dribble of Ink:

I’m a huge supporter of the hybrid model. Traditional publishing opened doors for me that I couldn’t get when I was self-published. Now that my books are in libraries and bookstore, my audience broadened. I received more foreign deals, and the advances on those were probably larger than they would have been without Orbit. There was even book club and audio versions produced, which paved the way so to Theft of Swords being named a finalist for an Audie (the audio book equivalent of the Grammy). These are all good things, but there are also aspects that I miss from my self-publishing days.

. . . .

Cash flow is one of the biggest. Money in traditional publishing comes in chunks separated by vast amounts of time. An advance is sometimes split over three or four payments. For instance, I receive a third when the contract is signed, another third when the manuscript is accepted, and the last third when the book is released. Multiple books deals are common in speculative fiction so that “big advance” is often stretched over several years. Also, eighty percent of titles never earn out, so the advance is the only money the author will ever receive. Even for those that do, royalty checks only come twice a year. With self-publishing, income comes every month like clockwork. It makes managing your life much easier.

Control is another obvious perk. I don’t dislike the covers that Orbit has produced, and as I said they sell well, but I do have my own “vision” for the package of my books and it’s incredibly satisfying to be able to produce Hollow World exactly the way I want…right down to the fonts used and the teaser copy on the back cover.

. . . .

I do know the incredible income potential of self-publishing. At my height I was earning more than $45,000 a month and I know hundreds of self-published authors who are earning more than comfortable incomes. In fact, I know more self-published authors who have quit their day jobs and earn a living wage than I do traditionally published ones.

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Hybrid authors, and particularly those that utilize Kickstarter as I and Brad have done, solved all of these problems. The Kickstarter provides the author with production capital, and if it goes well, will also receive an advance. Readers can buy with confidence because the author has previously received that all important “stamp of approval” from the publishers, and also validation from prior readers (the highest contributors to the Kickstarter) because they are willing to put down money to get more of what that author produces. Authors, who know firsthand the importance of editors and the value that they provide, will hire professionals from the money the Kickstarter raises.

Link to the rest at A Dribble of Ink

A Tolkien Cookbook

13 December 2012

Sam's Pork Pies

From Kickstarter:

Have you ever dreamed of what Bilbo’s pork pies actually taste like?  Does Sam’s coney stew sound wonderful?  Do you share Gollum’s affection for sushi-grade fish?  If Balrogs had wings, what would they taste like?

If you, like me, have ever spent long afternoons wondering about these important questions, this is the project for you.  With the help of my friend, Corey Olsen (also known as the Tolkien Professor, and author of the recently-released book “Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”“), I aim to write a 30-recipe book, which I will release in both print and free online versions, with recipes, pictures, cooking tips and tricks, and witty commentary from both Corey and myself on where these recipes originate from in Tolkien’s works.  The online version will be available for anyone, anywhere – not just my backers but free for anyone to use!

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These recipes will cover different parts of Tolkien’s world – light and delicate Elvish recipes like lembas bread, stout roasted Dwarven fare, hearty Hobbit pies and stews, as well as a few oddball recipes like Balrog Wings.

Link to the rest at Kickstarter

Kickstarter’s creative community takes hold in Britain

10 December 2012

From Space Travel:

Tea enthusiast Emilie Holmes this week hit the streets of London in her antique van serving flavourful loose-leaf tea to drinkers she says have had to settle for low-quality brew — courtesy of around 300 complete strangers.

The 27-year-old Londoner has turned her battered grey 1974 Citroen H van, whose engine growls like a small aircraft mid-take-off, into a mobile tea bar that features black, green, oolong and white teas.

Holmes, who left her job in advertising to launch the business, needed about £10,000 ($16,000, 12,000 euros) to refurbish the delivery truck with flooring, shelving, worktops, sinks and other basic supplies.

But instead of taking a loan from the bank or pitching to an investor, she posted her tea project on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Just 25 days later, Holmes had raised £14,682 from 372 backers, most of whom she didn’t know — and she does not have to pay any of it back.

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Despite being considered the largest crowdfunding site worldwide, initially only creators with a US bank account could take part.

But British innovators can now try their luck and in the first week they launched 171 projects, raising more than £588,000 from more than 15,000 pledges.

“It oozes creativity. It’s about exciting, passionate people doing things, rather than other sites where it sort of feels like it’s about the money,” Holmes said as she sipped from a cup of Starbucks tea that was not to her liking.

. . . .

Holmes will give 95 backers who pledged between £15 and £25 a bag of tea, an illustrated postcard, a loyalty card and their names listed on her website as founding supporters.

Link to the rest at Space Travel

And from the Kickstarter Blog:

On October 31, 2012, Kickstarter opened to projects from UK-based creators for the first time. How has it gone? Let’s have a look at what transpired in the first month.

Statistics for projects from UK-based creators (October 31, 2012 — November 30, 2012)

Total Pledged: £2,069,164
Total Backers: 45,799
Launched Projects: 407
Successfully Funded Projects: 30

In Kickstarter’s first month in the UK, an amazing £2 million was pledged to UK creators. That works out to £48 in pledges each minute.

Link to the rest at Kickstarter Blog

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