If you’re a regular to this site, you already know that we just celebrated our eighth anniversary. If not, in October 2011, Indies Unlimited was formed by Stephen Hise to help indie authors find their way through the confusing landscape that was publishing. A month later, he brought on K. S. “Kat” Brooks (me) to assist, and together we assembled a team which paved the way for an award-winning site that would go on to help thousands of people each year.
Everything on the site is free – there is no paid advertising because I felt strongly about not taking money from authors, and both Steve and I agreed that we couldn’t guarantee that any service provider advertising with us wouldn’t take advantage of authors. Occasionally, we’ll thoroughly vet someone and allow them to get word out through IU, but usually that’s only about once a year. And, with the number of predatory publishers out there, we couldn’t use Google ads (wouldn’t it be horrible if one of the bad guys had an ad pop up on one of our articles?), so we made the conscious decision not to make money off the site. We do monetize Thrifty Thursday and other book fairs with Amazon links, but don’t usually meet the threshold for receiving payment.
Over the years, Steve and I have paid out of pocket to support the site, with the occasion holiday bleg (blogging and begging) for PayPal donations. Our PayPal account became overrun with scammers, so we had to take the donate button down.
Just over a year ago, Steve had to step away from the site, so I’ve been shouldering the financial burden on my own.
I don’t feel shutting down the site is an option. Authors in search of guidance find their way to Indies Unlimited every day, and we get dozens of emails each week asking for help. The need is there. I don’t have the heart to take that away from people.
And now, the crux of it:
I have just had to renew the site hosting along with the SSL certificate and the security package that has been needed since January when the site started being attacked by hackers. My wallet felt that hit pretty hard.
IU has over 2000 people subscribed to the email newsletter, and theoretically, if each one donated $1 per year, the expenses would be more than completely covered. But we’re not going to charge people to use this site, instead – and yes, I’ve been dreading this day forever – we’ve set up an IU GoFundMe to cover these recent expenses. Some of you have already very generously donated money (thank you so much, we love you!), and we’re hoping that those of you who have found any benefit from the site will consider donating what you can, as soon as you can, whether it’s one dollar or five or ten. It all helps.
We at Indies Unlimited hope the site will be around for a long time to come, and we couldn’t do it without our fans and readers (and the awesome IU staff who donate their time and energy to the site). We truly appreciate everyone’s support. Thank you!