Writers Can Crowdfund Too
Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular way for artists, entrepreneurs and businesses to raise funds, mitigate financial risk and gauge initial market viability for their creative or business ventures. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Crowdfunder are some of the more well-known sites; success stories include rock star Amanda Palmer raising 1M to fund her new album, crowdfunded feature films like The Canyons, and tech successes like TikTok, which raised 1M to turn an Apple Nano into a watch. There have been publishing successes, too, and now there are author-centric crowdfunding sites like Pubslush that provide a platform for authors to create and market their crowdfunding campaign to their network of friends, family, co-workers, peers and book audience.
Advances in technology have caused a rise in the number of authors who choose to self-publish rather than pursue the traditional publishing route. Self-publishing affords the author more creative control and is generally a much quicker way to get a book to the marketplace. Unfortunately, most writers know the downside of self-publishing: the writer incurs all of the costs and financial risks that come with publishing a book.
Crowdfunding for authors presents a solution to the woes of self-publishing by helping authors lessen the financial burden and risk, gauge the market for their book, and help them build their author platform.
Authors are always their own biggest advocates. Whether an author chooses to self-publish or is published traditionally, they must build their audience. Crowdfunding requires the same outreach, enthusiasm, and author platform building that is needed for any published book. The only difference is the marketing efforts of crowdfunding will result in advanced funds to publish more successfully.
Writers who are thinking of crowdfunding should be ready to develop their author platform, which includes developing the perfect pitch, creating a comprehensive marketing plan and having a pre-existing network of people willing to support their publishing efforts. Planning ahead is the key to success as crowdfunding blindly will only lead to frustration—just as marketing your book with no plan or target audience won’t yield many sales.
In addition to the pre-campaign preparation, a book crowdfunding campaign requires a summary, an excerpt, a video, a funding goal (the total amount an author hopes to raise), and reward levels (rewards given to supporters in return for various levels of support). Knowing how to craft a compelling summary, choose an engaging excerpt, create a WOW video, and develop creative and fun incentives will greatly increase the success of a campaign.
There are many resources available for authors looking to raise funds and get published. If you’re interested in learning more about how to crowdfund your self-publishing project, check out pubslush.com or attend the upcoming Grub seminar, The Next Step to Publication: Crowdfunding for Authors, on Wednesday September 4 at 6pm.
Justine Schofield is the communications coordinator of Pubslush, a global, crowdsourcing publishing platform for authors to raise funds and gauge the initial audience for new book ideas. Pubslush also operates an independent imprint that acquires books from the platform, and for every book sold, donates a children’s book to a child in need. Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations, has held various freelance editing and writing jobs, and her work has been published in many online and print publications.