If you’re planning to self-publish your book, then you know that costs can add up—especially if you want to do it well. You need to invest in professional editing, custom cover design, interior layout, printing books, distribution, marketing, and the myriad of other details involved in producing and publishing a book.
If funds are tight or you simply want a creative way to generate pre-sales for your book and cover some costs, check out Kickstarter.com. This is a crowd-sourced funding platform for creative projects with a fabulous tagline: “A new way to fund and follow creativity.”
Kickstarter allows users to post a variety of creative projects for potential community funding. Project categories include Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Technology, Theater, and Writing & Publishing. When you create a project here, you aren’t simply asking for investors or donations—you must offer rewards for various donation levels. Here’s an example from the site:
Author David Sylvester put his book up for bid: My No-Name Biography, about living with cerebral palsy. Here’s a synopsis of what supporters could pledge:
$1 – Repaid in gratitude (1 supporter)
$5 – Personal shout-out on his blog (23 supporters)
$10 – Blog shout-out and bookmark (11 supporters)
$25 – Blog shout-out, signed copy of the book and tote bag (14 supporters)
$40 – All previous plus invite to book launch party and DVD about his story (10 supporters)
$60 – All previous plus acknowledgement in his book (6 supporters)
$100 – All previous plus personal video of thanks posted on his blog (16 supporters)
$250 – All previous plus live 30-minute video chat with the author (2 supporters)
$500 – All previous plus dedication page in book and dinner on the town with author and his wife (1 supporter)
In the end, David collected $8,053 in funds from supporters, giving his book a great financial boost.
Kira Stackhouse, author of Project Dog, a coffee table photography book with a mission of featuring as many dog breeds as possible, set a goal of collecting $15,000 in pledged funds. Here’s how she managed to exceed that goal:
$1 – Gratitude (2 supporters)
$5 – A Project Dog logo button (2 supporters)
$10 – Contributor name on website plus bumper sticker (2 supporters)
$25 – One copy of the book plus personal “thank you” email from the author (146 supporters!)
$30 – Signed copy of the book, personal email, bumper sticker, button (108 supporters)
$50 – All previous plus name and website listed as supporter in the book (63 supporters)
$99 – Your dog’s photo featured in the book, listed as supporter in the book, plus a signed copy (58 supporters)
$200 – Your dog’s photo in the book plus submit a 100-character dedication to your dog, plus signed copy (18 supporters)
$500 – All previous plus two tickets to attend rooftop launch party in San Francisco and 8×12 floating metal print of dog of your choice (1 supporter)
$850 – All previous plus private photo shoot with your dog (1 supporter)
In the end Kira collected a whopping $24,099!
As you look through the projects on Kickstarter.com, you’ll see users seeking as little as a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars. If a user doesn’t meet their pre-set funding goal, all pledges are returned to bidders, making it important to set a realistic goal.
It certainly helps to have an established audience interested in your cause. If you launch a project here, be sure to promote it with your networks via social media, as well as with peers, clients, family, and friends.
At Authority Publishing, we’re currently looking at ways we could develop some collaborative projects using this platform. Sign up for our newsletter or monitor our blog for further details! Got an idea for us? Share it in the comments below!