An Interview with Leanne Brown, Author of the (Free) $4 a Day SNAP Cookbook

Leanne Brown is a Canadian-born NYU food studies graduate whose masters’ project was Good and Cheap, a free PDF cookbook for food stamp budgets ($4/day). She posted the PDF on her website, and it was downloaded over 100,000 times after being discovered by Reddit. Now, she’s launched a Kickstarter to print the book so she can get copies to people in need, and she’s already well past its initial $10,000 goal. I recently talked to her about cooking on limited incomes, food studies, her experience with Kickstarter, and more.

What Kind of Tech Company is Kickstarter?

Well, as their former copywriter I could tell you in about 1000 different ways and at varying lengths and tone of voice, but that would be insane and probably unethical. Nevertheless, Kickstarter hit a big milestone this week: a billion dollars have been pledged to projects. From there, it isn't hard to figure out how much revenue they've made, and Quartz is on it:

Kickstarting Chicago’s Economic Development

The city of Chicago has just announced a partnership with Kickstarter called Seed Chicago which aims to use the trendy crowdfunding platform to finance economic development in the city's poorer neighborhoods.

The Hustle of a Singer-Songwriter: A Conversation with Matt Duke

I met Matt Duke at a concert venue in my college town, cornering him so I could take a picture for the student website I worked for. Several years later, he has three records and one EP under his belt from working with record labels, and is now self-financing his next record on a Kickstarter, which, full disclosure, I contributed to.

The Dregs of My Kickstarter Campaign

Late in the summer of my thirty-first year, in the waning hours of my Kickstarter, I said something very foolish.

“If we reach $7,600,” I said aloud, “I will record a Firefly EP.”

That was only $600 over my last stretch goal, which was “to make a music video,” which was only $1,000 over my actual Kickstarted project, to record Giant Robot Album in a real Los Angeles recording studio with the band The Long Holidays.

It is now the summer of my thirty-third year. The Kickstarter rewards were sent out almost immediately after the Kickstarter got funded. Giant Robot Album was officially released on June 25, 2013. The Giant Robot Album music video, which I ended up making myself in iMovie because I had long spent all the Kickstarter money, went live on March 23, 2014.

Now, I’m spending my evenings sitting on the scrubbed-clean floor of my apartment bathroom, putting together a Firefly EP.

(Just so we’re all clear: by “Firefly EP” I mean “an EP containing original songs about characters from the popular-but-canceled television series Firefly.” Also, musicians record in bathrooms because the acoustics are good.)

Justin Bieber Crowdfunds His Next Album

I'm Justin Bieber, and I think it'd be sweet it if y'all paid for me to record my next album.

A Conversation with Darin Ross About How He Successfully Funded His Kickstarter Campaigns

With just over a week to go, the project already has 573 backers and has raised $27,885 at the time of this writing. With these two projects, I can't help but think of Darin as a sort of Internet hometown boy making good. Fascinated by the turn of events, and being a backer of SUPERFIGHT! myself, I asked Darin if he'd be willing to talk to me about how this all came about. Not being a total jerk, he said yes.

Who Puts the Crowd in Crowd-Sourced Funding (Twitter, Basically)

Who is giving money to Tomorrow? And how much?

Movie Investing for Those With Deep Pockets

Putting up capital isn’t usually how corn-fed, dreamy-eyed boys and girls across America hope to break into the Entertainment industry. As of this week, though, it might be the most accessible way for them to do it. The New York Times reports:

A start-up, Junction Investments, plans to open for business on Wednesday, allowing wealthy individuals to invest in movies alongside veteran film financiers.

At the start, the company will offer an online chance to back “A Hologram for the King,” an adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel that will star Tom Hanks. Soon after, would-be mini-moguls will be able to invest in “Triple Nine,” a thriller featuring Kate Winslet, the “12 Years a Slave” star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Woody Harrelson.

The Junction Investments-backed films are films that will be made anyway, with or without your cash. They are not Tinkerbells that will die if you don’t clap, like the Veronica Mars movie, which became a three-dimensional manifestation of an audience’s enthusiasm after its on-a-whim launching on Kickstarter.

Wanna Be Kickstartin’ Something

Mike: Logan, did you contribute to that Kickstarter project that was going to fund the next Veronica Mars movie?

Lots of T-shirts Lots of Money

Guitar enthusiast S.T. VanAirsdale did some arithmetic and figured that the rewards promised to Veronica Mars Kickstarter backers are going to add up! (By his math, just the T-shirts—34,000 shirts at $3.90 each is $132,600—will be 4% of the estimated project budget)

Consistently crazy to me how small amounts of money add up. That’s not sarcasm. I am actually shocked on a regular basis that small sums of money add up to one large sum of money. It’s a cool trick. I fall for it every time.

Who Do You Kickstart?

Emily Gould chews over Bret Easton Ellis's Kickstarter campaign and argues that it's much more exciting to support an unknown than a someone with a big name.