What Is Crowdfunding?
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 can be 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.
- Expand a network and build a platform. 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 2 of this article, you’ll learn about steps to complete a crowdfunding project, as well as a bit about Pubslush, a crowdfunding service for writers.
Justine Schofield was the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for the literary world that provided a way to raise funds and tangibly pre-market books and literary-based projects, before it closed its doors in 2015. 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 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.