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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 5 Ways To Harness The Power Of The Crowd 5 Ways To Harness The Power Of The Crowd Crowdsourcing can take on lots of different forms. Between social media and niche crowdsourcing sites, you can harness the power of the crowd to get just about anything. Whether it's raising funds, looking for information,... Read More   (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

Author Crowdfunding

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

Author Crowdfunding(1)

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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.

RocketHub

Author Crowdfunding(2)

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 schoolThis 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 (UK)

Author Crowdfunding(3)

Unbound is a UK-based crowdfunding and publishing platform for authors Fund & Publish Books With Unbound Crowdfunding Fund & Publish Books With Unbound Crowdfunding Are you a writer or artist wondering how you could ever afford to put out a book? As long as you have a bit of a following already, you could potentially raise funds using sites... Read More . 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

Kickstarter

Author Crowdfunding(4)

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 Kickstarter: Crowd Funding For Creative Businesses Kickstarter: Crowd Funding For Creative Businesses Read More , 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.

Conclusion

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

  1. Sebastian
    January 20, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    BeaconReader certainly has done well the last year or so as a niche platform. Also I want to add apart from the existing platforms, you can utilize white label software to get your own unique crowdfunding website running. Thrinacia.com offers a turn key software solution, with a low monthly subscription price. Esentially you can be running your own crowdfunding site within minutes. Whether its one campaign or multiple campaigns.

  2. Ilse Koch G
    April 10, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    There are also specific crowdfunding websites out there. For indie theatre and film there is stage32. And once the film is funded, in my view, the best options available for indies features and short film distribution I have seen to date are on http://filmbay.com/ where they pay out ad share AND google adsense to filmmakers. Hugs, Ilse :-)

    • Rob
      April 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Excellent links, thanks Ilse! This is the first I'd heard of stage32, so will definitely be taking a good look into that!

  3. Rob
    March 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Matt, BeaconReader looks pretty cool- I'd never heard of it before! Re. LeanPub, I love the concept. Integrating user feedback into the equation WHILE writing the book, rather than after publication is a massive help -especially for non-fiction writers. Have you tried it?

  4. Matthew H
    March 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Nice! What are your thoughts on LeanPub and BeaconReader?

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