Dear Amazing People,
Some time ago I started the series of blog posts entitled “How to Publish a Book in the Digital Age” with the lessons about book writing and publishing during my experience with the novel “The Monster: Blade of Darkness”. In the first part of it I described how sharing of a dream of publishing a book through on-line channels and off-line social interaction might bring you valuable contacts and community to make this dream come true. And now I would like to continue with the next lesson on how you can capitalize on these contacts and community to test your dream of a book and bring you the necessary resources through a crowdsourcing and crowdfunding campaign.
Lesson #2: Get Support through Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding!
Publishing a book is hard work that requires a number of different skills. Besides being the writer, you should also be able to proof-read it carefully, prepare good-looking illustrations, design the cover, develop an attractive and user-friendly website for it, make a promotional video, etc. Of course, if you have money, you can order all this as services delivered to you by professional companies. But if not? What if you do not have sufficient financial resources to pay for such services?
A lesson that I had learnt during working on the book “The Monster: Blade of Darkness” is that you might be the author of the book, but it does not mean you should be its sole creator. There are many people out there, who would love either to contribute to such a wonderful dream or to show their own talents and apply their creative skills in practice. Involve them by sharing the ownership of the final result. For example, in the case of the book “The Monster: Blade of Darkness”, it was translated, proof-read, and supplied with good-looking illustrations by a number of amazing supporters of my dream. In exchange I mentioned their names in the Gratitude Letter in the book and on the website and gave them their copies of the book for them to see the result of their talents and efforts and show it to their friends. The same thing I have done with supporters, who donated their financial resources through a crowdfunding campaign.
Crowdfunding is a practice of raising micro-investments from a large community of people for realizing a certain project. These micro-investments can range from one euro to thousands of euros, but when collected from a large number of supportive people, the end sum can be quite significant. But getting financial resources is not the only advantage of crowdfunding. It can also be a test for your idea in terms of whether the readers would be willing to read it. By presenting your book-publishing idea in a crowdfunding campaign and inviting people to “pre-order” your future book, you can see how many will be willing to really do it. It is sort of a market test of your dream. However, do not be discouraged if there are no supporters and financial resources. The issue might be not in your idea of the book, but in how you present it. To be successful, the crowdfunding campaign requires professionally looking video, good-quality images of your creation, and convincing description of your dream. You can do all these things by yourself, but once again I suggest you to request support from your friends and colleagues, like I did with the video for my crowdfunding campaign.
When the video, images, and text are ready, you can upload them to a crowdfunding platform. The most well-known and successful ones are Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but you can find the one focused specifically on your country and your target audience. Through some of them, like Indiegogo, you can receive the majority of the funds raised even through your campaign did not reach its monetary goal. For instance, my campaign for publishing the book “The Monster: Blade of Darkness” did not achieve its goal, but it still brought me first readers and financial resources enough to get the first 300 copies of the Russian version released and distributed. Nevertheless, I still recommend you to be modest and not to set too high and overoptimistic crowdfunding goals.
These are the main lessons about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding for making the book dream come true I have learnt. If you have more questions about this topic, you can always write to me by using the Contact section of this website. And in the next article I will describe how to organize that very important and memorable thing for every author – the book launch event.
Best wishes in getting valuable support for your dream!
With great respect and gratitude,