Crowdfunding for Self-Publishing Authors

I’d like to welcome Justine Schofield of Pubslush to the Self-Publishing Boot Camp blog, to explain crowdfunding and how Pubslush works. I’m also scheduling a podcast with Pubslush VP Amanda Barbara, so stay tuned. Take it away, Justine!

First thing’s first: What is crowdfunding? Crowdfunding is a way to fund creative projects and business ventures by raising many smaller amounts of money from a large pool of people, typically via the Internet. With crowdfunding, funds are raised before the project, product, or business venture becomes a reality, making crowdfunding the perfect way to raise funds while gauging the market viability for an idea or product.

So, no wonder crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular way for writers to raise funds to self-publish their books. We all know publishing can be costly, especially if a writer wants to publish a high quality book, and the risk of self-publishing is that all the upfront costs come right out of the author’s pocket. An author who chooses to self-publish can only hope that one day they will get a return in their investment. Crowdfunding for your book is a way to eliminate this risk because it allows you to raise funds before you publish, cutting your own out-of-pocket expenses.

Raising funds pre-publication isn’t the only advantage to crowdfunding, though. Writers are also able to market and create a buzz around their book before it’s published and, through Pubslush, writers are able to receive market analytics so they know exactly who their audience is and how to best connect with them.

Crowdfunding is actually a natural precursor to publishing. All the necessary marketing and promotion needed to successfully publish a book is required for a crowdfunding campaign, only difference is the crowdfunding marketing efforts will help to raise funds before the book is published.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the typical book profile for a crowdfunding campaign:

  • Overview: Sums your book up in one line.
  • Summary: Think back of the book style. The summary should entice readers without giving too much away.
  • Excerpt: About 10 pages of your book to give readers a sense of the writing and style.
  • Video: Creating a personalized video detailing why you wrote the book and what you plan to do with the funds will engage your audience.
  • Rewards: Reward based crowdfunding platforms require the author to create various reward levels to entice supporters. Reward levels should be varied ($1, $10, $25, $50, $100, $500…) to give readers options and provide unique offers in return for their support. Rewards can range from an eBook to the author naming a character after the supporter in an upcoming book.
  • Funding Goal: Every campaign has to have a funding goal, or the amount of money the writer hopes to raise. Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, Pubslush offers flexible funding, which means even if an author doesn’t raise their goal they will still receive the funds they raise (so long as they surpass their minimum funding goal).

Authors should put a lot of time and thought into the creation of their campaign. The most successful campaigns are from authors who treat their book like their business and put in the effort to make their book a success.

If you believe your book will succeed in the marketplace, then crowdfunding could be right for you. Learn more at http://pubslush.com/101.

Justine Schofield of PubslushJustine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform only for books. Authors can raise funds and gauge initial market viability for their book projects. Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations and in the past she has worked with growing companies to develop their online presence. Justine has become a prominent industry voice for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding and her work has been featured on many online publications. Connect with her on LinkedIn.