Crowdfunding for Book Publishing Projects

By Cheryl Downing
Have you struggled to find the financial resources to complete a book publishing project?
If so, then perhaps crowdfunding is your answer. Crowdfunding allows you to raise small amounts of money from a large group of individuals, typically over the Internet, using a website such as Kickstarter. It is not a loan, so you don’t need to pay the money back. Also, the donors are not entitled to royalties from your project.

If you have heard of crowdfunding before, you are undoubtedly familiar with the videos used, probably the thank you gifts (also known as rewards or perks), and more likely the phenomenal amounts of money some people have raised for their projects.

While the phenomenal amounts are not the norm, it is possible to raise a significant amount of money using crowdfunding.

What is typically not discussed is that marketing your crowdfunding campaign is a critical factor in your success. However, the advantage that artistic endeavors, such as writing or graphic design, have is that, as a creator, you are more likely to be creating new content regularly and ideally posting it online. This gives you more opportunities to achieve increasing visibility for your work which, in essence, helps you to build your publishing platform. This means that if you are not already using social media, such as Facebook, you may want to begin finding out where your readers might be hanging out online.

If you have not been working on creating lists of media influencers for your project, you will want to begin that as soon as possible.

The crowdfunding video is certainly an important part of your campaign marketing. A professionally created video is not required. What is instead more important is the ability to capture you discussing the inspiration which lead you to creating this project.

As mentioned, project donors typically receive thank you gifts. For example, if you will be publishing a book, then you might offer a copy of the book as a thank you gift. Supporting materials for the book, such as illustrations, graphics, or photos, might also be offered as thank you gifts.

Although there are a number of components to your campaign, including calculating the fund raising goal and determining the length of your campaign, independent book publishers are great candidates for crowdfunding.

In the March 8th BAIPA morning presentation, there will be an overview of the crowdfunding process while, in the afternoon workshop, we’ll discuss specific ways to begin preparing for your crowdfunding campaign.

Cheryl Downing is a small business marketing and crowdfunding consultant. She advises and coaches small business startups and product developers/inventors how to grow their businesses quickly, specializing in raising money through crowdfunding. Cheryl spent the early part of her career in corporate software product development and marketing. Since 2001, Cheryl has volunteered as an SBA marketing trainer and been an active supporter of the Inventors Alliance association. As of August 2013, she is also the Co-Chair of the SVForum 3D Printing SIG.

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