My cousin and SciFi author, Stuart Jaffe, told me about Kickstarter, a company that uses crowd sourcing to raise money for all kinds of creative projects.
People are invited to fund projects at whatever level they choose. The project creator retains complete ownership and control and all profits. Contributors are rewarded with the satisfaction of having helped fund a worthy project and with other bonuses crafted by the project creator.
Among the projects funded to date are a documentary film, How To Start A Revolution, HexBright, an open source light, and a book titled Oneironautics - A Field Guide To Lucid Dreaming (a subject that plays a central role in my book The Dead Man).
Publisher's Weekly reports that Kickstarter has become the #3 U.S. publisher of graphic novels. And another company, Unbound is doing the same thing, only focusing exclusively on publishing books.
Self-publishing isn't free. Authors have to finance cover art, formatting, editing, copyediting and marketing. And success is far from assured. Companies like Kickstarter and Unbound are a welcome resource, even though they can't guarantee a project will be funded. Indie authors may even try developing their own crowd sourcing model, using social media.
Bottom line, if you want to write and publish, kickstart your life!