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Successful Crowdfunding

walkwithmecrowdfunderCrowdfunding is a great way for writers to raise money to fund their projects, but how do you set it up to be successful? There are many crowdfunding campaigns that fail because they haven’t included all the ingredients that create a great product that people will engage with and click the ‘pledge’ button. There’s obviously no guarantee for success but there are a few things that you can do to enhance the campaign.

So how do you connect with your audience and get worldwide exposure? Here are a few tips that we used to run three successful campaigns.

Tell your story
Do this in as many ways as possible. Use words, pictures and video because you want to capture as many people as possible. Make people care about your story by using emotive language and putting personal angles into your story. If you are enthusiastic and passionate about your project, people will naturally want to support you. Make an awesome video that isn’t too long that will create a buzz around what you’re doing.

Create great incentives for people to pledge
You need to give people lots of options. Start with small amounts like $5–10 with lots of increments up to large amounts. The smaller pledges might just get a thank you. Medium prices might get a name in the book as a supporter, then larger again will receive a book, with the name in it. Have a few high-price incentives for business people. For a larger incentive, you can offer to show logos and business information in the book and on promotional material as major sponsors.

Communicate often with your audience
Use social media to spread the word about your campaign. Ask people to share the information and don’t forget your email list. If you don’t have an official email list, you’ll still have email addresses for family and friends. Ask them to help spread the word. Once your campaign is up and running, keep your supporters (the people who pledge) in the loop by giving them regular updates on the progress of the campaign.

Have a kickback
If there is a cause that you like to support, make that part of your campaign. For instance, if you support cancer research, you could give a part of your funds or book sales to that cause. Even better if there is a cause that has a synergy with your book, like a children’s book giving back to the Children’s Hospital.

Here is a link to one of our campaigns that raised triple the amount that we anticipated and is a good example of the elements that work for a good campaign: http://www.pozible.com/project/177468

What is crowd funding?

Unknown-1It’s getting easier all the time to publish your work thanks to digital technology. Not so long ago, if you wanted to publish a book you needed lots of cash to pay typesetters and printers. Now it’s possible to publish your book using word and print on demand.

If you want your book to be a little more professional though, it’s advisable to pay for a good editor and designer to make your book  worthy of being in a bookshop.

I see you throwing your hands in the air saying, ‘I have no time to write my book and now you’re telling me I need money to publish it?’

Yes, if you want people to respect your book you need to put some thought into it. The no time excuse is not valid. It’s a matter of prioritising it. But the money aspect can be a barrier. This is where crowd funding comes in.

Crowd funding is a fantastic way to raise small amounts of money for a project from a group of people. This is usually done via the internet. There are many crowd funding companies out there where you can set up your project and ask for different amounts of money (pledges) in exchange for different products. The beauty of this is that you are not just straight out asking for money. That would be more like a charity. You are in fact pre-selling something in a way and giving your supporters some ownership of it through fostering awareness of what you are doing.

People have funded so many different types of things from books, to inventions, music videos or even products. About a year ago a father and son set up a project with Indiegogo to fund their invention, asking for only $70,000 and raised $12,488,218 USD! Check out this link:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive#/

This is of course an extreme example. Most people are just wanting to raise a few thousand dollars and this is quite achievable if you are wanting help to publish your book. There are so few grants available these days thanks to cuts in the Arts sectors and even then your project might not fit those criteria anyway.

We have successfully funded three books recently, using Pozible. There are many other platforms out there but I chose Pozible because it was started by Australians and I found the platform very user friendly.

In my next blog, I will talk about what you need to create a successful campaign to reach the target needed to make your book a reality.

Blaise