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Crowdfunding Ideas For Book Projects

Whether you are self-publishing or have an indie book to get off the ground, working out how to fund it is a big part of even starting. Traditional publishers often have deep pockets, and other types of financing might include loans, spending savings or finding a project sponsor.

Crowdfunding is an alternative to all of these and can be a powerful tool for self-publishers to finance their projects, engage with their audience and validate their book ideas. Successful crowdfunding campaigns not only provide financial support but also help build a community around the book and generate a buzz for its launch.

If you think crowdfunding could be for you, you need to plan your campaign carefully and allow a reasonable amount of time. Set realistic funding goals, create compelling reasons for people to back you and work out a way to effectively market your project. Below are some crowdfunding ideas.


Big Crowdfunding Platforms:

Well known crowdfunding platforms include Idiegogo and Kickstarter. Many famous products and projects have been launched with these platforms and an advantage of using these is the tools and audience they bring. You will need to have some compelling offers though, such as limited editions and prizes for people to fund you early. Like using any large platform there will be competition, so although the platform might bring you interest it also becomes easy to get lost.  To use one of these large platforms it is very important to do your research well and read all the terms and conditions before you sign up to a campaign. Sometimes there is a funding threshold, meaning that you will need to make the whole target in order to get any of the cash. If you miss this then funders might be automatically refunded and your project will not get any of the funding.  You need to spend plenty of time working on your campaign before launching it with one of these platforms but if you have an idea you believe will be generally popular then they can be a great funding tool.


Launch Your Book With A Pre-Sale

Pre-sales are a brilliant way to get people to buy a book upfront. This is particularly useful when working with small budgets as a pre-order allows you to know how many copies you will need printed before ordering. This means that whether you are using digital print on demand, or a short run press, or printing yourself, you won’t waste money having too many books manufactured that you subsequently find hard to sell. Pre-sales can also help build a buzz around your title. Don’t forget to give people an incentive to buy before publication and have to wait for their book. A pre-sale special price, limited edition merch or a special edition are all good ideas. It is very important to ringfence any pre-sale money that comes in. Never spend this on anything else until the books have been ordered and received by your customers. You need to have a good reputation to run a pre-sale, which is why many people might rather choose the risk-free platforms above like Kickstarter if they want to back a project. If you have a company with a decent reputation or website, though, a pre-order is a good way to fund a book launch and it won’t involve any external fees.


Pretend to be in the Movies With Backend Contracts

Often used in the film industry, Pudding Press has enjoyed using backend contracts. This involves paying professionals you might need for your project through royalties or a percentage of sales rather than an upfront fee. Proper contracts need to be drawn up in this case and the professional needs to be happy to work this way. If you have a lot of sales over a long period, it might well be worth someone waiving their fee for editing or book design or illustration, because they might find themselves with perpetual royalties. However, not all indie books are top sellers, so either way it is important to make sure everyone knows what they are signing up for. As evidenced by the film and indie music industry, though, this can be a great way to work with people who believe in your project.


Rely on Fan Support

If you have fans, you might find that a platform like Patreon is a great place to fund ongoing book activities. Here, you will be able to accept ongoing financial support from fans and followers in exchange for exclusive content, behind the scenes access, or other perks. Substack also offers paid routes where people can subscribe to regular articles from you and many mainstream writers make a good living here. This works particularly well for niche subject matter.


All of these strategies can be used alone or you can combine and customise them to suit your specific goals. Facilitated by the Internet, these funding options mean that you can get your book published without having to raise a huge amount of personal money or get taken on by a mainstream publisher. In all cases they require that you have a marketing strategy and an ethical way of processing people’s money but if you can spend time building up these sides of your business then they all make book publishing much more achievable.

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