I was talking to an author the other day and she mentioned how finances were tight and she didn’t know if she could get her book into print any time soon. I was reminded of so many examples of how I’ve seen God provide for authors in the most creative ways. From one author who was given a raffle ticket, only to win the cash in the pot which totaled the exact amount she needed to publish her book, to another who received an unexpected inheritance to underwrite his project.
Even more recently, I had a friend who, unbeknownst to me, was praying about how to get her book published. The very next day she saw my post about the Publishing Jungle Webinar and immediately registered. As we went through the different ways I’ve seen God provide for authors, she was encouraged enough to request an estimate of costs to complete all the necessary publishing services for her fantasy novel. Once the proposal was completed for her 150,000 word manuscript, she prayed again that God would make a way. Again, the very next day, the red tape slowdown for funds from an inheritance was erased and the funds she needed were made available. Glory to God!
I had to chuckle, since that was my experience as well…in a ministry for Vietnam Veterans, we didn’t have the money to print the 10,000 books we knew we could sell pretty quickly, and within a week of stepping out in faith to publish the book, a man showed up in the ministry offices and wrote a check for the entire publishing budget.
God really is faithful to provide, if this is the way He wants you to go! But, is He always going to provide in near miraculous ways like those I’ve just mentioned? Perhaps not. He may have you do some creative marketing to find those who might underwrite your project or partner with you to raise the needed funds. Here are some of the most effective ways I’ve seen authors use:
1) Crowd funding. Linda Grabeman recently had wonderful success with KickStarter in raising the needed funds for her second book with us, Praise on Purpose. There seem to be many different options for this type of fund raising, so check out this link. http://www.crowdfunding.com/, for the most credible crowdfunding platforms.
2) Donate a Copy for Each One Funded: A pastor friend of mine committed to publishing his book, How to Overcome Anger, Bitterness & Unforgiveness. His next step was to secure all the funds to print a few thousand copies (this was long before print on demand technology was an option!), so he decided to write a letter. He sent the letter to the 900+ friends and ministry connections on his mailing list. In the letter he made this offer: “For each gift of $15 I will donate one copy of my book to a prison library.”
Because his book was about anger and bitterness, asking his friends and connections to buy the book for their own personal use wouldn’t have made much headway, but asking them to help provide a free copy for an incarcerated Vietnam veteran? Oh yes…now that would get a much better response! To the tune of about $7,500.00 in gifts to help him underwrite the cost of the production and printing!
Depending on your audience, you may be able to offer to donate copies to women’s shelters, church libraries, halfway houses, Christian school libraries, local book clubs, etc. The possibilities are endless!
3) Use a Pre-Publication Flier and Presell Copies: Another pastor friend of mine took a little different approach that ended up being very effective. This was before the days of print on demand as well, so he had to raise the money for 1,000 copies. He paid his 50% deposit up front and we jumped right on designing the cover and creating a pre-publication flier for him to use to presell copies. He gave a 20% discount off the retail price he set if friends and family ordered before a certain date. He easily raised enough to finish paying for the 1,000 copies and ended up with lots of buzz about his book!
As a side-note, Redemption Press now offers a JumpStarter option to help authors raise money in a similar fashion. An initial month of coaching, along with your front cover design and a pre-publication flier…all the tools to get you moving ahead and raising the funds you need!
These are just 3 of the most successful promotions I’ve seen…and I’ll share more in the future, but I’d love to hear from some of you in the meantime…what have you done that’s helped you raise the funds needed for your book project? How has God glorified Himself on your behalf?
Looking forward to hearing your stories!