Positive Writer

Write with More Confidence and Greater Satisfaction

Publish Your Next Book with Crowdfunding

From Bryan: Crowdfunding has become a hot topic of discussion for self-published authors and since I’ve received quite a few questions about crowdfunding, I asked Justine Schofield, the communications coordinator of Pubslush (a global crowdfunding platform only for books, where authors can raise funds and gauge initial market viability for their book projects), to guest post and tell us a little about it. Justine has agreed to also answer any questions you may have in the comments. Thank you, Justine! – This is the first in a series of posts on crowdfunding I will host.

You may be wondering: What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding has become a new go-to resource for artists, entrepreneurs and businesses that are seeking funding. It is a means to raise funds and mitigate the financial risk of their creative projects or business ventures.


If you’re a writer, you know how difficult it can be to navigate the publishing industry.

Of course, there’s traditional publishing, and although this is still considered the more “prestigious” route, it’s an extremely difficult industry to break into. Many writers turn to self-publishing as a means of bypassing traditional publishers and maintaining creative authority over their work.

The down side of self-publishing?

All the expenses of publishing now fall solely on the writer, creating a substantial personal financial risk.

Crowdfunding can help.

For authors who are hoping to self-publish, but who don’t have the funds to do so, crowdfunding is a valuable resource. With the introduction of crowdfunding, self-publishing no longer has to be a solo venture.

You know all those times you bought Girl Scout cookies from the neighbor girl or dog-sat your co-workers golden retriever for weekend? Now it’s time to return the favor.

Crowdfunding sites provide writers with the technology and platform to reach out to their personal and professional networks and ask them to financially back their publishing efforts. In exchange for their financial support, they will receive a reward, based on monetary levels that the writer develops before the launch of their campaign.

Crowdfunding is reminiscent of Shakespearean days, when the aristocrats funded the arts.

Only now the aristocrats are your family, friends, peers and audience. Not quite as prestigious, but you get the point. Also, supporters can choose to pledge any amount of money to your campaign, so asking for financial support can be guilt-free.

Even if a supporter only pledges $1, it demonstrates an interest in your book and can help you gauge your book’s initial market viability.

Although the goal of a crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds, the number of supporters is also important because it can help determine if there is a market for your book.

Crowdfunding campaigns also help writers think critically about their book, such as:

Do you have an author platform?

What’s your marketing strategy?

Who is your audience and where can you find them?

These are all questions a self-publishing author needs to know and now writers can realistically find out the answers before the actual publication of their book, minimizing the risk factor of self-publishing.

Social media is the first place to look to help find the answers to the questions above.

Authors should build their social media presence organically around their own voice and style. Books are secondary.

If you can make personal connections with people in your audience, their interest in your book will grow out of your relationship with them. Think of telemarketers calling—no one likes to be spammed, not even on Twitter, which is what relentless book promotion can feel like.

Making connections via social media can help you build your platform and find your audience, both necessities of book marketing, while raising funds for your book at the same time.

Crowdfunding ties into a lot of the groundwork self-publishing authors will have to do to publish successfully and it’s a tool writers should definitely check out.

Although crowdfunding might not be for everyone, it’s good to know your options.

In an industry that is continually evolving and expanding, authors need to know how they can publish most successfully and efficiently.

Writers should explore any and all options, as there are many out there, and make the decision that best suits them and their publishing goals.

Writers, do you have questions about crowdfunding or has anyone conducted a campaign of their own? Questions and comments are welcomed and appreciated!

Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations, has held various freelance editing and writing jobs, and her work has been published in many online and print publications. – For more info about Pubslush, go here.

About Guest Post

This is a guest post. Let the author know if you enjoyed the post in the comments! If you're interested in guest posting on Positive Writer read the guidelines first and if you agree, then send your best work.

  • Very interesting. I have several really fun product ideas that I thought might make for an interesting crowdfunding campaign for my physical book.

    What are your thoughts on campaigns where you need to reach your goal to receive any funds versus the ones where the author will get whatever funds are donated irrespective of the goal?

    Does one create a call for action more than the other?

    • Justine Schofield

      Thanks for your thoughtful questions! At Pubslush we offer flex funding because we believe any financial support can be helpful when publishing. As a niche platform we are able to cater to our audience and offer flex funding, whereas other bigger platforms have to take all types of projects into account.

      I don’t believe there is more of a call for action with fixed funding, however it’s important to know your goals and create an appropriate minimum funding level. If you’re unable to fulfill your publishing goals and rewards without a certain amount of money it’s important to take that into account.

  • What happens to the money if the idea doesn’t get enough support? And if one decides to have extra resources for different levels of funding do they get it only if the project gets enough support or do they give it to them anyway?

    • Justine Schofield

      Hi Anastacia, thanks for your questions. On our platform, if a campaign doesn’t meet the minimum funding level then none of the supporters are charged and the author doesn’t receive any of the funds. Also, the supporters only receive their rewards if the campaign is successful.

  • Amy Morse

    Thanks, this is really useful. I’m about to start on this journey to crowdfund my next book. I’m using a new platform specifically for creative businesses based in my home city of Bristol UK called Fundsurfer (fundsurfer.com) – I’m really excited about it and they’re being really helpful and supportive with the marketing too. It starts on Wednesday when I speak at their launch event!

  • Emily Ruth Verona

    This is a wonderful piece, thanks for sharing. Very much enjoyed the Shakespearean comparison. I just began crowdfunding a short fiction collection through Inkshares, which is designed specifically for books.

    If you are interested in taking a look, you can do so here: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/conversations-a-collection-of-short-stories

  • Pingback: Self-Publishing and Crowdfunding | 29moons()

  • Pingback: 6 Tips for Author Crowdfunding - Writeonsisters.com()

  • wrjones630

    I’ve been publishing through CreateSpace, trying to market my novels. But even with favorable reviews of my latest from Kirkus and ForwardClarion I’ve had little success. An earlier one I hired a publicist, that led nowhere. This more recent one I’ve spent a considerable sum on an editor, a proofreader, not to mention Createspace. Friends have read my work. Now, in the midst of a final draft on my latest I’d like to know whether you recommend severing ties with CreateSpace and using a publisher that prints books and does crowd funding, and hopefully could suggest individuals who’d want to join my effort. As much as I think they’d like my novel, I’m not comfortable asking Facebook friends for money. Which may disqualify me altogether. If you have any advice I would be grateful for it.

    • Robin Frazier

      Jones, I understand your dilemma. I put my Kickstarter on FB and linked to to back me. This past week. I had so many likes, and not went to the site to back me. over 400 followers and they all loved the creativity and challenge. but, no backers, even my loyal clients. I was dismayed as to what I could do. I believe now, with all the hype of social media, it will be best for me to return to grassroot efforts, networking like the years prior to social media. I will be doing free workshops, and show my work on teacher websites with samples. I do know amazon has a sample read site for kindle.
      I actually had a man knock on my front door to sell a children’s book he wrote. I was concerned, he seemed genuine. I gave him money and went on FB to see if he indeed wrote the book. I found him on FB and thought, “what a way to sell your book”. Like selling vacuum cleaners!!

      • wrjones630

        Thanks Robin for your input. And your ways of connecting and selling in the wake of such a disappointing and bizarre reaction to your link through Kickstarter. Maybe a sign of how it is in this 1% own 70% of the wealth country of ours, where even a few bucks can’t be spent on something worthy. A grassroots effort may be the only way. Teacher websites, I hadn’t thought of, not sure if my adult fiction would work for that. Free workshops I have no experience with. Book signings yes, and an appearance before one book club. It didn’t generate more than a few sales. My latest novel, one I’m still working on, got favorable reviews from both Kirkus and Foreward Clarion, that first edition sold only a handful of books sold. Knocking on doors. I wish I could do that. A guy down the street had his own way, he put his book and an invoice down the mail shutes of people on our block. Both, I’m guessing, were tossed. Ours was.

  • Pingback: Hope For the Little Guy: How Crowdfunding Helps Out the New Author | PUB401()

  • Ken

    I just finished a book on how a guitarist raised $60,000 to open a food and music venue in the Florida Keys. It is called, Eric and Kim Embrace Crowdfunding to Realize Dreams and it is FREE on Kindle today. http://www.amazon.com/Dockside-Embrace-Crowdfunding-Realize-Dreams-ebook/dp/B017QICTNE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8