The Guardian, while mentioning the Karen-Klein-Bus and the Tesla-Museum projects, wrote about Crowdfunding: “It’s quickly becoming the world’s incubation platform, changing the role of gatekeeper and finally giving the world true choice in determining which ideas come to life. Such meritocracy has never existed in the world of finance before.” Crowdfunding for your book offers an amazing opportunity as one of the starting steps in the publishing process. You heard it so often here on this blog: Marketing your books should start well before publication. When using crowdfunding, authors can focus their marketing efforts, while reaping the benefits of a successful crowdfunding campaign: raising funds pre-publication, collecting pre-orders and testing market viability.
Is there a Market for Your Book?
A successful crowdfunding campaign is proof that a market exists for your product or service. Publishing means you have to sell, and a crowdfunding campaign is a cheap way for you to test the waters. If you create an interesting campaign, crowdfunding sites will promote it additionally and let the message go viral. Indiegogo, for example uses an objective algorithm called the “gogofactor” to ensure crowdfunding campaigns earn exposure based on the community’s response to them.
Raising funds pre-publication can help authors to produce a higher quality book. Even if an author tends to go with a traditional publishing house, crowdfunding offers an opportunity to prove market viability for their book.
Create Buzz for Your Book
Conducting a crowdfunding campaign is a great way to land interest and support around a book pre-publication, an essential part of the overall success of a book. This allows authors to collect pre-orders for their book during their crowdfunding campaign. The ability to collect pre-orders provides authors with an already active audience – and often reviewers – to jumpstart the success of their book once it’s published.
Get to Know Your Readers
Once your book is sold in retail shops, on- and off-line – these sellers have your customer’s data, and you have very view possibilities to get to know or to communicate with your readers. Maybe when they write a review, but not even then … However, crowdfunding gives you the opportunity to build a long-term relationship with the people who fund you. The reward of crowdfunding is not just in Dollars, Euros or Pounds, but in access to your readers’ contact information.
Readers and Reviewers
Authors can offer copies of their book to their supporters. For example, let’s say an author’s book campaign gains the support of a hundred people who will receive a copy of the book as a reward. The day the book debuts, the author will already have access to those hundred readers, who will be able to review the book on Goodreads, Amazon or B&N, Kobo or Apple and help to generate attention and momentum immediately after publication. If the book is sold in print through book shops, it has only a couple of weeks to succeed and with an initial boost its likelihood of success is much greater.
One author explains it: “Kickstarter provided effective market research and publicity for us. We developed an audience that cares about our product, who can convince others to be excited about it too.”
Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo, said: “It’s time to fund what matters to you.”
More Benefits Beside the Money
Crowdfunding for authors could quickly become the natural and necessary step between the writing and publication of a book. Even if an author believes they don’t need the money, the other benefits are immeasurable. Plus, authors can come up with many other enticing ways to allocate their funds if they don’t want to use them for the publication of their book.
How to Organize Your Campaign:
- Make a business plan. YES, start your crowdfunding organized! This is a business! Check out your suppliers (funding companies), calculate conservatively the money you need and a little cushion for hidden expenses.
- Create a compelling pitch. Your fund-raising pitch should focus on emotions and get donors excited about your business, your product or service and your entrepreneurial passion. Decide the length of your campaign. If you go too short, it might not be enough time to get the word out, most campaigns are between 30 – 45 days.
- Prepare at the same time your update strategy – and prepare help to send out mails, either friends or a professional mass mail company. Don’t stop with one initial offer, your funders love to hear frequently from you, how the funding process and later the implantation process goes along. They love to see a result!
- Create attractive rewards for your funders – it must not be neccessarely monetary, at least not for the under $50 funds, but it should be a customized gift or one that shows your appeciation, such as a mentioning in a book or a film.
- There is a lot of competition on these crowdfunding sites, so if you want to stand out, use not only your social media platform, but also your real-life contacts, your own networks and their networks’ networks. If you want people to back your project you have to tell them about it. More than once… Folks have to hear a message about seven! times, before they act!
Answer these Questions for Yourself:
- Who is my audience for the whole publishing project?
What is the uniqueness of my publishing project?
Why should people donate to your publishing project?
The supporters of your crowdfunding campaign are your customers. Crowdfunding is a way to pre-order books before they are produced – invaluable for a startup author-publisher. Too often, authors write books before knowing the depth of their reader base. Crowdfunding means you have readers before your book is published.
In other words: The author’s knowledge of the audience of their book and how to reach them is the key to success in publishing. Crowdfunding means, an author is able to test the market for the book and find and connect with their audience pre-publication, which gives them a tremendous advantage when the book is published and promoted to a large audience of readers.
Let us know: How did YOU promote your crowdfunding project – besides Social Media?
Kickstarter Crowdfunding in More Countries
How to Organize Your Crowdfunding Campaign
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