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Crowdfunding as a Means to Underwriting the Cost of Publishing

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Over the last 25 years, I have watched God use creative ways to fund a publishing project.

From generous philanthropists, to unexpected inheritances, to insurance settlements, to benevolence by a dying relative, I’ve seen book projects funded…. to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in one instance!

Today with the growth of social media and the internet, the technology of raising the needed funds to get your book into print is easier than ever.

Let’s go to Wikipedia and learn the definition, model and success of this approach:

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet.[1] One early-stage equity expert described it as “the practice of raising funds from two or more people over the internet towards a common Service, Project, Product, Investment, Cause, and Experience, or SPPICE.”[2]

The crowdfunding model is fueled by three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea and/or project to be funded; individuals or groups who support the idea; and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.[3]

In 2013, the crowdfunding industry grew to be over $5.1 billion worldwide.[4]

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There are a number of platforms available. I’m going to list some here, but this is not at all an exhaustive list. The first two are amongst the largest and most successful crowdfunding options, with the third being a newer platform that offers some better rates and more flexible terms. All have been utilized successfully by authors with a message to produce:


A leading rewards-based crowdfunding site where project owners have raised over $1 Billion in funding for their projects. In the company’s own words, “Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. We’re a home for films, games, and music to art, design, and technology.”

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Here is a great example of an author, Susan Bearman, preselling copies of her book along with other rewards for those who wanted to help underwrite her publishing project. This shows wonderful creativity and I think offers great ideas for ways to add value to the supporter.


Whereas Kickstarter is somewhat curated as to the projects it approves, Indiegogo is open to almost any kind of project (they even crowdfunded a baby), and the company has a larger international presence than Kickstarter. They only offer rewards-based crowdfunding. The site was initially founded to fund indie film and theater projects, but has since expanded to almost anything and everything from charitable causes to pet projects, but does not offer equity crowdfunding for investors.

From <>


Whatever you are passionate about, DreamFund makes it easy to ask for support and get your projects funded. From artistic endeavors and new products to school projects, families in need and community improvements, DreamFund is an affordable effective way to crowdfund from your circles of friends, family, community, fans and beyond. With DreamFund, you’re in control with flexible funding options, variable pricing plans, and the marketing tools you need to get the word out and inspire giving.

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As with any new marketing model, there are myths and misconceptions that need to be dispelled, the most important I believe is the “Field of Dreams” mindset…if you build it they will come. Not necessarily true, any more than if you publish it, it will sell on its own! You cannot establish a crowdfunding account, create the video, tell your story, and expect the supporters to just find you and give. It must be promoted just like anything else… a strategy and plan must be developed to make the most of the opportunity. Here’s an article that lists some other myths to be aware of as you begin your due diligence:

We’ve had some authors who’ve been courageous enough to utilize crowdfunding to underwrite their projects with wonderful results! Frankly, I believe this process of preselling copies to underwrite the publishing costs is going to become a preferred method and am excited to see all the possibilities it offers!

You just never know how the Lord may want to stretch you in the publication of your book…and crowdfunding just may be His way for you to move forward with the publication of your book.

If you’ve used this model, I’d love to hear how your experience went!


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Meet the Publisher

I've been around Christian publishing since 1987 when I helped our ministry self-publish an important resource for Vietnam veterans and their families. That book went on to be picked up by a royalty publisher and has since sold over 250,000 copies with a million in print.

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