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Author Topic: Crowdfunding and Book Publishing  (Read 3029 times)
ShatteredSmooth
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« on: July 28, 2017, 07:45:36 PM »

I've been running a pre-order campaign on Publishizer for a couple weeks, and it's not going as well as I had hoped. When I mentioned this to Publishizer's support staff, they told me to use Facebook messenger to ask friends and family to pre-order, but that seems a little spammy to me.

Does anyone have any experience with this sight? Or any suggestions to gain pre-orders that do not involve spamming people? From what I understand, spamming people is the best way to make sure they don't every buy your stuff.


https://publishizer.com/earth-reclaimed/
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gckatz
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 09:16:31 PM »

Huh, I've never heard of Publishizer. Looking at their site, I'm not totally clear on how their business model works. If you get enough preorders, it gets...queried? What happens to my money if it doesn't get picked up by a publisher? What if I order a print copy and the publisher decides to publish it as an ebook only? What if the list price ends up being lower than the preorder price? When do I get charged? Is the print copy hardback or paperback? Are you actually going to sign 5000 books if you get 5000 orders? Who do I contact if any of the above doesn't happen as advertised?

Not demanding you have an answer all these questions, but those are things that would concern me as a consumer deciding whether or not to back your campaign. (I've had crowdfunding money disappear into the void more than once.) The more you can do to convince me that this is a reputable site and I'm going to get what I paid for, the more likely I am to go for it.

For crowdfunding in general, IME, you just gotta throw the "am I spamming people" concern out the window and flog that project as hard as humanly possible.
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slightlysmall
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 10:58:52 PM »

Gc, I found their business model buried in the FAQ... or at least part of it. Looks like you're charged as a reader immediately, and can only potentially get your money back if a book has less than 50 pre-orders. They say they mass-query 50+ "of the best" publishers, all of which are either hybrid or very small presses, from what I can tell. They take 30% of the money made in those pre-orders regardless of if a publisher picks up the book. If it doesn't, the money goes to the author to do with as she wishes.

The FAQ also has a lot of typos...

I've heard better things about Inkshares, which runs their own publishing for books that meet pre-order goals, and refunds anyone who backs a project that doesn't meet goals.

ShatteredSmooth, to answer your actual question, gc is right: crowdfunding = spamming people until it catches on. It's just sort of how that model operates.
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ShatteredSmooth
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 10:28:23 AM »

Thank you both for your insight!

I hadn't known about InkShares but if I ever try something like this again I will check it out. However, this experience is teaching me that crowdfunding really is not my cup of tea. I was getting so frustrated with agent rejections that I had wanted to try something different with this book.

I could answer almost all of the questions you posted, except for one -- I hadn't thought of what happens if the list price ends up being lower. The print copies are signed and a lot of them come with other physical items, so I'm not worried about list price discrepancies there, but your comment is making me think I may have set the e-book price too high.

They do have a lot of small presses and hybrid presses sort of mislabeled -- which I realized after I started my campaign. However, I think my intention is to use the raised money to self-publish this book anyways and keep full control over it (and keep me from obsessively refreshing my email while I wait for response on my other projects). Publishizer has helped some non-fiction books get deals with decent publishers, but for fiction, I'm not sure its the best platform.

If I get less than 50 orders, which is likely, I can, and very well might, refund my backers, change my title and query agents when the book is ready.
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gckatz
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 12:02:50 PM »

I'm not trying to criticize your choice to crowdfund your book or to use this platform! That's totally your prerogative and you don't need to justify it. But, as a consumer, I wouldn't contribute to a campaign that made it so easy for the author to take my money and run. So I'd need some assurance that I was going to get what I paid for.

Looking at your campaign page, there's a ton of information about your book, but no information about fulfillment aside from a couple of short sentences about how you're going to promote it. If you look at the successful Kickstarter I was a part of, there's still a bunch of information about the book, but after that, there's a section breaking down the expenses, the schedule, and how fulfillment will work. I think this left our backers a lot more confident that we'd make good on our promises.

So my suggestion to you is, in addition to the information about your book, include a fulfillment section explaining each possible outcome and what exactly will happen to my money in each case.
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ShatteredSmooth
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 07:07:29 PM »

I'm not trying to criticize your choice to crowdfund your book or to use this platform! That's totally your prerogative and you don't need to justify it. But, as a consumer, I wouldn't contribute to a campaign that made it so easy for the author to take my money and run. So I'd need some assurance that I was going to get what I paid for.

Looking at your campaign page, there's a ton of information about your book, but no information about fulfillment aside from a couple of short sentences about how you're going to promote it. If you look at the successful Kickstarter I was a part of, there's still a bunch of information about the book, but after that, there's a section breaking down the expenses, the schedule, and how fulfillment will work. I think this left our backers a lot more confident that we'd make good on our promises.

So my suggestion to you is, in addition to the information about your book, include a fulfillment section explaining each possible outcome and what exactly will happen to my money in each case.

That is a great idea!

I didn't think you criticizing it...when I was second guessing my choice, it was because the whole crowdfunding experience is just making me feel like I am back in middle school, trying to sell products out of a catalogue to raise money for the school, but no one in my family has money, so when they compare how much each kid sold, I sold the least...except my relatives and friends are not nearly as broke as the used to be.

Anyways, would it be okay if I used some of the questions you asked to make a sort of FAQ piece? Publishizer has one, but it is buried and takes consumers away from the check out page. It would be better to have my own version, tailored to my product as part of my proposal.
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gckatz
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 07:55:15 PM »

Quote
Anyways, would it be okay if I used some of the questions you asked to make a sort of FAQ piece?

Of course! They are, after all, questions that you have now been asked.
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