Questions for Tapsalteerie
You’re new. But not that new. It will be 2015 soon and you began in 2013. So who is ‘Tapsalteerie’ – the people behind the imprint name? And who does what?
Well the person behind it is me, Duncan Lockerbie. I act as a sort-of one-man publishing band really. I have had a lot of help and support from my wife Hayley though, who is invaluable when it comes to things like book fairs, or when some neat handwriting is called for. I also have the input of my silent partner, Jess the publishing cat, so I'm not entirely on my own.
You began with a crowdfunding project. Could you explain how that came about? Could you even explain ‘crowd funding’ – because it’s still a new term for some?
Crowd funding, despite being a contemporary term, is actually based on a pretty old fashioned idea.
Basically you post details about your project online and invite people to give you money. You set a "funding target" and a closing date. If you don't reach your funding target by the closing date then all the money that people have promised is returned to them - you only get funded if you reach your funding target. It’s all or nothing!
There's numerous websites you can use for it, Kickstarterbeing the famous one, but I chose to use Bloom VC, largely because they were based in Edinburgh and they'd had a track record of success with literary projects.
I made a wee video to put up alongside the blurb I'd written, then came up with a series of ‘rewards’ to tempt people into giving me money. The general plan is for the rewards to get better the more you donate. So for £10 you’d get a pre-publication copy of Tapsalteerie’s launch pamphlet and a permanent mention on the website, whereas fifty pounds would get you that plus a two-year subscription to Tapsalteerie.
The reason I say it’s an old-fashioned idea is that it reminds me of the subscription model, where you go around getting people to give you money for a book before it’s published. Someone told me once that Dickens did this, although I'm not sure if that’s actually true or not.
I decided to go down the crowd funding route because I genuinely didn’t know how else to raise start-up money. My first pamphlet was written in Doric, so I thought I’d be able to generate enough interest locally to meet my funding target. It turns out I was right, and I even got an article about it in the Evening Express – not a publication that’s exactly well-known for its interest in poetry.