Is Crowdfunding For Books Possible?
American entrepreneur Matt Mullenweg has rightly said, “Technology is best when it brings people together.” Crowdfunding is a way by which you can bring individuals together, outside your family and friends’ circle to contribute to your cause. Imagine a scenario wherein you need monetary donations. In this case, who would you approach? Your family, your relatives and your friends. But what if you still do not meet the amount you require? In this case, you would need a bigger network. Social media has become a part of our daily lives and is a powerful tool to make people socially aware through promotions. Crowdfunding, here, becomes an important fundraising technique.
The Book Publishing Process:
Is fundraising via crowdfunding a great way to get your book project started? Donation-based crowdfunding in India is the process of collecting small amounts of donations from a number of people to raise money for your business. Is solely having a great book idea enough to publish your book? If not, what does it require to get your work published? An author has to go through a long process for it. Publishing a book involves the following steps:
- Drafting a manuscript
- Professional editing
- Formatting text
- Designing the cover
- Marketing the book
- Business Activities
There are two ways to get your work published. Let’s go through each of these.
This method has its own pros and cons. Roughly, the process goes the following way:
- Get your manuscript reviewed by literary agents: An author has to approach agent to agent until they finally get a reply. These agents decide whether to publish your work or not. And yet, there are still chances that the manuscript that you worked day and night over – may get rejected. Quite a journey, isn’t it?
- Editing your manuscript: Suppose your manuscript got approved. Now what? You might have to make the desirable changes in your script according to the agents.
- Strategizing marketing techniques: Let’s say your book is finally ready. But is that enough? No! It needs to sell. Your publishing team takes care of everything including designing a book cover, managing sales and making sure that the book takes its place in bookshops.
The traditional method may take about 2.5 years for your work to get published. The cost involved in the whole process is high. Moreover, you need to pay 10-20% of your total earnings to your publishing team as a commission. You might also get an offer to publish through traditional publishers. But the chances may be slim unless you are a celebrity.
In Self-publishing, you have to manage the whole process by yourself. So, learning the process could be a little challenging. But you own the complete rights and royalties of your book. Also, you have your creative freedom. The potential profit is relatively higher than that in the traditional method.
Peer to peer fundraising for your project could be easy but with a limited audience, it isn’t. For projects involving bigger funds, it would be better to go for crowdfunding platforms that have a larger audience and wider reach. There are various fundraising websites for this purpose. Some of them even offer a 0% platform fee. Thus, choosing between these two methods is a compromise between a lot of work and a lot of expenditure.
Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing
Crowdfunding refers to a crowd supporting financially whereas crowdsourcing refers to obtaining information from the crowd. Suppose you want to publish a book and you know what it would be about. But you are not very sure of what to include in it. In this case, you can approach other people over the internet for their input. That is what crowdsourcing is: obtaining ideas from a crowd. Thus, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are similar in the way that both of these require contributions from a larger audience. Hence, a combination of the two may ease working on your project. Now how does crowdfunding work?
Here are three steps to start your own fundraiser:
- Set your goal
- Identify your audience
- Promote your campaign
Even though the above steps may seem simple, it isn’t absolutely hassle-free. A better way would be to approach a fundraising platform. These crowdfunding websites help you fundraise with low to no platform fees.
There are various crowdfunding platforms in India. We, at Impact Guru, help crowdfunding in these 3 simple steps:
- Start a fundraiser
- Share the fundraiser
- Withdraw donations