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msknight

Michelle's corner

Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)

Currently reading

Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics
Dalai Lama XIV, Ian Coghlan
Progress: 23/433 pages

When crowd funding goes wrong

I might have mentioned that I backed, "Lonester: Heart Of The Hero," on Indiegogo. This method of funding our future reading is seen by many, (me included) as a way of breaking the morass that commercial publishing has become.

 

Firstly, I'd like to put all the controversy to one side. Mike's behaviour concerning his religious beliefs got him blacklisted (hence his handle) from the comic industry, when he attributed a religion to a character at a public event. He's been a target for de-platforming at various comic venues because of various things he's said and then there's the whole #comicsgate thing. Yes, there's a chunk of stuff following this guy, but all that goes to one side.

 

So... Mike goes live with this campaign and I sign up for a basic perk. (August) Later, I sign up for a higher tier (September) ... but I don't appear to have been refunded the lower tier.

 

Then, delays happen. This isn't surprising and can be expected. Creators, often work alone, or with the support of fans who are often at a distance and can not do much to help practically (due to location, etc.) so there's a lot on their shoulders and stuff can happen unexpectedly. So the original publish target of September, shifted to December for reasons totally expected.

 

Now, however, we have this...

"Hey Lonestar Squadron!

I have some A-MAZING news that I can't entirely share with you... but suffice it to say that a MAJOR MEDIA PERSONALITY has agreed to do a REVIEW of LONESTAR on his podcast that could reach hundreds of thousands... maybe MILLIONS of viewers/listeners!  This should happen in January, and because of this opportunity... I have to apologize.
Why? Because I'm putting the printing on hold. You all know, the book is DONE. The files are literally AT the printer. But if even a small percentage... a TINY percentage of the people who see/hear this podcast order LONESTAR, I might have to DOUBLE my print run! So bear with me for just a bit longer, and yes, this may push LONESTAR 2 out a few weeks as well, (I have been diligently working on that issue!) but it will all be for the greater good!

So thank you, I'm sorry, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  2019 is going to be OFF THE HOOK!!!

God bless,

Mike"

So he has unilaterally suspended printing for an unspecified period... not because he can make more sales... that's going to happen anyway... but because it will make his printing cheaper if he does things in one go.

 

There's no right or wrong to this, but it's putting money before his obligations to his backers; and that's going to have an impact on his reputation.

 

And it's not the first time he's taken this approach. He discounted his tiers throughout the process. Roughly 30% on average, to drive sales. That's one in the eye for those who originally backed his tiers at the higher prices.

 

The outstanding question is that, if another of these unmissable opportunities comes his way during the extended period that he's granted himself... will he then delay printing even further?

 

He has offered some extras to those who backed early, and he also offered a christmas card as an extra to all physical purchase backers as well... but obviously, christmas has been and gone, and there is still no sign of a shipping date.

 

The net result of all this, is that this has left a very sour taste in my mouth. I still don't have the refund for the lower tier, and no readjusted shipping date. And more importantly, Mr Miller is notably silent on these issues, in spite of his proclaiming throughout the whole thing, that the customer is the most important part of the whole process.

 

Let's be honest; sometimes creators are great at the creation, but not so hot at the business, customer and paperwork elements; which are critical to any business' survival. However, that's no excuse. Customers and issues have to be dealt with. Ignoring them only leads to hacked off people. The very people that pay the bills.

 

More importantly, I now have no faith in Mike Miller and the process of funding independent creators. I'm now done with this way of doing things.