Kickstarter: A Good Tool For Writers?

kickstarter logo

kickstarter logo (Photo credit: AslanMedia)

I was approached by a family member who thought I might be interested in Kickstarter.  If you’ve never heard of this project, they basically give authors, film makers,  entrepreneurs and anyone else who has an idea or dream, an opportunity to promote their project and ask for money to fund it. It’s an excellent idea and provides lots of support for anyone who would like to generate a following  which encompasses not only financial support but just support in regards to like minded individuals who may share the same idea.

Over at Litreactor, lots of reasons why Kickstarter can be good for writers. They’ve listed prime examples of how it could be a benefit and also a few that show why it may not work for everyone. If you have had an experience with Kickstarter or are considering it, I would love to hear all about it.

Is Kickstarter A Viable Tool For Writers?

It used to be that if you wanted to record an album or write a book, you had to beg your parents for money or get a job flipping burgers, just to keep the lights on and the booze flowing while you toiled at your art.

That paradigm has shifted, thanks to crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, where you can post a work-in-progress, request funding by enticing people with exclusives and rewards, and ultimately fund your dream without the indignity of filing out an application at the local Starbucks.

It’s like a public endowment for the arts. It democratizes the process; the people choose what they want to hear or see or read. Sounds cool, right?

But the site and the process aren’t without criticisms. Some people regard it as little more than digital panhandling, and Kickstarter has been accused of not policing its own back yard; allowing projects that never come to fruition, and not protecting customers when money disappears.

Quick aside: Last night, on my commute home, I sat on the subway next a couple in their mid-30s. The guy was telling the girl about Kickstarter, and said they should figure out some way to get people to give them $10,000. Read more here.

2011 Writer’s Conferences

Thefront writers

Image via Wikipedia

A writers conference is a good idea. Writers can get together and work on their manuscripts and bond with one another. Conferences can be inexpensive all the way up to high priced getaways. You can polish up on your genre when you’re there. If you haven’t heard of the Shaw Guide you are in for a treat. This site lists every writer’s conference around the world.

Unfortunately, I have never had the luxury to attend a conference but I hope to do so one day. Check out the Shaw Guide at for a list of conferences and workshop for the 2011 calendar year.

Happy Writing!

Janet Halfman – Writing Tips

Welcome Janet Halfman. She is sharing writing tips and has great books like Fur and Feathers and Good Night Little Sea Otter.

Author Janet Halfman

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing most of my life, but I have been writing books for children for about thirteen years.



Have you always written for children?

No, but my dream of writing for children was born long ago—when I was in my early-20’s and home with our first child soon after graduating from Michigan State University with degrees in English and Spanish. I took a correspondence course in children’s writing, and I was hooked! I had some success freelancing for children’s magazines, like Ranger Rick, but I wanted to make a living writing, so I went back to college and got another degree in journalism. That led to three years as a daily newspaper reporter in Wichita, Kansas. From there, our family moved to Wisconsin so I could help start a magazine for children who live in the country, called Country Kids. Following that, I went to Golden Books, where for twelve years I created coloring and activity books for all kinds of characters—the Lion King, Mickey Mouse, Poky Little Puppy, Bugs Bunny, Spiderman, etc. When a new owner moved all of Golden Books’ operations to New York City, I decided to strike out on my own and write children’s books, my original dream.

What drives and motivates you?

I enjoy writing and playing with words. I also am very curious and like to find out more about things that pique my interest, such as nature and history.

What advice do you have for new writers?

Read, read, read, the kind of books you want to write.

Write, write, write, every day if possible.

Revise, revise, revise, until every word sings.

When you feel every word in your manuscript sings, research markets to see who publishes your kind of project and send it off. Then forget about it and start something new.

Also, write about what you enjoy. Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and get involved in their state or regional group. You can learn so much by going to writing conferences, workshops, or chatting with other writers in person or in online writing groups.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Since I’m already a grandma and living my dream rather late in life, I hope in five years I have the energy and good health to keep doing what I love.

Here are some other links that may be helpful:

Janet’s website:

Laurie’s website:

Sylvan Dell Publishing’s Fur and Feathers page: http://www.sylvandellpublishing.combookpage.php?id=FurFeathers

Star Bright Books Good Night, Little Sea Otter page: http://www.starbrightbooks.orgdetails.php?id=300

Thanks for sharing with us Janet. If you would like to learn more about Janet feel free to visit her at Get Kids To Read and Kristi’s Book Nook.