If you’re self-publishing a book to support your business, you’ll eventually have to think about how you’ll be funding you book and its publication.
Many entrepreneurs simply treat their book as a business expense. So, before looking at alternative funding sources, talk to your accountant about how you might finance your book within your business’s operating budget, considering expense timing, cash flow, and tax implications.
That said, even if you can finance your book entirely yourself, you may still consider some of the funding strategies I share here. Why? Because, by lowering your out-of-pocket expenses, you can increase your return on investment, and who wouldn’t want that? But other benefits can include getting your book into the hands of more readers, easing the task of writing, or partnering with other influential experts.
So, with that in mind, here are three funding sources to consider for financing your book.
There are two types of pre-sales: individual pre-sales, or bulk pre-sales.
Individual pre-sales can be arranged directly through your own network, if you like. Otherwise, you can use crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or even publishing-centric platforms like Unbound. Keep in mind, though, that with these sites, it’s not enough to simply put a listing up on these sites and hope that strangers will fund your book. You need to promote that listing to your network, treating it as the campaign it is. Usually, the platform algorithms will kick in and amplify the sales you make to your network by thirty to forty per cent. The more you give, the more you’ll get.
The second type of pre-sales is bulk pre-sales. If you have strong relationships with businesses, associations, and other relevant organizations, you can approach them early on to ask if they want to buy a large quantity of books in advance. This tends to be the better approach, as it can save you quite a bit of time. To get started, think about organizations that are full of people who you want to read your book — or organizations that are connected to those people. Making sure that there’s a good fit between the content of your book and those within the organization you’re targeting ensures your offer will be appealing to the decision maker — and that it’ll actually get read by those who get copies of it.
Sponsorship is another way to engage organizations that would be interested in your book. You can get pretty creative here with what you’re offering them. In a sponsorship package, you might consider using some of these features:
- · Advertisement at the back (or front) of your book
- · Advertisement on a bookmark or a dedicated postcard inserted into your book
- · Mention in an email to your email list
- · Guest speaking at their event
You can also combine some of these sponsorship packages with pre-sales to potentially cover the entire cost of printing and publishing your book. You might even get to make some profit before your book even launches.
3. Author Partnerships
You might also consider partnering with someone who contributes financially to the book in exchange for an author credit. These partnerships can range from you doing all the writing and your partner bringing in all the funding, to a true co-author relationship where you split the responsibilities and the costs. In many of these relationships, you do the writing, and then ask your co-author for their thoughts and ideas — and they contribute some, but not all, of the funding.
Regardless of how you finance your book, it’s important to make sure that you’ve thoughtfully considered how you’ll monetize it, directly or indirectly. It’s this type of analytical rigour that is most often missing when business owners decide to write and publish a book.
If you’re planning to write a book that builds your professional authority and positively impacts your business, but aren’t sure where to start, visit www.entrepreneurtoauthor.com and get the first two chapters of Entrepreneur to Author: 5 STEPS to Writing and Publishing a Nonfiction That Builds Authority and Grows Your Business. In it, you’ll learn exactly how to approach planning, writing, and publishing your book so that it gets the results you’re looking for.