Crowdfunding 101 for Authors – How to Fund Your Next Book Project Using Kickstarter and Other Sites

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Brentwood Community Center

You’ve probably heard of Kickstarter and other similar sites, such as Indiegogo and Pubslush. People with ideas for creative projects (like a music album, film, book, or small business) use these sites to launch campaigns to raise money from a multitude of individual supporters.

Jean Ellen Whatley used Kickstarter to raise $5,490 to fund her book, Off the Leash: Road Stories With My Dog. At the SLPA’s September 10 meeting, Jean will share the story of how she ran her campaign, including:

  • Conventional versus the road less traveled: How Jean went about it backwards.
  • Backer Incentives: How to structure the rewards that supporters get at various levels.
  • How to set your campaign apart using video and third-party testimonials.
  • The launch: Creating awareness, communicating with your peeps throughout the campaign, and the proverbial back-up plan.
  • The criteria an author can use to determine if their project is even ripe for crowdsourcing to begin with.

There will also be plenty of time for Q&A so you can ask Jean your specific questions about fan-funding for authors.


Jean Ellen Whatley is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and author who’s been published on,, and, at the low ebb of her writing career, as the Bedding Columnist for Furniture Retailer Magazine. She has been a guest columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Winston-Salem Journal and the Albuquerque Tribune, and has been featured as guest host on “The Evening Special” on KMOX (CBS) radio in St. Louis.

Jean’s broadcast career spans nearly twenty years and several diverse regions of the country. She has been a news reporter and anchor in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Winston-Salem/Greensboro, North Carolina; and St. Louis, MO. Her reporting has been featured on CNN and ABC. Bridging the gap between reporting news and wrangling reporters, Jean has also served as Press Secretary to a New Mexico Attorney General, a Governor of Missouri, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

She was recently featured on Huffington Posts’ "Third Metric" section in a story called This Woman Completely Reinvented Herself, And She Has Her Dog To Thank. Visit Jean’s website at



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