The private, social-networking website UmeNow has revamped its features to allow crowdfunding for independent authors and other creative professionals. While many sites allow indie authors to start blogs to promote their work and connect with their readers, UmeNow has added the ability for anyone in the world to donate directly to the author.
“We offer independent authors the tools to attract funding from people who want to do more than just purchase one book,” explains UmeNow founder Evelyn Castillo-Bach. “If someone wants to donate to a promising author so they can pursue other writing projects, UmeNow offers an easy way for this to happen.”
All funding goes directly to the author and donors are not required to have a UmeNow account. Donors are taken directly to the author’s Paypal account page.
The crowdfunding capability is available at no charge to all UmeNow members. The crowdfunding tool appears within the blog section of UmeNow. Whenever an author writes a blog, the donation button can appear on the blog itself, making the crowdfunding process very easy. The only requirement is that the blog must be posted so anyone in the world can see it. If an author selects privacy settings that allow only UmeNow members to view their blog, the author’s ability to raise funds will be limited to site members.
When a member creates a blog page, they can select to display a donation button that directly links to their personal Paypal account. And because tracking and ads are banned from the UmeNow network, authors can be sure that no one else profits by linking into their readers. Authors can also start groups and invite their readers into those groups, or fans can start groups to discuss their favorite books.
UmeNow’s Castillo-Bach understands the needs and interests of indie authors, because she recently published her first e-book, entitled “Champions, Inc.: Powerful Life Principles.”
Launched in 2011, UmeNow is known for fiercely protecting the privacy rights of its members. All ads, third-party apps, and games are banned to safeguard members from back-door tracking and unauthorized information extraction.
UmeNow was founded on the premise that you should have the right to socialize and connect with your family, friends, and colleagues without giving up your right to privacy. Information you share online shouldn’t be tracked and monitored by advertisers or data collectors and data brokers who want to collect as much information as they can about you to sell or trade with banks, creditors, future employers, insurance companies and others.
The UmeNow network offers a two-tier membership structure. With a free membership, you can enjoy a full-featured, ad-free, social-networking experience, including blogging, a photo gallery, polling, and a personal profile and wall. The premium membership ($6.00 per month) lets you create private, protected group walls for family members or work groups.