Crowdfunding has become a useful resource for independent authors. These keys to crowdfunding will help you on your way to success.
You’ve written your book, created a marketing plan, and are ready to send your book to production. But what if the costs of your production and promotion plans exceed your budget? What if you need to raise money to make your book a reality?
One possible solution is crowdfunding. Over the last decade, crowdfunding — the act of raising small amounts of money from a large number of individuals — has become a useful resource for independent authors. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe are a few of the popular websites that help authors raise money for their self-published books.
When I decided to crowdfund my children’s book, Does A Giraffe Ever Feel Small?, I chose to use GoFundMe. There are pros and cons to every platform, but I liked GoFundMe because it has low fees and no deadlines for your project.
When I first started my crowdfunding efforts, I never thought I would reach my goal, but it only took four months! These seven tips will help you on your way to success with GoFundMe and crowdfunding in general.
1. Customize your page
If you’ve already started developing a cover for your book, include it on your GoFundMe page. If not, post a picture of yourself or something related to the book that is eye-catching. Write compelling copy and include an excerpt from your book that captures the essence of your work. Every GoFundMe page has a description box where you can include details about your campaign. Write about why people will want to see your book in print and include a link to your website. You can also make a video-pitch explaining your campaign and post it on your page.
2. Choose the right reward amount
First, figure out what you’ll need to spend for your entire project — then add a buffer so you’ll have wiggle room when unseen costs arise. It’s better to aim high than to end up with less than you need. If your goal is so big you’re worried people will question what you’ll need it for, detail your costs in the description box.
3. Promote your campaign on social media
GoFundMe makes it easy for people to share and re-share your page on Facebook. If there’s a lull in donations, post your current earnings on FB and encourage people to help you meet your goal. Post a link to your GoFundMe page on all your social media platforms and any blogs you publish. If your blog is on Weebly, you can even embed a handy widget that displays your goal on your website and takes people right to the donation page.
4. Create initiatives for your funders
People will be more likely to donate if you offer them a reward. In addition to providing them a copy in all formats you publish, consider offering to list contributors’ names in the back of the book at a certain level of funding. Create another donation level at which contributors receive a personalized, signed copy. Get creative when coming up with incentives.
5. Provide updates
If you write a new chapter or change directions with your plot, share the news with your audience. If you’ve hit a new benchmark in your donations, share that, along with another excerpt or illustration. Keep your audience motivated so they feel like they’re part of your project-in-progress. This will encourage them to keep donating.
6. Follow through
Once your funding goal is met, you are obligated to publish the book (and make good on all the rewards you promised). People contributed real money to your campaign and they will be eager to see a finished product. If the process is taking longer than you expected, update your audience so they stay informed. When you finally have a publication date, make sure everyone knows about it (and when they can expect their rewards).
7. Thank your contributors
Once you’ve met your goal, post a thank you to everyone who contributed and send personal notes to the people who donated the most. This gesture will show your gratitude and keep your audience in the loop after you’ve finished crowdfunding.
Join BlueInk Review and a host of great presenters, speakers, and exhibitors at BookBaby’s 2018 Independent Authors Conference, November 2-4 at The Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia! The Independent Authors Conference is the only writing conference dedicated to helping independent authors publish successfully. Register now! Don’t miss this opportunity to listen and learn from some of today’s leading self-publishing experts!
This post was written by Madeleine Dodge, a BlueInk Review Summer 2018 intern and a Rhetoric and Media Studies Major at Lewis & Clark College. It was originally posted on the BlueInk Review blog. Republished with permission.
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