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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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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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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/

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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/

 

 

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4 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Book Marketing Efforts | Jane Friedman

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

Penelope‘s insight:

 

If other authors are like myself, they are always keeping their ears perked up for any creative ways to improve their marketing efforts. It’s a constant and ongoing effort–but one that must be done if we are to see any sales of our books. Another great article by Jane Friedman, and some new ideas to ponder:

1) Use your WEBSITE for hard selling – People don’t normally buy from BUY MY BOOK!! posts. Use social media for relationship building.

2) Brainstorm your MEANINGFUL relationships – Divide the list into 3 groups (Groups A-C) and send different announcements to each one. NOTE: Very few authors do this one.

3) Brainstorm the GATEKEEPERS to your readers – Example: Fitness blogs would be the gatekeeper to your readers if you write exercise books. Can you write a guest post? Contribute in some way?

4) Invest in professional DESIGN and PRESENTATION – This one goes without saying, but one that unfortunately gets left in the dust. Your books are your business–your store. Do people want to come through your front door? Make sure you have: Professional website, book covers, author photo, business cards, tweet avatar, facebook page, etc.

Incorporate these tips into your ebook promotion and marketing, and you will tap into some areas that may bring new readers your way.

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

 Link to the original article: http://janefriedman.com/2012/05/18/4-ways-to-immediately-improve-your-book-marketing-efforts/

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Everything You Need to Know About the New Pinterest

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

For a full review of Pinterest’s recent changes, take a peek at this handy infographic.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

There are some new things we all need to learn if we are going to use Pinterest in our ebook promotion and marketing.

Some major changes:

o PROFILE now down to 160 characters from 200

o If you link to pin only, your link will be broken. You must use their “EMBED”

o NO LINKS in the description or comments of the pin

o You can no longer TWEET your pin at the time of pin. 🙁

o No more HASHTAGS # (you can do it, but they are not searchable)

o No more “LIKING” pin boards on Facebook

Well, let’s see–what is left? You do have analytics, but you must verify your website to get this feature. I guess we can still have fun pinning, and figure out the loopholes. Stay tuned.

 

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

 

Link to the original article:

http://mashable.com/2013/03/20/pinterest-redesign-infographic/

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6 Reasons Why Content Marketing is Like March Madness

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Here are six reasons why content marketing is like March Madness. And no, it’s not because all marketers have gone mad. Although that may soon be the case.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

I love the graphic and also the analogy of comparing Content Marketing to “March Madness”. In case you’re not sure what that is–it has something to do with basketball teams being on TV for weeks on end! 😉

The six reasons Content Marketing is like “March Madness” and a brief slam dunk:

1.  Everyone is talking about the madness. (Is your content about you and your books just a “buzzword” or is there some “substance” there?

2.  See the big-picture when making your picks. (Who are your readers and what do you want them to do? Think about this when writing.

3.  A balanced team is key. (Distribute your content, and have lots of links and images!)

4.  Research is required.  (Keyword research, Google Keyword Adword Tool!)

5.  Attract and assist. (Bring ’em in, make it easy to find your content)

6.  One shining moment. (Celebrate your highlights, keep what works, and get rid of what doesn’t)

Now, get cozy on the couch, pick your teams, and settle in for a few weeks of basketball!

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

Link to the original article:http://www.steamfeed.com/6-reasons-why-content-marketing-is-like-march-madness/

 

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Survey: Nearly 4 in 10 Women Have Decreased or Stopped Using Social Media

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Remember the Roman Empire? It was the most influential force in the world. The place everyone wanted to be. The center of all news, art, com (Market research is beginning to show women decreasing or cutting off their use of #social media.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

This is an interesting article to me. Whether this trend continues of women decreasing or stopping their social media use remains to be seem.

An interesting statistic: A higher percentage of “defectors” fall into the 18-24 age range, which puts social networks with a younger population at a higher risk for losing valuable members. These sites include Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

If your books are targeting specific niches for women, you may need to tweak your marketing efforts. Are we ever going back to print advertising? I don’t think so. But newer marketing methods are always evolving, so we need to keep our finger of the pulse of women–some of the biggest consumers.

 

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

Link to the original article: http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2013/03/survey-says-nearly-4-in-10-women-have-decreased-or-stopped-using-social-media.html

 

See on www.marketingpilgrim.com

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