How to use crowdfunding to publish your book successfully
1 Research, Plan and Prepare
In an ideal world, giving yourself a minimum of two months of preparation before your campaign’s launch date gives you enough time to prepare. The campaign will require a significant time investment, and if you have other plates spinning, you may need some extra time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. This is the time to carefully determine your funding goal. Consider all possible necessary to produce the final version of your book including editing, cover design and printing. Be realistic, but remember that it’s better to set a lower target and overfund as contributors are more likely to fund a campaign that’s close to or past its goal. You’ll also need to determine how long your campaign should run. We recommend 30 to 45 days to allow potential backers time to get involved without creating fatigue.
2 Build your database
The key to crowdfunding is, as you may have guessed, the crowd. Your fans, friends, family, people you have met networking and connections on social networks are all valuable as you prepare a crowdfunding campaign. The larger your database, the better chance you have of running a successful campaign. Social media is a fantastic way to build your network because it lets you spread your message far and wide, beyond your existing followers. Consider which social media platform you have the most engagement on, and create some dedicated posts to get people signed up for campaign updates. Another great way to reach a new audience is to write guest blog post or Q&A for a media outlet or influencer’s blog. Asking for a favour here or there can make a huge difference in driving backers to your campaign.
3 Create your campaign page
First impressions count, and your campaign page is what will turn someone’s interest into a contribution. Make sure the page is engaging, and shares plenty information about the book. But the most important part is you. You are the brand, and you are the part of the campaigner that your backers will connect to. The best way to help your backers get to know you is by speaking directly to them through a pitch video and there’s evidence to prove how much it helps. We’ve found that campaigns with a pitch video raise four times more than campaigns without one. Make it clear whether this is your first foray into self-publishing or a third book release. Avoid using words such as “donate” or “sponsor”, and instead use phrases like “support a project” and “pre-order a book”. Rewards or ‘perks’, which are offered to backers in exchange for contributing to a campaign, should offer in range depending on amount of contribution and provide an incentive for people to become a backer. For example, a perk could be to receive a signed copy of the book or chance to have a 15-minute interview with you, the author.
Once you hit the big red button and your campaign officially goes live, your journey is far from over. It’s important to keep in touch with your contributors during the campaign and after it ends. Your backers can provide invaluable feedback, and are making it possible to bring your project to life. Make sure you continue to keep them involved and nurture your relationship by providing regular updates on your project. Whether you’re a budding or established author, crowdfunding is a great to self-publish. If you’re working on your next page-turner, don’t forget that crowdfunding can help get you to the final chapter.