Kick-starts for books, bands
faced a major communication gap and employers who expected her to assist in recruitment for their religious sect rather than caring for their teenaged children. Burg began piecing together a memoir of the experience in 2008, but she says searching for a publisher was "like finding a needle in a haystack."
Last year Burg, who now freelances for the Observer and other local publications, found a solution: "crowdfunding." Burg started a campaign on the website kickstarter.com, asking supporters to pledge money towards editing, printing, and marketing her book. Crowdfunding donors receive rewards, which for Burg's campaign included a copy of the finished memoir and an invite to the book launch party. Over a monthlong campaign, she raised $8,760--$1,760 more than her original goal--and her book, Swedish Lessons, is now in the hands of a professional editor.
Burg says the campaign was nerve-racking at times. "It's been such a mind-blowing whirlwind," she says. Things got off to a good start, but "midway through the second week, nothing was coming in, and I thought I was a failure."