How to crowdfund a book
Early in 2014 I began to work in earnest to pull together the ideas for my second book, The Art of Shouting Quietly – a guide to self promotion for introverts and other quiet souls. Round about the same time, I started researching crowdfunding as a way to pay for it. I knew I wanted to self-publish and I knew that it wasn’t going to be a standard paperback. Ergo, it would be expensive to design and print.
Little did I realise that by using crowdfunding I would be able to totally fund the cover design, internal illustration, editing, proofreading and production of the book – and in the process of doing so collect wonderful testimonials, pre-sell half the print run (including sales to 15 countries around the globe), and grow an audience for my work.
The crowdfunding campaign for The Art of Shouting Quietly was successful for the following reasons:
I’d researched the premise for the book and knew that the material would appeal to a wide range of people.
I used a well-established crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, who have a record of success in getting creative projects fully funded.
I assembled a great team:
- The fabulous artist who designed the cover, Sally Sheinman
- A gifted young illustrator, Claire Duffy
- Hawk-eyed editor, Janet Currie
- A meticulous proofreader, Anne Currie
- The design company Mooli
All of whom who could work to pull the eternal and internal components together and work with the printer to deliver me the book I really wanted.
Using social media:
I used a webpage and my social media, Twitter and Facebook, to invite people to register their interest in the book well in advance. That way, when the campaign went live, I already had a list of people to bring on board.
I gathered together a group of key collaborators with large lists of followers who were willing to tweet, post on Facebook and email their lists – repeatedly – until the job was done.
The personal touch:
Lastly, I had a determined person who patiently (and with determination) sent messages and talked to real people asking for their support. This last tactic raised by far the largest part of the money.
Getting feedback and testimonials:
While the crowdfunding campaign was in progress, I was still fine-tuning the book. I sent Ebook drafts to a selection of well-placed people who would not only read and comment on the book but also provide the cover quotes. The quotes were then used on the crowdfunding campaign page to boost credibility for the project.
We also produced printed flyers that were distributed in venues where my target audience gathered socially.
At the end of the process, we raised £6035 – way more than the initial £4600 target we set.
Watch out for part II – where I explain the mechanics of the crowdfunding campaign itself.