Crowdfunding: An Introduction, Part Two

What are the steps toward crowdfunding? 

Here is Part One of this article.

A solid plan will make your crowd funding campaign a reality. At this point you might be wondering how crowdfunding works and how to get started with a campaign. Here’s a quick breakdown of the basic steps to initiate a crowdfunding campaign:

  • Choose a crowdfunding platform. There are several crowdfunding platforms available, each varying somewhat, appealing to different audiences and offering different services. Prospective campaigners should research which platform would be the best fit for their project.
  • Create a campaign. A crowdfunding campaign is a way for project creators to tell their audience who they are and what makes their project important. Campaigners can use photos, upload a video, provide a summary and devise reward levels to entice supporters. Reward levels should be cost effective, but offer a value and/or something unique and individual to those pledging support.
  • Develop a marketing plan. People won’t simply find a project and financially pledge towards it unless the project is enticing and has momentum. It’s the job of the campaign creator to build that initial buzz, so it’s important to have a solid marketing plan in place before the launch of a campaign.
  • Promote and ask for support. Campaigners must reach out to their network and ask for support and help in spreading the word about the campaign. The more traffic the creator is able to drive to the campaign, the more momentum it will build.  Shareability amongst supporters will increase if the campaign is exciting and the story compelling. How well the campaigner markets his or her story will very often be the great determining factor of success.
  • Use the funds raised to bring your project to life. The campaigner will receive the funds and use them to make their project a reality.

Why Pubslush? 

Another question you might have:  “What makes Pubslush different than other crowdfunding platforms?Here are a few key differences:

  • Pubslush fosters a vibrant community of writers, readers, publishers and industry professionals and focuses on books and literary projects.
  • A flexible funding model allows authors to reach for the stars with their overall funding goal, but allows them to keep the funds they raise as long as they reach their minimum funding goal.
  • Personalized service that provides hands-on campaign support.
  • Authors have accessibility to their own reader database and supporter analytics that provides authors with relevant campaign information detailing demographics and contact information.
  • Buy Now feature that continues to drive traffic to the sales of the book post-campaign and inclusivity to the Pubslush community indefinitely.
  • Lowest platform fee in the industry at 4%.
  • The Cause, which allows authors to participate in social good by giving back to worldwide literacy initiatives.

What’s next?

If you think crowdfunding is right for you, stop by Pubslush to learn more. Our team is always available to answer any and all questions you may have. We know publishing a book is a long and sometimes confusing process, which is why we’re always here to help.

Pubslush: Crowdfunding for writers.Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for the literary world that provides a way to raise funds and tangibly pre-market books and literary-based projects. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, she is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Justine has become a prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding. She has contributed to IBPA’s Independent magazine, Self-Publishers Monthly, Book Marketing Magazine, Business Banter and many more online publications. She has spoken on panel discussions about crowdfunding for authors and continues to foster the growth and development of crowdfunding within the publishing process. She tweets for @pubslush. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Crowdfunding: An Introduction, Part One

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding harnesses the power of community.Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing industry that caters to entrepreneurs and business-savvy creatives and gives them the power to fund and market their projects in the pre-production phase. Conducting a crowdfunding campaign requires time and effort, but can help to secure a more successful product launch.

How does crowdfunding help authors?

Crowdfunding for authors is quickly gaining traction as an essential step in the publishing process. Crowdfunding is conducive to the publishing process and offers an array of benefits aside from simply raising funds. Crowdfunding can help authors to:

  • Collect pre-orders.  Reward-based crowdfunding allows authors to create tiered reward levels as a way to thank and entice their supporters. The most obvious reward an author can offer to their supporters is their book, so crowdfunding essentially provides a platform to facilitate a pre-order campaign to a wide audience of readers.
  • Employ a marketing campaign before publication. The marketing efforts for a book must begin well before publication, but it’s very difficult to talk about a product that hasn’t been produced yet. A crowdfunding campaign provides a landing page to drive traffic and connect with readers in the pre-publication phase.
  • Build an author brand. Since a crowdfunding campaign must offer a range of reward levels, authors are forced to think about what other services or items of value they can offer their supporters. Realistically, in order for an author to make a living writing, they need to incorporate other services into their branding, such as speaking, coaching, etc. Creating reward levels can help authors build their brand by determining what else they have to offer their audience.
  • Network expansion and platform building. A crowdfunding campaign encapsulates the author in a way that isn’t possible through traditional channels. Authors can connect with their audience on a personal level, tell their story and include links to their website and social media. The personalization of a crowdfunding campaign is part of its appeal and is often how authors gain support from readers outside of their network.
  • Engage with readers. A crowdfunding campaign allows the creator to engage with supporters.  Access to an evolving database of readers can be very useful and provide authors with valuable insight, as well as a foundation for future promotional efforts.

In Part Two of this article, you’ll learn about steps toward crowdfunding, as well as a bit about Pubslush, a crowdfunding service for writers.

Pubslush: Crowdfunding for writers.

Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for the literary world that provides a way to raise funds and tangibly pre-market books and literary-based projects. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, she is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Justine has become a prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding. She has contributed to IBPA’s Independent magazine, Self-Publishers Monthly, Book Marketing Magazine, Business Banter and many more online publications. She has spoken on panel discussions about crowdfunding for authors and continues to foster the growth and development of crowdfunding within the publishing process. She tweets for @pubslush. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Don’t Let Book Marketing Fears Keep You From Achieving Success by Brian Feinblum

leap to success
Not everyone can write a book. Not everyone can sell a product. As an entrepreneurial writer, you will need to do both – or outsource your book marketing.   Do you have any of these fears that hold you back from executing a book marketing campaign?
1, I don’t think I have enough resources – time and money.
2. I am not sure my book is better than others.
3. I don’t like to sound like I am begging.
4. I don’t want to appear to be too pushy.
5. I fear rejection.
6. I am afraid I will be asked questions that I don’t know the answers to.
7. I am not sure what to do to be convincing.
8. I don’t like to talk to others.
9. I am not confident about my appearance.
10. I don’t know what to say.
11. What if they don’t like me?
12. What if they laugh or yell at me?
The key to conquering any fear is to acknowledge it, seek solutions, and to get help. Or admit defeat and hire others to help you. Or to be content with the negative consequences that your fears tend to bring about. To overcome your book marketing fears simply jump in the water and start selling. You may just learn to swim.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

Battle for Book Sales Beyond Amazon by Brian Feinblum

                                      Market Share
The marketplace for books – whether print, digital, or audio – is clearly owned by Amazon. They account for 27% of total units sold, as of October 1, 2012, according to RR Bowker. They improved from 21% a year earlier. Barnes & Noble declined to 16%, down from 17%. But after these two retailers, no single company scored in the double digits. In fact, no single category of sales channel hit double digits. Here’s how the rest of the book marketplace breaks down:
·         All independent bookstores, combined, account for only 6% of units sold:
·         Other e-book and audio download sites equal 6%
·         Other ecommerce sites account for 6%
·         All book clubs account for 5%
·         Discount, closeout and thrift stores equal 5%
·         Walmart – 4%
·         Non-traditional bookstores – 3%
·         Warehouse clubs – 3%
·         Christian bookstores – 2%
·         Target – 2%
·         Books-A-Million – 2%
·         Supermarkets – 1%
·         All other means = 12%
The book marketing battlefield runs beyond bookstores or e-commerce sites. Books are everywhere and nowhere. But however they are sold, there is no doubt that sales will always be driven by savvy book marketing and the garnering of news media coverage. Word of mouth makes a big difference but only once there is a critical mass of interest that builds up form marketing exposure. Publishers and authors will continue to identify their target readers, sell their books everywhere in every form, and market to their core readers. Promote – or perish!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

What’s In Your Book Marketing Tool Kit? by Brian Feinblum

marketing-tools
Your best resource to market your book is you. Reach out to the people you know and those that they know.  Your book will get discovered if you market your book utilizing these 31 tools:
1.     Facebook
2.     Linked In
3.     Google +
4.     Twitter
5.     Pinterest
6.     Web site
7.     E-mail
8.     Business card and Name
9.     Logo
10.   Directories and lists to sell to
11.   Your blog
12.  Other bloggers
13.  Skype
14.  FreeConferenceCall.com
15.  Texting
16.  YouTube
17.  Fring, QikVideo, Facetime
18.  Webinars
19.  Podcasts
20.  Apps
21.  FourSquare
22.  Spoke.com
23.  AroundMeApp.com
24.  TimeTrade.com
25.  EmailFinder.com
26.  Focus.com
27.  SalesForce.,com
28.  Data.com
29.  Spokeo.com
30.  GoToMeeting.com, Webex.com, FreeScreenSharing.com
31.  FreeOnlineSurveys.com, SurveyMonkey.com, Zoomerang.com, KwikSurveys.com
Good luck!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

Apps To Zoom Past Books in 2014 by Brian Feinblum

apps picture

Apps are expected to generate $25 billion this year – up 62% from a year ago. They are expected to double 2013’s numbers by 2015, when over $50 billion in revenue will have been generated.

There are 1.4 million apps available between Google and Apple, but 64% of them are free. The app sales, which average $3.18 per app bought for iphones, will exceed the entire book market by this time next year.

Windows only has 125,000 apps and Amazon has a paltry 70,000, so if either one builds on its app business, we may see an even bigger expansion of an already exploding sector.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

Can Any Book Survive the Future? by Brian Feinblum

Renior for Test of Time All creative artists want their work to be embraced by a loving public, even long after they are dead. They want to leave a legacy and to be appreciated by others. It doesn’t matter if it’s art, film, books, architecture, or other forms of creation – the desire and drive of all creators is the same.

Sure, some are ego-driven, money-hungry, fame-seekers, but all, at the heart of their efforts, want to see their work valued and to know it’s inspired, enlightened, entertained, and informed others. They want to know they sparked a dialogue, provoked action, stimulated thought and led to a change in society or impacted lives. Writers want to think that they created something not just for today or for a generation, but something everlasting and permanent.

The truth is it doesn’t work that way. Not at all.

I was in the public library the other day to help my eight-year-old son do research for a school report he was writing for his second-grade class. While he looked for books about the Blue Iguana of the Cayman Islands (we found none), I happened upon a volume entitled “Colonial History to 1877.” As I flipped through the book I realized how much has happened in our nation’s history of nearly 237 years but I said to my son: “You know, there will come a time when all of the history you will spend your school years learning, will be taught in a day.”

Eventually there will be little difference between 1813, 1913 or 2013, because so much history will have taken place over the years. Here’s what will happen:

· The more recent history of the present era will always seem more significant and important than the distant past.
· So many more significant things will happen in the centuries to come that by the time it is 2513, to reflect on the quaint times of today will seem insignificant.
· As time goes by, the time dedicated to studying history will be replaced, in part, to be used to learn new skills that future technologies will bring about.

Our ability to record news, find facts, publish analysis and share information will overwhelm the education system and forbid it to properly give students enough time to discuss any specific event or subject in great detail.

Every year that goes by, the amount of classroom time spent learning about history generally remains the same but the amount of time put to any one event or person generally shrinks because more history is created and has to be covered. History books have three decades of history and five more presidents to write about since I graduated high school in 1984.

How much longer will the school year need to be in order to properly cover future history? I calculated I spent about an hour per day in class on history – some 2160 school hours (an hour per school day, 180 days per year, 12 years). That is about 10 hours dedicated per every year of this nation’s history. That means another 290 hours of instruction would be needed just to cover the last 29 years. What will that come to in 100 years? 1000 years? 10,000 years?

So, I come back to my opening remarks about the lifespan of a creative artist’s work, especially books. We still read old books – the Bible, works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and some ancient texts, but compared to all that has been written and published, how many books are read well beyond an author’s lifetime? Books expire. They have a shelf-life even if they can exist forever online. Relevance, discoverability, language – all of these things doom most books.

But it does not stop us from writing as if our words will last forever. Heck, before we can think about our works being read and enjoyed a century from now, we struggle to find readers today. But we can strive to write today and hope the words live another day.

The odds of being read today are much greater than they will be even next week, when, at least 7,000 more books will have been published by traditional publishers. Write as if you’ll be read tomorrow, but hope to be read today.

Remember these words, for chances are they won’t live beyond your lifetime: Create, because you reflect the truth. Create, because you need an alternate to the truth. Create, because you don’t know the truth. Create, to inspire greater truths.

History will tell us what really was true, if only history were complete, unbiased, and accurate. Who knows how long your words will exist, but make them count right now, and if they do their job to inspire greatness, change, and more creativity, then they will become useless and unneeded with time. They will have led a revolution that will render them obsolete. Perhaps being made obsolete is the honor to strive for.

Will your words stand the test of time?

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

How to Get Your Article or Column Syndicated

Writers such as William Safire, Dave Barry, and Kathleen Parker have become household names because their newspaper have been syndicated and appear in many newspapers. If you write regularly about a topic, you may be able to tap into syndication in order to reach a larger audience. Author Gini Graham Scott of Changemaker’s Publishing and Writing offers a clear look at what it takes to be syndicated.

by Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D.

Syndicate your work to multiply your return on each article or column you write.Would you like to see an article, series of articles, or columns you have written published not only in one publication or magazine but in many? How do you syndicate what you have written?

One approach is to promote a single article based on a book you have written or find a focus for a series of articles or columns, so you present yourself as an expert in a particular area. If you have already published a book or are doing speaking, workshops, seminars, or consulting in this area, this is a good place to focus.  Continue reading

The Self-Publisher’s Checklist

by Janice Campbell

Assemble your own editorial team of NAIWE members.Holding your first book in your hands is incredibly satisfying. For a self-publisher, the process of getting from idea to print can be long, but with the right help, it doesn’t need to be unnecessarily complex. To achieve the best possible results for your project, you can assemble your own editorial team.

Although you may be tempted to proceed without professional help in editing and proofreading, it’s not worth it if you want the best book possible. Even if you are an excellent writer, it’s nearly impossible to copyedit your own work, as you tend to read what you think you wrote, which causes you to overlook errors that are obvious to an experienced copyeditor.  Continue reading