Crowdfunding at its finest

By Katharine Swan On Thursday, May 29, 2014 At 1:30 AM

Many of you are probably already aware of the amazing Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign, which was fully funded on its very first day.  This will enable LeVar Burton to revive the show online (which is where the kids are at now -- during my childhood, they were all watching TV) and make it available for free to disadvantaged classrooms nationwide.

I'm pretty excited.  I loved Reading Rainbow when I was a kid, even though by the time I discovered it my reading level was already beyond what the show was geared for.  Even so, there was plenty to love about watching a show on books.  It was pretty much unheard of when I was a kid.  There were other educational shows, such as Sesame Street, but those were babyish in comparison.  Reading Rainbow actually encouraged us to read and to check out the books it featured, and I remember being fascinated by that.

I also think this is a great example of how crowdfunding can work really well.  I think among many writers, these campaigns have been met with a lot of skepticism, mostly because a lot of people who use them do so improperly, with very little marketing or demonstration of why they deserve funding.  This obviously was a professional campaign, but I think writers who are interested in learning how to use crowdfunding to their advantage could learn a lot from it.

What are your thoughts on crowdfunding for writers?  Has anyone used it successfully -- or, for that matter, unsuccessfully?  Or does anyone have anecdotes that either support or refute the notion of writers using this to fund their (deserving) projects?

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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