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Fundraising for Northland novel hits halfway

Fundraising for Northland novel hits halfway

A Northland writer has hit 50 per cent of the money he needs to raise as he crowdfunds towards the printing of a young adult novel – but says donations are desperately needed or else the campaign will be unsuccessful.

Michael Botur of Northland began crowdfunding to print the young adult novel ‘Moneyland’ on the platform Boosted on August 15.

Boosted is a platform run by the NZ Arts Foundation to help artists raise money for their projects. It operates on an all-or-nothing model, meaning if Michael’s target amount of $3000 isn’t raised by September 30, all donations will be returned.

Michael says while many literary crowdfunding campaigns are to support a writer’s research or composition time, this campaign is very different – the manuscript has already been written and acclaimed NZ author Tina Shaw has helped polish it to a publishable standard. Now Michael is raising money to pay for cover design and local printing of copies of the book so that it can be put in the hands of the young readers Michael is collecting on his mailing list.

“The book hasn’t yet been accepted by a publisher, but I know from getting people to read it that there is a passionate audience out there,” Michael said. “In the 21st century, a writer doesn’t need to be so dependent on publishing houses. I’ve been offered so-called hybrid publishing deals, in which I’m expected pay a Kiwi publisher for the privilege of using their imprint – but that’s a terrible deal and it doesn’t benefit Northland young adult readers who want to read the book. So I see this crowdfunding this as going around the publisher and getting the book directly in the hands of readers.”

“I feel like keeping the whole project local and refusing to line the pockets of vanity publishers in Auckland and Wellington is a good thing – and after I’ve demonstrated that the book does have a demonstrable audience, then perhaps I can find a supportive publisher to take on the book.”

Michael said his Boosted mentor, Auckland crowdfunder/rapper/novelist Dominic Hoey, urged him to “do everything under the sun” to promote the book, including a direct mailing list, social media messaging, public readings at The Old Butter Factory and Whangarei Library September 13 and 17, plus news interviews on Channel North and Te Hiku Media. Michael said most donations so far have come from friends in the arts community as well as whānau.

Michael said donations are badly needed to complete the final $1500 sought for this local literary project. To donate and help support a homegrown young adult novel for the rangatahi of Northland, please head to: http://www.boosted.org.nz/projects/moneyland


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