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Reaching Readers: 15 Top Tips on Crowdfunding

Fresh from the official launch this week of her crowdfunded novel Girl Cop in Trouble, British indie author and serving police officer Sandy Osborne shares 15 top tips for running an effective campaign via Pubslush, Kickstarter, or any other crowdfunding organisation of your choice. Unless you’re seeking funding for your debut novel, existing readers for your other books should be targeted in your campaign – and even if they don’t choose to pledge, at least they’ll have had plenty of advance warning of your next book!

Sandy with the SilverWood team

Sandy Osborne with the team from SilverWood Books, who helped her self-publish both her Girl Cop novels (Photo: Rebecca Millar)

  1. There are various crowd funding sites. They all have different rules. With some sites, such as Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing – you have to reach your target or you don’t get anything. Pubslush allows you to set a minimum goal which you get if you don’t reach the final target.
  2. You definitely need to have a video – some of my backers stated that the video was what made them pledge!
  3. Rewards need to be simple and clear and include a range of prices to suit all budgets. I recommend setting the price range in clear, neat steps (multiples of 5 and 10 only), with a maximum of six prices overall.
  4. Rewards need to offer value for money. Think about what you would expect for your money, if you were a potential supporter. Try to offer rewards not available elsewhere (I offered pens and notebooks bearing the distinctive branding established for the first in this series of books, Girl Cop.)
  5. Include a ‘big reward’. When I included one costing £500 to have a cameo character named after them (or a name of their choice with sensible conditions), an old school friend snapped it up in the first few days of the campaign!
  6. Once the big reward has gone, add another ‘big’ reward. I added a reard of tickets to my launch plus overnight accommodation and a meal at a local restaurant. That was snapped up too!
  7. Be prepared for the pledges to plateau midway and don’t panic – just keep going.
  8. If you know any other authors running campaigns at the same time, ask whether they’re willing to do reciprocal pledges.
  9. Tweet like never before and engage on FB will all your old friends, including your crowdfunding link with every message. You’ll be amazed which ones support you and which ones don’t!
  10. On the first day of your campaing, send an email with a link to your crowdfunding page to everyone on your author mailing list. Don’t do it before the campaign goes live, because some will want it to act on it straight away and may not remember to go back later after the launch.
  11. Re-send the e mail in the last few days of the campaign, with a polite update to remind those who have not yet pledged.
  12. Text everyone in your contacts list. Again you’ll be surprised who responds and who doesn’t.
  13. Ask your local media to do a piece on you. I have found that if I write the article for them and send a high resolution photo, they are more likely to run it. Ask your local radio for an interview too.
  14. Be prepared to be more pushy than normal. That’s not easy for some.
  15. Finally, make sure you keep people updated and THANK them when it’s all over!

To view Sandy Osborne’s Kickstarter campaign in detail, visit its website page here. 

Array of Girl Cop merchandise

Goodies that money can’t buy – alongside the printed book, some of the rewards that Sandy Osborne offered to backers of her successful crowdfunding campaign (Photo: Rebecca Millar)

OVER TO YOU

If you have further tips you’d like to share, please feel free to add them via the comments box, and to ask Sandy questions.

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“15 top tips for #crowdfunding #selfpub books by @GirlCopNovel via @IndieAuthorALLi: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/crowdfunding-tips”

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One Response to Reaching Readers: 15 Top Tips on Crowdfunding

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