Crowdfunding for Authors by PubSlush

Please welcome Amanda Barbara from PubSlush who is today’s guest columnist. Amanda discusses crowdfunding for authors. Enjoy!

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The ultimate goal of most writers is to get published, but the publishing industry, like many creative fields, is very difficult to break into. Self-publishing is a preferred route by many, but it involves a substantial financial risk on behalf of the writer, who incurs the out-of-pocket expenses of publishing. However, new technology has created an outlet that can help lessen the financial burden of self-publishing. Enter Crowdfunding for authors.

Crowdfunding is a means for artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses to raise funds and mitigate the financial risk of their creative projects or business ventures. Writers, like other artists or businesses, need funds to bring their creative project to life. Unfortunately, many writers don’t have the backing of a publishing house, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the backing of their own network and audience.

Crowdfunding platforms provide people with an outlet to share their project and raise funds. Here’s a quick overview of the crowdfunding process and the steps you’ll need to take to get started.

  1. Have a marketable book. Obviously, the first step to publishing is to have written a book. Let’s face it, it seems like everyone nowadays has written or is writing a book. It’s the newest fad and everyone wants a turn to play the tortured writer. So, if you’re serious about getting published, you need to determine the marketability of your book. What’s the genre? Who will be reading your book? Does it have a niche audience you can target? The writing was the easy part, now you have to determine who your readers are and how to market to them.
  2. Research your costs. Every self-publishing author has slightly different goals. Will you need an editor? A proofreader? A book designer? Are you just selling e-books? Print on demand? The costs of publishing can accrue quickly, and depending on the quality you’re looking for, the costs also vary greatly. It’s very important to know your exact publishing goals and research the costs. This will help you determine an accurate funding goal.
  3. Create reward levels. Most crowdfunding sites require you to create reward levels. Reward levels are incentives you create for various different levels of financial backing. Since the goal of crowdfunding is to raise funds, the reward is going to be disproportionate to the monetary amount. However, creativity goes a long way (and we all know writers are creative!), so put thought into your reward levels. It will show that you did and people will appreciate this.
  4. Set up your book page. Now that your book, funding goal and reward levels are determined, you’re ready to build your book page. Your book page will be the hub of your campaign—where people learn about you and your book and will be able to pledge their support. A book page typically contains an excerpt, a summary, and a video. The video is very important because it’s how people will connect to you as a person. A professional video isn’t necessary, just an honest portrayal of yourself, why you wrote the book, and why people should help you to publish it. Some sites allow you to include additional author information as well. The more the better!
  5. Devise an in-depth outreach plan pre-campaign. A typical crowdfunding campaign lasts 30-60 days, so you need to make the most of your time. Having a detailed marketing and outreach plan before your campaign starts is essential. Create a list of all the people you want to contact—people in your network and outside of it. It’s best to breakdown your plan into weekly outreach goals, so you can more easily manage your marketing efforts.
  6. Create a buzz. Don’t let the momentum die down. You have to be as excited about your campaign on the last day as you were on the first. It’s true, you’re going to be talking about your book and your crowdfunding campaign A LOT, but that’s how you sell books, or in this case, raise funds for your book. Don’t be shy, be passionate about your project and people will be attracted to that.

Crowdfunding requires a lot of planning, marketing, and passion, but if successful, it’s an amazing opportunity to lessen financial burden and build your audience while doing so.  If you’re thinking about crowdfunding, it’s important to research how to be successful. Learn more about crowdfunding for books and don’t hesitate to ask questions!

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Amanda Barbara is the vice president 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. Amanda earned a bachelors degree in Public Relations and Creative Writing at the University of Miami in Florida. She has worked as a Corporate Account Manager for Big Geyser and a Leisure Sales Coordinator for the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. She started her career in the Media and Community Relations Department at Macy’s. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her family.

 

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1 Response

  1. August 18, 2014

    […] don’t hesitate to ask questions! (Editor’s note: You can learn more about crowdfunding here in this article Amanda wrote for Writer’s Fun Zone, our sister blog on writing for […]

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