In the spirit of all things “indie”–and experimentation–I’ve taken the leap and launched my first crowdfunding campaign for my debut novel, Juventud, to be released this September. You can read more about the book tour over at Indiegogo and why I’m asking for support here: Vanessa’s National Book Tour. In short, I’ve been invited to present at a number of big festivals including the Fall for the Book and Miami Book Fair International (with more wonderful invites coming in every day), but only a couple of them are offering to cover travel and accommodation. The Catch-22, of course, is that in order to accept and tour the book (which has been 7 years in the making and deserving of all that I can do to promote it), I’ve got to take a leave from my job at Bookmark It and will only have a slim paycheck this fall from the online class I’m teaching at UCF.

Crowdfunding seemingly has taken off in the fields of visual arts, filmmaking, and music, but from what I can observe, not so much in the literary world. I’m not sure why this is — that literature projects aren’t so performance-based may be a challenge, or that writers are wary of appealing to their circles for funding, when those circles will undoubtedly consist of other, similarly broke, friends and colleagues aiming to do the same thing. But just as no one likes to grovel, not taking advantage of crowdfunding tools in the Internet Age strikes me as foolish. I’m curious to see how this endeavor pans out almost as much as how the novel is received; I’m equally curious for the endeavor of my good friend, John King, who is currently running a simliar campaign for his podcast, The Drunken Odyssey (see The Drunken Odyssey Podcast Fundraiser).

I’m offering a colorful menu of perks for those who donate, including bookmark schwag, signed books, and more (your name in a short story! your name in a novel!). Even if you’re not inclined or in a position to donate, you can participate in the campaign — and be a part of the novel’s journey in reaching its audience — by simply sharing on social media. Because you never know who is out there who might want to pitch in.

Thanks so much for your support!

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