Saturday, 27 January 2018

Crowdfunding Adventures...Lynn Huggins-Cooper

This morning I finally committed to a new and rather alarming (to me) adventure in publishing - crowdfunding. I have been traditionally published for 21 years this year, so this is quite a departure for me - and I'm a little afraid.  Not of the whole wild ride that I am embarking on; instead, my fear comes from a strange place. I have poked about at my feelings and have come to realise that what I am afraid of is looking arrogant. Weird, eh? I am afraid that people will think I am full of myself for trying to publish a book by crowd funding.  I send manuscripts off to publishers without feeling awkward, but this feels different somehow.

I remember once, early in my writing career, attending a talk by an agent. She talked about the way that writers need to be able to identify the theme of their book succinctly when they are pitching to agents. Obvious, but a revelation to me at the time. The thing is, I have realised that when I write fiction, a central theme is always loss. I don't set out to write about it, but it slides out and sidles into the story anyhow. Twenty years ago today, my third child Isobel died, and two days later she was stillborn. Obviously, this had a huge effect on my life, but I think her death also permanently changed the fabric of my writing 'DNA'. Loss changes lives forever.

Over the years, I have worked with many families experiencing baby loss. A few years ago, I enrolled on a diploma in bereavement counselling. I found that many of the people I was speaking to carried such a weight of loss that it crushed the joy from their lives. They had become saturated by repeated loss and needed to develop techniques to help them to cope.

The book project I am now seeking to crowd fund is a non fiction book about bereavement and loss. It tells, in their own words, the stories of people who have experienced bereavement, and the ways they learned to cope. It also contains a variety of exercises to help to make sense of the new shape that life becomes after a major loss. The project will also include a series of therapeutic art sessions and an exhibition. I'll be blogging about the project, and I hope you will follow our journey.

Painting by Jackie Morris. 


Susan Price said...

Lynn, think of it as sending your book to several agents or publishers at once. I don't see anything arrogant about it. People would pay to read your book, if they were interested, if it was conventionally published. You're only asking them to reverse the process.

Penny Dolan said...

Lynn, an inspirational post about getting to know the deep self that's held in your writing. Sorry about your times of sadness.

Crowd-funding? From my own observations, if you (ie. he writer) are someone who often goes out and works with groups and others, and they are people who will be interested in and also buy such a title, crowd-funding can make sense. (Alternatively, if you are a writer who sits alone in a room, never talking to anyone, maybe C/F is not such a positive choice - but I know that's not you, Lynn.)

Imo, you are a person/writer with an audience through your projects and classes. You can see and feel there is a need for your book and know where to place it. Finally, you are a also good writer who knows (or will make sure to know) enough about your non-fiction book to deal with all aspects of the publishing process thoughtfully. Seems to me that crowd-funding can be practical form of dreaming. It also keeps your vision for the book in your own hands.

Good luck - I'll enjoy reading your posts!

Dan Metcalf said...

Where is the link to your campaign?

Dan Metcalf said...
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