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Crowdsourcing a book: Editor's Notes #185
April 30, 2015

Electronic distribution is more of a fall-back strategy
for putting out a book
that isn't deemed profitable enough to print.
You hardly make any money publishing an electronic book.

--Rudy Rucker

In this issue:

1. Crowdfunding a book
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

1. Crowdfunding a book
Self-publishing well costs money. Recently I got an email asking me for support for a novel. After congratulating Susie Henderson for using a new social phenomenon to solve a writer's money problems, I asked her to tell you what she is doing.

Here's Susie:

Likely you've heard of crowdfunding. It's what non-profits have done for years to raise funds for their causes. But now it's used for nearly anything you need funds for.

Kickstarter and IndieGoGo really got this type of funding going. Now we have a multitude of crowdfunding sites to choose from. Most specify what you're allowed to fund for. The list includes medical expenses, tuition, music projects, art projects, causes, and books.

I had never thought of using crowdfunding to produce a book. My background includes graphic design and sales copywriting. I figured I'd produce my own books. I did the artwork and layout on my short, humorous, non-fiction book. But the layout was tedious to me, and I know more about sales graphics and copy than good book design.

Many people will insist you can produce a book for practically nothing.

You can.

But will people want to buy it?

How your book looks can make or break a sale in seconds. Yes, seconds. If it doesn't look like people expect it to, you won't get sales. The interior matters, too. An appropriate layout can mean more readers, as can fantastic back jacket copy.

For my first novel, which is part of a series, I wanted to wow people, make them want the book so much they buy it in droves. I didn't know enough about doing it well. However, I've met a half-dozen talented women who know a lot about self-publishing, and they suggested crowdfunding.

In particular, they suggested, which funds only literary works and causes. The more tight the niche of the site, the more likely you are to raise the funds you need. And unlike Kickstarter, Pubslush lets you keep the money raised, even if you don't meet your goals.

I don't know much about other funding sites, but Pubslush has a variety of support levels to help you do this well. I chose their most involved because I'm new at this, and I want to succeed.

They are guiding me through using social media, email, guest blogging, and the options on their site optimally, all while collecting demographic information on those who are supporting me. So I'll have some great information on who my audience is when I'm done.

If you have a project that you need help producing well, consider crowdfunding. Look for sites that support the arts or literary projects in particular. Then prepare, prepare, prepare, before launching. If you do it right, you can have a gorgeously well-done book in your hands when you're finished, and the sales of your dreams because of it.

Susie's crowdfunding campaign launches tomorrow, May 1st, and includes setting up a fund to help cancer patients who want to use alternative therapies. You can get all the details, including rewards for supporting her project, at She can be found authoring at


2.Tickled my funnybone
With thanks to Sheila Weaver who sent me this one from a church bulletin:
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.


3. Interesting Web site
Go directly to the Pubslush Web site to see if this might be a good fit for you.

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