It’s hard to beat crowdfunding as a means of engaging your audience and getting the word out, because people who contribute to your project think of it as their baby, and want it to succeed. In fact, some people use crowdfunding not so much to raise money (that’s a happy side-effect) as to raise awareness of and engagement with their work.
There’s an important caveat, though: Current common knowledge about crowdfunding books is that if you already have a big audience, it can work well, but if you haven’t yet built your fan base, it’s unlikely to happen during the course of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is still relatively new, and it’s worth watching to see what new models emerge.
Here’s more information about crowdfunding your publication:
- A March, 2015, article by Inkshare employee Matt Kaye titled What You Need to Know About Crowdfunded Publishing that explains the two major crowdfunding platforms and lists major players (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Pubslush, Publishizer, Inkshares, and Unbound).
- A June, 2015, article by Martha Baussels in The Guardian about Kickstarting a books revolution: the literary crowdfunding boom, which lists the ten most successful crowdfunded book projects, including one that raised more than $500,000 — and another that raised more than $5,000,000! (Yes, it already had a well established fan base.)
- Crowdfunding for Authors: Is it right and is it right for you? a detailed article by Susan Bearman, whose Kickstarter campaign raised more than $10,000 for her book.
- Nicole Dieker’s Contently article Should I Crowdfund My Next Creative Project? comparing Beacon, Kickstarter, Patreon, IndieGogo, and GoFundMe.
- And here’s an intiguing concept suggested by Matt Gartland in his article, Will Crowdfunding Books Replace Author Advances and Further Empower Readers? What if the crowdfunded publishing model were flipped, so instead of: (1) author has book concept -> (2) author pitches book concept -> (3) readers fund book concept (if they like it), the new model would be (1) readers want book concept -> (2) readers commission book concept -> (3) author writes book (in exchange for the gross commission).
Back to Get your audience engaged.