Tag Archives: tips

Need to pay for your book project? Try crowdfunding!

We’ve seen many authors and artists come through our shop who have used a crowdfunding website to fund the cost of publishing their books. What is a crowdfunding website? It’s a website that exists as a platform to help people who have an idea, but need dollars to make the idea a reality. In our line of work, that idea is a book.

Listing your project on a crowdfunding website is also a great way to test the market’s interest in your book before it’s published. It will help you start thinking about the niche your book will fill. If you can successfully generate buzz for the concept of your book on a crowdfunding platform, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy some traction with your marketing efforts once the book is published.

The most commonly-used crowdfunding website is Kickstarter. Here is a link to their handbook to get you started, and a few tips to help along the way:

  • Backing others helps you learn the ropes and get a feel for the Kickstarter community.
  • Set up your payment options in advance so you are ready to accept funds on day one.
  • Be clear on discounts and perks – and get creative!
  • Aim high when setting your dollar amount, but not so high you can’t meet your goal and cash in.
  • Tell the story of your book, and consider making a video.
  • Answer all backer questions. They are supporting your efforts!
  • Use a simple analytics tracker to learn more about your readers.

Time to get inspired! Here are a few authors we know used Kickstarter to fund their book projects, then hired us to print them.

Bard_Hey Baby

 

Breena Bard, a Portland, Oregon-based cartoonist and graphic novelist released “Hey Baby,” a 6.5×8.5″ softcover, in summer 2016.

Breena’s Kickstarter

http://www.breenabard.com/

 

 

 

front-spine-back-covers-under_covers-outlined.eps

 

 

 

Margaret Davis, another Portland-based writer and book artist, funded “China Under the Covers” this past winter.

Margaret’s Kickstarter

http://chinaunderthecovers.com/

 

 

 

 

Adobe Photoshop PDF

 

 

Olympia-based fungi enthusiast Ellen King Rice funded her novel “The Evo Angel” in 2015 for publication in spring 2016.

Ellen’s Kickstarter

https://www.ellenkingrice.com/

 

 

 

 

Back in 2014, Peter Donahue funded a beautiful full-color, full-size landscape hardcover book complete with custom-printed end sheets and a matte-laminated dust jacket for the first volume of his popular “Rudek and the Bear” comic collection. As one of his Kickstarter pledge prizes, Peter drew any supporter who pledged $35 or more into the style of his characters and added it as a spread in the beginning of his book.

RUDEK AND THE BEAR VOL 1.indd

Peter’s Kickstarter

Peter’s ongoing web comic: http://zuzelandthefox.com/

Test the waters for your book project! Try crowdfunding!

A Title by Any Other Name

One of the most difficult entities of writing a book is giving it a title. Some authors may go through a handful of working titles before finding just the right one. You want something catchy to hook your customer, something easily spread by word of mouth to potential readers. Here are some tips when it comes to giving your book a name.

  1. You cannot copyright a title. Did you know that? However that does not mean you want to saddle your latest manuscript with a moniker like A Tale of Two Cities or To Kill a Mocking Bird. The popular phrase Hide and Seek is the title of more than a dozen books. How confusing must that be for a book buyer? You want your title to be memorable, to stand alone in a reader’s mind. The best way is to do a search with your title between quotation marks and add the word book. Example: “my title” book. See what pops up.
  2. Make the title four words or less. Four or less works to your advantage in easy to say, easy to remember. You don’t want to be interviewed on the radio and have the host trip over a long, strung out title. Instead of 32 Ways to Knit the Perfect Sweater, you could call it Sweater Solutions.  A book called The White Terror of the Dark Sea is more cumbersome than Moby Dick.
  3. Don’t settle for the first thing that pops in your mind. Use it as a working title, but until your book in completed, stay flexible. A great title may be buried waiting to come out when you’re editing or even in the seventh rewrite.
  4. Hold a contest. Still not finding the perfect name, then open a contest on your Facebook page and ask your friends to submit their  ideas based on a short synopsis. Offer a free autographed copy and mention in the acknowledgments as the prize.

Shakespeare was correct with his wrods, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But your title needs more care and attention if you want to build up your readership. A title is the moniker of your book, the handle to carry it across your audience through reviews, word of mouth, in print and at the bookstore. You want your readers to ask for it by name.