As a successful self-published author I understand your struggles and challenges. Even the best authors in the business need outside help in putting together a quality book. This help costs money, but you can’t make money until you publish your book (or so you’ve been told). This Catch-22 is enough to discourage the most optimistic author.
There are ways to raise money before your book hits the printing press. Leveraging my background in finance, creative right brain approach to problem solving, and personal experience I’ve created a list of 14 ways you can fund your self-published book. This is my gift to you, one author to another.
Also checkout her podcast presentation from the UPPAA 2014 Spring Conference
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- Sell the right to name a character in your upcoming book.
- For a non-fiction book sell the opportunity to be a case study in the book.
- Make your character development pay. Turn your character backgrounds into short stories and sell them electronically – Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, or even through your own website.
- Sell your book as a series during the writing process. Chapter 1 becomes the first episode in the series. You build a following, earn money, and get feedback. When the book is complete sell it in its entirety – your fan base will buy it and spread the word.
- Leveraging Kickstarter, Indie Go-Go or similar crowdfunding tool, you can run a pre-sale before you even type a single page of text.
- Get a patron. This old world idea has resurfaced using cutting edge technology. Visit Patreon to learn how you can attract your own patron(s).
- Leverage a Common Cause (Fiction) – Perhaps your book involves a Spotted Owl, and the story would help raise awareness or interest in its threatened status. Groups working to protect the Spotted Owl may be interested in pre-ordering your book or even a straight grant to fund it.
- Specific Interest (Fiction) – Niche topics can be very lucrative if properly managed. Let’s say you’re planning to write a book on vampires in space. People who enjoy these types of books will be thirsty, no pun intended, for new literature. Great for pre-orders and crowdfunding.
- Target Audience (Fiction) – Here in the U.S. there are many groups focused on literacy, particularly for children. Finding relatable fiction for specific groups (such as Native Americans or immigrants from countries with significantly different customs) can be a challenge. If your book includes such groups they may be interested in sponsoring your work.
- Leverage a Common Cause (Nonfiction) – Does your story share a person’s experience dealing with a specific challenge, such as breast cancer, alcoholism, or death of a loved one? Groups created to address these issues should be approached for pre-orders or straight funding in exchange for a mention of their organization in the book.
- Specific Interest (Nonfiction) – Let’s say you are writing a book on EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), including expected results and how to select your service provider. EFT Practitioners interested in writing a chapter for you, or being included as a recommended resource in the book, may be open to paying for the opportunity. For them it’s a way to gain credibility – just be sure you select carefully as you are hitching your reputation to theirs.
- Target Audience (Nonfiction) – When I was working on my first book, How to be a Finance Rock Star: The Small Business Owner’s Ticket to Multi-Platinum Profits, I wanted to include QR codes to make my book more interactive. Pitney Bowes had recently launched a QR Code service, targeting small business owners. I was able to approach them to trade QR Code services, as well as a sponsorship of my book launch, for inclusion in my book.
- Writer in Residence – Writers-in-residence programs support authors by providing a monthly stipend and paid teaching opportunities, along with the time and space to complete a manuscript. Examples include Hugo House, Thurber House, and James Merrill House.
- Barter for services. Need a graphic designer to create your book cover? Try offering your writing services in exchange for their work. Barter is no different than working for cash, be sure you create a contract and treat your barter client the same as any other.
Looking for even more ways to profit from your self-published book? See how else I can help at www.TheNumbersWhisperer.com/BookProfit .
To your success & happiness –
Nicole Fende, A.S.A.
The Numbers Whisperer®