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Use Crowdfunding to Publish Your Next Book

Updated on November 24, 2016

Crowdfunded writing projects coupled with self-publishing can produce a successful first start without the risk. Learn how to publish for free and get your book or manual to market faster.

Crowdfunding your first book or manual with the help of others just may be the jump start you need.
Crowdfunding your first book or manual with the help of others just may be the jump start you need. | Source

Crowdfunding: Worth Looking At

Crowdfunding is well worth considering when you feel the time has come to put to print your first book or manual. It is not necessarily the way to go in future publishing but it is, perhaps, a great way to ‘test’ the waters without risk or financial investment. So, done correctly, Crowdfunding coupled with self-publishing ends up being a profitable venture, right from the start.

For example, let’s say you have composed a collection of writings, whether it is a series of short stories, self help guides, a historical compilation, or an emotional composition piece worthy of publication and distribution to like-minded people. How can you take the next step? Crowdfunding may be worth pursuing or at least considering. This guide will give you an overview and the steps involved to venture out and ‘take the leap’.

What Is Crowdfunding?

If you are not already familiar with the term ‘Crowdfunding’, it is very simply a way in which to pitch your idea along with what you need to make it happen. The ‘need’ is usually a financial contribution from others who believe in your concept, want to see it come to fruition, and are willing to help in return for a payback or reward of some kind. In the case of publishing your writing, the reward may be a ‘first’ copy or other tangible or notable reward. In essence, you are pre selling your book and using the funds raised to publish it.

How Crowdfunding Flows

Four Basic Steps to Successfully Crowdfunding Your Project
Four Basic Steps to Successfully Crowdfunding Your Project

Kickstarter Crowdfunding

Kickstarter.com is the leading Crowdfunding platform for writers
Kickstarter.com is the leading Crowdfunding platform for writers | Source

Where to Start

There are a handful of internet sites that are solely dedicated to Crowdfunding. The biggest and most successful is Kickstarter.com. In return for their services and by using their well established platform in which to present your venture, they get 5% of any money you successfully raise. For example, If you raise $5,000, they keep $250 and you get $4,750 to publish your book and fulfill the rewards you promised to your investors.

The key word here, of course, is “successfully”. If you don’t raise the amount of money you need, neither you, nor Kickstarter, or your investors make or loose any money.

World's Top Fundraising Platform

For a great experience visit Kickstarter.com. Be warned, it is addictive...

Components of a Writing a Crowdfunding Presentation

Kickstarter provides a wide range of help including "getting started" support. After all, they want you to succeed...they don't make money if you don't. The most common components of your presentation and format to attract potential investors are:

  1. Make a simple video talking about your project
  2. Determine how much money you need to complete it and how you will spend the money
  3. Offer rewards for people who are willing to invest
  4. Present a sample of your work and describe what the final product will be


Does it Really Work?

Kickstarter provides the results of both successful projects and unsuccessful projects. It is good to explore both before formulating your approach. Evaluate the why and why nots. If you can figure out the reasons why some worked and can focus on their technique then follow suit. The same applies to the projects that were unsuccessful...in reverse. Again, I encourage you to explore for yourself but to get you started; here are two recently funded projects that have worked:

Two examples of successful projects
Two examples of successful projects

Two Examples

The two examples above are a screenshot of two current book projects as of this writing. Both esily will hit their goals. As soon as the deadline has passed, they will instanly receive their funding ( less the 5% fee Kickstarter charges) directly into their Paypal or Checking account and then are free to move on to the next phase--publishing and sending the rewards.

Success Rate

The success rate of writing projects on Kickstarter is just about 70% funded and about 30% not funded
The success rate of writing projects on Kickstarter is just about 70% funded and about 30% not funded | Source

After you get the funding

Once you have opened and explored some of the successes at Kickstarter, chances are, you won’t need to read this article much further. The object here is to simply expose you to the idea. But please, do read on…there are some other important things to consider.

The Suitcase Entrepenuer

The video below is one of the best! The "Suitcase Entrepreneur" discusses both using Crowdfunding to promote and finance your book and, self publishing. Well worth watching

Great Video about Crowdfunding

SUCCESS! You raised the funds...now what?

These days, self publishing has become better and easier then ever before. It is necessary to explore and know how much your book will cost before you publish. The great thing is, you can do everything online and get a quote within minutes. The things you will need to know are as follows:

  1. What dimensional size do you want your book to be?
  2. How many pages are there?
  3. Do you want a hard back with dust jacket or paperback or other binding?
  4. What quality of paper do you want?
  5. How many copies do you want for your first run?
  6. Do you need a ISBN number?
  7. Do you want a proof copy?

The online quote system will guide you through each of these steps and will allow you to try different options to get the final product you are looking for. Once you have this number, you want to consider shipping cost including packaging. After that, you're ready to determine your true cost and will have the goal amount needed to bring this project to fruition.

Here is one great source that has an easy to use automatic quote system:

http://www.instantpublisher.com/Price-Quote.aspx

Instant Publisher is just one of the many quality publishers. Shop around and test several before making your final decision.

Self Publishing...cheaper than you think

Self publishing requires you to be the author, the editor, and in some cases, the graphic artist. But, on the other hand, as a writer, you've already have done that! Self publishers have become expert at doing what they do best and provide the vehicle for you to do what you do best...write.

One of the most attractive reasons for self publishing is the fact that you can do "small" test runs and still achieve a professional very saleable result. The cost of self publishing has actually gone down making it even more attractive. Self publishing puts you in control. Couple self publishing with Crowdfunding and you've got a winner.

Five Star Crowdfunding...best of the best

Crowdfunding Book Review

The Next Big Thing

Gary Spirer takes Crowdfunding to the next level. He reveals a wealth of secrets using Crowdfunding and goes into detail on how to make the most out of sites like Kickstarter. Gary delves deep into all of the aspects using a seven step process. His aim is to promote the "small guy" and works his magic by providing solutions to guaranteeing your success. He also expands the process by not only showing you how to use a Crowdfunding site, but how to push it even further by using social networking and driving your target market to your product. Great investment with easy to understand step by step how to format.


Is Crowdfunding Right for You?

Have you ever used or considered using Crowdfunding to promote your book?

See results

Comments

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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I have created my own publishing department of an existing business and the leap from digital copies to printing press copies means a big drop in volume per copy prices. The book I just reviewed has a plethora of marketing ideas, and to make a solid profit it suggests that making a limited number of pbooks and then going to ebooks and audio books is sound thinking. To have the leap to printing press copies crowdfunded is an excellent approach.

    • profile image

      Fire8storm 3 years ago

      This is a really interesting hub, thank you for sharing! I am seeing more and more references to crowdfunding recently but didn't really know how I could use it or how it could be of any use to me, and now I do! Certainly something to explore for future venues.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thanks, Joel. I've just started thinking about a book, and I really appreciate your encouragement.

    • Joel Diffendarfer profile image
      Author

      Joel Diffendarfer 3 years ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

      Ron with your collection of Civil War Era articles, you certainly have enough to put together a book! Make sure if you decide to go this route that you let me and others here know...I don't think it would take much to gain support quickly!

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I hadn't thought of crowd sourcing for self publishing. This really gives me something to think about. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Joel Diffendarfer profile image
      Author

      Joel Diffendarfer 3 years ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

      Thanks FatBoyThin, yes, you are right...over the years Crowdfunding has seen cases where those occurrences have indeed happened. Kickstarter is very adamant about protecting all parties involved and have placed emphasis on negating the risk. Amazon is directly partnered with Kickstarter for payments and endorsed as to the practice and principles established.

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 3 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Hi Joel, It's certainly an interesting idea, though I've heard a lot of bad press about crowdfunding: like folks who raise money for a book then spend it on redecorating their house instead! Definitely worth investigating, but for the moment, it does sound a bit too clever for its own good. Great article, though.

    • sweetpikez profile image

      Pinky de Garcia 3 years ago

      Dear Joel,

      This is an interesting and useful hub. This is best recommended for first time publisher.

      I have to check out the site soon. Voted up,useful and interesting.

      Glad to read this,

      Sweetpikez

    • Joyette  Fabien profile image

      Joyette Fabien 3 years ago from Dominica

      Interesting hub! Sounds worth a try. I will look into it. I have gone with Word Clay, Create Space and Author House. So far I am very happy with Create Space . Thanks for sharing.

    • Joel Diffendarfer profile image
      Author

      Joel Diffendarfer 3 years ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

      Thanks, I am putting a project together myself...it isn't a direct writing project...I have laser engraved on paper thin sheets of wood the complete original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland including the original graphics and made it into a wooden book...I want to do the same with the works of Edgar Allen Poe...but my laser is broken and I need another...my goal will be to raise $15,000 to produce the new book and more after that. My rewards will include single "engraved" pages of Alice...for a small contribution...up to the complete book for a major investment. Thanks for your comments and encouragement.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Such an interesting concept Joel and one worth consideration for writers..and for any innovative start up venture I would think.. have a friend who has given it a go & it's working well for her..great hub, will tweet & share..Cheers

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