When Elephants Fight


The following is a blanket response to questions and comments from several people both on and off this blog.

We authors know that the reader is king, and that we are competing with TV, movies, and beer for his hard-earned dollars. I would not presume to gainsay readers’ market preferences.

At the same time, solidarity with my brothers in the craft obliges me to make sure readers’ sovereign decisions are as soundly informed as possible.

It’s undeniably true that Indiegogo has engaged in partisan and unethical behavior toward creators on their platform. They should face repercussions for those actions.

It is also true that the only currently viable alternative to Indiegogo, Kickstarter, has a much worse track record of gross partisan discrimination. To refresh the reader’s memory, Kickstarter rejected a film exposing the butchery committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Indiegogo allowed the film makers to fully fund the project.

I have always said not to give money to people who hate you. Like all aspirational statements, it admits of degrees. Indiegogo takes only 5% of what backers pay to the author, while arch-Leftist Jeff Bezos’ Amazon takes 30%. I do business with the latter because it involves no formal and low material cooperation with evil. My dealings with Indiegogo follow a similar moral calculus with even lower material cooperation, and the evil is less grave.

Indie authors, by definition, do not enjoy the benefits provided by a traditional publisher. They must pay for editing, cover and promotional art, and formatting out-of-pocket. Nor do indies receive advances to offset the cost of time spent writing.

Mitigating the production and opportunity costs incurred by foregoing a traditional publisher was the last obstacle keeping indie authors from devoting our full efforts to publishing stories normal people want to read. The new patronage system ushered in by crowdfunding seemed to have solved this problem. Unfortunately, one major crowdfunding service has consistently embraced SJW behavior, and the other has brazenly stolen from a dissenting publishing house. Indiegogo will not miss the $100 denied them if an indie author’s campaign fails, but he’ll certainly miss the $2,000 he’d hoped his readers’ goodwill would provide.

I see no good solution. When elephants fight, the grass suffers.

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