6 Ways Authors Benefit From Crowd Funding by Emma Larkins
Enjoy this post on crowd funding for authors by guest blogger and author, Emma Larkins.
Crowd funding your book isn’t all about the money. Putting your work out in front of the world before it’s 100% finished by using a platform such as Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/, Rockethub http://www.rockethub.com/, or Pubslush http://www.pubslush.com/ has some top-notch added benefits. It’s not an easy process, but the feedback, strengthened relationships, and attention you’ll receive are worth it.
Receiving Feedback on Your Fledgling Work
It’s easy enough to get readers if you tap your network of friends, join a local writers’ group, or submit your work to an online critique site. But without the sense of urgency that this project is absolutely, positively going to see the light of day, your readers don’t have incentive to give the kind of cutting critiques that truly shape a story. You can also run into the trap of “cautious critiquers,” especially if you have good relationships with the people in your groups. Putting your work on public display is a great way to get unfiltered feedback.
Gauging Reader Interest in Your Book
So you’ve written a novel, a memoir, or a non-fiction manuscript. The amount of effort you’ve put in speaks volumes about your passion, but the harsh reality is that your dedication doesn’t necessarily translate to others’ desires to consume your work. This doesn’t mean that you should base your dreams of publication solely on the popularity of your work; mass consumption isn’t the only success rubric that matters. Still, gaining an idea of the potential spread of your work as early in the game as possible will give you valuable information about your project’s scope.
Developing Intimate Relationships With Your Platform
Engaging your platform in the birthing of your book gets people juiced about your cause. You may have built a following over time that is engaged in your authorship, but nothing coalesces your audience quite like fighting to get your written work into its best possible incarnation. Not to mention the fact that developing a crowdfunding project hones your ability describe your story; it always helps to have a good hook when getting new people to take a chance on you.
Creating an Incentive for Events
Holding online and real-world events is one of the best methods of getting people to rally around you. Readers want to connect to writers as people in order to better understand where the stories they love come from. Book launches and readings are standard fare in the literary world, but the more events you can create, the better. Does your book tap into a community or cause not directly related to writing or publishing? Can you host a write-a-thon, multiple author meet-and-greet, or genre-theme party? Get creative and watch your fandom grow!
Drumming Up Media Attention
Promotional efforts tend to have a cumulative effect, especially if you can fit a lot of them into a short span of time. If you’re doing a good job of putting your name out there, getting backers to share your project, and organizing events, you’re likely to gain the attention of reporters sniffing for a good story. Of course, you still have to work to develop relationships with news outlets, but if you have something interesting to say they’re much more likely to pick up on what you’re doing.
Every writer on the face of this earth can benefit from the eye of a sympathetic, experienced editor, if only to catch an errant misspelled word or correct an erroneous grammatical belief. Then there’s the cost of cover art, formatting, printing, and a host of other costs to consider. It’s entirely up to you how you want to present your finished work to the community; but you need to have an awareness for the ways your choices will be perceived if you’re interested in attracting the world at large.
Feedback, great fans, and financial gain – what more could an author want?
These are some resources that I’ve developed over the past four years, if you’re interested in including them:
Local Writers’ Groups: http://www.squidoo.com/localwritersassociationsbystate (List of more than 300 groups, organized by state)
Online Writing Groups http://www.squidoo.com/onlinewritersgroupsreview (List of 28 online writing groups)
Emma Larkins, a freelance writer, recently embraced the bright lights of NYC. She’s running a Kickstarter to publish her first science fiction novel, Mechalarum http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/emmalarkins/mechalarum-a-science-fiction-novel, and using her learning to help Knodes (http://knod.es/) develop products in the crowd funding space. Check out her website http://www.emmalarkins.com/ or follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/emmalarkins