The crowd has spoken… in a very loud voice.
The crowd has sponsored… in a very generous amount.
YES, the crowd can be a very powerful force. Powerful enough to make you want to finish and publish the book you’ve been wanting to finish, but just can’t – due to the lack of funds.
Many talented authors find themselves stuck in the middle of their book. Some lack the inspiration (writer’s block), some lack the time, and some are discouraged and lack the motivation to finish it because they know that once they finish it, they won’t be able to publish anyway.
The last reason could be the saddest reason because it means that, talent is there, and the only hindrance to publishing a book is the lack of money. It’s really sad to know that a potential book – filled with amazing ideas or stories – will remain unwritten because the brilliant mind behind it has an empty pocket.
This scenario, however, has changed drastically over the years. Many thanks to the advent of the internet, the world has somewhat become “smaller”, and the people (no matter how distant they were physically) has found a way to unite and come together for a common cause.
The term is called “crowdfunding”, and it can do wonders for you.
What is Crowdfunding?
If you Google it, the term is defined as:
Crowdfunding: (noun) The practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the internet
So basically, it tells us that a group of (interested) people come together to raise a certain amount of money (usually huge amounts of money), in order to achieve a common cause. As stated, it usually involves artists… Why? Well, let’s just say, the business of art is not very profitable, especially when one is just starting out.
Brief History of Crowdfunding.
Before crowdfunding became a popular method for raising funds via the internet, a similar method was practiced starting around the 1700s.
In the 18th century, a poet named Alexander Pope needed funds to translate his Greek poems into English versions.
He asked people for help, promising to add their names in the Acknowledgement section of his book. Also, now-famous (but then-startup) composer Mozart offered invitations and manuscripts in exchange for people to fund his concert.
Modern-day crowdfunding started in 1997. A British rock band, Marillion, was supported by fans to help fund their U.S tour.
After this, as the saying goes, is history.
The crowdfunding method became a popular way of getting artists up on their feet, regardless of a lack of money.
An Author’s Personal Experience with Crowdfunding.
It was the year 2012 when a promising author name Seth Godin tried his luck and asked for help from his supporters to help him fund his latest book: The Icarus Deception.
Godin kicked-off his campaign to raise enough money for him to have enough funds to publish once he was done writing his new book. He used the internet’s help, of course, specifically the site Kickstarter.com.
Godin’s initial goal was to raise $40,000, but to his surprise, at the end of the campaign, the total funds raised summed up to a whopping $287,342.
So was Seth Godin.
How Crowdfunding Works.
Needless to say, not everyone with talent has money, and not everyone with money has talent. The world sometimes plays a joke on us all. We can either laugh at it, shake our head, and give up our dreams because of this mishap… OR, we can actually DO SOMETHING about it.
If you are an artist and you have the talent but not enough money to make your work a “reality”, then crowdfunding is definitely the answer you’ve been waiting for. Crowdfunding will allow you to pre-sell a product (your book) in order to raise the funds necessary to build and ship it.
Simply put, it’s like asking your future buyers to pay in advance so that you can actually make the product and deliver it to them. In return, they get to ENJOY YOUR BEAUTIFUL WORK. Most of the time, that’s more than enough for the crowd, they usually take pleasure in reading your book and knowing that they were a huge part of your beautiful contribution to Arts and Literature.
Who’s Who in Crowdfunding?
Some may know this already, but just to make it clear, these are the terms involved in crowdfunding:
The Creator (aka crowdfunder). This is the artist (he or she can be the author who is attempting to fund the production of their new book).
The Financial backers/supporters (aka crowd). These are the people who commit funds to help in the production costs of the book. These people usually receive some reward or discount for being an early supporter.
The Platform. This is the venue where the crowdfunding takes place. Made easier today because of the internet.
Top 5 Crowdfunding Platforms for Authors
This is one of the most famous and preferred sites to cried fund your book. The site launched in 2009, and so far the audience has pledged over $1 billion toward different creative projects, including many self-published books.
Marc Boston / Kickstarter – The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff
$6,116 pledged of $5,000 goal
Jenny Edmondson / Kickstarter- GroomsDay
$1,010 pledged of $1,000 goal
Mary Buford Hitz / Kickstarter – Riding to Camille
$3,401 pledged of $3,000 goal
Founded in 2007, this site was created for individuals (or groups) as an alternative avenue to fund their projects. In 2008, the site was only open to the independent film industry, but in 2009, all industries were able to use the platform – including authors.
Zack Bonnie / Dead, Insane, or In Jail: Overwritten
$7,168 USD total funds raised (117% funded on April 1, 2016).
Ramgiri Braun / HeartSourcing
$15,632 USD raised (195% of $8,000).
RocketHub offers a platform for all industries to raise funds – yes, including authors. Many users complained that the site is not easy to navigate, but it offers one thing that possibly no other crowdfunding site offers: a success school, which is a short course that teaches you the step-by-step guide on how to successfully launch a crowdfunding campaign.
Drowless / Moonless Age raised almost $6000
- Unbound (UK)
This is a UK-based crowdfunding site, at the same time – a publishing platform for authors. The author (crowdfunder) pitches his/her idea to the Unbound audience. If the audience likes the idea pitched, then they pledge to fund the publishing.
Dominic Frisby / Bitcoin–The Future of Money? raised over 110% of its funding goal using Unbound
This is a non-profit crowdfunding site, aimed specifically at writers and authors. Founders Hellen and Amanda Barbara set up the site with the main principle of “giving”. Giving authors the opportunity, giving readers the voice, and giving books to children to access literature.
Janna Leyde / He Never Liked Cake