Funding Ideas For Your Book

Often, writers have great material, but they lack the resources to have their manuscript professionally edited, designed, marketed, printed, and distributed. Several authors have found ways to overcome that financial hurdle.

Finding Book Sponsors

Published on March 22, 2016

by Ellen Violette

Too many authors don't publish because they don't think they can afford to. But, when you commit to getting it done, you will find a way to finance it. One great way to do it is to get sponsors. I'll explain how in this 6-step

#1. Decide who your target market is for your book.

1. Write down all the groups that your book could appeal to. Sometimes, it will be obvious who that group is, and other times, you’ll have to dig deeper. For instance, books on dog training is obviously for dog owners who want to train their dogs. Simple.

But, what about a topic like lead generation that could apply to several different groups like entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches, independent professionals, small-business owners etc.? Who are you going to target? And is your main audience men or women? In what age group? These questions could affect how you write your book as well as your title, your description, your keywords, your categories, and who will want to sponsor you. If you aren’t sure, give away some copies for free and ask readers to tell you who they think your book would appeal to.

2. Find books that are similar to yours and see who is buying them. Sometimes, it is only one group and other times it is several different groups. Read the sales description and visit the author’s website for clues. Also, check out the author’s social-media threads to see who their audience is. Then, market to the same audience.

3. What makes your book special? For example, take the book Ask, by Ryan Levesque on the art and science of finding out what exactly what your customers want; it reveals a new system for helping people find out what their customers want. But, I’ve read that book and it’s very technical, so I would venture to say that the target market would be people who are more technically inclined, not creative people and newbies, and probably more men than women (although there are many women now who enjoy technology).

On the other hand, Dotcom Secrets, by Russell Brunson reveals some of the latest Internet-Marketing techniques, but in an easy-to-read and follow format, which could appeal to newbies to advanced in any niche.

#2. Decide which sponsors want to reach your target market(s) and would be willing to pay you to get access. To continue with our book example with Ask,you’d want to find sponsors who want to reach those who are technically inclined. That might include: software companies, smart-phone companies, computer companies, hosting companies, tech-gadget suppliers, etc.

#3. Figure out your marketing strategy. You won’t know what you can offer your potential sponsors until you decide on your marketing strategy. Sponsors want visibility; this can come from media coverage and mentions in interviews, in social media, and on your blog, as well as premium placement inside the book and any other place where they will get exposure that they wouldn’t otherwise get. It will also help determine what web pages you will need, where you will be advertising, and who you will be advertising to, which will help you to decide where your sponsors will get the most bang for their buck and what you can charge for each placement.

#4. Create a proposal letter. Make clear the intent of your letter in one or two sentences so the potential sponsor's representative can quickly and easily understand the purpose of your letter once you find out how they are (Step #5) Explain the benefits of sponsoring your book and how the company's money will be spent. Provide your phone number and offer to speak to the representative to discuss it further at his or her convenience.

#5. Find out who to talk to or where to send your proposal. Get their address, phone number, and/or extension. A good place to start is to Google their website. LinkedIn is another good source for finding information on companies. Call the head office first to confirm that the person listed is still there and still in that position. That will also give you an opportunity to get the name of the receptionist. (I will explain why you want this in Step #6.)

Next, go back and fill in the salutation for each proposal letter and personalize it; do not say, "To Whom This May Concern. You'll want to have the letter done first so you'll know what you plan to propose and you'll be ready if you are called upon to share it when you contact the person in Step #6.

#6. Contact the sponsor. When you call the company's main office, ask to see their sponsorship guidelines, do not ask to speak to someone about a sponsorship. If you do, you will most likely be directed to an online form or be given a generic email address that will land your request in a slush pile of requests never to be heard from again! By asking for the guidelines, you are not asking them for a sale, which could put them off. They may tell you who you need to speak to, his or her direct number, and/or email address.

If they have guidelines and they direct you to them, you should download them and review them so you can get a feel for how to approach the organization the next time you call. Then, follow their directions for how to proceed. If they do not have guidelines, call back and ask to speak to the sponsorship representative to find out how to proceed, but be ready with your proposal in case he or she asks you to give him or her the details right then on the phone or to fax them over.

Once you've laid out your proposal, be sure to follow up until you get a definitive response. Company representatives are busy, so you have to be persistent, but patient. Don't give up unless or until you are certain that the company is not interested in your proposal or if you find out during the process that they are not a good fit for your book project.

Stick with it and you could reap some big rewards for your book promotion as well as for other events and programs. Plus, when you get your sponsors the results they are looking for, some will want to continue on with you, so it could be the start of a very productive long-term relationships.

To learn more, I highly recommend Corporate Sponsorship in 3 Easy Steps: Get Funding from Sponsors Even if you are just Getting Started, from Sponsorship Expert, Linda Hollander

Check Out Crowdfunding

Book crowdfunding projects are frequently used for non-fiction self-help books that do something to improve the world, but works of fiction can also have successful crowdfunding campaigns through online services such as Go Fund Me, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo.

Requirements for a successful book Crowdfunding campaign:

  1. Write a great book! This is the alpha and omega, whether you crowdfund or not.
  2. Develop your website through blogging and other social media well before you start your crowdfunding campaign.
  3. Be clear on how much money you need. Consider not only the creative-production costs of your book, but also the funds to purchase books for marketing events, signings, and giveaways to backers.
  4. Pick your Platform: Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites
  5. Write a compelling campaign narrative. Show the cover, the author, and a video. You have to grab a potential supporter’s attention to win her love. Hire marketing pros if possible. They’ll help you set the right tone and trajectory for your video or other promotional campaign.
  6. Use your social media to go after your followers. You will need them to spread the word about your fundraising efforts.
  7. Pay attention to your web-traffic and analytics. They help you make smarter choices and refine your marketing efforts.
  8. Aim to get the initial third of funding from family and friends. They should be your biggest fans.
  9. Give every supporter an ebook, and every major supporter a signed copy of your book and offer to speak at events they stage or are involved in. Supporters could be church groups, civic organizations, sports clubs, schools, book clubs, libraries . . . the possibilities are endless. Always say “yes” when invited to speak.
  10. Publicize and promote your success. Announcing success is not bragging.

Note: Crowdfunding sites take a 5-30% fee from the proceeds raised.