I would like to welcome Justine Schofield from Pubslush to NAG today. She will talk about crowdfunding and how it will help authors. She will also share some info about Pubslush. Just for coming by where and reading, she has a special treat at the end. Enjoy! Have a question? Leave a comment!
Crowdfunding presents a unique opportunity for those looking to raise funds in the current economic landscape. Whether you have a startup business idea, an innovative new product or a creative project, you can now rally the support of the crowd to gain funding and awareness. Through the reward-based crowdfunding model, project creators can offer supporters and early adopters exclusive benefits and incentives in exchange for their financial pledge.
Not only does crowdfunding offer the go-getters of the world with an opportunity to fund their project outside of conventional funding options, it’s an industry that’s growing. Quickly.
The crowdfunding industry has more than tripled since 2011 and continues to expand at an exponential rate. Now, the crowds of consumers are able to act as the gatekeepers to verify a potential business or creative idea. Isn’t it a novel idea to include consumers in the creation process? This is the idea behind the innovative invention company, Quirky, who uses crowd verification to decide what products they produce.
So, why should this emerging trend be important to you? At the risk of being overly sentimental, it’s a way of making dreams come true. Working for Pubslush, a niche crowdfunding platform exclusive to publishing and literary projects, I see firsthand the impact crowdfunding has on individuals. We’ve had many authors thank us profusely, send us cards in the mail (which we love), and tell us repeatedly that without our platform and personalized service, they wouldn’t have been able to publish their book.
Specific to authors, crowdfunding provides them with opportunities above and beyond raising funds. Of course, as previously stated, the ability to raise funds to publish is very important to many authors and can be the difference between holding your book in your hands and having it saved to your Desktop. But the benefits don’t stop at funding.
The reward-based model also allows authors to collect pre-orders, which provides the opportunity to begin an aggressive and actionable book marketing campaign before the book is even published. In a recent interview with Parnassus Books, bestselling author Tony Earley said, “I’ve always thought that any book that isn’t pre-sold, that doesn’t receive any attention beforehand, seems more like an afterthought than a book, something that no one values very highly.”
It’s true, the marketing for a book never really ends. One can only hope that a book will build such momentum that it begins to market itself through word-of-mouth, but how does an author build that momentum? It begins well before the book is published.
Writing is a process, and so is publishing. If you want your book to sell, taking the proper steps to publish is just as important as writing. Crowdfunding for a book gives authors a way to test the market and gauge audience interest. If an author isn’t able to collect pre-orders or gain interest in their book before it’s published, odds are they won’t sell a substantial number of books come publication time either. This could be an indication the author needs to take a step back and work on building their audience. The more planning and preparation that goes into the pre-publication phase, the more streamlined and successful the overall publishing process will be.
The opportunity for authors to begin thinking critically about their book, engage with potential readers and collect pre-order is perhaps, more than anything else, the most important aspect of crowdfunding for authors and something all serious authors should consider. Publishing a successful book isn’t easy, but if you’re educated and take the proper steps in the process, you will see much better results come publication time.
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Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global a pre-publication platform that allows authors and publishers to raise funds, collect pre-orders and tangibly market their upcoming book project. A writer at heart, Justine received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. A prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding, she has contributed to IBPA’s Independent magazine, Self-Publishers Monthly, Book Marketing Magazine, Business Banter and many more online publications. She tweets for @pubslush. Connect with her on LinkedIn.