Crowdfunding your book is a relatively new way to pay for pro-level publishing. The best platforms offer low commission, user guides, and publishing options. Some campaigns make more than their target (yeah) and some make less and do not launch (aww). The odds do seem a lot better than submitting to agents you do not know.
The best campaigns have something that is shareable, understandable and uses ‘vanity’ to their advantage by adding donor names to the book. You will also need a good sales script and headline. (Read this Foundr post about writing headlines).
There are three publishing-specific funding platforms to choose from, plus hundreds more general funding platforms:
- Ink shares
- Publishizer (a ‘virtual’ agent for popular book ideas) 30% cut
Joanna Penn says she spent two months, or approx. 80-100 hours preparing all the things and promoting her crowdfunding campaign. Managing the campaign takes 1-2 hours per day. So consider how much time you really have (and energy) to put into this strategy.
The most successful literary novel on Publishizer at that time, Joanna’s results were 334 copies sales of a first novel, grossing $6,475 in total sales and a net of $4,275. (Or $47 an hour). Plus, she had the book production done for her. This small success is still a success and sure beats the vast majority. Read full story.
Proposals for Traditional Publishers
My article deals with writing a proposal or ‘pitch’ for traditional publishers and agents. We highly recommend the book, ‘Author Training Manual‘ if you are deadly serious about selling your manuscript to a publisher.
Aust Government Arts Funding
You might find it easier to apply for Arts Grants Funding to help with new book research or writing skill development. There is limited eligibility. Have a look at:
You might find it easier to apply for Arts Grants Funding to help with new book research or writing skill development. There is limited eligibility. Have a look at Arts Hub and the Copyright Agency.
Arts Hub – select Writing & Publishing, then your State
See Ignite Grant by Copyright Agency
Also check “Individuals fund” on Arts Hub, for a grant of up to $5,000 for extra mentoring or residential writing course.
- The Australian Council – literary fund (more for high-brow literary works)
- Local Historical Society if a book has a historical basis
FICTION OR ALL BOOKS FUNDING:
InkShares is a virtual publisher of mainly fiction with a social factor. They edit, produce, distribute, and facilitate some lower-reaching marketing.
See a live example page here: https://www.inkshares.com/books/not-afraid-of-the-fall
Publishizer (US) offers some tips here about raising book funds: https://medium.com/publishizer/the-10k-book-crowdfunding-secret-for-publishizer-9a477c0f82f0
Publishizer.com will connect your book project to about a dozen agents and publishers, and their interest depends on numbers of pre-orders and followers you have. Thus, success lies in your ability to rack up some views and sales based on the concept, video, and sales copy.
BUSINESS — ONLINE PROGRAMS FUNDING (US-based)
RocketHub.com is more for niche business ideas. It has Connect (a platform for entrepreneurs), Stories (place articles), Advertise, Interviews, and Funding portals. There is a strong learning emphasis and you submit product ideas for funding straight to them.O
Other Ways to Fund:
Sponsorship – Letter Writing
If crowdfunding doesn’t appeal and you’re nifty at writing persuasive letters, then you can send proposal letters to registered charities and companies who you perceive to have an interest in your topic. The aim is for them to become a sponsor (and a distributor too).
This is totally win-win, as they will get wholesale copies of an interesting book for their customers or donors a value-add and you will gain a resale order of hundreds of copies plus a profit to go towards production and editing. (You do not lumber them with those details). Ways to personalise:
- With custom printing you can insert a promotion about them at the back
- You can choose a different cover with the organisation’s name on it just for their order.
Read more about this in the book, ‘Maverick Marketing’ by Lisa Messenger.