Suspend Your Disbelief

Shop Talk |

Can Kickstarter fund a lit website?

With print media slashing book sections, the future of book reviews may well be online. (Case in point: this site.) But like print media, websites cost money to run. So what’s a book review site to do?

In the Stacks, a video book reviewing site, has one solution: use the community fundraising site Kickstarter to raise money. Author and site founder Michelle Zaffino writes:

Last year I created the program In the Stacks video book review (, which features 60-second long reviews of recent books. The reviews are done by one of the most authoritative sources on the topic: Librarians. In the Stacks is meant to not only be intellectually provocative but also features tastefully sexy librarians, and asserts that women can be both sexy and smart. The 32 60-second spots currently on the website are meant to run like ads, with longer episodes in the works. […]

With the money I raise through Kickstarter, I plan to make upgrades to the website, pay vendors (which include a graphic designer, illustrator and a few other librarians taping reviews) and collaborate with a developer.

In the Stacks hopes to raise $5,000 by Friday, July 23. But with 4 days to go, only $474 has been pledged so far. Is it because the economy is bad? Because word didn’t spread fast enough? Or does it suggest that—for whatever reason—most people think criticism should be free?


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