You can use crowdfunding tools to pay for your book even before you’ve written it. Crowdfunding is a commitment but many authors who dedicate themselves to the marketing effort it demands find the process rewarding.
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
IndieGoGo was founded in 2007 as a place where people who want to raise money can create fundraising campaigns to tell their story and get the word out. They charge 4% of the money you raise if you meet your goal or 9% if you do not. Lots of authors have raised money for books on this platform.
Inkshares and Unbound
Two publisher crowdfunding programs are Inkshares (San Francisco) and Unbound (in the UK). These companies host your crowdfunding site and, if you meet your goal, they will publish your book under their imprint. They offer attractive royalties and edit, design, and market your book. You are not self-publishing with these companies; they take on your project as an author publishing under their imprint.
You can use Gumroad for crowdfunding as well as for many other things. Find out more about it in Direct Sales Tools.
Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, more than 5.2 million people have pledged more than $900 million, funding nearly 53,000 creative projects like films, games, books, music, art, design and technology. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. Projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. To date, nearly 44% of projects have reached their funding goals. Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised. Funders pay via Amazon Payments (only), which then will apply credit card processing fees (between 3% and 5%). Check out Kickstarter Creators get started page for publishing projects.
Pentian is a crowdfunding program that allows backers to share in revenue generated from book royalties. It also offers book distribution to the usual channels.
Pentian’s staff of editors, marketing pros, and designers help prepare the book and author for the campaign, which lasts 60 days. Royalty share is Author (40%), Backers (50%), and publisher, Pentian (10%).
Authors upload their books, then backers support the book by pledges at different levels entitling them to different rewards and a portion of profits, and Pentian distributes the book. They own sales rights for three years.
Based in Spain, they have also launched in the US.
PubLaunch is three things: a project management platform, a marketplace for publishing services, and a crowdfunding platform:
- An online marketplace where you can find vetted professionals to hire. They’re vetted based on standardized tests. In a later phase they will incorporate a rating system a la Fiverr.
- An embedded budget calculator will help you calculate how much it will cost to hire professionals based on your book data (page count, images, etc.)
- A crowdfunding platform is built in (this was PubSlush’s model) so that at the end of your budgeting process you can choose to pay directly or start a crowdfunding campaign. But you can also use the crowdfunding platform without using their marketplace.
Once you’ve put together your team and started your book, a “launch room” will be created for you so that everyone can communicate with private messaging and get the production process done in one space.
Authors upload your manuscript, select your publishing requirements, choose your team, get your estimate, crowdfund or pay, and manage your project through to publication with guidance at every step.
Suppliers create a profile, get tested and approved, receive submissions from authors, work on the project, and get paid via the platform.
The company is based in Toronto, Canada but services are based in US currency for now. PubLaunch makes their money from 5% of crowdfunding revenue and 10% of supplier side revenue.
Publica is a preorder or crowdfunding system based on blockchain you can use to fund your book with a “Book ICO” based on cryptocurrency. Your early funders can read your book on the Publica reading app for iOS and Android. You need to create a crypto wallet and buy tokens, which vary wildly in value as do most cryptocurrencies. They call their currency PBL (pebbles).
Publishizer is a crowdfunding platform that connects the author with publishers. Yep, if your goal is reached, they’ll query your proposal to a targeted list of publishers. If a publisher expresses interest, you can contact them directly. Publishizer keeps 30% of funds raised during the campaign.