VIDEO: Crowdfunding for Authors Tutorial with Pubslush

RECORDED WEBINAR: Crowdfunding for authors

How to raise funds to publish your book led by Amanda Barbara of Pubslush

It used to be that writers publishing futures were completely controlled by the publishing house gods. You would develop your craft, write your book, send it off to an agent and pray for the best. That path to publishing remains an option. However, for those of you with the interest and energy to take your publishing fate into your own hands, crowdfunding offers an attractive alternative.

To learn more about crowdfunding, I invite you to watch the recorded webinar above. Amanda Barbara of Pubslush generously shared her crowdfunding tips with me and the community.

You'll learn:

  • What is crowdfunding is and how it can help authors?
  • How to create and conduct a successful crowdfunding campaign.
  • How to use your successful campaign for book sales and promotion.

PERSONAL NOTE - You can choose from numerous crowdfunding platforms to raise the money to publish your book. Pubslush is unique in that they are created specifically to support writers and publishing projects. Not only that, the Pubslush team have proven again and again to be the most accessible, helpful crew around.

About Amanda:
Amanda L. Barbara is the vice president of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform only for books. Authors can raise funds, understand their audience, and self-publish or traditionally publish their work. A philanthropist at heart, she serves on the board of directors for the Pubslush Foundation, which supports children's literacy initiatives worldwide, and is a founder and director of The Barbara Family Foundation, an organization committed to assisting charities and children in need. Amanda is an advocate for crowdfunding in the publishing world and has spoken at various conferences, such as Writer's Digest, Tools of Change, Crowdfunding East Conference, and the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit, and has served as an ambassador and speaker at CONTEC at the Frankfurt Book Fair.



Five Pairings of Books to Custom Cocktails for #Booklush

Enjoy this second batch of cocktails paired with books chosen by Book Lush backers. If you want a personalized pairing matched to a book of your choosing, let me know ASAP! The Book Lush campaign ends tonight and your chance will slip away! Become a Book Lush backer on Kickstarter now now to get your personalized pairing.

9---fire-next-time 10_midnight_garden 11---Theatrical-Musings 


Do you want to pick a book for me to match to a cocktail? Just become a Book Lush backer and all your book and cocktail pairing dreams can come true!

Book Lush is the definitive guide of what to read with what to drink. Book Lush pairs great reads with a drink perfectly matched to the tone, style, period and meaning of the writing. Each section contains an excerpt of a book selection, a brief biography of the author, the relevance of the piece, a description of the writing style and the author's place in modern literature, plus a paired drink recipe. Drink recipes are crafted by bartenders from some of the most interesting drinking venues around the world, with the book selection serving as inspiration.

If Nancy Pearl (Book Lust) and Don Draper (Mad Men) had a baby, and by baby I mean book, that baby would be Book Lush.


Knickerbocker Classics Join with #BookLush

UnknownGreat news! Quarto Publishing Group has partnered to provide the classic books for Book Lush pairings. These books come from their Knickerbocker Classics imprint.

Here is a sampling of the books we will be pairing with custom cocktail recipes in Book Lush:

  • Little Women by Louisa Alcott
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Dracula by Bram Stocker
  • Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Sherlock Holmes (complete series) by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Brothers Grimm (complete set of fairy tales) by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

I will be curating a fine selection of these books to be matched with drink recipes crafted by mixology experts - such as the author of Apothecary Cocktails, Warren Bobrow.

With just 55 hours to go on the Kickstarter campaign, I am about to explode with excitement! Thanks for being a backer and going on this journey with me! XO, Kelsye



First Batch of Book and Cocktail Pairings for #Booklush

Here's my first batch of book and cocktail pairings from Book Lush backers. Quite a diverse group! Please feel free to share these as you wish. Of course, if you want your own book and cocktail pairing, become a Book Lush backer on Kickstarter! XO, Kelsye







Do you want to pick a book for me to match to a cocktail? Just become a Book Lush backer and all your book and cocktail pairing dreams can come true!

Book Lush is the definitive guide of what to read with what to drink. Book Lush pairs great reads with a drink perfectly matched to the tone, style, period and meaning of the writing. Each section contains an excerpt of a book selection, a brief biography of the author, the relevance of the piece, a description of the writing style and the author's place in modern literature, plus a paired drink recipe. Drink recipes are crafted by bartenders from some of the most interesting drinking venues around the world, with the book selection serving as inspiration.

If Nancy Pearl (Book Lust) and Don Draper (Mad Men) had a baby, and by baby I mean book, that baby would be Book Lush.

Lush Perk - the Sexiest Smart Shoes I've Ever Seen

Meet friend of Book Lush: Street Slips

What do you wear while reading your classic novels and sipping your custom cocktails? Street Slips! Australian designer HeavyTaste has launched a new line of incredibly gorgeous loafers that mold like a glove to your feet. The shoes are smart and sexy - just like Book Lush backers.

Street Slips reached out as a fan of Book Lush and will be introducing our book to their community. We thought we'd return the favor. Plus, these shoes are seriously killer. I personally backed their Kickstarter at a level that gets me a pair of shoes. Now the question is simply will I get a pair for myself, or for my love? Tough call!

If you like what you see in this update, please give them a look on Kickstarter. They are 95% funded! You may be the lucky backer that makes their project a reality!

Onward! XO, Kelsye

Take a Retreat to Betty McDonald's Cabin

A once in a lifetime opportunity!

Become a backer of my Book Lush campaign at the Betty McDonald level and you will receive a five-day stay at Betty's cabin. This is the cabin featured in Betty's book Onions in the Stew. Although, you may know Betty best for her book The Egg and I, or her Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series.

bettyGorgeous. There is no way I could express in this blog post the beautiful and magic of this place. You enter the cabin on the east end, through a wooden door in a stone wall that remind me of Snow White's cabin. Once in, you open door after door to discover new wings and rooms. Mornings are best spent on the wide porch perched above Puget Sound, where you can sip you coffee and watch the otters swim by.

Inspirational. If you happen to read Onions in the Stew during your stay, you'll appreciate Betty's dreaming of one-day being able to improve her house with income earned by her books, and how she would put a fireplace in every room. How empowering to be sitting before those very fireplaces she wrote about.

Flexible. You may choose to come for a solo stay to work on your writing or general meditations on life. You can bring along a lover to share those nights in front of the fireplace. You can even choose to bring a group - perhaps even your kids!

Nitty Gritty Details:

  • The cabin is located on beautiful Vashon Island, just a ferry ride away from Seattle, WA.
  • Waterfront! There is about 300 ft of beach right in front of the cabin.
  • "Cabin" is an overly-quaint descriptor for this house. The house features 4 bed rooms, 4 bathrooms, a large dining room with a table that seats 12, a lovely grand room with a giant stone fireplace, plus another side house that sleeps 4.
  • Bring your own wifi. The cabin is modern and features quality appliances, heat and electricity.
  • This must be redeemed in 2014. Scheduling will be worked out with the cabin's owner, author Abigail Carter.
  • The house has a fully equipped kitchen. All you need to bring is food.
  • Dogs are welcome!

Cost: $1500 backing pledge on my Book Lush kickstarter campaign. Become a backer here!

Become a backer now!

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Tap Your Soul & Find Success as an Indie Artist

A guest post by Jeff Leisawitz.

I’ve been an indie artist my entire adult life. Musician, photographer, filmmaker. Sounds glamorous, right? It pretty much isn’t. Although it’s great to follow your passions (and I very highly recommend it) any working artist will tell you that they spend most of their time hustling gigs and marketing themselves. Since I’ve managed to find a fair amount of success in many of my endeavors, I’ve finally figured out a few things about a few things. This is what you need to know.

Be Different. Find Your Weirdness

You’re kind of weird. Face the facts. Like pretty much everyone else, you’ve spent a good portion of your life trying to fit in, in one way or another. If you’re doing that with your art, stop now. Why would you want to be like everyone else? You’re an artist, whether that’s a musician, filmmaker, or whatever.

If you’re not tapping into your true self, your uniqueness is not going to shine through. And this is ALWAYS a component of great art, music, film, etc. So dig into your quirks, your passions, your love, your heat, your curiosity, your obsession. That’s where the magic lives.

This brings me to my next point.

Find Your Niche

The world is big. Really big. And connected. Especially since the internet took over.

So once you figure out who you are and how to express yourself, you’re at least half way to the gold. You are your own niche. Or perhaps you kinda fit into a niche that’s already there.

Taxidermy animal masks. I know a woman who dropped out of college to do this (much to the chagrin of her parent). Weird and crazy, right? She just bought a house.

I know another woman who is fanatical about baking pies and teaching the world that the love that you put into your pie is actually more important (and delicious) than the pie itself. She just ditched a sweet corporate gig to do her thing full time.

I made a movie last year called MYSTIC COFFEE. It’s about a wise and magical barista who offers advice along with her beverages. I’m a life coach, I’m big into personal empowerment, spirituality and coffee. So it was sort of an obvious project.

It got shot down by two dozen film festivals. Outch. Then I get a call out of the blue from the global leader in ‘conscious media.’ They licensed my film for a ten year, non- exclusive deal.

What did I learn? MYSTIC COFFEE is really not gonna fly with a general audience. But for people who get it, this is a fantastic little film. Is it going to win Oscars and play at the local multiplex? Not likely. But it still found an audience. It’s making money. And bringing me new opportunities.

Which brings me to my next point.

Shoot For Sustainable, Not Superstar.

It seems like everyone who makes things wants as many people to see it, hear it or eat it, as possible. It’s a noble goal, but after spending the last twenty years chasing this idea, I recently realized it’s not about being a superstar with your thing, it’s about connecting with people who care, sustaining a career doing what you love, and getting paid for it.

Of course, I wanted to be rock star. But that didn’t happen, although I busted my ass for years, I never quite made it to the big stage.

Although it was a bit of a disappointment, other amazing things came around that I couldn’t have predicted. I was named ‘Best Independent Electronic Artist in the World’ by a major website with and scored lots of gear and cash as prizes. My music catalog got tons of action in the world of film and tv. I landed a gig teaching college students how to write better songs and record on a computer. And my U2 electronic tribute album continues to sell without having to do anything to market it. That means checks every quarter because people are loving on my tunes (and Bono’s) enough to pay for them.

I would call that success. Even though I didn’t make it to the cover of Rolling Stone.

Pay People

This one might seem counterintuitive. And it took me forever to figure out. So listen up.

It saves money if you can talk your pals into helping you on a project and not paying them. True. But here’s the downside. In most cases, they simply won’t care as much. They’ll show up late. Or they’ll just plain flake out. You know what I’m talking about.

On top of that, your creative friends are artists just like you. And you want to be paid for your skill and time, right? So why wouldn’t you honor that and pay them as well?

Do your best to pay people what they’re worth. If you don’t have the cash, offer up a barter. Things will get done faster and better. And that’s worth more than some extra beer money.

Love the Process

When all was said and done, I basically learned two things in college. I’ll share one of them with you now.

My poetry instructor told me that being a poet is not about having a pile of poems on your desk. It’s not about the books you publish or the readings you do or anything else. Being a poet (or a musician or a filmmaker or an artist of any kind) is about one thing... writing poetry. Or painting. Or making films. Or whatever.

Only when you are creating, are you actually being an artist.

So love the process, not the product. Not the outcome. Okay, you should probably love the product and the outcome too. But whether or not you’re a superstar, or barely make a dime from your efforts, just remember what got you fired up to do your thing in the first place.

That’s the true reward.


Jeff_192NFA_400x600Jeff Leisawitz is an indie filmmaker, award winning musician/ producer, photographer, healer, empowerment coach, teacher and all around creative force. Ask anybody.

You can check out his latest book Not F*ing Around on Avasta Press.

Driven by dreams of inspiring the world with beauty, love and general awesomeness, Jeff banged away on his grandfather’s hand-me-down instamatic, a half busted super 8 movie camera, and whatever else he could find during the early years of his ‘formal education.’

 Since then, he has made countless videos, both artful and commercial, landed three international record deals, and chronicled Seattle’s alternative music scene for a major radio station. Jeff is also an internationally distributed filmmaker, a certified life coach, a college prof (songwriting and recording), and an award winning musician and producer. Among other things.

His attitude comes down to three letters...NFA. Not. F*ing. Around.

Connect with Jeff online!

Twitter  | Website 

All or Nothing: A First Time

Just a couple days ago, I took the leap and launched my first ever Kickstarter campaign. I'm raising money to publish Book Lush, a guide of what to drink with what to read.

The inspiration:

A while back during my Japan years, I was sitting alone on my apartment balcony, reading a copy of Haruki Murakami's The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. It was late, but warm. I had Miles Davis Kind of Blue on the CD player and was drinking Cutty Sark (a whiskey) on the rocks. A perfect moment. Imagine my shock when I read as the character Toru played a record of Kind of Blue and poured himself a glass of Cutty Sark. After a moderate freak-out over the coincidence, I greatly enjoyed the blending of the drink and the book. As it was the character's drink, I was able to enter the author's world even deeper and experience the book in a multi-sensory way. Groovy, yes?
After that moment with the whiskey and the Murakami, I began to look for drink references, or even wonder what is the best drink to match with each of my favorite books. My writing friends shared their favorite pairings as well. Sometimes the match was pulled from a direct literary reference, sometime the match was made more on mood and general meaning. All these great conversations let to the Book Lush book idea.

There must be a perfect drink to pair with every great book.


Why Kickstarter?

I thought long and hard about how I wanted to bring Book Lush into the world. I have attended incredible workshops by Jen and Kerry at Business of Books that gave me the information and confidence I need to pitch to publishers. However, I have never attempted crowd-funding and I believe Book Lush is a good choice for the medium. I have many more ideas I can send to publishers later down the road. As I made my career in publishing, this is a great opportunity to learn more about this particular path.

I also took a long hard look at Pubslush. I am a huge fan of the Pubslush team and the platform they have created for authors to fund their book projects. In fact, my company recently started a Pubslush community page.


I finally decided to go with Kickstarter as I was looking for more organic traffic and campaign templates I could easily follow.


Oh dear Lord, it's live.

After much clever procrastination and delay, I finally launched my kickstarter. A couple days in I have 16 backers and $660 pledged. I have a long way to go to meet my $8,000 pledge minimum. I'll keep you updated as I go with my experience and what I learn along the way. If you would like to join the Book Lush kickstarter, you can become a backer. Of course, shares and encouragement are also very much appreciated!