What image does this word bring to mind?
A struggling musician who’s written a fantastic new song, but is too poor to cut a CD? Or maybe a talented artist with empty pockets who can’t paint their first portrait because they can’t afford the tube of paint? How about a family who lost their home because of a medical emergency and now can’t feed their kids? It could be all of these and more.
1.the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.“musicians, filmmakers, and artists have successfully raised funds and fostered awareness through crowdfunding”
Crowdfunding can also be a resource for authors. Didn’t know you could raise funds for a book? Well, let me be your white mouse in this lab experiment.
Taking the Plunge
May 1, 2014. I’m taking the plunge.
I’m dipping my toe in and diving headfirst into the unknown waters of fundraising for my new book. I’m sure a lot of people will be scratching their heads at this point and asking:
- Why would you want to do something like that?
- Can’t you self-publish for almost zip, nada, nothing?
- What are the funds going to be used for?
The answers in order: I’m crazy…Yes!…A Quality Product.
Let’s take apart the questions one at a time.
I’ve been self-publishing since 2012. I spent about a year studying everything I could get into my hands and feast my eyes on. I used to be the tentative type to obtain my master’s degree in a subject before I did any embarking. I’ve since changed my ways out of sheer necessity. Perfectionists don’t get much accomplished.
I’ve brainstormed, written, proofread, edited, formatted, uploaded, cover created, promoted, and everything else in between. I know the process. I know how much time it takes to write, prepare and promote to put out a quality product. It’s time intensive–not impossible—but also not so simple. Anyone can publish on the cheap, and that’s the way I’ve done it. No one is going to buffalo me, because I’ve traveled down this lonely highway.
I’m also only one person.
The costs can be very minimal. You can write a book in MS Word, slap a cover together, and upload to Amazon.
But do you want to sell it?
My newest book is quite different from the other seven I’ve published. For one, it’s my first fiction book. Second, it’s a romance novel. This is a new, exhilarating and quite scary experience for me.
Self-Publishing is Awesome!
I’m a lover of self-publishing. What control! What freedom! Publish what you want, when you want, how much you want!
The upside is also the downside. That is: You are the CEO of your self-publishing domain. You are writer, proofreader, editor, formatter, cover designer, publisher, and your very own PR guy or gal.
This is where the crowdfunding part steps in. To make funds available for a final polished product and the promotion of that product.
According to Forbes.com, these are the top 10 crowdfunding platforms: Kickstarter.com, Indigogo.com, Crowdfunder, RocketHub, Crowdrise, Somolend, Appbackr, AngelList, Invested.in, and Quirky. These sites are used for financing personal and cause-related campaigns such as that for the bullied bus monitor, which raised over $700,000 on Indigogo.com. However successful these sites may be to raise dollars for anything and everything, they don’t cater especially to authors.
Now there is a one who does.
Crowdfunding for Authors
Hellen and Amanda Barbara are mother/daughter founders. Based in New York City, Pubslush is a global, crowdfunding and analytics platform only for books. This platform allows authors to raise money, gauge the initial audience for new book ideas, and allow readers to pledge their financial support to bring books to life. Pubslush is entirely about giving: giving an opportunity to authors, giving a voice to readers, and giving books to children without access to literature.
It is a platform specifically for authors. Nothing else.
If you’re not quite sure if it could work for you, take a look at some very successful campaigns on the site. Successful campaigns.
Pubslush is different in that it focuses on authors. It offers flex-funding, which means you keep the money as long as it surpasses $500. If you need help, the Author Assist program costs $25 at the low end. Pubslush takes 4 percent, plus third-party processing fees. It also donates one children’s book to a child in need for every book sold through their platform. You can also choose your own charity, which I have done. Pubslush was founded in 2011 as a press (with crowdfunding), but its emphasis shifted to crowdfunding (with a press) in August 2012. It is the only platform that keeps your page up and links a “buy” button to your completed book for sale.
Revolutionary Publishing Platform
Publishing as it stands now is a guessing game. Pubslush’s goal is to introduce readers into the publishing equation and provide authors with the tools (access to capital, audience demographics, freelance publishing professionals) they need to be successful.
You are welcome to follow me on this journey. I’ll be blogging weekly about the process, to help other authors navigate the murky waters of crowdfunding. In the next blog post, I’ll also introduce the national organization that I’ve chosen to be the recipient of 10% of funds raised.
May 1 is the day I dive in. After all, shouldn’t authors be paid for their work just like a plumber, baker, and candlestick maker? 😉
Couldn’t resist. Just had to throw that last one in.
Do you think you could put yourself on the line to raise funds for your book? Why or why not?
Leave me a comment and let me know!
Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where Independent Authors are introduced to the World!
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.