The Best Ways to Raise Money for Your Self-Published Book

Let’s face it: self-publishing a book can be expensive.

There’s hiring an illustrator and/or editor, printing your books, marketing, and other book sales campaigns. The costs can really add up

Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to fundraise for self-published books, and it’s also a great way to raise awareness for your launch while cutting down costs.

And you don’t need to take an expensive class to learn how to navigate all this either. Crowdfunding, grants, and sponsorships for authors are easier to pull off than you might think.

We’re happy to share our insight to help you find creative ways to fund your next self-published book launch.

Get Ongoing Support with a Patreon Account

As any author knows, self-publishing is a time-consuming and often ongoing endeavor. So why not get yourself set up for consistent funds as you move from pre- to post-book production?

Consider Patreon a place for your fans to pay you, anywhere from $1-100 dollars a month to do what you do best: create!

With different membership tiers, you can entice patrons with exclusive content, early release copies of your book, and any other fun things you have to offer your fanbase.

One of the best features of Patreon for self-published authors might very well be access to building a private community where your fans can chat and engage with you and other fans.

You can also create members-only email lists, so you know who to send your exciting author updates to first.

Get a Sponsor for Your Book

Sponsorship comes in all shapes and sizes, and that includes sponsors for self-published book projects.

You can acquire individual sponsors for the:

  • Front Cover (the first thing people see)
  • Back Cover (alongside quotes and author bios)
  • Inside Flaps (containing details about the book)
  • Sponsored Pages (you can give companies space on any of your inside pages)

While you’re writing your book, consider your book’s audience. What kinds of brands, companies, or organizations align with your book?

For example, a book about running marathons might partner well with shoe brands or wellness companies. You can offer any corporate or nonprofit sponsor a space on your front or back covers, inside flaps, or a dedicated “Sponsor Page.”

Author Jason SurfrApp did just that. He sold sponsors on the idea for his bookCreativity for Sale” and featured each sponsor’s logo in different parts of the book.

You’d be surprised how many companies would die to have their logo on the cover of a book!

Look for Grants

Grants are about the closest you can get to free money. They might not cover all your self-published book expenses, but they can make a big difference in covering your launch expenses.

FundsForWriters is a great source for finding grants to cover some of your costs. There you’ll find unique grants such as:

The list indeed goes on. The most important thing is to find a grant that fits you and your project.

In rare cases, you’ll have to pay a fee to apply. But many grants just require you to submit an application or fill out a series of forms about your writing and eligibility.

Submit to a Contest

Literary contests are another great way to get cash while building momentum for your self-published book. Many accept selections or full manuscripts.

If your book is selected as a winner, you’ll get a cash prize and oftentimes a sticker to put on your front cover that shows off your accolade.

Poets&Writers has a wide variety of contests, awards, and grants listed as well as a sorting feature to categorize by entrance fee, genre, and submission deadline.

Winning a contest is also a great item to add to your résumé as a writer and will only increase your author platform and reach.

Throw a Fundraising Event

Now that we’re slowly being allowed to gather in groups again, you might get a lot of traction by organizing a fundraising event for your book launch.

Selling raffle tickets at your author event are always a popular choice if you’ve got merch lying around (shirts, stickers, bookmarks, etc.,) and it’s a great way to get people excited about your book.

You can also partner with a local nonprofit and share your proceeds from the evening with them. That’s a great way to pair your book with a cause you care about and make a difference in your community.

Pro tip: Get a friend to shoot some photographs of you at the event. They’ll be great to feature on your social media accounts or on a crowdfunding site!

The Best Crowdfunding for Authors

Crowdfunding for books is a whole lot easier than it used to be. Gone are the days of knocking on stranger’s doors for cash or hosting bake sales.

Of course, you can still do these things — but we’d advise using a crowdfunding campaign on platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe. These sites allow you to make a discoverable page with information about your book.

Crowdfunding lets you create demand for your book before it’s even finished. And it provides a ton of exposure (read: free marketing) for your project that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

GoFundMe was one of the early platforms to offer community-backed support for causes of all kinds. The causes you’ll find there are often set up by individuals or families in need of medical support, nonprofits, and education. Here you can also find authors looking for help to self-publish their book!

One campaign we loved was Eden and her daughter London who are looking to travel in a van this summer and write about Eden’s battle with stage IV cancer.

Indiegogo is another popular crowdfunding site, with an added category especially for writers and publishers raising money for new book projects.

In similar fashion to GoFundMe, Indiegogo allows you to make a crowdfunding campaign page as well as offering different levels of “Perks” for backers to choose from.

Campaigns can last up to 60 days and finished books or merch can be sent directly to backers.

Last but certainly not least is Kickstarter. One of the more sophisticated and customizable crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter helps you build your following as you raise the money for your project.

Where the platform differs from other sites is that you don’t get the money unless you meet your fundraising goal. That might sound scary, but so long as you start with reasonable goals you can always shoot for larger amounts once you meet your first goal.

Kickstarter also does a great job of advertising crowdfunding campaigns on the platform, so if you’re really crushing it you might just make the front page and grab more attention for your book.

This is also a great place to raise funds for book tours, signings, and any other event related to your upcoming book.

Another benefit of going with Kickstarter? We’ll give you a discount! Just download our banner onto your Kickstarter page and we’ll shoot you a free advanced proof!

Learn more about how to kickass with Kickstarter as a self-published author >

Ready to Raise Some Funds?

It’s not always easy asking your friends, family, or even strangers for money to help fund your self-published book.

But with so many crowdfunding sites for authors, you can ease the financial burden of publishing your book while also engaging the community in the birth of something special.

Need more tips about how to use Kickstarter to fund your project? We’re already a step ahead of you. Read our guide about how to make your Kickstarter book campaign successful >

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