As we near the release of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements in early April 2015 and we are working on booking a tour with the anthology across this country, we wanted to put out a statement about the crowdfunding campaign we did in the summer of 2013.
It was so moving to see and feel the groundswell of excitement that Octavia's Brood experienced during our Indiegogo campaign - we were so amazed and overwhelmed in the best possible way from the support we received, which was more than double our original ask.
We were so excited about the idea of self-publishing the book, and having it supported by our incredible community through this crowdfunding campaign. And we must be absolutely clear - Octavia’s Brood wouldn’t be coming out right now without the support of every single person who donated (even if it was just one dollar) and all of those folks who signal-boosted and supported in a multitude of ways. You have our thanks and love.
But we have learned a lot of very important and difficult lessons during this entire five year process of creating this anthology. We learned that even with putting all of our energy towards that effort, we found self-publishing was an overwhelming task on top of both of us editors working nonstop. Luckily at the moment we were looking at each other in total confusion, we were approached by the Institute for Anarchist Studies/AK Press who wanted to publish us, and it was a match made in heaven.
We also learned a lot about the hidden costs of crowdfunding, including taxes, and the fees that each institution involved took out before it reached us. Our original budget was such that we could not only put out the book but also fund a ten city tour. But the process hasn't gone that way. Since our campaign we have been reading and hearing about more experiences like ours, where almost half of the money is taken in taxes because we had not realized this would happen. We also did not properly budget for how much the fulfilment of perks would be.
The less than half of what we raised that remained went to a northwest tour, providing compensation for the amazing book cover designer, providing compensation for our advisor who was also an editor and copy-editor. With the money left, we decided to prioritize providing each of the writers with a small token compensation, which in no way reflects the years of work, editing and vision they have each poured into these stories.
So as we are working on booking this current tour, we actually do not have resources to fund the tour from our campaign. Instead we are working to do a combination of finding shows that provide the means to get to each city, combined with workshops and other events that are more community-based. We also have realized that our tour will need to be more spread out, realistically. We are starting in spring but will continue into the fall.
We are again so so grateful to each person who supported us when we most needed it. We absolutely love the idea of crowd-funding and creating spaces where we can all directly support projects that are visionary and independent. We do think it is important for artists, organizers and creators using it to learn from others’ experiences, and share that information in supportive and realistic ways.
Walidah and adrienne