If you dream of one day becoming an author, there are two things you need to do. The first is to make it a priority now. (Doing it “later” usually means never.) The second is to make sure you don’t let money get in the way of your dream. Despite what you may think, publishing your bestseller can be costly, regardless of the publishing path you choose. Keep reading to learn about crowdfunding for authors, and how to raise the funds you need to publish your book.
Why You Need To Invest In Your Book
Nobody said it would be easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Publishing a book can be a life accomplishment on its own, a way to increase your reach, and a means to get your big idea out there in the world. But in order to go from idea to published book, you’ll need to invest time, and yes, money.
To clear up a pretty big myth: there is no publishing route that is completely free. Between the three publishing options—traditional, self-publishing, and hybrid—there are varying costs to see your book from idea to book store shelves.
Learn more about the varying costs of publishing here.
If you are worried that you cannot afford publishing at this time, let us challenge you to see things differently. You on your own might not be able to finance your book publishing, but with the right fundraising campaign, you will be able to raise the money you need to turn your dream into a reality. Making an investment in your book is the best thing you can do for your business, nonprofit, or inner child that always dreamed of becoming an author. What effort you put in now to raise the money you need to move forward will absolutely be transformed into a worthy investment.
What Your Book Funding Can Do
The funding that you raise for your book can go to a multitude of things, from the beginning of the writing process to the cost of professional editors. Here are some ideas!
- Writing Support—If you’ve recently decided that you want to write a book, but have yet to finish a manuscript, you can join a 6-month-long course to help you finish your manuscript
- Publishing Support—If you have a manuscript that’s ready for publishing, you can apply to become an author with Publish Your Purpose, a hybrid publisher of non-fiction books that seek to make a difference
- Professional help with cover design, editing, formatting, project management, marketing strategy, marketing services, new or updated website, promotional materials, and social media support
Five Tips on Crowdfunding for Authors
1. Change Your Mindset
You don’t need to throw your life savings into your book, and you don’t need to publish your book alone. There are people (your community, following, family) that want to see your big idea come to fruition. Your connections want you to succeed, and you will be surprised by how much they will donate and offer you to help see your dreams fulfilled.
Fundraising expert Mary Valloni puts it this way: “Money has so much emotion tied to it and I am extremely passionate about ending the scarcity mindset.” Instead of worrying about asking too much of your connections, believe that an investment in your book will have a positive impact on the world (if you believe it, they will too!).
You can overcome the taboo of asking for money.
2. Share Your Why
Answer the question: Why would anybody want to fund this book? Why would anybody want to be a part of the work that I’m doing? Once you have your “why” you can begin to reach out to your network and get other people inspired.
When talking with people, tell them what your book is going to be able to do, and the kind of impact you envision for it. Conversations have a multiplying effect on motivation and inspiration. The more you talk about your book, the more excited you’ll become, and the more excited your community (the people who will fund your book) will become. And once they’re excited, they’ll reach out to their connections. They will want to be a part of your vision, too.
Don’t stop at your friends and family, or immediate community. If you have a thriving social following or clientele, tell them that you’re writing a book! This will not only hold you accountable for actually following through with your goal, but it will add to the book hype.
The truth is, the time before your book is released is the most important time for marketing.
You need to build the suspense, the hype, and the attention. Once your book is released, you’ll want to have already built a sizeable following and group of people who have been waiting for its release.
3. Start the Cover Process Early
In order to build said “hype,” you’ll need a beautiful book cover. In fact, marketing for your book can’t start until you have one. If you’re thinking, What? A book cover? I haven’t even written the book yet! Let us explain. As we already explored, in order to fund your book, you’ll need to get a lot of people on board. People need to believe that this book will actually come to fruition, and in order to see it be successful, they need to see what it’s going to look like. The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is dandy and all, but we all know that we do judge books (at least in part) by the quality of the cover.
One of the first things that we do with our authors at Publish Your Purpose is to begin to develop the perfect book cover. We work with professional book designers to get the look right for your big idea. Check out some of our best-selling books here.
4. Use Platforms That Support Crowdfunding for Authors
There are countless crowdfunding platforms that exist for this exact purpose: to help you raise the money you need to publish your book. Here are a few of our favorite crowdfunding for authors platforms:
Essentially, what you are doing with this crowdfunding platform is finding people who are willing (and excited) to pay for your book ahead of time. We call this a “pre-order campaign” and you can get really creative with how to go about it.
5. Launch a Pre-Order Campaign
A pre-order (or pre-sale) is simply selling your book in advance of your publication date. While there are two ways to pre-order, we recommend setting up a pre-order campaign through your website in order to fund the publishing of your book.
While you can set up a pre-order campaign on Amazon, you won’t have access to the funds until the book is live, so it only helps if you already have enough funding to get the book published! Plus, your pre-order campaign can help you obtain the donor’s contact information to build an email list and eventually convert your readers into your sales funnel.
There are tons of different creative ways to sell pre-orders. Here are some of our favorites:
- Ask dedicated readers to donate $50 now, and once the book comes out they will not only be one of the first people to get their hands on a copy but will get a signed copy
- For big donations (over $1,500), you can offer the opportunity to have their name appear in the acknowledgments. This can be a really exciting prospect for anyone, to have their name acknowledged in a printed book, and to feel really a part of the process
- Let’s say there’s an organization that aligns with your book directly or indirectly (think: a book on climate change, and a nonprofit organization that aims to restore the polar bear population in Alaska). You could offer them 1,000 books at $8 a piece. That’s $8,000 for your publishing needs
- Other ideas include adding in a signed poster or a few tickets to a book launch event to the donation, to get your readers excited to join in
What Are You Waiting For? Get Published!
If you have a great book idea (or a manuscript ready for a publisher’s eyes) we want to meet you. Publish Your Purpose believes in elevating the voices often excluded from traditional publishing. We intentionally seek out authors and storytellers with diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and unique perspectives to publish books that will make an impact in the world.