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Crowdfunding has revolutionised other industries and it is now starting to impact the publishing world. Like indie publishing, crowdfunding is is about creating accessibility to book publishing for everyone. But not only that, it puts authors and readers into direct contact even before the book has been completed. Fundraising websites such as Pubslush have allowed independent authors who lack the massive budgets of major publishers to level the playing field – not only raising money to print books but to pay for publicity and marketing as well.

We asked Justine Schofield of Pubslush to tell us more…

It’s no secret that the number of books published every year is increasing, but the number of readers is remaining relatively stagnant, if not decreasing. As the publishing industry evolves and more books enter the market each year, there’s an increasing risk for every book that is published.

One of the biggest mistakes made by authors, whether independent or traditionally published, is failing to distinguish themselves and their book in the over-saturated market. Preparation is the key to success and authors who don’t prepare to publish are more likely to get lost in the crowd and have lower books sales.

Publishing a book can be overwhelming, but there are many new tools available to authors that can help them sell more books. Crowdfunding is one of the tools to be recently introduced into the publishing process.

An emerging trend, crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs and artists to rally support and raise funding for upcoming projects. A crowdfunding campaign requires the creator to devise enticing rewards at various monetary amounts, which supporters receive in return for their financial pledge.

This new tool is a seamless step in the publishing process that offers a variety of benefits to authors. Crowdfunding can help authors to:

Raise funds to pay for the high costs of publishing

Independent authors must produce a book that can compete with traditionally published books. This isn’t cheap, but running a crowdfunding campaign provides a way for authors to raise the funds for publishing before digging into their own pocket. This helps to lessen the financial risk and burden of self-publishing.

Define an author brand and platform

It is essential for authors to distinguish themselves and their book from the rest. To build a platform, an author must know their target audience and the value they have to offer. Building rewards for potential supporters through a crowdfunding campaign encourages authors to think outside of the box and provide their audience with something innovative.

Collect pre-orders

The reward-based model allows authors to offer their readers items of value in return for their financial pledges. The most obvious reward an author can give is their book, which essentially allows them to collect pre-orders and gain early readers, which in turn can lead to early reviews.

Create momentum

With the book market being so crowded, it’s important for authors to differentiate their book, a step that must begin before the book is published. A crowdfunding campaign gives authors a way to start a buzz and drive traffic to their book before it’s released. Getting readers excited is the best way to shine a spotlight on an upcoming title.

Build a reader database

Conducting a crowdfunding campaign gives authors access to early readers. The supporters are dedicated enough to fund a book before it’s released and authors can leverage the commitment of these fans. By engaging with early readers and keeping supporters updated, authors are able to build a connection that can’t be found through other traditional marketplaces.

Share the book with new communities

Crowdfunding offers a unique discoverability aspect for books. Supporters of crowdfunding projects generally enjoy being part of the creation process and are more likely to share their excitement with their own network, allowing an author to be more easily discovered outside of their established audience.

The benefits of crowdfunding extend past the ability to lessen the financial risk and burden of publishing. By putting an emphasis on community, authors no longer have to publish blindly. They now have the option to publish with the crowd, which ultimately will build the momentum and excitement needed for a book to be successful.

Sign up to join the Pubslush community using the promo code CAMERON to receive Pubslush’s Guide to Crowdfunding.

Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a pre-publication platform that offers crowdfunding and pre-order options to authors and publishers. 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 is a regular contributor to The Future of Ink, Business Banter and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.