Vermont Novelist Harnesses Kickstarter for Climate Change Solutions

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Luc Reid, an author, organizer, and psychology blogger, is leveraging the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to create a novel depicting community-based climate change solutions based on extensive research.

Luc Reid, a writer and local foods advocate, is assembling a cure for climate change, and he’s betting on Kickstarter to make it happen.

Reid, an author, organizer, and psychology blogger, launched a campaign today on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter for a novel based on research into climate-friendly, disaster-resistant living. The book, The Town at World's End, depicts a community making radical changes to survive and fight climate change.

According to Reid, getting the novel to readers would take two years or longer with a traditional publishing approach, while climate change models suggest that time for making changes may be running out. "That’s where Kickstarter comes in," says Reid. "If we gather enough supporters, we can have the book in readers' hands by November."

Kickstarter is a Web site where artists and inventors pitch projects to potential supporters. Those who choose to pledge money to a project receive merchandise and other rewards in exchange. If pledges from backers don’t reach a given project’s funding goal by the time the campaign ends, no money changes hands and the campaign fails. Some projects, however, receive pledges for many times their original funding goals.

Yet it’s not just about the funding, says Reid. "Good Kickstarter campaigns create communities and share goals. There's a lot of knowledge, experience, and drive to fight climate change out there, and we can learn from our supporters as we put our proposed solution together."

While bookstores already offer non-fiction about a variety of sustainable living techniques, Reid believes his will be the first to offer a complete picture of how an existing community can transform to fight climate change. Reid's research covers topics like local food systems, alternative energy, sustainable manufacturing, community politics, and the psychology of change.

Writing the book as a novel instead of a non-fiction guide is a crucial choice, says Reid. "In a novel, terrifying events are a good thing," Reid asserts, "and in fiction, readers can see how the characters act and change, then witness the results. Showing how to live differently is something novels are beautifully suited to do, and it's a lot more motivating than the chronicle of disasters we hear on the news."

The Kickstarter campaign for The Town at World's End runs through July 2nd at http://www.kickstarter.com and http://www.lucreid.com/kickstarter.

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Luc Reid

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