Crowdfunding your book dream
Once you know your Total Cost better you can decide whether you want to fund your book yourself or use Crowdfunding as a way to raise the money.
Crowdfunding is a way of funding a creative or entrepreneurial project or venture by raising a small amount of money from a large number of people via the internet. It involves creating a page for your project on a crowdfunding platform like GoFundMe or Kickstarter and then spreading the word about it. The crowdfunding platform will keep a small percentage of your proceeds and transfer the rest of the money directly to your bank account at regular intervals. There are several different platforms out available now. I used GoGetFunding.com mainly because it
it was one of the very few ones which let me raise money in Singapore Dollars. You can set up the page in a way that your audience can pre-order a signed copy of your book. You can also add different options for them to order multiple copies and give something extra as a thank you for the larger contributions. I gave a high quality fine art print of an illustration as a thank you for contributions of $200 and above.
Why use Crowdfunding
First and the most obvious one is that it helps cover your cost. Even if you don’t end up meeting your campaign target, any amount that you cover reduces the cost base for you. And if you manage to cover your entire cost, you have one less thing to worry about. Knowing that I had already received all the money I needed by way of pre-orders even before I had to pay the printing company made this entire project a whole lot less stressful for me.
Second, it feels comforting to know that you have already sold a few copies of your book even before the book is printed. Seeing a stock of 1,000 books arrive at your doorstep is a bit of a daunting experience. By the time I got delivery of my books, I had pre-sold over 250 of them and this made the upcoming task of selling the books seem a lot more manageable.
Third, Crowdfunding is a great way to build awareness about your book from the beginning. A self-published author has to do all their promotion themselves and creating a campaign works really well to let all your people know that you are making a book.
And Fourth, is the feeling of being supported by your community. I promoted my campaign mainly through Facebook and Instagram and most of the contributors were from my circle of Facebook friends. It was deeply humbling to see how friends and acquaintances supported my project even by simply sharing the link to my page and spreading the word. What surprised me the most was that a few of my contributors were people whom I hadn't interacted with in a long while - classmates I had been to school with or colleagues I had worked with several years ago. I suddenly felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself and that I had my own little group of cheerleaders helping me get to my goal.
While I am in no way an expert marketeer, here are a few tips on running a successful crowdfunding campaign:
Share your Crowdfunding page on all your social platforms and spread the word whenever you can. Use social media, email and even talk about it to your friends and colleagues. You don't have to hard sell or convince people to order a copy. All you have to do is to let them know that you are publishing a book!
Regularly post updates on your progress. Since I was creating the illustrations during my campaign, I posted photos and videos of my process and give sneak peeks into parts of the book.
Don't shy away from reminding people to make their contributions especially if they have expressed an interest in doing so. We are all leading extremely busy lives and I learnt that people appreciated the reminder.
Personally correspond with your supporters as soon as you can after they have made a contribution. I genuinely felt grateful for each and every pre-order I received and I made sure that I conveyed my feelings.
Stay in touch with your contributors and keep them updated when significant milestones are reached. For eg. when the campaign is 50% or 90% funded
Post general reminders on the timeline - adding more updates closer to the last weeks/days of the campaign
Keep the communications open and regular even once the campaign is closed. Update your contributors on the expected date of printing, book delivery etc
Once you receive the books, make sure that you ship all the pre-orders within a reasonable time frame. I wrote little personal notes on custom made Big Apple Kid Thank You cards and also added a couple of bookmarks as a small token of my appreciation of all the support I received.
Go back to reading about How I self-published my book.