6 Simple Ways to Make Your Kickstarter Book Campaign Successful

Self-publishing your book gives you more profit and more control over your book sales than traditional publishing. But the cost of printing, advertising, and distributing your book can still add up.

Thanks to crowdfunding platforms, self-published authors are finding ways to fund their passion projects without breaking the bank.

Gone are the days when you needed to be independently wealthy to self-publish your own book. Thanks to Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other popular sites, you can crowdfund your book from start to finish. 

The beauty of crowdfunding is that it allows you to offer your book as a finished product, and generate pre-orders, before the book is actually ready to print!

That is, of course, if you know how to effectively advertise your crowdfunding campaign.

With some creativity and strategy, you can meet and exceed your fundraising goals, build a strong web presence as an author, and create excitement for your upcoming book.

Who knows — you might just catch the attention of your next big fan.

Read on for the best ways to amplify the reach of your book’s Kickstarter campaign, and the immense benefits of crowdfunding your next project.

How Does Kickstarter Work?

Kickstarter campaigns for books are becoming wildly popular as self-publishing authors look to drum up anticipation for their book — while also raising funds to make the book possible.

Kickstarter even has its own category dedicated entirely to publishing. Here, you can give detailed information about your book, why you’re crowdfunding your project, and your overall mission.

The work doesn’t end once you’ve got your campaign set up. By marketing your campaign, friends, family, and even “angel investors” can back your project with an amount of their choosing.

In contrast to GoFundMe, these funds aren’t transferred to the project unless you meet your fundraising goal, so it’s important to start with something reasonable and obtainable.

That being said, many Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns end up making much more than their goal!

Using their creator handbook is a great way to get the ball rolling on your first project.

Make an Intro Video

Once you’ve built your Kickstarter page, adding a special video to your campaign can help it convert more funders.

A video is a great way to introduce yourself to your potential backers, and to talk about your project and why it’s so important to you.

Try to stay away from sounding too salesy — this is really meant to show viewers who you are and what you’re about. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to put that marketer hat on later!

One campaign that caught our eye was A is for Agbada: An African Alphabet Adventure. The sister duo behind the book (and publishing company) does a great job of outlining the importance of bringing new stories to children and their inspiration for the project.

Another great example is the upcoming People of the Lane by Kay Flavell, which documents the stories of a collection of people who live on a single street in Liverpool, England.

You can watch all kinds of introduction videos for inspiration, and we suggest you have some fun with it and make it your own.

Include Images Of the Book

Here’s a neat trick: When you see images of finished books on a Kickstarter page, most often, those authors haven’t actually completed or printed the book yet.

Instead, they’re creating “book mockups” from digital files of the book cover. There are several websites that offer free or low cost software to create these book mockups including:

If you’re working with a savvy illustrator/formatter, they’ll often be able to create similar mockups for you in Adobe.

Build Your Email List

If you don’t already have an author email list, there’s no better time to start.

Collecting email addresses of supporters is essential to advertise your Kickstarter book campaign and stay on peoples’ radar.

While making your Kickstarter, you can even build in timed emails to alert your following and backers about how the campaign is coming along.

On your author website or blog, you can capture visitor’s emails with a pop-up plug-in asking people to join your newsletter or email list. From here, you can send routine announcements with fun and interesting content about your book and yourself as an artist — while asking people to check out your Kickstarter.

This will build anticipation for your book updates, and encourage your following to stay in touch with you along your journey.

A word of caution: just make sure you get full permission to use these email addresses. adding unsuspecting emails to your list is the quickest way to end up in the spam folder. Not to mention it’s going to catch your friends and colleagues off guard!

Promote Your Kickstarter on Social Media

If you’re racking your brain about how to promote your book, we’d suggest upping your social media game.

If you’ve built up a following as an author on social media, your platforms are a critical avenue for funneling traffic to your Kickstarter campaign.

You can make a separate Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account just for your author persona or book, and include a link to your Kickstarter in your platform’s bio. Be sure to routinely post engaging, educational, and inspiring content about your project and yourself as an author.

Just like we mentioned with email, you don’t want to just push people toward your Kickstarter. Warm them up first with authentic content that builds trust with future fans.

Agbadabooks used their Instagram to drum up anticipation for their Kickstarter launch…and they were able to make their entire fundraising goal in just 24 hours!

Because of this overwhelming success, they were able to dream bigger with stretch goals to raise even more money for the release of their first book.

Offer Your Backers Fun Rewards

A great feature of Kickstarter is the rewards system. Backers can still donate without a reward, but you can create specific tiers to entice them to donate at different levels.

This can include a signed copy of the book, custom bookmarks and stickers, or any other creative merch you can add on.

Some of PufferPrint’s customers have offered “enhanced” versions of their books for backers who fund their project at a higher tier. Some of those enhanced features include dust jackets, gold foiling, or embossing on the book’s cover. 

We love Emily Hare’s “Adopt a Monster” tiers for her upcoming book Emily Hare’s Mini Book of Monsters. Her donation tiers allow backers to choose from different bundles with stickers, digital prints of characters from the book, and magnets.

We recommend trying to keep your overhead low though — there’s no need to go ordering 1,000 t-shirts just for your Kickstarter!

If you don’t have any merch to offer, you can also get creative with your offerings. Perhaps you coach Pilates and can offer a free session, or you can send a personalized card or video thanking them for supporting you.

Fans also love shoutouts, so it never hurts to offer mentioning them in your social media as a reward. The most important part is that you make it work for you and your book.

Build Momentum for Your Kickstarter with Word of Mouth

Even in the 21st century of digital marketing, word of mouth is still the strongest way to build a following and gain support for something you’re doing.

Once you’ve built a solid campaign with videos, offerings, and a social media plan — the next step is easy: tell people!

You can share the link to your Kickstarter page with friends and family, along with a personalized message about why you’re doing this and what it means to you to get their support.

If they can’t donate, don’t worry. You can encourage them to share it with their networks or post about it on their social media channels.

And the more people are talking about it, the more successful your campaign will be.

Be Authentic!

While Kickstarter crowdfunding gives you a great platform to ask for money, make sure you stay authentic throughout the process.

After all, people want to support causes they care about, so give them plenty of reasons to invest in you.

Be yourself, and be vulnerable and transparent with your audience.

Throughout your campaign connect to your “why”:

  • Why is it so important to you to share this story?
  • What kinds of benefits will others get by investing in it?
  • Is there a bigger picture at play (raising awareness, global issues brought up in your book, etc.)?

It’s also great practice to show appreciation for those who donate to you book Kickstarter. This is easy to do with thank you cards, voice memos, or shoutouts on social media.

Get the Most Out of Your Kickstarter

We know how much work goes into getting your book off the ground. Many of our clients have used crowdfunding to turn their self-published book dreams into a reality.

So to help you along your journey, we’re offering a FREE advance copy of your book with the start of your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign!

Simply upload our banner images to your campaign page and shoot us an email and we’ll set you up with an advance proof before your order, free of charge.

Download our banner images now for your crowdfunding discount >

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