Dutty Bookman reached his target goal of $1200 on IndieGoGo in only seven days. Eager to self-publish his book of memoirs, entitled Tried & True: Revelations of a Rebellious Youth, create a marketing push and afford to fly home to Kingston, Jamaica from Washington DC for the celerbation event, Dutty needed capital. At the young age of 28 years old, Dutty had been expressing himself via his blog chronicling the major changes occurring in his life during that time: managing a social website, hosting a national radio show, working for the family of Bob Marley, at the same time launching a non-profit organization aimed to empower youth. Realizing his online writing could become a valuable book, he set his sights to print his writings into a book and start his own self-promotions/sales campaign. Here he talks us through his crowdfunding experience.
Q1. Tell us about your campaign…. your inspiration and goals!
My campaign shares the name of my book, 'Tried & True: Revelations of a Rebellious Youth.' Basically, I have long had a deep desire for revolutionary activity, though not necessarily the violent revolution that most people immediately picture when they encounter the word "revolution." I think that any real revolution begins with personal development – learning, expressing, re-analyzing and improving oneself at a calculated pace. That is why I advocate so strongly for the arts. That is also the reason why I deliberately work on myself as though my life itself is an art piece. When my time here is done, I want to know that I've made a masterpiece out of my existence, or died trying. My personal writings are very important to me, so much so that I wanted my first book to be a memoir of a formative period of my life, even though I would like to write more fiction as my career grows. My intention is that 'Tried & True' will inspire other young people, especially those from my homeland, Jamaica, who often share my tendency to be hotheaded.
Q2. What were your ultimate goals with your funding campaign? Who should care and why?
My hope has been that the campaign will appeal to people who believe in positive transformation. I feel like a significant part of my purpose on this planet is to do what I can to offer Jamaican and Caribbean youth alternative views in considering life and existence. Even my recent relocation to Washington, DC is a continuation of my mission as I find that it puts me in a position to make unique contributions from afar. Being a change agent is a very deep and consistent desire of mine and I am obviously pursuing that end in the way I have written my book. Will I succeed? Only time will tell… time and space and the support of donors whose small contributions can really help me to touch an exponential number of lives in due time.
Q3. How were you reaching, engaging and involving others? Share your tactics, please!
I certainly didn't do anything innovative! My plan was to test the response to my campaign through my personal network for the first week or so, and then get into the real strategy by the second week. Being my first IndieGoGo experience, I didn't know what to expect. Then I reached my goal in just seven days and, since then, I feel like it's harder to get people to donate when they think that I've already succeeded. The fact is that I set the campaign to my lowest needed target – $1200 – but I definitely could use more donations to really put the icing on the cake! If I achieve $1800 in donations by September 23, that would really make things run more smoothly.
Q4. You're rocking the fundraising on IndieGoGo? Congrats! What was working? What was not working?
I think my advantages involve the size of my network, the number of people in that network who actually enjoy my writings thus far – my blog is at www.duttyism.com - and also the frequency at which I was sharing the campaign link via social networking sites. I can't think of anything that has had a negative impact so far but I still have lots of campaign days left to experience and learn.
Q5. Any surprises or especially fun moments during your campaign that you'd like to share?
The entire first week was fun because the support was so overwhelming from family and friends. I was mostly surprised by the fact that so many donations came from people who I didn't anticipate and it made me realize the wealth of people who quietly stand behind others who they believe in, or causes that they believe in. The support really strengthens my spirit and resolve; I generally love to give it and I am happy to find myself worthy of receiving it in other people's eyes.
Q6. Any tips / advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs, creators and project leaders like yourself?
Appreciate life, set realistic goals, work diligently, nourish and rest well, practice patience and expect unexpected blessings.
Still time to fund Tried & True