Self-publishing a book is not cheap. While the prices of self-publishing have been drastically reduced with the advent of digital and print-on-demand technology, creating a professional-looking book still takes some money.
In today’s economy, many people don’t have the requisite cash lying around to publish a book. Not wanting to go into debt, many aspiring authors are coming up with creative ways to raise the money they need to fund their publishing projects.
One growing venue for raising capital to produce a book is the use of fund-raising websites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. These sites help individuals raise money for start-up creative projects like art, music, books, poetry, films, and games.
Each project posted on these websites has a funding goal (dollar amount) and a time limit ranging from one to 90 days in which to reach that goal. Both the amount of money desired and the time frame to raise the money are set by the project creator. When the time limit is reached, if project creators have obtained their funding goal, they get the money and run with their project. If project creators do not reach their financial goal, all the pledges for the given project are canceled.
I wonder: What is the motivator for people to fund projects posted on sites like Kickstarter?
Kickstarter offers one reason. They say that the reward the project creators offer the individuals making pledges is a good motivator. People like to receive a tangible reward such as a product or a unique experience. I think another reason is that some people like to be part of something new that they believe in.
A number of authors looking to self-publish have used Kickstarter to raise funds for their books. Take Lee Carson. Lee has quite a story. He was hit by a car and suffered a traumatic brain injury. As a result, his life markedly changed. He wrote a book about his experience and used Kickstarter to raise over $12,000 (his goal was $6,000) to publish his book. He offered individuals pledging money to his project anything from an ebook copy to a signed hard-cover copy of his book based on the amount of their pledge. You can read about his project here.
Elin Criswell is another author who used Kickstarter to fund the publishing of her book on soap-making. She only sought $2,500 for her book project and was able to raise that amount by offering copies of her book and her soap to individuals pledging their financial support. You can view her project here.
Of course, both Lee and Elin didn’t just list their projects on Kickstarter and hope that people would discover their project and fund it. Both did plenty of marketing to drive people to their project and hook them to pledge financial support.
If you are considering self-publishing and need the funds to do so, consider using a project funding website like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to raise the money you need. The marketing you do to get people interested in your project will be a nice warm-up for the marketing you will be doing to sell more copies of your book once you have it published.