There is no doubt that self-publishing your book with a self-publishing company that charges fees in exchange for quality, service, and customization will result in a better book, statistically speaking, than publishing with a DYI online platform. So why do so many authors gravitate toward the latter? Cost.
But imagine if there was a way to self-publish your book with a high quality self-publisher without spending a dime of your own money…
Enter crowdfunding. Wikipedia describes crowdfunding as: “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet… In 2015, over US$34 billion was raised worldwide by crowdfunding….This modern crowdfunding model is generally based on three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea or project to be funded [that would be you, the author], individuals or groups who support the idea [friends, family, and even strangers who like your idea], and a moderating organization (the “platform”)[Kickstarter, for example] that brings the parties together to launch the idea.”
As of this writing, exploring the “publishing” subcategory on Kickstarter reveals over 47,000 active projects seeking funding. And that’s the rub. While it’s easy to post a new project on Kickstarter, it remains somewhat challenging to secure the necessary funding. In fact, according to a recent article in Publishers Weekly, publishing projects currently experience a 37% success rate on average. “Success” is defined as a project that meets its minimum necessary monetary investment in order to move forward. And when your book is competing against 47,000 other projects in the publishing subcategory, it is easy to understand why authors may find it challenging to secure the necessary funding.
But there is hope. The Publishers Weekly article (which you should take the time to read in its entirety here) mentions several tactics a proactive author can take to increase his/her chances for success. One is to set your investment needs relatively low. Many of the 47,000+ projects have investment requirements in the tens of thousands of dollars, while self-publishing packages with Outskirts Press, for instance, begin at just $849. Which project has a higher chance to succeed in securing its necessary funding? The one costing $10,000 or the one costing $1000?
Another tactic is to publish a children’s book, which experiences a 57% success rate on Kickstarter (that’s right, better than 50-50)! Yet, another is to market your Kickstarter campaign just as aggressively as you plan on marketing your book. Tell your friends and family before, during, and after the project posts on Kickstarter. Market and promote your project heavily during its entire run. Communicate with backers during and after, and especially during your actual publication process. Keep them informed of your progress as your book nears publication. They’ve just invested money in your book — they’ll be excited to read it. Which is to say, you already have a built in audience demanding your book. To say that puts you a leg (or two) up when the marketing phase kicks in would be an understatement. Kickstarter itself has lots of great ideas about promoting a Kickstarter campaign here.
Once you’ve secured your Kickstarter money, it’s time to self-publish your book. Outskirts Press can help you. Here’s to your great success!