Saturday, 19 March 2016
In the doldrums without a paddle
Welcome to the doldrums, that patch of calm water in which our crowdfunding ship finds itself.
In case you didn't know, 'doldrums' does have a nautical origin: ''The doldrums refers to those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm. The doldrums are also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks.' (Wikipedia)
You see? Every day is an education.
These days we use it colloquially to describe a period of frustration and stagnation when nothing happens. And like the very real doldrums that plagued mariners, crowdfunding can suffer from it too.
My book has now been on Unbound for 116 days - or around four months - and it's 41% funded. But that doesn't mean that I'm hitting 10% of pledges every month. Here's a graph showing how the pledges have gone so far:
As you can see, there is a fairly constant level of pledging with occasional peaks, most notably just before Christmas (when I assume that everyone was filled with good cheer and/or good beer) and mid-Jan (When Unbound featured the book in its weekly e-mail newsletter). But there are slightly less happy peaks too; the grey line shows visits to the book's page and, as you can see, there have been some quite high spikes which, sadly, didn't lead to the decision to pledge. If everyone who had a gander in early December had parted with a few pennies I'd be way further on than I am!
And then there's March. Oh dear. As you can see, pledges began to get sporadic and, for the past few weeks have been all but absent despite my constant hammering on about the book on social media. Why has this happened? I have no idea. Such are the vagaries of human behaviour. I don't think it's necessarily any kind of 'Ides of March' quality of this time of year. Plenty of other Unbound books that were launched after mine have gone swooshing past and have hit their 100% targets.
No, it has to be about my book or the way that I'm trying to get people to believe in it and to commit a few quid.
So here's the question ... how do I get out of the doldrums? Our sailor chums wouldn't just have sat there becalmed until the food and water ran out; they'd have grabbed an oar each and rowed themselves out of the area.
So what 'oars' can I use? How can I persuade people that they need to read this book?
All suggestions welcome. After all, the quicker it's funded, the quicker everyone gets their book!
Heave away, me proud buckos, wi' a curse.
*I jest of course. They're all lovely, lovely, lovely people.**
**Not said through gritted teeth at all.