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Authors: Want to be a Crowdfunding Superstar? Read this First!

 

Pubslush Crowdfunding Campaign

This is the image I used on Twitter header to promote

Pubslush Crowdfunding for Authors
(Pre-Campaign)  April 1-30, 2014

Do what you love, and the money will follow.

Follow your dreams they say!

We say: How do we do this, and still make a living?

Many authors, myself included, have limited funds when they begin writing their masterpieces. Money’s tight unless you’re independently wealthy or have a supporting spouse while following your dreams.

Crowdfunding can be a solution.

Yea, right! I hear you say. What chance do I have? I don’t know that many people.

Wasn’t there a guy who raised over $50,000 to make potato salad?

Yep. It was silly. People love silly, off-the-wall stuff. We could take a few lessons on creativity from this guy.

Okay, but I’m just an author. Not a marketing guru.

Click to Tweet: Can authors really raise funds to get their books published?

Yes!

Is it easy?

Nope.

Can it be worth the effort?

Big YES!

First Romance Novel

I’ve been plugging away on my first romance novel, “Everlasting Love,” for about a year. It’s finally in the process of being proofed and edited. Plans were to have it completed and published on the Amazon marketplace by Christmas. However, it’s taken quite a bit longer than expected. My husband had a stroke in November, and that little life detour ground writing to a halt–along with everything else.

I first considered posting the romance novel chapter by chapter on Wattpad. I wrote a blog post about that here.

The Oasis for Authors

Then, a friend mentioned Pubslush.com.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s a crowdfunding site for authors only.

So I did a little investigative work. I was shocked. Some of the most successful campaigns raised between $13,000–all the way up to $36,000. This is some serious money.

Self-publishing is the way to go if you want to retain complete control over your work. However, authors must also be serious spendthrifts. We hire proofreaders, editors, designers, not to mention promotion costs once it’s published–and pay out of our own pockets. Don’t forget ads, press releases, social media etc. The costs can add up quickly.

Crowdfunding (fundraising) could be the answer to your cash flow problem. Tweet this.

I’m going to lay out the steps to my own campaign to give other authors a helping hand. If you’re considering running a campaign, here’s a 1-2-3 plan that you can take and tweak to suit your own needs.

Something you might not want to hear?

I started working on the campaign long before it started. There’s a lot of prep behind the scenes. I’ll let you in on how I prepared.

Preparation Time

Every author crowdfunding on Pubslush has their own author/book page. You’ll need to set that up.

Here’s mine: Everlasting Love Romance Novel.

The campaign was set to begin on May 1, but I started the first of April. Some may spend more time, but this was my first experience.

To begin, I started with a planner. This keeps you organized and on track. Click here to get yours: Personal and FREE planner.

 
One Month Prior

April – Week 1

1)    Write a 250 word summary of my book. What’s it all about? Make it catchy. If you’re not sure how to do this, James Scott Bell gives us a great plan to write it in “Write from the Middle.” Get it here:

2)    Create a picture to depict my book. This is not a book cover. It’s a picture that should be pretty, eye-catching, and grab the reader’s attention.The picture you see at the top was my picture, but I added in all the other text to post on my Twitter banner page.

3)    Find 3 pics for the campaign page. Again, what’s your book about? Go back to Step 1. Find a picture that depicts your beginning, middle, and end. I have a DVD from Serif.com that has about 100,000 pictures. I picked a background and imported pictures of my hero and heroine using Laughingbird Logo Creator. I love this software. It allows anyone to become a graphic designer. Get your copy Here. There are several places that have free pictures, like: Dreamstime, StockFreeImages, or MorgueFile, to name a few.

4)    Contact a Possible Partner. I contacted NAA about rewards (My husband was struck with Wernickie’s Aphasia after the stroke), and I wanted to help spread the word. The National Aphasia Association (www.Aphasia.org) educates the public on this condition that afflicts1,000,000 Americans in the U.S. alone! I learned quite a bit from the site and wanted to help with a 10% donation after my campaign was over. I located the “Contact Us” on the site, sent a short e-mail about the book campaign, and simply asked if they wanted to jump on board with me. I only requested their help in spreading the word via social media. Once I got to the right contact, they were more than happy to help. They sent word out via their newsletter, twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Week 2

1)    Work on video or trailer. I wrote this down for Week 2, but didn’t actually get to it until a few days before the start of the campaign. I have a laptop with a webcam, so I used a small microphone plugged into my laptop, hit record, and taped and retaped numerous times. I had to actually let a few hours lapse between takes or my laptop would have gone through the window! I wanted to keep it short. It ended up at about one minute thirty seconds.

2)    Set up Pinterest board. I set up a Pinterest board for my campaign, and posted all the pics of the characters in my book, and the pics from the Pubslush site. Those pictures led people back to the campaign. Pinterest Board here.

Week 3

1)    Set up Author Q &A. You can set up as many questions as you like, but I wanted to keep it simple. I chose four questions: Why did you write the book? Who are your favorite authors? What will you do with the funds you raise? How will you know I found you through NAA?

2)    Blog Post. I wrote a post leading up to the campaign. You can see it here.

3)    Scoop. Scooped the blog post onto Scoop.it content curation platform to get the word out here.

Week 4

1)    Choose excerpt from book. Pick your best work from the book, and make sure it ends on a cliffhanger or stunner so people will want to read more!

2)    Posts on all social media sites to announce the upcoming campaign. I do mean ALL: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, About.me (spotlight), Linked in. Use only your active social networks.

3)    Paid FB/twitter ads? I began debating whether I wanted to use paid ads on Facebook or Twitter. I didn’t have much in the budget, so it had to be cheap!

Week 5

1)     Final Touches on campaign page (Tweaks to this and that to make it pop!)

2)    Compile list of friends to e-mail (I e-mailed about 100 friends that I knew wouldn’t get upset. I kindly asked them to spread the word for me. Hoping they’d contribute. *Wink, Wink*

3)    Spotlight on About.me page

4)    Compile rewards (bookmark, inspirational print, FL postcards)

5)    Length of Campaign. Do you want to run a 30 day or 60 day campaign?

Approval

Once all these things have been decided and the page is complete, then Pubslush will have to approve your page and your rewards. You can do everything on your own, but if you pay a mere $25, you will get some help from their amazing Author Coordinator, Sara Mendelson. She will have several chats with you to alleviate concerns and help you come up with some great rewards. Now, on to the campaign!

 Do you think you’d like to try crowdfunding to raise funds for your book? Why or why not?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

PenelopeBTR2tiny

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.

 

 

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Crowdfunding. Can it Work for Authors and their Books? Surprising Answer!

crowdfunding

Crowdfunding. Can It Work for Authors?

Crowdfunding.

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.

crowd·fund·ing
ˈkroudˌfəndiNG/
noun
noun: crowdfunding; noun: crowd-funding
  1. 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.

 

Why Crowdfunding?

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

Welcome Pubslush.com.

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!

PenelopeBTR2tiny

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.

 

 

 

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How To Attract Readers By Creating A ‘Lighthouse’ Author Brand | Bestseller Labs

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

Seven winning ways to attract massive numbers of new readers and keep them for life, by building a ‘lighthouse’ author brand.

Penelope‘s insight:

This is one of the best articles I’ve seen in a very long time about building an author platform–one that will keep your name and brand foremost in the mind of your readers.

One method is to create a “Lighthouse” Author Brand. This works best with a series of books. Simply, this means that you need to create a theme-tagline to wrap around your books. This will draw all of your books together and keep people searching for your brand. For instance, racy author Jackie Collins’ books say “SHE’LL KEEP YOU UP ALL NIGHT” Eyebrows raised now. We get it, and love it!

Set aside some time for a brainstorming session to figure out WHAT your books are about, and a tagline that will shine.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 Link to the original article and six more ideas: http://bestsellerlabs.com/attract-readers-with-a-lighthouse-author-brand/

See on bestsellerlabs.com

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7 Types Of Digital Marketers: Modern Marketing Humor [Infographic] – Bit Rebels

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

This humorous infographic breaks down the seven different types of digital marketers. It highlights how modern marketing is unique and creative today.

Penelope‘s insight: 
 

Find your inner digital e-book marketer within this funny and visually entertaining infographic. Are you a:

1) DATA WHIZ  (Data-obsessed)

2) E-ARTISTE   (Adores visually appealing graphics)

3) SOCIAL MEDIA MASTER   (Caught that social media bug)

4) BETA-TESTER   (Everything mainstream is so over!)

5) MARKETING MEGAPHONE    (Loudest voice in the room)

6) OLD SCHOOL ADVERTISER  (What’s wrong with the 60’s?)   -OR-

7) SNARKY MARKETER   (Knows what you’re doing wrong)

 I think I’m a combination of #2, #3, and #6!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 Link to the original infographic: http://www.bitrebels.com/business-2/digital-marketers-modern-marketing/

 

 

See on www.bitrebels.com

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7 Things Marketers Should Know About Tumblr – Ebook Promotion

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

As the 32nd most popular website in the world, Tumblr is a big opportunity. But you can’t approach it as you would other marketing strategies.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Tumblr is one of those back-of-the-burner sites that I have heard about, thought about, but haven’t done much with until recently.

I went as far as pinning my book covers on this site which is the 32nd most popular site in the world. I do know that it is popular with the younger crowd, so the approach needs to be a bit different than on other social media.

Here are 7 things you should know and then head on over to Tumblr, create an account, and try it out:

o Forget MARKETING – shift focus to your audience

o Provide great CONTENT – give stuff away for free

o Provide EVERGREEN CONTENT – Create content with LEGS

o Create CONTENT people will SHARE – Good photos do well

o Occasionally create LONG POSTS – creates spikes of traffic

o TAG wisely – Tumblr relies on tags, not keywords

o Interact with OTHER Tumblr USERS – this platform is SOCIAL

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 Link to the original article: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-use-tumblr-for-marketing.html

 

 

 

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Turbocharge Your Content Marketing Machine – Ebook Promotion

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

“Content marketing is not rocket science, but it can appear so in the absence of a clear-cut strategy—and planning, without which your content marketing machine will be firing on three cylinders instead of being the turbocharged V8 behemoth that it could be!”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

This clever article reiterates how important it is to know thy audience. Know the readers of your books and you will have more focus in order to talk with them. The content you create will interest and inspire them. Answer the following questions and you will have the strategic information you need to market effectively. 

o WHO? – Who exactly are my readers (age, sex, occupations)

o WHAT? – What are they talking about and what would they like to know?

o WHERE? – Where are my readers hanging out? (twitter, facebook groups, pinterest, linked in, you tube, tumblr, forums)

When you know who your readers are, you can plan. Know what content will wow them, know where it needs to go, know whom to contact, know when it needs to be published. And don’t forget to promote your content!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

Link to the original article: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2013/10621/turbocharge-your-content-marketing-machine

 

See on www.marketingprofs.com

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The Single Most Effective Book Marketing Strategy An Author CanUse | Bestseller Labs

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

How to get a ‘rave’ reader response when you publish your book: Start your marketing program well before launch.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Promotion is a constant thorn in the flesh to an indie author. Like we don’t have enough to do just writing the darn book! Now we have to promote as well, and it is constant–like that bead that is threaded on the string without a knot on the end.

This article was intriguing right from the title. I wanted to find out for myself the ONE most effective book marketing strategy. Drum roll please…

START MARKETING YOUR BOOK, LONG BEFORE IT APPEARS ON THE STAGE!

You will be in good company. Tim Ferriss started marketing his book, “The 4 Hour Work Week” three years before its appearance. It is never too late to start, so take heart. If your book is on Amazon, it is there FOREVER.

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 Link to the original article: http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-most-effective-book-marketing-strategy/

See on bestsellerlabs.com

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How to Set Up a Facebook Page for Business | Social Media Examiner

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

Facebook Pages: learn the correct steps to create and set up a Facebook Page for your business.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

If you have not set up an author page on Facebook for your ebook promotion and marketing, then you are missing out on thousands of possible readers.

This very informative article takes you by the hand and leads you step-by-step to create your very own page for your website, author name, or book. You can create multiple business pages, so the sky’s the limit! At the very least create a page for your author name, where you can list your books and promotions on your page.

Here’s my page for my website: http://facebook.com/PhilosBooks

and an example of the page I set up for my author name: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Penelope-Silvers/547480878598060?ref=hlhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Penelope-Silvers/547480878598060?ref=hl

As you can see, all my books are front and center on my banner. VERY IMPORTANT: When creating any Facebook fan pages, make sure you are logged in as your personal facebook profile before creating. This allows you to switch back and forth between pages using the little gear on the upper right corner.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 Link to the original article: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-set-up-a-facebook-page-for-business/

 

 

See on www.socialmediaexaminer.com

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Self-Publishing Success Stories: The Anatomy of a Kindle Bestseller

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Writing for writing’s sake is absolutely brilliant, but many of us have ambitions to be #1 on the Amazon charts, selling hundreds of thousands of books and raking in the cash! 

Penelope‘s insight:
 

Writing is hard work! That is a given, but once your book is actually written, how in the world do we enter into the ranks of the Kindle bestsellers?

This article by bestselling author Mark Edwards touches on some characteristics of what goes into a Kindle bestseller. Begin your journey armed with these tools, and you might also enter through the portals of the elite “bestseller” club.

1)  Get the BASICS right (GRIPPING book, great COVER, excellent book DESCRIPTION)

2) Write a MARKETING plan (this is tip most authors skip over)

 3) Get your books NOTICED (Twitter w/ tools such as Tweet Adder and Triberr)

 4) Identify BLOGS and SITES that might review your book (send a professional template requesting a review)

 5) Get into the ALSO BOUGHT Amazon “bar” of popular books

 6) Set up a BLOG and interview other popular authors

 7) Be prepared to WORK HARD!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

 Link to the full article with all the details for your own plan: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2013/01/21/self-publishing-success-kindle-bestseller/

See on www.thecreativepenn.com

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Four Things Indie Authors Need to Understand About Google Search | Successful Self-Publishing

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

“Using google search correctly can help you sell books and reach readers.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

I will admit that when people start talking Google SEO, crawling, indexing and search algorithmic rankings my eyes start glazing over!

I have used many different avenues for book promotion, but never gave much heed to Google search. Perhaps if we pay it a bit more attention, we might get better rankings, and possibly have better sales of our books.

One aspect of this article you might want to take a look at is how Google search works. Google has released an interactive infographic, “How Search Works” that will give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the process from start to finish.

 If you have some extra time left over after writing, and keeping up with all your other social media obligations, take a peek at Google Search and see if you want to add it onto your list of “Author: things to do”.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 Link to the original article: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/four-things-indie-authors-need-to-understand-about-google-search/

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