If you’re looking to write a book – either fiction or non-fiction – there are various routes you can take to garner initial funding. One of these routes is to harness the power of the crowd (through Crowdfunding). But it’s difficult to know where to start. So, here are five sites where you can build buzz and raise the initial cash needed to help get your next literary project off the ground.
Pubslush is a non-profit crowdfunding site aimed specifically at writers and authors. Founders Hellen and Amanda Barbara set up the site with the main principle being “to give”:
Giving an opportunity to authors, giving a voice to readers, and giving books to children without access to literature.
The funding structure in place on Pubslush is called flexi-funding, where you’re able to keep all money pledged to your book so long as it’s over $500, minus a 4% fee, plus any processing fees incurred.
Pubslush success story: Jenna Leyde raised over $15,000 for her book He Never Liked Cake.
Indiegogo was founded in 2007 as a way to give individuals (and groups) an alternative avenue to fund their projects. Back in 2008, the site was only open to the independent film industry, but in 2009, all industries were able to use the platform – including authors.
On all fees raised, Indiegogo takes a 9% cut, with 5% being refundable if you reach your overall funding goal.
Indiegogo success story: Self-published book The Silent Pull of The Moon recently raised over 300% of it’s initial funding goal.
Although not specifically focused on funding for authors, RocketHub offers a platform for all industries to raise funds. The site may not be as easy to navigate as Indiegogo, but it offers one thing that particularly interested me: their success school. This is a short course which takes you through, step-by-step, on what it takes to launch a successful crowd funding campaign, from preparing to launch, to managing funders.
The cost of running your campaign on RocketHub is 4% commission, plus 4% credit card handling fee (but if you don’t reach your goals, you’ll face an 8% commission).
RocketHub success story: The book Moonless Age raised almost $6000.
Unbound is a UK-based crowdfunding and publishing platform for authors. The author pitche their idea to the Unbound audience. If the audience likes the pitch, they can pledge funding to the cause. When the funding goal is reached, the book is written, with the finished product being delivered to each person who pledged (plus any other rewards promised). Although a lot of the distribution aspect of the service seems to be restricted to the UK, it still looks like authors from around the world can apply to become a part of Unbound.
Unlike the other crowdfunding options available, Unbound requires authors to submit their idea for review before it’s posted on the site, meaning the site acts a little more like a ‘publisher’ rather than solely as a funding platform.
Unbound success story: Bitcoin–The Future of Money? raised over 110% of it’s funding goal using Unbound
It is the big player in the crowdfuding scene. Kickstarter launched in 2009, and its audience has now pledged over $1 billion toward a huge variety of creative projects, including plenty of self-published books.
As with most other crowd funding platforms, creators keep 100% ownership of their own work, with the team behind each project working to market the campaign in order to reach their funding goals.
If a project is successful, Kickstarter takes a 5% fee, with payment processing fees being between 3-5%, although you’re only able to use Kickstarter if you’re based in the UK, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand (with The Netherlands coming next). The FAQ page answers all of your creator questions.
Kickstarter success story: Punk Rock Paper Scissors recently raised over $6000 from over 170 backers.
As an alternative to traditional funding, crowdfunding for authors looks like it’s here to stay. With the revolution that’s been ongoing in the publishing sphere for the past few years showing no sign of slowing, this opens up a whole new business model for writers in all industries.
Image Credit: Bookshelves by Gpoo via Flickr