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Sponsoring or Crowdfunding... is there a difference?

Updated on December 15, 2014

funding your writing

I happened across an article concerning something I was not even aware existed for writers. The word "crowdfunding" appeared on my screen and I decided to take a moment to read about it. I assumed that it would talk about raising money for charity or medical aide. Wow was I surprised. the article talked about authors that used this avenue to fund their own writing. The writer sets up an account; free by the way, and then sets it on their website or media source. people read the story telling why the author is asking for money and then decide to give or not to give. I was amazed that such a site existed for writers.

I did read more of this fascinating article and found that not all people find this an appropriate way for authors to fund their writing. There were writes upon writes saying that those asking needed to "find a real job." Other authors chimed in saying that no-one should give up their "day job" to write unless they had the money to support themselves while writing. Not all of the responses were what i would call nasty but there was certainly numbers leaning towards the not so friendly responses. It probably didn't help that the site in question leads off with a picture of a family in need. The couple was trying to raise money to pay for medical bills for the mother who was very ill. This was actually what I had thought the site was all about to start with. I am sure that many had the same thoughts as I did.

I learned that "crowdfunding" is exactly that. You set out to ask anyone and everyone to help fund your cause. The money you receive from people is for your personal use and can be used to help you in whatever way you see fit. the comments concerning authors using this tactic would not have so much caught my interest if not for an article I had just read titled "sponsors for writers." In that article, it talked of authors asking people to help get them started on the road to publishing. Money would be given so that an author could pay for such things as editing or a cover; maybe even to fund their promotional costs, none of which are freebies in any sense of the word. Some offered a payback of sorts should the author make money from their work. Some simply offered their thank you's for any help they received. I saw no one writing nasty articles or comments saying "don't quit your day job." There were no writes about trying to get something for free. Sponsoring seemed to be an acceptable way for an author to fund their personal writing.

I know personally of some writers that have asked for help in taking their writing to the next level. costs are high to having a book edited as are the expenses that come with promoting your writing. The travel costs such as gas and eats and sometimes a place to stay while on the road can empty a bank account faster than one may think. I see nothing wrong with writers that seek sponsorship for their writing. Neither, it appears do the people that were so nasty concerning "crowdfunding." I found this to be extremely, if I may use a word that probably doesn't exist; oxy-moronic. How can you be alright with "sponsorship" but not "crowdfunding?" Are they not the same thing? Am I missing something here or is this, as in so many other instances; simply using the right word. If I call a stone a rock am i wrong? Is there truly a difference? Gravel is still rock; just ground up, right? If there is a difference then someone open my eyes to it.

I will not say that i am not guilty in the word exchange of the sponsorship and crowdfunding confusion. I too saw one as a bit shaky as far as the use of funding for something other than medical issues. As I sit and think on it though, aren't both financial aides? Don't both work to help a person that needs some extra money pay for their needs? I have been converted, sort of, to a believer. I think they both have the same definition that are only unalike in the way we spell the word. Will I reach out for funding to further my writing and promotions? I am thinking it isn't the worst out-reach I have ever made. I have given many long hours and sleepless nights to my writing and do not feel I would be asking for something that gave nothing in return. After-all, your nightstand is not just a lamp stand is it? I bet there has been a book or two laid on it too. You tell me.


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