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Inkshares wants to create a hybrid of traditional book publisher and crowdfunded digital platform

Gigaom

As with so many other media and publishing-related businesses, the book industry has been massively disrupted by the internet, to the point where an increasing number of authors have found success by avoiding the traditional publishing system altogether. But is the old-fashioned publisher model totally without value? The founders of Inkshares don’t think so — which is why they are trying to create a kind of hybrid platform that combines the benefits of crowdfunding with some of the services that traditional publishers have offered in the past.

Independent success stories like young-adult author Amanda Hocking — who wrote and sold her stories on Amazon’s Kindle platform and wound up becoming a multimillionaire in the process — are definitely inspiring, says Inkshares co-founder Adam Gomolin, but to some extent they are “unicorns,” in the sense that not every author is going to be able to duplicate their success.

Gomolin’s co-founder Larry…

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Crowdfunding Metrics: The 30% Rule

Posted on October 18, 2013 by 

Grow Your Secondary Network for Crowdfunding Success

The 30% Rule Crowdfunding

It’s been said that if you achieve 30% of your crowdfunding goal, then you are well-situated to reach 100% by the end of your campaign. This rule is a bit confusing since 30% is less than half-way. Yet, despite this fact, it has become a recognized marker for success. Ultimately, there’s one reason for this: 30% of your crowdfunding goal should represent your own personal network’s value—that is, the funds raised in advance to get the ball rolling.

Once crossing the 30% milestone, statistics suggest that crowdfunders have nearly a 90% rate of success. A recent study by Seedrs analysed the different levels of pre-committed funds and its effect on the success of a campaign.

 

  • Projects starting with 0% showed a 15% chance of success
  • Projects beginning with 1%  experienced a 27% likelihood of success
  • Projects with 5% of their funds pre-committed had 50-50 odds
  • Projects with 10% pre-committed discovered that their odds increased to 70%
  • Projects having 20% experienced a 80% chance of success
  • Projects starting with 35% or more completed their goals in every instance

Although these results reflect equity-based crowdfunding in the UK, Kickstarter and Indiegogo have recognized the 30% rule back in North America as well. It seems that after reaching this magic number, project creators feel inspired to persist. The trick to filling the gap between 30% and 100%, however, rests in the hands of the secondary network.

30% Rule Crowdfunding

The secondary network refers to the colloquial “friend of a friend.” While you may not know these individuals intimately, the introduction, referral, or recommendation through a friend is crucial to your overall success. But you cannot rely on your primary network to do all of the work for you. You need to map it out – literally. Look at your own confirmed supporters and try to tie some influential individuals to each. You may not get them all, but securing only a few is all you need to put things in motion.

With 30% under the belt, your project is validated—it instantly becomes credible. No one wants to be the first to pledge money to an unknown, uncertain project. By exhausting your personal network at the beginning, you ensure that those in the secondary network are already familiar with your cause, thus feeling less hesitant to throw a few bucks your way. The 30% rule is an interesting and merited strategy, so it’s worth considering. Before launching, try and pre-commit at least 30% (if not more), either through guaranteed pledges or your own personal money.

 

Source : Crowdclan

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The Importance of Social Media Crowdfunding Can Not be Stressed Enough !

Posted on November 22, 2013 by 

Social Media Crowdfunding

It cannot be stressed enough: social media is one of the most important aspects of crowdfunding. Under no circumstance should a project ever neglect to reach-out to supporters and expand its network. Managing several different accounts across the web takes time, but it’s a necessary step towards success. Instead of joining every platform, however, look for those that suit your campaign. In other words, SoundCloud works well for musicians, whereas Instagram, in most cases, does not.

For crowdfunders, there are a few staple websites to join if you have not done so already. These include Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. For entrepreneurs, Google and LinkedIn are also advised. Focusing on the first three, let’s take a look at some statistics that illustrate social networking’s potential:

  • 189-million Facebook users are on “mobile only”
  • Youtube has a greater viewership of those between the ages of 18-34 than any cable network in the US
  • The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64; this same age group comprises 46% of Facebook users and 56% of Google+
  • Every second, two people sign-up on LinkedIn

Knowledge is key, so continuously browse the web for data for it will ensure that your social media campaign remains relevant, intelligent and targeted. Two great sites to research trends are Mashable and Hypebot, but some industries may need to rely on more specific feeds.

For Twitter and Facebook, be creative and use the tools available to you. The average user may not think to create a community page or a twitition, but these are both powerful and sharable tools that businesses and non-profits use regularly. Remember that it’s not necessarily about the quantity of people in your network but the quality as well. For instance, finding “amplifiers” — influential social media enthusiasts — will help spread your word faster.

Try and always keep the mobile market in mind and practice concise messaging. Consider the statistic about Facebook users — not everyone wants to read a novel on their handheld. In fact, infographics have become one of the most compelling forms of social media today. So save the paragraphs for your blast e-newsletters at the end of each week (more about this later!).

There are a handful of tools one can use to increase their social media presence, but there’s a few tricks unknown to the average user. If social media can assist crowdfunding, can it not work the other way around? Yes it can. For example, consider offering loyal followers and fans incentives through a social media contest. This is only one of many ways to uniquely engage an audience and generate a buzz in the online world.

Social Media Crowdfunding

 

Source : Crowdclan 

 

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Crowdfunding Backers are not Deterred by Celebrity-Usage

Over the course of the last couple years as crowdfunding websites have gained significantly in popularity, several celebrities have used them to raise funds for their own projects. For example, Zach Braff used crowdfunding to raise $3.1 million to produce his film “Wish I Was Here.” Director Rob Thomas raised $5.7 million to make “Veronica Mars” the movie. Singer, Amanda Palmer raised over $1 million to create her new album.

Some have criticized these celebrities for using crowdfunding instead of paying for their own projects. Although there are no rules against it, many feel crowdfunding is an opportunity for those unable to get the investment they need on their own to make their dreams come true.

Despite this criticism, each of the projects received more funding than they asked for. They were huge successes, which strongly suggest users are not opposing celebrities using the platform as well. Many backers stated they were excited to be apart of something big or they were happy to contribute to a creative project.

The overall support for crowdfunding has increased dramatically over the last year. According to assistant professor of management, Ethan Mollick, from the University of Pennsylvania, in 2012 the amount of money spent by backers on crowdfunding projects rose 81%. This brought the total spent to $2.7 billion.

Despite these numbers, the success rate is still less than 50%. This means that money was spent on less than half the campaigns launched. Mollick went on to explain that succeeding in a campaign is actually the easy part for most. Managing and fulfilling rewards is actually the difficult part. Mollick explains that 75% of campaigns end up being late delivering rewards to their backers.

Despite these drawbacks, the popularity of crowdfunding continues to grow. Users are eager to back projects; especially film and music projects, which have the highest success rate.

 

Source : http://www.josic.com/crowdfunding-backers-433are-not-deterred-by-celebrity-usage

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Now, crowdfunding for college fests ?

Renu Singh,  TNN Feb 2, 2014, 01.49PM IST

Students at BIT Mesra, Ranchi have turned to crowdfunding to generate money for their fest. Is it a model other educational institutes can emulate?

We have heard of filmmakers, start-up companies, even political parties reaching out to the public to raise funds for their projects. But for an educational institute to source crowdfunding for their management fest – that’s a first. And that’s exactly what BIT Mesra has done – invited crowdfunding apart from sponsorships for Bitotsav, their techno-cul-management fest this year.

“The idea was jointly endorsed by all members of the core committee,” shares Nitin Gupta, member of the Bitotsav core committee, before going on to explain where the idea germinated from. “We knew crowdfunding has benefited start-ups and filmmakers, so that’s where the inspiration came from. Since Bitotsav is something that everybody on campus looks forward to all through the year, and in an endeavour to take the level of the fest a notch higher, we thought of inviting funds from the public, apart from getting sponsors for the event. We have a target of collecting one lakh rupees, and till now, have received 71,000 (out of which the major contribution is by our alumni). For the contribution given to the fest, we have kept certain rewards, from couple passes to Farhan Akhtar’s show to souvenirs and mementos. To ensure the funds are not misused, the accounts of Bitotsav are closely monitored and audited by institute authority,” he says.

Bitotsav aside, could this be the beginning of a new trend?

PUBLIC SE PAISA NIKALNA MUSHKIL HAI

While the idea is unique in its application to college fests, not everyone is convinced that it can be successfully executed. Anuraag Dhingra, part of the organising committee of Manfest, at IIM Lucknow, says, “I think crowdfunding can help build the brand of the institute, but not so much to get funds, unless there is a social cause associated with the event. Nevertheless, it will entirely depend on how the public is being approached. Perhaps in the future, we could use this way to generate some money.”

Akhil Agarwal,a B Tech final year student at IIT Delhi says, “Crowdfunding for college fests is a very interesting idea and there is nothing wrong in it. Par public se paisa nikalana thoda mushkil hota hai people will spend 100 on pani puri, but will resist in donating even ten rupees, such is the mindset of people. I don’t find it a viable option for college fests – the effort required to woo the public to give funds, only half of that is required to convince sponsors and alumni.”

THE ADMINISTRATION WON’T ALLOW US

Approaching the alumni is a popular concept adopted by institutes to raise funds for their annual fests. Prateek Kishore, student of final year B Tech from IIT Kharagpur says, “We have been approaching our alumni for donations to fund the annual cultural fest of IIT Kharagpur, and we always get an encouraging response from them, they are happy to send in their contributions.” He adds, “Crowdfunding by any educational institute is a novel concept and I am hearing of it for the first time. Though it seems exciting, I doubt the IIT-Khg administration will ever allow us to do it.”

In some institutes students themselves pitch in funds for their fest. Like at Saarang, the annual cultural fest at IIT Madras. “In IIT Bombay too, students are made to contribute for the fest. Back in IIT Madras, we collect some funds from students by ticketing the star night,” says Aditya Bharadwaj, part of the organizing committee of Saarang, adding, “Crowdfunding will be the last option for us because Saarang is a student-oriented fest. And if ever one wishes to go for it, an upper limit of the amount to be collected from the public should be declared in advance.”

Udit Singh, media coordinator for Alcheringa, the annual cultural fest at IIT Guwahati, says that while they would never get the goahead from the institute to source funds from the public, he also emphasises the need for transparency if someone does opt for crowdfunding a fest. “The big question in my mind is the transparency – will the institute be able to maintain that in the usage of the funds?” he asks.

Source : Times of India