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Steps to Crowdfunding Success for Authors

Steps to Crowdfunding Success for Authors

Are you an author ready to bring your nonfiction book project to life through crowdfunding? Launching a successful crowdfunding campaign requires careful planning and execution. 

Today, we’ll explore the essential steps to achieve crowdfunding success tailored specifically for authors.

1. Create a Budget

Develop a detailed budget outlining all expenses associated with your book project. Research and gather quotes from service providers like editors, designers, and printers to ensure you have an accurate understanding of your financial needs. I am always happy to provide numbers to authors who are budgeting their book or crowdfunding campaign. 

And if you are going to be shipping books or other goodies as part of your rewards, factor in that cost as well. Don’t forget to factor in contingency funds for unexpected costs or overages.

2. Define Your Goal

Don’t just dive in and go. Clearly define your goals. Research similar projects to gauge realistic funding targets and ensure you clearly understand how much you need to raise to publish and promote a high-quality book successfully. 

Set goals outside of money. Crowdfunding helps you build a community of readers. Your crowdfunding community will give your feedback as you go, help you grow your audience, and give you credibility. 

See your crowdfunding campaign as the foundation of an enduring relationship with your audience. Nurture these relationships by providing regular updates, exclusive content, and opportunities for continued engagement and interaction.

Launching a successful crowdfunding campaign for your nonfiction book requires careful planning, preparation, and execution.

3. Research Platforms

With many crowdfunding platforms available, choosing the right crowdfunding platform is crucial for authors aiming for crowdfunding success. While it is good to ask others what worked for them and what didn’t, I encourage you to do your own research. Platforms each have their own rules, fees, and audience demographics. Research and compare platforms to find the one that aligns best with your project’s goals and target audience.

4. Set Rewards

This is the fun part. You can give a digital or print copy to backers, of course. But what else can you give them for trusting you with their hard-earned money? You will need to create different levels for different contribution amounts, the higher the level the more personal or valuable the reward. The obvious are workshops, early access, book launch partiers, or limited editions.

Here are some fun ideas to get your creative juices going: 

  • Personal Haiku or other poem
  • Augmented reality experiences
  • Personal thank you note
  • Plant a tree in the backer’s name (or other book related idea)
  • Collaborative community project
  • Exclusive events with author

5. Craft Your Pitch

Now you have your goals and you know the rewards you will offer, you can start crafting your pitch. Your campaign pitch must grab potential backers and convince them to support your project. Here are a few elements to include:

  • Hook – grab their attention
  • Overview – summary of what, where, why, how, and when
  • About the Author – tell them about you 
  • About the book – what makes the book worth investing in
  • Your Goals – be honest and direct about what you need
  • Social Proof – gather testimonials, endorsements, or previews to showcase the value of your book.

Be sure to communicate why people should support your project and what they can expect for their contribution.

6. Prepare Visuals and Media

Your crowdfunding page needs to represent you in words and visuals. I’d recommend having a video of you introducing yourself and showing your passion for this book and project. Let your words and visuals tell a story they remember. 

Aside from the video, create attractive visuals, especially for your rewards. Give potential backers an experience worth talking about.

Add other visual elements, such as progress bars and colorful call-to-action buttons as well

7. Set a Timeline

Establish a timeline for your crowdfunding campaign, including pre-launch preparation, campaign duration, and post-campaign fulfillment. This is so important. The pre-launch lets you plan well and work with your team to give the campaign a big start. Post-campaign fulfillment is one area where I see authors fall apart. Be generous to yourself in your estimates for getting rewards out to backers.

Set milestones and deadlines to keep yourself on track and ensure you prepare for each stage of the process.

9. Build Your Team

One of the biggest fears is that an author puts out a campaign and nothing happens. This is heartbreaking, and many authors really take this to heart when it happens. Often what they don’t realize is successful campaigns have a team working on them. 

Before launching your campaign, build a team. Develop a strategy to grow and engage your audience through social media, email newsletters, and your website. Connect with key influencers or communities in your niche to expand your reach and generate buzz around your campaign.

Don’t go it alone. No one succeeds in a vacuum.

10. Legal and Financial Considerations

Finally, before you hit publish, take some time to consider the legal and financial aspects of crowdfunding. Consult with legal and financial experts to understand your obligations, tax implications, and any legal requirements for fulfilling rewards. Set up a separate bank account or financial system to track campaign funds separately.

Your First Essential Steps for Crowdfunding Your Book Project

Here are your first three steps:

  • Define Your Goal: Determine how much money you need to raise for your book project. Consider all the expenses involved, including editing, design, printing, marketing, and distribution.
  • Research Platforms: Look into crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or GoFundMe. Each platform has its own rules, fees, and audience. Choose one that aligns with your project and goals.
  • Craft Your Pitch: Develop a compelling pitch that explains your book, its significance, and why people should support it. Highlight your expertise, the value of your book, and what sets it apart from others in the genre.

Launching a successful crowdfunding campaign for your nonfiction book requires careful planning, preparation, and execution. By following these steps tailored specifically for authors, you can increase your chances of achieving crowdfunding success and bringing your book project to life.

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Do you know how you are going to publish your book? Download Publishing Possibilities to help you determine the best publishing path for you.

Keep writing and keep thriving,

Melody Ann

Author Nation is your go-to resource for becoming a successful nonfiction author, from planning to promotion and everything in between. 
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