Crowdfunding for Books: How & Where to Get Funded in 2024

POSTED ON May 20, 2021

Patrick Herbert

Written by Patrick Herbert

Home > Blog > Business, Marketing, Production > Crowdfunding for Books: How & Where to Get Funded in 2024

Do you have a fantastic book idea just waiting to be written, but you’re lacking the funds for publishing, marketing, and distributing? Then it may be time to look into crowdfunding for books. While you want to pursue your passion – bills need to be paid, and groceries need to be bought.

If your finances are holding you back – and the idea of being a starving artist isn’t that appealing – there are alternatives to consider before giving up on your creative dreams. 

You’ve probably heard of crowdfunding before, but perhaps you’re unsure of what it means. Maybe you're debating whether or not it’s the right path for you. You may also be wondering if crowdfunding books is still a viable option in 2024. It is! And we're about to tell you why.

Even better, you'll leave this article knowing about other successfully crowdfunded books, with a list of the best crowdfunding platforms and instructions on how to get funding for your book!

Get Your Free eBook of Published.

The proven path from blank page to 10,000 copies sold - written by 7-time bestselling author, Chandler Bolt

This guide on crowdfunding for authors covers:

  1. What is crowdfunding for books?
  2. Who is crowdfunding for?
  3. How long does crowdfunding take?
  4. How to give yourself the best chance of crowdfunding success
  5. Common pitfalls of crowdfunding
  6. Best crowdfunding sites for authors

What is crowdfunding for books? The Benefits

Crowdfunding is a method of raising money for a project (like a book) by collecting small contributions from a large number of people who are willing to invest in your work. This typically happens on online platforms and includes offering something to your “investors” – like a signed copy of your crowdfunded book once it launches.

There are other benefits of crowdfunded books, too. Let's take a look…

1. Getting financial support for your book

Crowdfunding means that you're running a campaign to find people who are willing to pay for your book ahead of time. After choosing a platform for your crowdfunding project, you set a target amount of money you want to raise and a price for the package you're offering. Essentially, it means that your readers are pre-paying for your book, giving you the financial support to finish your project. 

As long as you reach your target amount, you’ll receive that money to cover necessary costs, such as: 

Just remember that you usually need to offer something more than just your book to the people funding your project. For example, many authors choose to provide a signed copy, a signed poster, tickets to a launch party, or something else that would be valuable for your readers.

2. Validating your book idea

More than just raising money, a crowdfunding book campaign can be a perfect way to gauge how readers will receive your book once it hits the shelves, giving you a low-risk alternative to traditional publishing.

If you get a large number of people funding your project, that's a great early proof of concept. They believe in your idea enough to pay for it ahead of time. These are your first readers and customers. They are also the people who will likely write your first book reviews and share them with others.

By leveraging the best crowdfunding sites for authors, you can present your book directly to a global audience, bypassing traditional publishing gatekeepers and democratizing the publishing process.

Since you will no longer be reliant on a book advance, this also means you get to retain 100% of the creative control and book royalties once you launch!

3. Marketing your book

Finally, crowdfunding for books fosters direct engagement between authors and their readers, creating a supportive community around the project from its inception. Sure, you now have a method for getting the necessary funds to cover the costs of publishing a book. But you also have a built-in way to pre-sell your books, generate book launch buzz, and build a loyal fan base before you even write your first word!

From day one, you’ll need to share and promote your project through social media, author newsletters, and other book marketing tactics. And although marketing may not be the primary purpose of crowdfunding, it’s still a great way to hit two birds with one stone. 

In this article, we’re going to guide you through how crowdfunding works, how to have a successful campaign, and which platforms to use.

Who is crowdfunding for? 

You may wonder if crowdfunding works regardless of what type of book you’re writing. The answer is that, to varying degrees, it works with any genre. Looking at past campaigns, it seems like business, fantasy, and sci-fi are some of the more popular genres on crowdfunding platforms. 

That’s not to say you can’t be successful with a completely different type of book. A campaign’s success has more to do with the creator than in what specific genre they write. Crowdfunding is for anyone passionate about their project and willing to put in the hard yards when it comes to promotion and marketing. 

We think that this is an excellent way for self-published authors to get their books out into the world – even on a shoestring budget. And yes, even in 2024.

How long does crowdfunding take?

The typical timeframe for a crowdfunding campaign is around two to three months. You’ll need to allow for one to two months of planning and setup (once your book is written) and one month of running your campaign. 

In general, you can expect around 100-200 hours of work from initial planning to the finished campaign. Remember that the more time you spend on planning and executing, the more likely you will reach your goal and have a successful campaign. 

How to give yourself the best chance of crowdfunding success

The downside of crowdfunding (with some platforms, not all of them) is that you don’t get any of the money if you fail to reach your target goal. You will then have to put your book publishing plans aside and inform your investors that the project is canceled. 

So, with that in mind, you’ll want to set yourself up for success when you start your crowdfunding campaign. Here are a few pointers that will help you do well: 

Start early and plan ahead

Having a solid plan and giving yourself enough time is crucial for a successful campaign. Think about where you can reach your target audience, what your timeframe for the campaign should be, and how you can sell your idea most compellingly. 

Figure out how much money you need

It can be tricky to work out how much you need to raise. Ask for too much, and you may not reach your target. But if your amount is too low, it might not cover the necessary costs. You need to consider both of these aspects when you’re setting a target for your campaign. 

Work out all the costs (cover design, marketing, printing, distributing, etc.) and decide on a realistic amount. Also, look at similar campaigns to see what their funding target is and what they’re offering in return to make sure you’re correlating. 

Start growing your audience

If you’ve never published a book before (and you don’t have a large audience), you need to spend some time setting up an author platform and building a follower base to promote to. That can mean growing your social media followers, getting more readers to your blog or getting more podcast listeners. Because what happens if nobody is familiar with you or your book before your launch? Chances are it’ll be challenging to get enough traction for a successful campaign. 

Grab your audience’s attention

The first 24 hours of a campaign are often the most crucial, so you’ll need to grab the attention of your potential readers early. You can do that by following these steps: 

  • Setting up a quality author website to refer people to.
  • Setting up social media accounts. 
  • Creating a video to convey your pitch.
  • Writing a clear and compelling synopsis. 

Write your passion story

The story behind why you’re doing this is the foundation of your crowdfunding campaign. So it pays to spend time perfecting it. By creating a compelling story, you’ll hook your audience and make them want to support you. When crafting your story, keep these tips in mind: 

  • Be authentic and relatable. People want to feel like they’re reading a story from a friend, someone they can relate to and understand. Put all your personality into it and write from your heart, as cheesy as it sounds. 
  • Be honest. Make sure people know what you’re using their money for. If someone’s planning on investing in your project, they’ll want to see where the money is going. 
  • Edit your story. A crucial step is to give your text a few rounds of edits to make sure it’s flawless. If possible, let someone else read it as well. 

Focus on building a community 

Crowdfunding is about more than raising money. Think about how you can use this campaign to build a community. Anyone helping to fund your project is a potential reader, and you’ll want to nurture those relationships. That includes giving updates on your progress, sharing exciting news, and giving them special recognition. By keeping them invested in your project, they’re also more likely to share it with others. 

Stay on top of your campaign

Once your campaign launches, make sure you stay on top of it. You’ll need to keep your social media active, respond to questions and comments and keep a close eye on how things progress. Your audience wants to see you engaged and invested in the project. Besides, if you go MIA on your launch day, you might miss out on some great opportunities. 

Two People Using A Laptop For Crowdfunding For Authors

Common pitfalls of crowdfunding your book

When you plan to build a crowdfunding campaign, it’s good to be aware of some common issues and setbacks. That way, you can learn how to avoid them or decide whether a campaign is worth the risk of failure. 

  • On most platforms, failing to reach your funding goals means you receive nothing, even if you're only a few dollars short of your goal. 
  • There’s a high failure rate for authors, mostly due to a lack of planning and promotion. According to a market report, between 69 and 89 percent of projects fail to reach their funding target. 
  • Crowdfunding is time-consuming and more complicated than many realize before starting. 
  • For authors who don’t have an existing base of followers, getting traction can be very difficult.
  • Crowdfunding platforms aren’t free. Most of them will take 30% of the revenue generated from your book sales. Although the fees come out of the money you’ve raised, some authors miss factoring this into their calculations. Only breaking even can be disappointing when you've put so much time and effort into your project. 

Best crowdfunding sites for authors

If you’ve gone through the pros and cons of crowdfunding and decided to give it a shot, it’s time to find the platform of your choice. Make sure to do your research before you commit to anyone. You’ll want to check for fees, what type of crowdfunding they do, and their rules and regulations. 

Some can take weeks before your account is approved, which can cause problems if your project is time-sensitive. Other platforms may require you to back a campaign before you can launch one for yourself. So whichever one you choose, research them well before you start your campaign. 

Here are seven of the best crowdfunding sites for authors:

  1. Patreon 
  2. Kickstarter
  3. Indiegogo
  4. Inkshares
  5. Publishizer 
  6. GoFundMe
  7. Unbound

Ready to get started? Grab your copy of “Published” that you can read anywhere and start your book today!

Get Your Free eBook of Published.

The proven path from blank page to 10,000 copies sold - written by 7-time bestselling author, Chandler Bolt

Liked this post? Share it with friends!
Related posts

Business, Non-Fiction

How to Get More Patients With a Book & Brand

Business, Writing

How to Use a Book to Get Leads for Your Business

Business, Writing

You Don’t Need to Hire a Business Book Ghostwriter – Here’s Why