Q&A About Crowdfunding for Authors – for Jane Friedman

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Jane Friedman. To read the full article, click here.

Bethany-Joy-Carlson-crowdfunding

JANE FRIEDMAN: I worry that some authors who are interested in crowdfunding don’t have the proper resources or network in place to run a successful campaign. While I don’t want to be discouraging at the start of this interview (!), are there situations where you advise authors to wait before they start a campaign—to ensure they have some essential components in place?

BETHANY JOY CARLSON: Most authors are surprised when I advise them to prep for three months to a year. Authors need well-organized reader contact information, a great draft cover design, and time for effective communication.

Crowdfunding is marketing, and that means it is subject to Effective Frequency, or The Rule of Seven: a person needs to hear a message seven times to act on it. So, authors need to communicate with their readers seven times before their book’s crowdfunding campaign launch. This means creative emails, posts, blogs, tweets, events, etc. about their campaign in the months leading up to launch.

I also remind authors that, just like with party or wedding invitations, not everyone invited will respond. In other words, not every reader invited to buy the book on a crowdfunding site will do so. If an author has an engaged email list, perhaps 10 percent will do so, and around 1 percent of their social media following will respond.

It really helps to line up a patron or two ahead of time who will take a big bite out of that figure—$500-1,000 or more—which cuts down the size of the email and social media threshold substantially.

Authors also need a good draft book cover to crowdfund their book. We hear the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” precisely because that is exactly what people do. Sometimes authors attempt to design their own book cover, but that is almost always a bad idea. Authors should hire a professional book cover designer and budget to spend that money before they begin promoting their crowdfunding campaign. Depending on the book, workable drafts may cost between $30 and $1,500 (which is a reasonable max for a book cover draft).

For an author undertaking their first crowdfunding effort, about how many hours of prep time would you budget, and then how many hours per day during a typical campaign?

To read the answers to these and other questions, visit the full article here.

Crowdfunding for Authors is available for preorder on Indiegogo.

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