I don’t usually do crowdfunding, having always preferred to sell books and rely on the donate button which is at the end of every blog article on this site – or at least at the end of every article I write myself. It wouldn’t be fair to attempt to raise donations on the back of someone else’s work. This year however, and with no small amount of trepidation, I’ve decided it’s time to do a fundraiser. Fundraisers always fill me with dread, which is why I avoid them. They mean putting yourself to the test, to ask whether people really do value your work enough to put their hands in their pockets. But needs must.
There won’t be any new instalments of the Collected Yaps this year, so there are no new books to sell for the time being. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any more books in the future, there probably will. However for the time being there are no plans to publish any more books. After publishing no less than six books within a fairly short period of time, the Collected Yaps Volumes 1 to 4 (anthologies of blog articles), and two volumes of Barking Up the Right Tree (anthologies of articles for The National newspaper), it’s probably best to wait a while before publishing more.
While I am hugely appreciative of the donations that people give by clicking on the donate button at the end of articles, the truth is that it’s a pretty hit and miss method of funding the site, and certainly doesn’t bring in enough to live on. Occasionally an article seems to strike a chord and there’s a wee spurt of donations, but other times days can go by without anything coming in at all.
There are a few things I’d like to do over the coming twelve months, and it would be good to have a wee bit of financial security in order to do them. The grass roots independence movement really needs to be re-energised and re-engaged, and I would like to continue the work I’ve been doing over the past year or so going out to speak to local groups and help them re-establish themselves in any way I can. Me and the dug have been across the length and breadth of Scotland, from Campbeltown and Stranraer to Thurso and Orkney and from Fort William and Skye to Duns and Dunbar. There will be a lot more visits to local groups over the coming months. In August the dug and me will be in Pitcairngreen near Perth, Cumbernauld, and Lanark, and in September we’re due to visit local groups in Forfar, Bellshill, East Kilbride, Dalbeattie, Alness, and Girvan.
I never charge a speaker’s fee when going to speak to a local group. Local groups don’t have much money, and I speak for them in order to allow them to do fundraisers for their own activities. However I do need to support myself somehow. Until now I’ve been relying largely on book sales, but as already mentioned, there won’t be any new books for the time being. I want to do a lot more speaking events over the coming months because it’s vital that local independence groups stay energised and active, and in order to do that a wee bit of personal financial security is required.
I’d also like to get these long-awaited Gaelic maps published. Publishing them has been put back due to unforeseen elections and assorted other issues. But the fact is that in order to get them published it’s going to take a fairly hefty sum to be paid up-front. Self-publishing maps is turning out to be a lot more complicated than self-publishing books.
Blogging takes time. The articles on this site weigh in at over 1000 words every time, and I manage to get several articles online every week. This is a not insignificant amount of writing. It’s a greater output than most other blogs. In total I’ve written approaching 2,000,000 words on this blog since it started in 2013. That’s more than JK Rowling, and though I flatter myself that my blogs are magic there’s not a wizard in sight. But I also hope that as well as quantity, this site also delivers quality, and that you find that the articles on this site are worth reading, and that they are occasionally informative, amusing and provoke thought and emotion. I try very hard to approach blogging as though it’s the creation of literature that can stand the test of time. I don’t alway succeed, but I do like to think that one of the reasons this site has such a great following is because of the quality of its content.
Content creation doesn’t come out of thin air. Bloggers have to eat. They have to read newspapers and watch the TV news, so you don’t have to. They have to think of smart arsed things to say. They have to reach down into their souls and bare their feelings. At least, this one does. All of that can only be done if you have the security of knowing that you’ll be able to pay your bills and keep food on the table.
So I’m doing a fundraiser. I’m hoping to raise £10,000 which will enable me to support myself for the next year. I hope it’s not a greedy sounding amount. It works out at less than the minimum wage. This amount will allow me to continue to blog, to go and give talks in support of local groups all over Scotland, and to appear at pro-independence events and to support other pro-independence initiatives. I’m very grateful to have so many loyal and regular readers, this blog would not be possible without you. Please help me to keep it going and keep the Dug’s tour of Scotland going too. All support however small is gratefully received.
You can donate via my crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo –
Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account I’ve set up for the purposes of this fundraiser, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at email@example.com and I will send the necessary information.