After revamping its business model, Pubslush, a crowdfunding venture designed for the book market, is relaunching itself as an alternative to sites like Kickstarter that attract a wide range of fundraising projects. Pubslush allows anyone to upload a summary of their book project, solicit funding from the public and take advantage of a range of services offered by Pubslush to help bring the work into print.
Pubslush originally offered a model in which potential book projects had to solicit a set level of financial support determined by Pubslush, and if they were successful, the book would be published by Pubslush. Now, like Kickstarter, the site allows its users to set their own levels of financial support from the public (in exchange for a variety of premiums and rewards), but unlike Kickstarter, project organizers can keep whatever funds they raise whether the projects reach their goals or not.
In the new model, while Pubslush will acquire some properties offered through the site—acquired in the conventional advance/royalty model—the site is now a platform focused on self-publishing projects or a platform for proving a book’s value to conventional publishers. Eventually Pubslush also plans to offer its users a marketplace of professional professionals—freelancers and firms that can offer a variety of services from copyeditors to book jacket design—to provide the support services needed for self-publishing.
Authors upload a summary of their work to Pubslush along with 10 pages from the book to start the process. Campaigns last 30 to 60 days and can appeal internationally although all funds are processed in US dollars. Pubslush charges its users a 4% fee to manage the process. Authors that use Pubslush retain all their rights. Pubslush also offers its users a variety of analytical data on their supporters and tools for promotion. Pubslush also says it will donate books to children for every title it acquires and participating authors may also donate to the Pubslush Foundation’s programs in support of international literacy.
Pubslush founder Jesse Potash said the company’s revamped model and focus strictly on books will set it apart from Kickstarter, which attracts projects on everything from movies to funding videogames, allowing authors to appeal to an audience looking specifically at books and build an audience in advance of publication.
“The evolution of the concept was natural, a response to the dynamic needs of our community,” Potash said. “The concept has always remained consistent: to offer a voice to readers and aspiring authors.”