10 Things Authors Need to Know about Crowdfunding their Book

A while back I crowdfunded Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing After Sexual Abuse, a book I self-published.

I ended up using Indiegogo, a very user-friendly platform. Here’s the page in case you’re interested in seeing how I did it: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/not-marked/

Since I met the goal early, I added what’s called “stretch goals” where I ask for further funding for an audio book, a bible study, a video study, etc. I opted to go for the fund-or-die option, giving the campaign a more immediate feel. (In other words, if it doesn’t fund in the timeframe, I would receive no funding at all. Hence, I am grateful it funded.)

10 things I’ve learned about author crowdfunding:

 

  1. You do need to have an engaged tribe to make this work.
  2. You have to have your worth issues settled. It’s very hard to make an “ask” if you’re feeling mighty small.
  3. Be prepared for resistance. It will come.
  4. Constant communication in these campaigns is essential in getting the word out after day one.
  5. This idea of having a tribe BEFORE a book is released intrigues me. When I eventually launched this book, I had folks on my side who already bought into the project. They became ambassadors, spreading the word about the book much better than merely me.
  6. John Saddington’s ebook Kickstart: Give Your Crowdfunding Project the Best Chance for Success was very, very helpful. He successfully funded a $50,000 WordPress app and shares the good, the bad and the ugly of his experience.
  7. Having a coach through the process (who has walked the path before) is also invaluable. Thomas Umstattd of Author Media truly shaped the campaign. I would not have successfully funded without his help.
  8. It’s a lot more work than you might think. I started the process 9 months prior when I decided to write the book. I finished the book. I curated a book cover design via http://www.99designs.com later, then spent the summer mulling over crowdsource options. I shot the video in the a month prior to the campaign (that took a lot of time), then fiddled with my landing page until I felt it represented what I wanted to accomplish.
  9. Your friends and family may not back you, but surprising folks will.
  10. Once the campaign is under way, it’s good to tweak, reiterate, and measure what’s going well and what’s not going well. Most of what you put on the page can be changed (with the exception of the backing levels, so when you write your backing levels, be sure you’re very happy with them.)

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps writers can learn something from my foibles with Not Marked. I hope so. I see Indiegogo and Kickstarter like old time patrons of the arts, except that it’s not one rich person funding your projects and dictating to you how to write, but it’s a crowd of average folks in your corner, cheering for your project.

Writers: what are the 10 essentials things you must know before crowdfunding your book? Click To Tweet

This also helps in building a tribe prior to your book launch–something I highly recommend. In fact, if you have a self-help type book, this works really well, particularly if you’re writing about an unusual or unwritten-about topic. The better your niche, the more success you’ll have both in crowdfunding AND selling your book.

4 thoughts on “10 Things Authors Need to Know about Crowdfunding their Book

  1. Pasquale Russo Reply

    Mary, sounds like you learned much. Perhaps you can clarify something for me. With companies offering print-on-demand — and taking their piece when the book is sold — what expenses would an author have that they need to take this approach?

    • marydemuth Post authorReply

      I didn’t do print on demand. I wanted to do a print run so I could give away books. (When you do POD, the cost is about $6 per book, but when you do a print run, the cost is about $1 per book). Other expenses include cover design, and both edits.

  2. Pamela Watkins Reply

    Mary:

    I have a huge non-fiction book to write…can we chat? My personal road to finding the solution regarding decades of “illness” induction lead to the discovery that I was being abused by a serial Munchausen by proxy female pastor…

    How do I begin to delve into this story with your mentorship?

    Thank you!

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