More and more creative projects are being discovered and becoming a reality thanks to the power of crowdfunding. Rather than relying on investors or digging into their own pockets, entrepreneurs and business-savvy creatives can now rally the support of their network and audience to raise the funds needed to produce their project ideas.
Crowdfunding can be a great way for authors to pay for the expensive costs of publishing and as crowdfunding becomes more popular, we are finding there are other pros to conducting a campaign that go above and beyond simply raising money. These benefits include:
Reward-based crowdfunding allows authors to create tiered reward levels for a supporter to pledge money toward. The most obvious reward an author can offer to their supporters is their book, so crowdfunding essentially provides a platform to facilitate a preorder campaign to a wider audience of people.
Since an author has to offer a range of reward levels that will appeal to all people, authors are forced to think about what other services or items of value they can offer their supporters. Realistically, in order for an author to make a living writing, they need to incorporate other services into their author brand, such as speaking, coaching, etc. Creating reward levels can help authors to build their brand by determining what else they have to offer their audience.
The marketing efforts for a book must begin well before publication date, yet it’s can be difficult to talk about a product that hasn’t been produced yet. A crowdfunding campaign provides a landing page to drive traffic and a place that encompasses all elements that readers might be interested in.
A crowdfunding campaign encapsulates the author in a way that isn’t possible through the traditional marketplace. The author gets to connect with their audience on a personal level, tell their story and include links to their website and social media. The personalized aspect of crowdfunding is part of the appeal and is often how authors gain the support of readers outside of their network.
A successful campaign not only allows authors to connect with their supporters on a more personal level, but also will provide the author with market analytics of who their readers are (age, gender, geographic location) and what promotional efforts were most effective throughout the campaign.
In 2013, 74 million people worldwide participated in crowdfunding and that number is expected to hit 362 million people by 2014. As crowdfunding continues to grow in popularity, the number of people seeking out new and exciting projects will increase as well. Start by researching other successful campaigns and best crowdfunding practices - and you'll soon be ready to start getting your book out there!
Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for the literary world that provides a way to raise funds and tangibly pre-market books and literary-based projects. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, she is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Justine has become a prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding. She has contributed to IBPA’s Independent magazine, Self-Publishers Monthly, Book Marketing Magazine, Business Banter and many more online publications. She has spoken on panel discussions about crowdfunding for authors and continues to foster the growth and development of crowdfunding within the publishing process. She tweets for @pubslush.