PHOENIX INVESTMENT – A READER’S LETTER

Dear David,

I’m just thinking aloud, really, so feel free to do with this whatever you feel it merits. I realize I have limited understanding of the challenges you face in starting up a publishing company, but I imagine that funding could be something that heads up the list! I just wanted to relay an idea that came to me this week. Across the pond a new buzz word is forming in the business world – “Crowd Funding”. This has really been around for a while, but utilized mainly by charitable agencies for 3rd world entrepreneurs. Now, it seems small western entrepreneurs are catching onto the trend! Here’s how it works.

A project is tendered through an agency website, inviting the average man to invest small increments – for altruistic purposes – in any one or more of a variety of entrepreneurial projects. When the project is fully subscribed, operations proceed. Investors typically expect to recoup their original investment (although there are no guarantees), but have no further interest in the projects beyond this. Okay, so yours would be a large project! But I was wondering if this type of loan funding could be helpful to Phoenix Ark. Imagine, if 1 million people gave you ₤10.00, to see a work published – say, Scream of the White Bears – for free!! I also imagine that if you put out the word, your many fans would eagerly step up to the plate! Here is my pledge for the first increment. You need only contact me to collect. I can make payment via Paypal (preferred), or whatever other method you favour. It would, or course, be prudent to research the legalities of such a venture in Phoenix’s jurisdiction. I suppose if we received a book back, instead of our original investment, this could also be deemed a type of “advance sales”!

Best regards, and Happy Christmas, Christine, Montreal

Dear Christine,

how kind of you to write with thoughtful ideas. I have thought of this, put donation buttons on some articles, and indeed owe a good friend for a donation to support me and Scream. A Company has started in the UK called ‘Books Unbound’ I have talked to, which tries to do just that, though on a larger scale.

It has always been an irony here though that I don’t particularly like the internet and for all its positives it has many downsides for human culture, thought and interaction. So it is no way to go for an author to spend his time seeking money like that, when really he should be protected in trying to work and create. It sounds a bit grand but though nowadays all authors are expected to sell and sell and sell themselves it’s the books alone, if they are any good, that should really matter.

But you are right about the problems of investment. In terms of giving things for free I have wanted to do that because it’s the spirit you should set out with in writing, and you have already earnt a free copy when Scream emerges. The truth is I am the most terrible businessman and do not want to be a publisher but only a writer or creator of stories but have been forced into this position. Things are too difficult right now to juggle the balls well but I will certainly keep your crowd funding idea in mind.

Have a lovely Christmas too,

David

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Filed under Free Story, Publishing, The Arts

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