We all know about Kickstarter. Do we truly know the impact it is having on society though? Let's put it this way, independent writers like me actually have a feasible dream of publishing on our own because of Kickstarter and websites like it. How?
Well, instead of saturating the market and hoping someone will pick up my work and enjoy it, I can target specific groups of people that have a greater chance of enjoying my work. Not to mention, then it's on a more personal level. I can engage my community, find out their thoughts on things and adjust accordingly.
I can create a much more in depth experience for my readers by finding out their interests, what they like about my work and what they don't like. Creating that kind of community is an after effect to traditional publishing, where you're just trying to get your name out there.
This is possible because I can post my project on Kickstarter, and they'll be able to get it in front of the right people. There is still a lot of work involved, but it is a much more rewarding and even consistent bet to know that I've reached my target market. That combined with local advertising makes it a lot easier for me to get the name out there.
What this means for society as a whole is we will soon be talking about shows and movies fewer people have seen, games that fewer people have played, and books and authors that fewer people have heard of. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not.
I think it's great to want to be able to entertain everyone, and be a "Household Name". But that comes after you've established a community of people that are truly interested in your work. It's time to accept the fact that traditional publishing will have to adapt to the community of growing artists, and use the same routes they are.
Luckily for them, it saves them money and effort. Thank you Kickstarter, and all the people who seek independent creatives. You give small guys like me something tangible to shoot for, so it doesn't feel like I'm shooting in the dark.