If you’ve been following the news or social media over the last couple of years, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the term crowdfunding.
For the unfamiliar: crowdfunding is the process in which a group or individual runs a time-bound and goal-based funding project. This project is called a “crowdfunding campaign.” The goal is to raise enough money to cover the basic costs of a project or venture. In this case, we’re talking about the professional publication of a book.
Crowdfunding has the potential to greatly reduce the financial risk to a creator by spreading the burden of production to a large crowd. Many well-known books have been crowdfunded, including the Friesens-printed Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Beyond providing writers with the capital they need to produce and market a high-quality book, there are a number of other excellent reasons for writers to consider crowdfunding:
1. Market testing
Crowdfunding is a great way to test the market for a book. If the book crowdfunds successfully, it gives the writer a clear indication of those in the market willing to purchase their book. Conversely, if the book doesn’t meet its crowdfunding goal, there may be learnings and opportunities for the writer to improve their pitch. Either outcome results in valuable test marketing at no cost.
2. Building an engaged audience
Crowdfunding can help build an audience for a writer. A fully funded book has a crowd of contributors (literally) invested in the writer’s success. The writer can spend their time engaging with that audience, sharing updates, and developing their personal brand. Then, when the writer writes their next book, a fan base has already been established.
3. Make your money (and keep it, too)
Market research indicates that traditional book sales continue to decline for book retailers. Major bookstores, such as Indigo/Chapters and Barnes & Noble, rely on a small number of massive bestsellers each year to generate a profit.
Without crowdfunding, book sales are split between 1) covering the cost of publication, and 2) generating profits. So the profits are less as a result. With crowdfunding, the cost of publication is covered, meaning that all book sales are solely profit for the author.
4. More great books and happier readers
Crowdfunding increases the number of quality books published each year. Books that would have otherwise gone unread can now reach the public, and unpolished books can be published as higher-quality products.
Curious about crowdfunding?
Get your next publishing project off the ground with our Definitive Crowdfunding Guide for Writers!
This free guide will teach you everything you need to know about running a successful crowdfunding campaign!