Crowd-funding is all the rage in 2012, so it was inevitable that authors would start getting in on the action. Pubslush, which initially launched in late 2011 as a closed beta, is now open for business, allowing authors to try to raise money by promoting their work before it’s been written.
Here, for example, is the page for Ali Berlinski’s A Beautiful Mess, which features an overview of the project, an excerpt, and spaces for supporters to leave comments. The campaign for A Beautiful Mess has so far reached $1,523 (at the time of writing) of its $10,000 goal, with 25 days still to go. Those who contribute to the campaign are given various rewards, depending on the amount of their contribution.
I’m not quite sure what I think about sites like Pubslush. I can see how crowd-funding works when the project requires a specific outlay (e.g. a film project, or a project to release a physical item), but I’m less clear about how the whole thing works when the project is a book. After all, most books only really require time in order to be written. Time is valuable, granted, but will people contribute to help the authors see whether it’s worth investing that time before embarking upon the whole project? It’ll be interesting to check back in a few months and see how Pubslush authors are getting along.