Crowdfunding tips for writers
[This article was written by guest contributor Justine Schofield of Pubslush, a crowdfunding publishing platform.]
Crowdfunding is the next big thing in the publishing world. Crowdfunding platforms offer artists a way to mitigate financial risk and gauge initial market viability for creative projects.
In an age where even established authors are choosing to self-publish, crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly prominent facet to the publication landscape. So, as an author, what do you need to know?
1. More than half the work of crowdfunding happens pre-campaign.
By the time you launch your campaign, you should have already built your network and developed a clear and proactive marketing strategy. At Pubslush, we suggest our authors develop a week-by-week plan prior to the launch of their campaign. You can’t expect to throw your book up on a crowdfunding site and have people financially back you. Networking and planning are the keys to success.
2. Know your costs.
If you want to fund a full-scale publishing effort, you’re going to need a lot more money than an author who just wants to sell e-books on Amazon. You need to thoroughly research the costs involved with what you hope to accomplish. Also, it’s important to take your rewards (and shipping of the rewards!) into account when creating your funding goal.
3. Make it as simple as possible for people to support you.
Whether it’s a personalized e-mail, a tweet, or a Facebook post, make sure you include the link to your book page so your audience can easily find your campaign and support you. Also, when reaching out to people in your network, ask them to spread the word about your campaign. Again, make it as easy as possible and provide them with an e-mail they can send to their own network. The easier you make it for people to help you, the more likely they will be to do so.
4. Be personal and maintain contact with you supporters.
When reaching out to your network, the more personal you are, the better. People will appreciate a personal message from you asking for support rather than a generalized e-mail blast. The more connected people feel to you as the author, the more likely they will be to support your efforts. Also, once someone supports you, don’t forget about them. Keep your supporters updated throughout the entire crowdfunding and publishing process.
5. Know your audience and find them.
Your book has a target audience (chick lit, zombie novels, memoirs—all genres have a specific audience out there) that will be more likely to support your efforts. Knowing your audience is key, but seeking them out is essential. Find blogs that are targeted towards your audience and ask them to feature your campaign.
The key ingredient to running a successful crowdfunding campaign is taking the time and putting in the effort. You are your own advocate when it comes to crowdfunding, so plan, network, execute, and don’t be shy. No one said crowdfunding would be easy, but if successful, it’s definitely worth it.
[Crowdfunding image from Shutterstock.]