Guest Blog Posts

7 Tips on crowdfunding a lit mag – guest blog post by Voki Erceg

Crowdfunding is, I must say, a stressful full-time job, distractive for an Editor-in-Chief  who is simultaneously coordinating, collaborating with writers, translators, proofreaders (and in my case with jurors) and so on, and no matter how many people you have on  your team – and no matter that crowdfunding  has nowadays become a regular and convenient method for collecting funds, you almost feel like a mendicant, always soliciting for contribution(s). Sometimes you feel like techno-bohemian, techno-vagabond  (and that comforts me), but having in mind that crowdfunding needs dedication and after all, responsibility, that particular, as I have said, bohemian fluid of freedom swells into anxiety once you realize you are nothing but an entrepreneur.

As someone who is dedicated to babble, and we can babble about crowdfunding for hours and hours, I am convinced that there is a story behind every crowdfunding campaign. Trish asked me to share my personal experience about our campaign. Well, I am not crowdfunding expert, but I learnt what you should (not) do! So let’s “babble”.

voki2Many people go to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to shop! It sounds insane, but, according to statistics they barely look at categories such as: Literary Magazines, Writing, Books and so on. Nowadays people tend to “back” tech products. I will quote what one movie character said: “Who gives a fuck about culture? Hey, take me as an example.” Having said that… Do I have to say more? So,  let’s move on…

TIP 1: Write – the best pitch ever! Think about people who are not “literary aware,” you are not a prophet, but it is your “duty” to raise awareness.

TIP 2: NEVER solicit contributions from writers, surely – ask them to spread the word, to shout out, especially if they are involved (somehow) in your – in our case – literary magazine.

TIP 3: I do not recommend starting campaign without “achieved” goals. Many companies use crowdfunding as a way to promote their original project. Think about that.

TIP 4: Start your crowdfunding campaign with this simple offer/perk/reward: PRE-ORDER OUR MAGAZINE + $5 (donation). Then, introduce offers/perks/rewards you already stored and prepared before you’ve even started your campaign.

TIP 5: And… Use every single aspect of “social media” – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Research before you start your campaign. Use Thunderclap (Google for Thunderclap) and learn more.

TIP 6: Ask your colleagues, bloggers, newspaper editors to write about your campaign.

TIP 7: And, most important, think about: What is your story?

This is ours:

Hourglass Literary Magazine is a Bosnian based bilingual and annual publication, the only literary journal from former Yugoslavia to have made it internationally, reaching audiences across the globe. We tend to bond widely recognized authors with emerging writers who write in English and BCMS (it pains us to no end that this segmentation was not due to linguistic differences but political ones, as Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian used to be one language before civil war – Serbo-Croatian). And only this social, political, fragmentation has led us to launch the campaign. We strive to ensure our future, as we are afraid we cannot do it in collaboration with cultural institution groups from region often shadowed with nationalistic tendencies, and, generally speaking, so called nationalistic (accommodated in religion) tendencies, actually, led us to civil war. Cultural crisis in region shakes, inhibits and averts every effort under the sign of international pretensions, as those who benefit from crisis are like – take this word as an irony – are afraid of losing so called nationalistic identity. Nationalism is, first and foremost, paranoia—collective and individual paranoia, said Danilo Kis, our inspiration. Surely, this short political comment is just a hint, compendium, nothing more, an abstract for anthropological (neither political, nor social) but anthropological analysis of paradox in general.

At last, what about campaign – Hourglass Literary Magazine: Into Tomorrow? What do we want? Our campaign is based on magazine’s pre-orders, but there are many perks (rewards) that can help us reach our primary goal and so called “stretch goal.” Supporting our pioneering venture will “ensure that we remain in circulation but you also lend a helping hand in keeping contemporary literature alive.”

We strive – and this is our manifesto’s core – to mix voices in one polyphonic structure, i.e. to connect writers who write in English, whether as native English speakers or international, with authors who write BCMS, what more, we strive to bond widely recognized authors with emerging authors.

Hourglass Literary Magazine Issue No. 1 has 220 pages; it comes in 8×15 inches format and print runs 2,000 copies; first issue will not feature any photographs and will maintain a minimalistic, clean layout, illustrated by one-line drawings neatly combined with text. All texts featured in the magazine will be translated from English to BCMS and vice versa.

Issue No. 1 Content:

  • Opening section – Philip Ó Ceallaigh (autobiographical sketch and essay) and David Albahari (two short stories and an interview).
  • A section dedicated to Danilo Kiš with contributions from Mark Thompson (An Alphabet for Danilo Kis), Jasna Šamić (Recollections,), Filip David (Fragments), Sibelan Forrester (Getting to Know Danilo Kiš Over Many Years), John K. Cox (Danilo Kis and the Hungarian Holocaust: The Early Novel Psalm 44) and Gojko Božović (yet to be announced).
  • Short stories, poems and essays by finalists, honorable mentions and winners from Hourglass Literary Magazine’s writing contest.
  • Book Recommendations / Book Reviews.
  • Micro-fiction – ten “pieces” from authors who write in English/BCMS.
  • Editor’s choice – non-fiction piece about Irfan Horozovic by Milenko Stojicic.
  • Closing section – “Year Under Review”, featuring Dragoslava Barzut (with an essay yet to be announced) and Brett Alan Sanders with an essay Small Graces.

We started our campaign with achieved goals; our board is staffed mostly by volunteers – but question is how long we will endure?

indiegogo-2Pre-order/contribute/donate/share our campaign located at www.igg.me/at/hlm . A BIG THANK YOU ALL IN ADVANCE.


Do you have something say about poetry? An essay on being a poet, tips for poets, or poetry you love? TrishHopkinson.com is now accepting pitches for guest blog posts. 

Contact me here if you are interested! 


13956943_321077054898136_388604045_nVoki Erceg, Editor-in-Chief. Born in Banja Luka in 1986. He graduated at the Academy of Arts (Film and TV directing) on featured film, documentary drama God’s People (Božji Ljudi); directed a number of short films, of which the most notable is experimental-documentary Story (in three images). He has published a collection of stories Senka (2011); collaborates with the literary magazines in the region; and translates poetry from English.

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