It’s not often that I write a tweet and decide to turn it into a blog post, but there’s a first time for everything.
3 reasons for book lovers to consider supporting an author’s crowdfunding campaign:
1. Every pledge means the world to the author. They get excited every time someone supports their book.
2. New and different voices have a chance to be heard.
3. You become part of the journey.
— Amy Lord (@tenpennydreams) December 11, 2017
If you’re at all familiar with this blog, or you follow me on social media, you might have noticed that I recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for my debut novel, which I will hopefully be publishing with the fantastic Unbound, if I can meet my funding target.
In the weeks since I launched my campaign, I’ve learned a lot about crowdfunding and just how much work goes into making a project like this successful.
But before I became an Unbound author, I was a supporter too. I’ve pledged for about eight books there now and it’s an addictive process.
Sure, supporting a crowdfunding campaign is a more expensive way of buying a book. These days we’re used to shopping around online for a good deal, grabbing a bargain on Amazon or picking up a book for £3 in the supermarket while we do the shopping.
I’m guilty of doing this too, but it doesn’t help the book industry. In our society we love a bargain, but the flipside is that this can drive down wages, make jobs insecure or put other companies out of business.
So contributing to a crowdfunding campaign allows me to give something back. As a writer, it feels like good karma.
And now I’m on the other side as an author, I understand just how nerve-wracking the process can be, but how incredible it feels when things are going well.
Crowdfunding is still a relatively new phenomenon and one that not all book lovers are familiar with. But there are a few reasons why you should think about making a special purchase and supporting an author’s campaign.
Every pledge means the world to the author
When someone supports your book, it’s a fantastic feeling. You creep a little closer to your target and get a big wave of validation.
It’s especially exciting when that person isn’t someone you know. Because that means they’ve happened upon your campaign and they LIKE THE SOUND OF YOUR BOOK. They want to read it. They think of you as a real author.
New and different voices have a chance to be heard
If you’ve ever tried to publish your writing, you will understand that it isn’t an easy process.
With studies showing that people are buying fewer books, the big publishers are looking for a guaranteed formula for success. That might mean a book with a celebrity author or something in an already successful genre. They want to publish books that will sell.
Fair enough, they wouldn’t have a business otherwise.
But that doesn’t always leave much space for new authors, who don’t bring guaranteed audiences with them.
Crowdfunding gives those people a voice, because it takes away some of the risk for the publisher. The readers show up and choose the books they want to read, raising enough money to edit the book, design a cover and get it printed and out into the world.
And that brings me to the final point…
You become part of the journey
As a reader, you don’t often get to influence the publishing industry in a real way. But with crowdfunding, you can.
In an obvious way you become a part of the books you fund: most crowdfunding publishers print a list of supporters’ names in the back of the book as a thank you.
But you also get to follow the author through the publishing process. You get to invest in making this book a reality.
And when the process is complete and the book arrives, you can look up at your shelf and know that you made someone’s dream a reality. You gave them the chance to tell the story they desperately wanted to share. You made them feel, finally, like a real writer.
If you’d like to find out a bit more about crowdfunding, I spoke to six of my fellow Unbounders about their books and why they chose to publish this way.
Make one of their Christmases and buy a copy!
Thanks for reading x