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Crowdfunding the Future

Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society


Edited By Lucy Bennett, Bertha Chin and Bethan Jones

The concept of crowdfunding, where grassroots creative projects are funded by the masses through websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, has been steadily gaining attention over the last few years. Crowdfunding the Future undertakes a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to the examination of the new, and growing, phenomenon of crowdfunding and its encompassment of digital society and media industries. The book offers a wide range of perspectives and empirical research, providing analyses of crowdfunded projects, the interaction between producers and audiences, and the role that websites such as Kickstarter play in discussions around fan agency and exploitation, as well as the ethics of crowdfunding. With a series of chapters covering a global range of disciplines and topics, this volume offers a comprehensive overview on crowdfunding, examining and unraveling the international debates around this increasingly popular practice. The book is suitable for courses covering media studies, fandom, digital media, sociology, film production, anthropology, audience, and cultural studies.
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13. Kickstarting Big Bang Press, Publishing Original Novels by Fanfic Authors


13. Kickstarting Big Bang Press, Publishing Original Novels by Fanfic Authors


In November and December 2013, I co-ran a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $50,000 to publish three novels by fanfiction authors.

The plan was to use the money from Kickstarter pre-orders to fund the publishing and publicity costs of those three books, meaning that a core audience from the fanfic community would propel our first three authors into (hopefully) mainstream success. Promisingly, our most popular reward level was to receive early copies of all three novels in e-book format, with the second most popular being a similar reward for illustrated paperbacks. Most of the rest of our backers ordered one individual book or e-book, or chose to buy all three books plus extra rewards like postcards, art prints, and personalised gifts. Basically, people wanted what we were selling.

Like many start-ups, Big Bang Press began with one person having a cool idea and then digging through their contacts list until they’d cobbled together something approaching a company. In our case it was my friend Morgan Leigh Davies, and her idea was to set up a small press dedicated to publishing novels by writers from the fanfic community.

Most people who read or write fanfiction have at some point thought, “This fanfic is better than most published novels.” Despite the lingering mainstream prejudice against fanfic writers (they’re not talented enough to write their own stories;...

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