There are tons of posts online about the importance of crowdfunding for authors and small business. Those looking to build a platform on any of the popular crowdfunding sites like Pubslush.com can benefit from building an engaging audience.
As an author, you can test the market on your book idea and ultimately, raise funds through financial backers.
But then…there’s the scenario where an author or small business owner may not be ready for a crowdfunding campaign. And while collecting funds are great, running a campaign is a lot of work.
So…are you ready for the Pubslush plunge?
Here are five pointers to see if you’re truly ready for the crowdfunding author challenge:
1. You’ve haven’t yet built a nurturing network. By nurturing, you’re sharing posts, giving of yourself, engaging your audience, asking thoughtful questions, being authentic. It doesn’t matter what industry you represent, you need to come across as human and accessible on the other side of the screen in an impersonal world powered by social media.
If you’re just posting your own stuff without real engagement, you might appear as a nobody because everyone is doing the exact same thing. Many authors and small business owners are “nobodies.” The ones who do stand out, take care of their network. It’s from this place that you can reach out to your network with confidence.
My case in point: I interview authors for my global radio show. It’s time-consuming to read through a book, but I enjoy the process. It’s an act of generosity and I go an extra mile to promote them as well.
I’m a one-woman show. I also share and document my experiences with writing, publishing and small business issues for my site Giving Voice to Your Story. This is how I reciprocate my network. By taking care of them.
2. You’re not ready to work hard. Any crowdfunding campaign takes work from the pre-planning, to the individual emails and letters at the campaign launch, mid-check point and end point explaining why your project is near and dear to your heart. No-one can do this for you.
Then there’s the planning that goes into the landing page, the effort to just put yourself out there by reaching out to libraries and media. You need to constantly engage with your fans on your landing page, and encourage your peeps to become a fan. All this kind of platform building work connected to running a Pubslush campaign is unpaid, but the monetary rewards come much later after you’ve “clocked in” your hours.
Case in point: I once had an author demanding that I host her for my radio show because she had invested tons of hours researching and writing her book, and she now wanted her payback by me interviewing her so people would start buying her book. Book sales don’t happen only from media, but how accessible and engaging you come across to others. They buy into you first, your book second.
3. You’re afraid of asking people for financial support. You’ve just got to get over this one. Seriously. Look, asking your peeps to support your book is no different than having them support you by buying your book or product from Amazon.
Here the difference is that they’re investing in YOUR brand, business or book. They’re your financial backers and they’re rooting you on. Yes, it’s a fundraiser, but you’re not asking for donations, you’re asking for financial support so you can take your business or book to the next level. You’re not asking for a handout.
4. You haven’t given crowdfunding much thought or just overlooked it. In today’s publishing climate, authors cannot afford not to consider the value of crowdfunding. It’s a great way to build your platform and engage with your peeps. If you’re an author, you cannot engage with your followers on Amazon. Maybe you think of crowdfunding as just a “trend” or “fad.”
I can say though with conviction that this “trend” is not going away — not in today’s publishing environment. Authors cannot simply afford to miss out on an opportunity to engage with their peeps on a platform, gather pre-orders and share cool rewards. You just never know if an editor or publisher might be “eyeing” your books.
5. You’re getting too caught up in perfect paralysis. You’re probably wondering why the heck I included this, but you’d be surprised how many authors think they need to finish their book before posting a campaign. Not true! You can gather pre-orders and build a platform even with a manuscript-in-progress. You don’t need permission from anyone.
Also, authors might be so afraid from the work involved with setting up and running a campaign, that they just don’t ever start one. Now that my campaign for my book Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service in the Israel Defense Forces is up and running, I can recall vividly how much work it took to get it up and running. Anxiety did attack me a few times. But taking action is key!
There you have it. Five reasons why you shouldn’t crowdfund … yet (notice I said, “yet!”) until you’ve researched your crowdfunding options and given it some serious thought. Bottom line — You must personally reach out to each of your potential backers in order for your campaign to be successful.
So, on that note, happy crowdfunding or happy crowdfunding planning!
Have you taken the crowdfunding plunge? What are some of your success story tips and strategies? Authors need to know what works and what doesn’t so please feel free to share your comments below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!
About Guest Blogger Dorit Sasson: At age nineteen, Dorit, a dual American-Israeli citizen, knew she had no choice but to distance herself from her neurotic, worry-wart of a mother in order to become her own person. Torn trying to make the status quo work as a college student, she couldn’t bear staying with her mom in New York City for fear of becoming just like her. She is the author of Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces – the story of an American-Jewish college dropout who volunteers for the Israel Defense Forces to change her life – and steps out of her comfort zone even more to find courage and faith that she didn’t know existed.