This is something I thought I would never do, but I am going to ask my followers for money.
Why? Put simply, the illustrations I make for my blog are drawn using a program called CorelDRAW. I’ve used this software since the early 1990s and it is very good. However, I have the Home/Student edition my parents gave me in 2014.
The 2019 Home edition costs £80-90 and in a good month, I can probably manage that. Although anyone that knows me is aware of my financial situation due to a drawn-out divorce. I’m not trying to lay on a sob-story, I just want to be clear I’m not broke because I’ve been drinking & gambling whilst on a shopping spree.
The problem is the Home edition of CorelDraw is 32bit ONLY and some of my more complex illustrations, like the ship chart, are exceeding what this edition can run (basically it crashes a lot and work is lost). I tried the trial of the “pro” version (which is 64-bit) and the problem went away. The software ran way faster. Having been shown paradise, I looked for the ticket price and it is £599. Not something I can afford in a month of Sundays. I was resigned to the fact I will just have to stop doing the complex charts and stick to individual blueprints. However, a couple of people asked me why I didn’t crowd-fund the purchase? Not something I had previously considered.
It's on sale right now, but the normal price is £599 and I won't pirate it or buy a grey copy.
Now my blog gets 950 unique visitors per week now (3,800 per month), when there’s not been much to post about for some time and when I’ve released new blueprints the visitor numbers are up to 12,000 in a day! I only need the first 600 visitors in a week to donate a pound and I’d have the money in a week. I can’t offer any kind of physical rewards, but I can give the donors PDFs of all the existing blueprints in the language of their choice. For any larger donations, I could easily make some customised blueprints with ship/commander names added.
I want to ask you, my followers/readers, are my charts worth £1 to you? Should I do this? Is this a realistic prospect? Thoughts & suggestions if, and how, I should go about this in the comments please. Having never asked for money or done any crowd-funding, I have no idea how or where to start.