Joel Kelly's Blog

Joel Kelly's updates about his latest writing, his process, and his life as a Halifax-based author and marketer.

How to crowdfund a book

Thinking about crowdfunding your book? Use this link and Inkshares will put $50 toward my book!

UPDATE!! My book is now 80% funded, by 26 backers, with over a month to go. Help keep it going here.

My new book, an ebook novella called Scolding the Winds, is now 63% funded! Can you believe it? I'm having a little trouble believing it.

I've received 20 backers, some contributing $15, some (including my mother-in-law, and my friend and colleague) contributing hundreds. It's incredible to have so much support from so many.

Here's what things are looking like right now:

As you can see, we're very much outpacing our projected targets. But my backers per day are already dropping, and things are slowing down. Plus, any extra money we raise goes toward the costs I've already put into the project, and into making the book's marketing and distribution that much better. So I'm going to keep trying to get this in front of people.

How do you crowdfund a book?

Here's what I've learned so far:

  1. Tweet, tweet, tweet. You might annoy people. But those people weren't your friends anyway. And not everyone who follows you will see every tweet, so you need to get it out there several times, every day. Plus, you don't have to ask for money, just that people share the link. They will.
  2. Email! I had an email list from marketing my last book, so I reached out to them and asked for their support. Email your friends, colleagues, contacts, and ask them to share the link with their friends.
  3. Persistence! Several days will pass without a backer. That's okay. In some cases, it just means there's lots more on the way.
  4. Update your backers. My last funding update blog post got me a few more backers. This one might, too.
  5. Have an installed base of friends/supporters. Luckily, I already have a following on Twitter, some forums, Facebook, etc. I was able to reach out to those friends and ask them to help me out. Plus, I have a popular podcast. Using your existing networks is key.
  6. Advertise! I haven't spent much, yet ($50 on New Disruptors), but I'm thinking about advertising on my favorite podcast, MBMBaM, which has proved very successful for me before. As long as you don't spend more than you raise, it's worth it.

So, those are just a few ideas about how you can crowdfund a book. Do you have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!