Crowdfunding for Writers

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, and Debbie Viguie speak with guest author, Heidi Berthiaume about using crowdfunding to launch your novel.

I think the goal is to create a connection with your potential backers — just like with a novel, you try to create one with your readers. It seems a lot of backers are more interested in not what you do, but why you do it. For a better chance at a successful campaign, give them that human element and that story for them to fall in love with. In writing terms, create sympathy for yourself with your backers. I’ve read there are three main points why some random stranger is going to be willing to give you money for your baby:

  • 1. they connect to the greater purpose of the campaign
  • 2. they connect to a physical aspect of the campaign like your rewards
  • 3. they connect to the creativity and/or beauty of your presentation

You need to have a powerful idea, a dynamic presentation of it, and to catch peoples’ hearts or imaginations or minds — hopefully all three! And, of course, awesome rewards.

Some top crowdfunding sites:
a. Obviously, Kickstarter is the site that everyone knows best. Focuses on creative endeavors like film, publishing, music, gaming and technology, but can’t be used to fund businesses per se.
b. IndieGoGo, which works better for causes and personal campaigns.
c. GoFundMe, allows people to raise money for events ranging from celebrations and graduations to accidents and illnesses.
d. RocketHub, Initially launched with the arts in mind, it expanded to include science, education, business and social-good projects.
e. Peerbackers, focuses on funding entrepreneurs and innovators.

Heidi’s novel, The Kickstarter Companion, will be released soon! It is at the printers currently.

2 thoughts on “Crowdfunding for Writers

  1. Shipping within Canada is brutal, never mind shipping internationally from here. For a large-ish book, I just learned that it’s at least $17 (according to the Canada Post online shipping calculator). $20 to the States. That might keep me from doing a Kickstarter campaign to cover future book production costs.

    I have seen campaigns (or maybe it was on IndieGoGo) where it actually states that there are additional shipping costs for rewards being sent out-of-country. That wouldn’t do much for me, but I suppose it could help people in the States who are worried about shipping costs eating up their funds.

    Great episode!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Kate. And you’re very right about international shipping costs as something to be careful of, especially for heavy things like books.

    Kickstarter does have a setting where, for each pledge level, you can set a suggested additional shipping cost if the backer is in a different country. Other options are to offer electronic rewards (so no physical shipping cost) or not ship internationally, which can also be set on a per pledge level basis.

Leave a Reply