Pubslush Explains Literary Crowdfunding

We @MindbuckMedia are psyched to present this guest post by Justine Schofield from PubSlush.com

One thing many authors fail to plan for is the marketing and promotion of their book. Hiring a publicist for your work is one of the crucial steps to publishing successfully. If you think about all the time, dedication, and grueling hard work every author puts into writing a book, don’t they owe it to themselves to use the proper marketing and promotion tools to get their book out into the world?

Yes. Yes, they do. But as with many aspects of publishing, publicists can be expensive and many self-publishing authors are more focused on producing their book than effectively marketing it. However, with the power of crowdfunding, authors can raise funds to pay for services, such as hiring a publicist, that they may not have been able to afford out-of-pocket.

Pubslush2Crowdfunding is a means to raise funds for any business or creative project by collecting small monetary pledges from a large group of people. Crowdfunding has seen great success in the fields of publishing, technology, film, and more. Prior to the rise of the Internet and the online marketplace, entrepreneurs were solely dependent on the conglomerates of their industry to fund the creation and marketing of their products. Of course, we know the conglomerates of the publishing industry are the publishing houses. Now, though, authors have access to publishing technology and with crowdfunding they also have the opportunity to raise funds pre-publication.

Crowdfunding allows authors to utilize their pre-established network in order to mitigate the financial risk of publishing, gauge the initial market viability of their book, and ultimately, make their book the absolute best it can be.

So, you may be wondering how exactly this whole crowdfunding thing works.

In order to create a campaign an author must:

  • Submit an excerpt of their book, usually about 10 pages in length.
  • Provide a summary of their book to give the reader an overview of the plot.
  • Create a personalized video, explaining their book, why they wrote it, and why people should support their campaign.
  • Create reward levels at varying monetary amounts to create incentive for people to support their campaign.
  • Add additional information, such as pictures, Q&A, and website and social media links.

Creating a campaign is the first step, but authors should be aware that just like writing a book, crowdfunding requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • A lot of planning is required before the launch of a campaign. Campaigns are time sensitive, lasting 30-60 days, so it’s important to have an extensive marketing plan and create a buzz around your campaign before it goes live.
  • Have creative rewards. Developing fun and unique rewards will entice people to support your campaign at various levels. Also, it shows people you’ve taken the time to really think about your audience, which they will appreciate.
  • Provide a support level for everyone. Offering a reward tier as low as $1 ensures you aren’t excluding anyone from being able to pledge to your campaign. After all, every dollar counts!
  • Have a loyal pre-existing network, both personal and professional.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people in your network and ask for their support. Asking is the key to success. Many people feel uncomfortable asking others for financial pledges, but every supporter receives a reward, most often the final product, in exchange for their pledge.
  • One of the most important things about conducting a crowdfunding campaign is to keep the momentum going. You will have to be as excited (if not more!) and dedicated to your campaign on the final day as you were on day one. Your crowdfunding campaign will be your job for its 30-60 day duration. But, on the bright side, at the end you may be able to hire a publicist for your book and not have to continue the intense marketing and promotion aspect by yourself.

Crowdfunding can be an incredibly powerful tool when people are informed and dedicated. Learn more about crowdfunding for books and see if you could be the next publishing success story.

Justine Schofield is the communications coordinator of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for books. Authors can raise funds, understand their audience, and self-publish or traditionally publish their work. Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations, has held various freelance editing and writing jobs, and her work has been published in many online and print publications.

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