Crowdfunding Platforms: Choosing the Right Platform to Crowdfund Your Book

For authors just starting on their crowdfunding journey the very first step can be daunting task. The world is full of crowdfunding platforms and choosing the right one for your book  is an important decision.

It can take hours to sift through different platforms and do the necessary research to make sure you’ve found the right platform for your book. Each type of platform can substantially inhibit or enhance the level of flexibility and control that an author maintains. Because of this, we summarize the pros and cons of each type of platform. We also list the most relevant platform that authors should explore within each category.

There are three types of platforms that authors should be aware of:

  • General Crowdfunding Platforms
  • Crowdfunded Publishers
  • Publishing Liaisons

General Crowdfunding Platforms

General crowdfunding platforms are the all-stars of the crowdfunding world. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indigogo have become household names and have the highest potential reach of any platforms out there. These platforms are product agnostic, meaning that you can try and crowdfund just about anything.

However, authors must USE CATION. Just because these are the most popular platforms in the world doesn’t mean they will provide visibility for your book. Successful book projects on these platforms are few and far between.

By their nature, book projects (especially literary fiction) are too niche to garner the mass appeal that these platforms cater to. Authors need to understand that crowdfunding their books takes an immense amount of personal appeal. Unlike other platforms that specialize in helping authors, general platforms do not have a cultivated community of book lovers that you can tap into.

While general platforms do offer the highest potential upside, authors need to ask themselves if they are willing to be a tiny fish in an enormous pond.

Crowdfunding Platforms to Consider:

Pros:

  • Highest level of credibility with your donors (e.g. Kickstarter is a household name)
  • Greatest potential for your campaign to go viral
  • No restrictions on what money can be used for

Cons:

  • Audience is not tailored towards books
  • No special connections with publishers
  • No individualized support from platform to make your campaign successful

Crowdfunded Publishers

Crowdfunded publishers act like a traditional publishing house. They pay for the editing/production of your book and have distribution relationships with physical and online bookstores. In exchange, they ask for royalties as a percentage of your sales. The difference is that instead of sourcing books the traditional way (via agents and query letters), they essentially have you audition via crowdfunding. You apply to set up a campaign on their page and they help you build out your campaign. If you get enough backers, they agree to pick up your book and publish it for you.

It’s exciting because you get a guaranteed opportunity at the end of the campaign to publish your book. The flipside is that you limit your post-campaign options to just this publisher.

Crowdfunding Platforms to Consider:

Pros:

  • If you are successful, you have a publisher waiting for you
  • Highly tailored community for authors
  • Dedicated support to help create and run your campaign

Cons:

  • Committing to a publisher at the beginning lowers future flexibility

Publishing Liaisons

Publishing Liaisons connect authors to publishers. These platforms operate like general platforms, such as Kickstarter, but with two major exceptions:

  • They only allow book projects
  • They have relationships with traditional publishers

In a way, these platforms act as your agent. For example, with the platform Publishizer, authors have their books queried to different publishers based on the number of presales an author gets. The more presales an author has for their book, the more (and better) publishers they get paired with.

These platforms offer great flexibility. Authors have the choice to either take the money they raise and self-publish or they can enter a deal with one of the publishers they are matched with. Authors are free to choose whatever path is best for them, so long as they fulfill their campaign promises to backers.

Crowdfunding Platforms to Consider:

Pros:

  • Potential of matching with a legitimate publishing house
  • Flexibility to choose a publisher or to take your money and self-publish
  • Highly tailored community for authors

Cons:

  • Less potential traffic than a general platform
  • No guarantees of matching you with a publisher you want

 

This is just the first step in an author’s crowdfunding journey. If you found this helpful then be sure to check out our other blog posts helping authors through everything that comes after choosing the right platform!

Our goal is to provide the best free material that authors can find on crowdfunding. But if you want our premium content, then definitely check out our eBook Funded. We put together a step by step guide to help authors earn thousands of dollars and get their book published. So, if you want to learn everything from how to get your first 100 paying customers to how to create the perfect pitch video and  how to get a publisher –  then we would be thrilled if you checked it out.

 

Choosing the Right Crowdfunding Platform