I have to swear something off today, because I realize it’s not good for me. In fact, it’s bad. It’s real bad.
I’m swearing off funding campaigns, specifically through Kickstarter. At least for now.
Why? you don’t ask. Why do that? Are you crazy? It’s free money!
Actually what was once a good thing has become the breeding ground for predators and spammers. It’s a time sucking money-wasting black hole of empty promises. And I fell for it most recently, all because I wanted to make some cute kitty charms and please the world.
In the past few weeks I’ve seen some crazy funded campaigns. For example on Gofundme, I saw a little dog earn enough to pay off my car because he did what any dog will do: defending against another dog’s attack. Enough. To. Pay. Off. My. Damn. Car.
My husband rants daily about this one guy who wanted to make potato salad. If you pledged to support him, he sent you a photo of him making potato salad. He made enough to pay off my car, get it converted to run on hybrid fuel, and put aside money for solar paneling on my house.
Since I started my Kickstarter I’ve spent $250 I didn’t really have. This means I made enough to … well. I have bounced checks right now. I made enough to bounce some checks.
I’ve also gotten various emails from people promising me funding if I just spend $300 dollars with them. Today I got an email from someone who owns a domain, and would I be interested in buying it? They found me on Kickstarter. And I am realizing that when it comes to Kickstarter, folks are missing the point. And yes, I know. You have to spend money to make money. But in my case, I spent money and now I’m losing more money.
The issue with me running any campaign is I don’t have what other people have.
1. I don’t have money, which ironically is the point to me running a campaign. The truth is for $200 I could have just made the charms and not lost $250 and precious time on this campaign. But, I reasoned when I started it, I really wanted to make charms and have people to send them to. Also, I hoped I would make $20,000+ like other charm makers I’ve seen on Kickstarter.
2. I don’t have the right “star talent”, apparently. Oh come on, you and I both know it. I’m forward and sarcastic. And my art is unique… and what this means is it probably won’t even be appreciated after I’m dead. No cookie cutters for me, nuh uh. Which means I ain’t winning any popularity contests anytime soon.
3. Speaking of popularity, I’m also lacking in that department. Sure I tweeted and Facebooked. I even paid folks $5 to tweet for me. The result? I got ignored. I was even ignored by family – and let me tell you it sure smarts to see how that aunt donated to that other cause over there while my husband and I are wondering how we’re going to pay the waterbill when it comes. But you know what smarted even more? When folks I tweeted and facebooked for on numerous occasions for their cause ignored mine. That really stunk. Compound that with the fact I have maybe 20 people on my close list and only 400 on my twitter reach, and yeah. Barely anyone knows about my campaign, and that’s how it’s going to stay.
4. It doesn’t help that if your campaign isn’t successful, Kickstarter buries it. That’s right. My campaign wasn’t easily found, which had that going against it, while the successful campaigns that clearly didn’t need the promotion were, well, promoted. Hardly seems fair, does it.
This will be my 7th failed campaign. A long time ago when I was trying to get one of my comics funded, a reader emailed me privately and wondered why it is that if a man is trying to publish a comic he makes thousands in support. But consistently he notices that women get ignored. I had no answer for him because I wasn’t sure I trusted the observation. Well, I did a test today. I changed my gofundme campaign from “please help me write stories” to “I’m a soldier and I’m broke please help” with my husband’s photo. Within a few hours, guess what got retweeted more than the entire time it’s been out under me? Yeah. And wow.
Well. My husband is coming home in a few weeks, and when that happens we’ll be out his income. And my work has slowed crazy down to the point the bill collectors call me all day long. So I’ve decided to do another little experiment. I’ve started taking websites down. It might not be permanent… I’m just seeing if there’s really anybody out there who gives a damn. Or is it really the way the reviews I read on Amazon make it out to be: everyone wants me to put out for free. And I gotta wonder, if this is the case.. .is it because I’m a woman?
Ignoring that my work sucks, that is…
But it is kind of weird that the only time we managed to make it was for a book I said my husband wrote. The truth of that matter? I wrote the book. My husband wrote a short essay and called it a day. I took that essay and turned it into a book complete with scores of research, editorial comments, and illustrations. It was 90% me, baby.
Which leads me to another experiment I’m planning with my pen name, Keenum Spear. But for that to happen I would have to have funding so I could get to the point where I could offer the product finished. It’s a vicious cycle, one I desperately want out of. I’m tired of this rat race for literally nothing. It only makes me fat, ugly and discouraged. It’s not right I tell you. It’s wrong. It’s all wrong.
Well, we’ll see what happens from here.But dayum. Enough to pay off my car. If I could just do that the yoke would be lighter.