New Ways to Fund Your Book

As more and more authors choose the control and profit margin of self-publishing, one of the first questions they, or perhaps other more financially-oriented friends, will ask is, “How much does it cost and how the heck am I going to pay for it?”

Depending on the length of the book, and to really do it right, a book generally costs between $5000 and $8000 to edit, design, and get out into the distribution channels. That can be quite a chunk of change for some people, but many authors are finding creative ways to surmount that barrier, having fun and building their audience at the same time.

One way that is gaining a lot of attention lately is raising money on Kickstarter. Samizdat author Ethan Bryan put together an attractive and fun initiative that is a goodexample. Whether or not your project gets funded depends of course on your ability to activate your network to send in enough support. The catch with Kickstarter is that if you don’t raise your goal in the amount of time you set, you don’t get to keep any of it. IndieGoGo, on the other hand, is a site that let’s you keep whatever money you were able to raise, but this method lacks the urgency that typically motivates people to give.

Whether you are interested in either Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, the good folks at Mediabistro put together a few tips that one of their editors, Devon Glenn, discovered. You might want to consider them:

Five Tips for Using Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project

1. Confine your project to the word limit–choose description carefully but give readers a clear visualization of what you are doing.

2. Glenn used a number of free online tools to create her author video. Aviary music creation and audio tools to record herself singing a four-part opera piece, SoundCloud to upload the music track, and the Prelinger Archives for public domain video footage.

3.  Create interesting rewards for your sponsors. Glenn will give donors a copy of her book, name characters after some of her donors, and send a postcard from a ghost to some of her donors.

4. Choose your fundraising amount carefully. Glenn chose $1,500 because it would be enough to get the project off the ground without setting an impossible fundraising goal.

5. Use Twitter, Facebook, blogs, email, and your whole network to spread the word–this is a great chance to show your friends and family what you are working on.


Caleb J. Seeling began working in the publishing industry in 2006. He founded Samizdat Publishing Group in Denver in 2009, which houses two imprints (Conundrum Press and Samizdat Creative) that publish between 20-30 books altogether each year. He is the Director of the Certificate in Publishing for the Graduate Studies in Creative Writing program at Western State Colorado University. An active member of several publishing and arts organizations, Caleb is also a social entrepreneur, finding ways to serve the greater community and disadvantaged youth through strategic partnerships with organizations such as Colorado Business Committee for the Arts and Youth on Record. 

Leave a comment


Facebook sidebar

Writing a book?

Need Help? Resources

Grab your free copy of our "Author's Guide to Book Printing and Self-Publishing"!

Get My Copy

Flight cover

After a disappointing proof of my labor-intensive and much loved manuscript from another printer, I decided to try Steuben Press. Based on recommendations from many of my publishing team who are all members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), I submitted my book to Adam and his staff.

Their proof was perfect! The illustrations were crisp, the print clear, and the construction high quality. But the cover! Absolutely beautiful and softly glossed, Steuben's production added depth to the colors and popped the fine design by my cover artist. My book shimmers on the shelf!

Now I sell only Steuben's copies by hand and feel confident that my readers are receiving the best product reflecting my years of effort and passion for my subject.

– Sunny Weber, Denver, CO