What Authors Need to Know About Crowdfunding Their Book: A Case Study by the Numbers
“Crowdfunding a book is challenging, time consuming, and requires an author to expend a tremendous amount of social capital. Authors should not take this decision lightly.
I found this out first-hand when I set out to crowdfund my debut novel Jack & Coke. It was a grueling process. Thankfully, by the time it was all said and done, I had exceeded my expectations. As an unknown author, I was able to pre-sell 334 copies of my book, raise $6,475, and bring my book to market. The outcome thrilled me, but it certainly wasn’t easy.
I firmly believe that any author can successfully launch their book through crowdfunding if they are willing to put in the effort. However, it may not be the right path for everyone. Below I’ve shared the biggest insights from my experience that lay out the case for and against the decision to crowdfund your book.
Insight #1: Crowdfunding Makes It Easier to Sell Your Book
Crowdfunding is hard, but an individual book sale is never easier than when you are in the midst of your campaign.
That’s because crowdfunding lets people do more than just buy your book. With crowdfunding, your backers are the reason your book gets to exist. Every pre-order helps to make your dream come true, and that’s a powerful selling tool. It’s human nature to want to be a part of something special and crowdfunding lets you tap into this desire.
Further, authors can leverage crowdfunding to build excitement about more than just their book. They can build an audience that is excited about the book’s journey as well. Crowdfunding allows authors to incorporate creative benefits for backers. These opportunities are what make crowdfunding so exciting, and they can range from the extreme, like naming a character, to the more traditional, such as a signed copy or a dinner date with the author. These special (and limited) bonuses are often enough to transform a casual observer into a paying customer.
Not only that, but crowdfunding inherently creates a sense of urgency. One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome is convincing someone to “buy now” rather than to wait and buy it from Amazon later. Because crowdfunding campaigns have a time limit, it invokes an urgency that authors can convert into sales.”