View Full Version : Funding Books

08-06-2004, 04:40 PM
Still no word from my funders. I know they heard the applications a week ago so I feel more dejected the more time passes.

I have 3 applications for funding in. One to a university, one to the federation of university women and one to a copyright licensing company. None of them are looking too promising right now.

Any bright ideas out there about where to find 1-2 years salary for one small writer who already has professional overheads (office, research, materials) covered but also likes to rent a house and eat?

p.s. New Zealand based.

08-06-2004, 06:51 PM
i'm not sure what it is you're looking for, vein... publishers' advances paid to unknown writers on the strength of only a proposal, are small-to-zip, as far as i know... and, even if you have a really hot idea and the expertise to back up the claim that you can deliver a marketable book, no publisher is going to fork over enough for anyone to live on for 1-2 years, while they write it...

is this something else you're aiming at?... such as a grant of some kind?... or, are you looking for a salaried position?...

i'd be glad to offer some suggestions, if i knew what it is you are really looking for... also, as you're a kiwi, are you only targeting nz and oz venues, or any english-based ones?

love and hugs, maia

08-07-2004, 02:11 AM
It's mainly an academic book (with some cross-over appeal), so the publisher will not be paying. What I need is some kind of grant or fellowship. The angles range for academic fellowships (postdoctoral etc) to grants for writers (the copyright company gives grants for non-fic). The topic is animal welfare so I was also wonder if animal welfare groups might support it, but they don't actually have much in the way of money. I am querying 'Creative NZ' to see what there is in the way of governement money. I was just wondering if there are any angles I am missing here when it comes to begging for cash.

08-07-2004, 09:34 PM
tin cup on the street corner didn't work, huh?;)

have you done something as simple as google for writing grants?... i know there are many, and your country of residence isn't always a criterion... sorry i haven't any other bright ideas...

hugs, maia

Tish Davidson
08-08-2004, 08:42 AM
I don't how things work in NZ, but in the US many foundations are reluctant to give grants to individuals unless, of course, they are already well known, like MacArthur Fellowships. In researching grants, the advice I got was to try to apply through an organization. For example, could one of the animal welfare organizations apply for a grant to have the book written and then contract with you for the writing? Another example - a friend of mine is a good, but starving poet. She arranged to get a grant to go into several schools and give poetry workshops. The schools applied for the grant and were responsible for its administration, but she got the money. I think grant-giving organizations feel there is more accountability if they give to another organization rather than an individual. Is there some way you could make this angle work with an animal welfare agency?

08-08-2004, 10:58 AM
I don't see any reason why a publisher wouldn't buy it, if it's any good.

If it isn't something some publisher would want, why would anyone find it?

08-08-2004, 04:34 PM
The best publishers for it would be academic, in terms of impact and sales. There is a dual purpose in that a book with Blackwells may get me tenure as well as on shelves. However if another publisher would pay an advance i would certainly rethink that position. it is worth looking into.

In terms of applying through other people or groups -- I have roped in two NZ professors as co-authors. One is immensely well known, advisor to governments and always flying around the world for policy meetings. I had hoped (as had he) that univeristy funding would be forthcoming. But 9 days of silence after the post-doc hearing suggest otherwise. perhaps by roping in other fourth party people I could, at least, apply to other universities before my window of opportunity runs out.

If I can locte a source of funding that another group could apply for on my behalf I would certainly approach them. But no suggestions have been forthcoming. Most AW groups are more interested in getting animals spayed, rehomed etc rather than writing books.

08-08-2004, 05:00 PM
If anybody knows, it'd be Hope Clark at www.fundsforwriters.com/ (http://www.fundsforwriters.com/)

08-10-2004, 02:19 AM
What about applying for a research grant from the NZ dept of ag, and incorporating the data into the book? It's one way people at the university teaching hospitals here do it.

08-10-2004, 02:42 PM
It's a thought, but the book already proposed would be a stretch to write in two years, without adding a stand-alone bench research aspect. MAF have given some money ($7000) but that falls well short of enough. I feel clouds of doom descending up this particular project :(

Still, one of the 3 groups I approached my yet come back with a 'yes'. The fat lady has yet to sing...

08-11-2004, 11:49 PM
Vein, I really hope you find a way to get your book funded.

I'm not trying to hijack Vein's thread here, but I just realized that my next book project requires travelling. That's not a problem for me, coming from a nomadic family. http://community.the-underdogs.org/smiley/misc/rolleyes2.gif But what is a problem is finding a way to fund the travelling. I don't have a contract with a publisher for this book yet but I don't think even an advance would cover it. I'm thinking a film team going along to document everything would be a great supplement to the book but I don't know. I'm trying to come up with some way to get it in place. Since it's disability-related, maybe I can start with a group which promotes disabled writers and artists, or something.

Tish Davidson
08-12-2004, 02:06 PM

Check out The Foundation Center fdncenter.org/ (http://fdncenter.org/)
Scroll all the way to the bottom and there is a special link called For People with Disabilities.

Everyone else in the US - this is a good site to bookmark if you are interested in grants. Sorry Vein, its US-centric

08-12-2004, 06:27 PM
Today I applied for a job. I think it is the first step in 'grieving for a failed project'. I still have my current job 'til next July but I really hoped the book would be my next 'thing'.

Still waiting to hear about funding. I now know that the publisher is just taking their time deciding, they do that, sigh. They have another upcoming book on a similar topic and have got all het up about chaging the title. Title be damned! Called it Fat Tulips Dance in the Nude if you want, but will you publish it!!! (Saying this here as I would never say it to them, of course).

aka eraser
08-12-2004, 08:46 PM
I feel for you vein. It's like trying not to think about a baby when you're 8 1/2 months pregnant. I sure hope it works out for you.

08-16-2004, 12:25 AM
Tish: Thank you so much!! Very helpful link. I'm definitely going to look into it. I wonder, though, if obtaining a grant will obligate me to tie them to the book in some way. Thus making it seem like it's their book and not one published by a commercial publishing company. It might compromise my securing a publisher, too. Hm, I don't know. Maybe I can see what my options are and discuss it with a publisher when I do land a contract.

aka eraser
08-16-2004, 12:43 AM
Might want to change that "Frank" to "Tish" Dawn (or whoever it was who really gave you that link.

You're welcome for all the other nifty stuff I do though. ;)

08-16-2004, 04:41 AM


08-19-2004, 02:33 PM
It's official, no funding from my 'best chance' application. deeeeeep depression :( :(

I still have 2 other applications in and I just found third one that seems suitable

aka eraser
08-19-2004, 07:33 PM
Bummer vein. But where there's applications...there's hope.

08-19-2004, 08:54 PM
ugh that's no good :( Good luck on the other ones

08-21-2004, 05:29 AM
Sorry to hear that, vein. :( But I really hope you can find some kind of funding.

09-18-2004, 11:12 PM
Tish, I checked that link out. Unfortunately, I can't register to find out more.

I have been checking out FundsForWriters and the NEA. I did see one I might be able to apply for but it won't be until March 2005.

I am meeting with 2 people for my book during this last part of the year. Fortunately, one is local, so money won't be a problem. But the other lives in Atlanta. There is my problem. (sigh) I am not yet able to put together my proposal until I have these two samples to include. Sure, I could do it without meeting the one in Atlanta, but it will not have the same "being there and experiencing a day in her life" feel I want my book to have.

So, I don't know what to do. Either tell a prospective publisher my situation, include only one sample in my proposal or keep looking for grants/funds to make my trip with.