It’s an age-old problem. An artist, writer, explorer or inventor has an idea for a project he feels confident will pay off in the long run, but no money to live while he completes it. Where does the artist turn for funds? And on the other side, how do patrons find new talents worthy of their support?
Vineyard Haven writer John Sundman thinks he may have found the answer: crowd-sourcing on the Internet. Mr. Sundman, the author of three critically-acclaimed science fiction novels, has turned to a Web site, kickstarter.com, to harness the good will and financial resources of readers around the world.
Kickstarter.com was founded by five young people in Brooklyn, N.Y., who grew frustrated seeing their artist friends struggling to find backers despite finding encouragement from fans all over the Web. Why not turn that moral support into financial support? So they created a Web site which uses the well-established Amazon.com as a financial clearinghouse, to put backers in touch with artists. According to the kickstarter.com site, it is a “funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers . . . Kickstarter is a new way to fund ideas and endeavors . . .”
Writers, inventors and artists are asked to create and promote their own projects on Kickstarter. Participation is by invitation only.
Mr. Sundman, whose earlier novels have ranged over topics from nanomachines and Gulf War Syndrome to chaos theory and artificial intelligence, is using Kickstarter.com to raise funds for a novel in progress called Creation Science. Using Kickstarter and his personal blog, wetmachine.com, Mr. Sundman is reaching out to established fans and newcomers alike to help get his book written.
With three weeks remaining in his fund-raising campaign, Mr. Sundman has raised $3,200 toward his goal of $5,000. To follow his project, go to kickstarter.com.