Crowdfunding: Is It a Writer’s New Marketing Tool?

I’m pleased to host author Ken Gire who stops by to share a little about Crowdfunding and his current project.

Welcome, Ken!

WealthWith the technological, social, and demographic upheavals that have happened within the publishing landscape over the last decade, many writers have found themselves having to get more involved with things that most writers hate—sales and marketing.

Myself included.

My last book sold under 500 copies, and that experience was so discouraging I felt like giving up writing entirely.

Faced with fewer and fewer bookstores to sell our books, and smaller and smaller advances to fund the writing, what’s a writer to do?

There’s not a lot of options, honestly, but here are a few.

Marry rich.

Consider “Breaking Bad”.

Crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is growing in popularity, and, though it has had its share of failures, it has had its share of successes, too. Numerous sites have sprung up. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two most popular. And there are faith-based crowdfunding platforms you can google. They are newer, less successful, and generally the funding is lower.

Here’s a sample of an almost unheard-of success in publishing with one of Seth Godin’s books.

I had been following Seth’s TED talks for some time, so his campaign really intrigued me. When I looked at the numbers, I had to do a double-take. Who needs that kind of money to write a book? I wondered. Then I realized what he was doing. He wasn’t trying to get an advance; he was trying to generate pre-sales. And he did that through the platform of crowdfunding.

Seth is an internationally-known marketing guru, and so he probably shouldn’t be used as a poster child for crowdfunding, but I used him anyway to show the possibilities.

Well, the long and short of it is . . . I decided to try it.

Though I am not the least bit tech-savy, I managed to do it all myself, with the exception of the video. I found someone on Elance who did that for me fairly cheaply.

I also thought it would be helpful for those involved in the campaign if I gave regular updates on the progress I was making on writing my book. I remembered reading Steinbeck’s, Working Days, a journal he kept while writing Grapes of Wrath, and I remember how much I enjoyed it. So I decided to write a blog (Centurion) aimed at aspiring writers so they could see what the process of writing a novel was like.

The daily posts have been really fun for me, a nice break from my writing, and also a creative outlet to try to find things on the internet that would help illustrate my blogs.

I think this could be a good option for many of us. For those of us who don’t have a publisher. For those whose advance wasn’t enough to finish their book. For those needing expense money to travel to a foreign country in order to do research (say, for example, your novel is set in Ireland, but you have never been to Ireland, and an extended stay there would add authenticity to your story and to the dialect of your characters.)

Maybe we, as writers, can help each other through this difficult transition in publishing by helping to fund each other’s campaigns.

I’m sure mine won’t be anywhere as successful as Seth Godin’s. But it doesn’t have to be. If just 10% as successful, it would be a game-changing experience for me and my career.

Here is my crowdfunding campaign that I hope you will check out. Check out this post for more information on these type of fundraisers.

There are only two weeks to go, and my campaign is only 10% funded. For perks, I am offering everything from signed books to services such as personal mentoring to public speaking.

I appreciate you all taking the time to consider being a part of this. Truly.

What do you think of crowdfunding? Would you ever consider doing it as an author to raise money for a book project? Why or why not?

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kengirephotoKen Gire is the author of more than 20 books, including The Divine Embrace, Windows of the Soul, The Work of His Hands, the Moments with the Savior series, and the Reflective Living series. Two of his books have been awarded a Gold Medallion. A full-time writer and speaker, Ken is the founder of Reflective Living, a nonprofit ministry devoted to helping people learn how to slow down and live more reflective lives so they can experience life more deeply, especially life with God and other people.

Ken is a graduate of Texas Christian University and Dallas Theological Seminary. He has four children and three grandchildren and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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