Crowdfunding seems to be the latest way for people to finance their projects. As a writer interested in self-publishing a book, you might be wondering if crowdfunding is the answer to your budget concerns. At Self-Publishing Relief, we know crowdfunding may seem like a good way to get fans and readers to support and directly fund your book while it’s being created, rather than simply purchasing a copy after publication. But does it always work? And should you crowdfund to self-publish a book?
Crowdfunding: Should You Crowdfund To Self-Publish Your Book?
Crowdfunding involves raising money for your book project by collecting donations from your family, friends, readers, fan base, and even strangers. Usually, anyone who contributes will get a special reward from you, which could be a copy of the published book; an autographed book; a discount on the price of the book; exclusive behind-the-scenes insights; a gift that relates to your book’s genre, etc. For writers, a successful campaign could mean that some—or all—of the cost of hiring a professional proofreader, editor, or cover designer doesn’t have to come out of your own pocket.
Some platforms will take a percentage of the funds you raise, but they all allow you to retain 100% ownership of your project. You will, however, have a responsibility to use the money you raise appropriately and come through on delivering your promised product. Find out more about crowdfunding here.
What To Consider Before You Crowdfund
Running a successful crowdfunding campaign will take time and effort—you won’t simply set up a crowdfunding page and then sit back and watch the money pouring in. You are essentially pre-selling your book to readers, which means actively marketing and building a fan base before your book is available for purchase.
You must also have a manuscript with a story, characters, or idea that will get readers excited enough to open up their wallets before the book exists. And depending on what pre-self-publishing step you’re at, it might be a long wait for anyone who donates. Offering promotional giveaways or promising to keep patrons up-to-date with an inside view of the process are great ways to build and sustain interest in your project.
Be sure your goal is reasonable: Don’t try to raise $500,000 to self-publish your novel. You’ll most likely be getting small donations from individual readers, not big cash outlays from corporations. Remember, any funds raised are supposed to go toward the costs of self-publishing your book, not to finance a vacation where you sit on a beach sipping piña coladas while you choose a font for the book cover. Misuse of the funds will damage your reputation and make it harder to sell any future books—you’ll be considered a scammer, not an author.
The Best Crowdfunding Platforms For Writers
There are many crowdfunding platforms—some specifically for artists or authors—so you’ll want to do some research to determine the platform that’s best for you. Before you crowdfund to self-publish your book, compare the details, fees, and restrictions for each platform.
Kickstarter and GoFundMe are the big names in the business, but we recommend you also consider platforms that are geared more toward writers. You’ll find information about ten different platforms for writers here.
Successfully crowdfunding your self-published project might make the difference between being able to professionally prepare and finish your book—or having to abandon it or settle for more budget-friendly options. And if you hope to crowdfund your book, you’ll need to put lots of effort into marketing and building demand before you even have a book to sell. With a little research, you can decide if this fundraising trend will work for you.
And once you’ve raised the funds you need, the experts at Self-Publishing Relief are ready to help you with a creating a great book cover and navigating the entire self-publishing process so you’ll have a book you’ll be proud to put your name on!
Question: What crowdfunding platforms are you familiar with?