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Considering Crowdfunding? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding

July 23, 2014 1 comment

The Ultimate Guide to CrowdfundingIf you haven’t heard of crowdfunding by now, it’s not too late. Even if you have heard of it, you might not really understand it. The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding is your one-stop source for a lot of information on crowdfunding, successful crowdfunding projects, and the best sources/sites for crowdfunding. The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding is an infographic that has hyperlinks to more information about each topic, each source, and each story behind it.

At the top of the infographic, there are links for finding out exactly what crowdfunding is and an analysis of whether it’s right for your business.

On the infographic, you also have a profile of 14 of the top crowdfunding sites with an associated review and a success story.

One thing to note about crowdfunding is that you have to be motivated to raise your funds. It’s not a “set it and forget it” type of thing. And I want to warn you, the results in the success stories are not typical. They are big success stories. For all the projects that get funding, thousands more do not.

Kickstarter, for example, might be the biggest name out there, but in my opinion, it’s the worst of the lot because of its ‘all or nothing’ funding scheme. Again, in my opinion, Indiegogo is a much better site for funding those types of projects. I’ve seen too many good projects go unfunded on Kickstarter that would have benefitted from Indiegogo’s partial funding successes.

In other words, if you setup a $50,000 campaign on Kickstarter and you receive $49,999, you get $0. With Indiegogo, you get $49,999 or however much your contributors pledged toward your campaign. There’s also the problem of non-payment on some of these platforms. Some, like Kickstarter, take the pledges and hold them in escrow until the end of the campaign.

I have yet to use a crowdfunding site for any of my projects, although I’m pondering doing so within the next few months. I have contributed to a number of successful and unsuccessful campaigns on Kickstarter and on Indiegogo.

To setup a crowdfunded project, you have to offer your contributors ‘perks.’ Perks are tokens of your appreciation and incentives for people to contribute to your project. I usually don’t take the perks because I want the artists to receive all the funds I send them without strings and I don’t want them hassled with having to worry about perks when they should focus their energies on the projects that I’m funding.

Crowdfunding can be a great way to get your ideas off the ground, but remember that your contributors will hold you accountable for their earned perks and the project itself, so you’d better be prepared to deliver.

Generally, there’s no payback associated with crowdfunding, although I haven’t checked out all 14 of the sites listed on the infographic. The payback is the project. People like to contribute to something that’s bigger than themselves. Some people, like myself, like to contribute to artists and filmmakers to see just what’s possible through donations. It gives me the power to help people realize their dreams that otherwise they might not have the opportunity to do so.

If I ever win the lottery, I will set aside a portion of the money for artistic projects and endowments. I think that there’s no greater achievement in this world than to create. Whether it’s a mural in the ‘hood’ or a feature-length film, I want to see it happen.

But, this isn’t about me. It’s about the projects and their creators. Crowdfunding is an excellent way to put something into action. If you have the money, go to some of the listed sites, pick some projects, select your perks (if you want them), and fund some hope. If you, on the other hand, are someone who has a project in mind that crowdfunding is a fit for, sign up on one of the sites that’s appropriate for your project and get busy.

Remember that the perks you offer can be very small, such as mention on a website as a contributor. But, as the amount of contribution rises, so do the perk values. Some people offer all expenses paid trips to large contributors, special privileges to the project, part ownership, or some other creative perk. While this is not a review of one particular site/system over another, crowdfunding is a thing and it’s a good thing.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sign up, log on, create your campaign, develop your perks, and get busy on that project. And one of the ancillary requirements of your campaigns is that you let me know about them. No, I’m not kidding. I’ll even help fund some of them.

I’d like to thank Choice Loans for sharing this infographic.

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Screenwriters Unite and Discover WriterDuet

November 25, 2013 Comments off

WriterDuetWriterDuet
WriterDuet.com
Collaborative Screenwriting Site
Free

[This post is a product spotlight and not a review]

FADE IN:

Guy Goldstein has created one of the best screenwriting tools that I’ve ever seen and used. I’ve used several: Celtx, Final Draft, Microsoft Word with Screenwriting Template, and Sophocles, to name a few. One of the cool things about WriterDuet is that you can collaborate in real-time with someone else on a script. You can immediately see updates, chat, share ideas, and more. This means that your writing team no longer has to all be in the same room or on the phone trying to fumble around with some white board or screen sharing program.

WriterDuet has an easy to use, intuitive interface that gets you going fast. You really need almost no experience with screenplay formatting to use it–it helps but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

And Guy listens to his users. I wrote him that I’d love to have the ability to create an outline and have a place for notes. He created it within a few days and emailed me back for feedback. The new tools were perfect and exactly what I was looking for.

It’s a true collaborative tool that I’d recommend to anyone who writes scripts alone or in a group. To me, WriterDuet is like the WordPress of screenwriting: easy, unencumbered, and free. Well, it’s like WordPress with one notable exception: Guy responds to his emails. So, there’s that.

To see WriterDuet in action, check out the video below and meet Guy Goldstein face-to-face (virtually speaking).

WriterDuetAs you can see from the image (right), the interface is clean and ready to help you on your way to screenwriting success. There’s a built-in spell checker, all the screenwriting features you need such as parentheticals, actions, dialogues, character, and more. If you don’t want to type, you can click the microphone icon and speak your script to get a feel for how your dialogue sounds as it’s written to the screen.

You can download your scripts to PDF format or into a variety of other popular commercial screenwriting tool formats. There’s also an option for uploading your scripts so that you can collaborate on them.

So, what more could you want from a cool screenwriting tool? Well, how about an offline version? You know, a standard, installable software version of this great tool. That’s exactly what Guy is working on now. He’s started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund it.

If you decide that you like WriterDuet and that you’d like an offline version, please go to his Kickstarter page and help fund it. Or if you’d just like to help out a young man realize his dreams in exchange for a few dollars, I’m sure that he’d be OK with that.

Personally, I love WriterDuet. I love its professional design. I love its simplicity. I love its price. And I love the fact that Guy is trying to make this incredible tool even better by creating the offline version. I think that WriterDuet is the perfect screenwriting tool and its enhanced features (collaboration, notes, chat, voice chat, voice dictation, downloads) make it even better.

FADE OUT:

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