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Writers Corner > A Question About Crowdfunding

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message 1: by Loh (new)

Teck Loh | 6 comments Last year, I completed the manuscript for Guards Gone Wild!, a memoir of my adventures in Singapore's private security industry. It was submitted to 4 publishers based in Singapore. As of today, my manuscript has been rejected by all 4 publishers.

Singapore being a small country with an even smaller literary market, it is blindingly obvious that it would be a futile waste of time to hang around and wait for fresh and receptive publishers to appear on the scene. Therefore, I have to self-publish. To do that, I will need to raise the necessary fund through crowdfunding.

This is the first time I am doing crowdfunding and so, naturally, I am not 100% sure about how I should go about doing things. If there are any self-published writers here who went through the crowdfunding route, please offer your advice and guidance. Thank you in advance.

And here's my question:

What do people want in return when they contribute to a crowdfunding campaign?

Originally, after talking it over with friends, we thought it would be a good idea to offer a free (and signed) copy of my book to any Singaporean donor who donates at least S$10 (the intended selling price of my book).

But now, I have just received the price estimates for various essential services related to the publication of a book, such as cover design and layout and copy editing and so on and so forth, and the total cost comes up to S$6960! And at the end of it, I get 500 printed copies.

500 copies. That makes our 1-free-signed-copy-for-every-$10-donation offer mathematically impossible. Because if $6960 is needed, then that would mean 696 ten dollars are needed and that means after giving away all 500 copies, I will still need to come up with an extra 196 copies to give away. And how am I supposed to do that?

I could make it if I offer a free signed copy for a $20 donation but then, that would make it look like I am overcharging them for the book.

So if giving away free copies to donors is no longer feasible, what can I do for the kind people who would be donating to my crowdfunding campaign?

message 2: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1779 comments Mod
Who is charging you 6960 dollars? That's very steep to self-publish a book.

message 3: by Loh (new)

Teck Loh | 6 comments If it helps, here is a breakdown of the costs involved in publishing my book.

Book cover design – $960

Fees for artist to do the illustration for the cover – $1100

Copy editing for approximately 40,000 words – $1200

Interior layout for approximately 40,000 words – $1200

Printing for 500 copies – $2500

The prices listed are in Singapore dollars. 1 Singapore dollar = 0.74 US dollar.

In case anyone is wondering, yeah, the book cover designers normally do things with photographs and stock images and creative stuff with the fonts. That’s 960 dollars. But for my debut as a writer, I want a unique illustrated book cover. So I have to pay an extra thousand for an artist to come in and do the illustration.

message 4: by A.F. (last edited Jul 20, 2016 05:18AM) (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1779 comments Mod
That seems like excessive costs for formatting, editing and cover illustration. Especially for a 40,000 word book. No self-published book should cost nearly 5000 dollars to produce. It should come far closer to 2000, at most. Probably less.

message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben Langdon | 11 comments I'd suggest going to 99designs.com for the cover design. I think it's closer to $400 and you get a number of artists competing to be the designer - gives you more choice. And for formatting I'd go with Polgarus Studio which is $200, I think, for paperback and ebook.

If your book is only 40,000 it'll be difficult to sell as a paperback anyway, I'd say. So try to keep costs down.

message 6: by Loh (new)

Teck Loh | 6 comments Here'a an idea I thought of as an alternative to the give-away-free-books idea.

For a minimum donation of 10 dollars, the donor's name will be included on a special Thank You page in my book. And so, anyone who buys a copy of my book will be able to see who are the contributors who helped me make Guards Gone Wild! a reality. And the names will stay in my book, even in future print runs.

In addition to getting listed in my book as an honored contributor, a minimum donation of 10 dollars will also get you a limited edition Guards Gone Wild! postcard with a personal Thank You message written by me. Postcards aren't expensive to print and the postage cost for delivering those isn't expensive either.

So what do you think of my idea?

message 7: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1779 comments Mod
Sounds good.

message 8: by Ben (new)

Ben Langdon | 11 comments I'd say look at the successful Kickstarter projects. Usually a thank you is printed if you put forward a couple of dollars. For $10 I'd probably expect a book - have you got access to ebooks? They don't actually cost anything once they're formatted. Can you give away ebooks and postcards?

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