“I can’t afford to publish my book right now.” We hear this a lot. And we get it–publishing can be a large investment for many people, and sometimes publishing seems like it can wait. But when we hear authors shying away from a publishing project because of funding, we simply smile and say, “Not so fast!” There are plenty of creative ways to finance your publishing project, so if you’re looking to publish but don’t have the means, consider these seven creative ways to fund your book.
Use a crowdsourcing website
A lot of authors have an audience that wants to read their book… they just don’t have a book. This is where crowdsourcing shines. With a good idea and a little marketing, platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGogo–or even publishing-centric ones like FundMyBook and Unbound–can connect you with your readers and help you get the funds you need to create your book, one pledge at a time. Publishizer.com combines crowdfunding with pitching opportunities, connecting authors with self-publishing companies, hybrid publishers and small traditional presses.
Publish through your company
Depending on the nature of your book and your business, you may be able to fund it through your company and write off the cost as a marketing expense. This can also ease the pressure on your pockets in the long run–funding through your company may be a more tax-advantageous way of processing the profits. Of course, you should be sure to consult your accountant to determine whether this approach is right for you and your business.
Get a sponsor
If you do a lot of work with a particular company or organization, consider inviting them to back your book as a brand extension for the organization. If your material is a message they want to be publicly aligned with, it can be a benefit to them to have their name or logo on the back cover or a special page inside. You might even consider doing a special edition for their employees or VIP customers. Depending on the nature of your book, some organizations may even have a budget for projects like yours in their marketing department. This option is best suited for business or research-heavy books that can provide a lot of value to an organization.
Fundraise with clients (and friends and family, if it’s appropriate)
If you’re well connected, one deep-pocketed benefactor might be all it takes to get your book going. But even if you don’t move in wealthy circles, you can still look to your network for support. If you have a lot of clients that love your work, consider inviting them out for a fundraising event. Heck, make it a party and invite your friends and family if your book can benefit them too! Just be sure to have an extra-special publication celebration when the book is out for all those who supported you.
Look for grants
This isn’t for everyone, but there are countless grants out there that can give you a leg up before you’ve even started. While many writing grants place emphasis on fiction, there is still room for nonfiction writers–especially ones with a literary flair or socially conscious material. Literary writers can apply for Artist Research and Development grants, Women and trans artists can apply for the Art and Change grant, and there are many more, including grants from the North Carolina Arts Council and even The Awesome Foundation. Every grant has different application requirements, so do your research!
Start with an ebook or cut costs in other ways
If you need to get your book out but can’t find funding for a full package, you can always start with an ebook. This can help you save on everything from printing costs to shipping costs, and possibly even design costs. If you can’t wait to hold a print book in your hands (and we don’t blame you), you can lighten the load in other ways: shortening the word count or removing some or all of the graphic elements are two easy ways to do this.
Redefine your definition of value
Sometimes it’s not that we don’t have the necessary funding for a project–it’s just that we’re not sure if the project will bring you a return on investment. But when it comes to publishing your book, financial rewards can come from all sorts of unexpected directions, aside from in-store sales. Your book can bring you value in the way of new clients, more speaking engagements, higher speaking fees, foreign rights sales, and more. For some unexpected ways you can derive value from your book, check out these six ways to recoup your publishing investment.
Above all else, remember: the world needs your book, so it will find a way to get it published! If you have questions about funding your book–or are already funded and are ready to begin–reach out to us today.
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