In the first lesson, I explained how to finally put your dreams of writing a book into play and revealed simple steps I used to turn my first book concept into a reality.

In the second lesson, I showed you how to take a simple concept that you are contemplating writing a book on and designing a sustainable six figure business model around it.

If you have not read the posts in this series, I recommend you catch up here first:

Part 1: Writing Your First Book: Fiction or Non-Fiction In One Easy Step
Part 2: How To Move From Book Concept To $100,000 Business Plan

Let’s say you have a book idea in your head. It’s so strong you do something about it, staying up late night after night punching away at the keyboards trying to get it all out. At the end of a couple of months, your book is saved in a special place on your computer, waiting for whatever it is that comes next.

You do a little research to find out what else you need to do to turn your book into something you can sell.

  • Editing
  • Cover design
  • Book layout
  • Printing
  • Marketing

The list goes on and on. And with just a little research, you also find that the fees to bring your book up to industry standards, and have it in a format you can sell not just to a few family and friends, but to thousands of people across the globe, are at a level you simply can’t afford.

Now what?

Sure, you can dip into your savings. Or you can use a credit card. But what if there was another way?

For many would-be authors, the solution comes in the form of crowdfunding.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of crowdfunding:

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. It makes use of the easy accessibility of vast networks of friends, family and colleagues through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get the word out about your new idea and attract investors at many levels of funding.

If you have heard of crowdfunding before, you may have heard of the giant in the industry – Kickstarter. Launched in 2009 with close to a billion dollars pledged for over 53,000 projects, it has the name and the reputation to be one of the major players. But when its comes to book writing, its by no means the only crowdfunding site.

Mediashift on PBS recently compared three different platforms – Kickstarter, Pubslush and Indiegogo – to determine the pros and cons of all three.

Each has its own unique features, meaning there isn’t a right or wrong choice for a would-be author. Instead, the platform simply gives you your starting point, your direction for what comes next.

The platform alone gives you the tools to put your concept together. From there, you rely on your network to buy into your concept, ultimately funding your project altogether.  The formula for success looks like this:

Create Book Concept  <>  Pitch Book Concept  <>  Readers Fund Concept

If they’re interested, they buy. If not, your opportunity fades away.

If you’re Big Idea is wrapped around a book concept, how can you use this yourself?

Choose A Crowdfunding Source

I’ve mentioned three crowdfunding sources that offer platforms for authors: Kickstarter, Pubslush and Indiegogo, but they are by no means all of the resources out there. There are hundreds of crowdfunding platforms in existence; take the time to do your research and choose one that’s right for you.

Each resource offers its own set of rules, its own terms of service, and its own approach to funding. Make sure you understand before choosing.

Make Your Page Complete

No matter which crowdfunding site you choose, make sure you spend the time to create a complete project page. When you first login, you’ll have the opportunity to set up your project page, with opportunities for saving it along the way. Look through it to see the different tools available to you. Then go out of your way to make each section complete.

Plan Your Rewards

Crowdfunding is all about the rewards. You’re writing a book, so obviously all of your rewards should include a copy of your book, either in digital or a physical copy. Beyond that, have fun with what you offer. Because you’ll be promoting this to people that know you, the more personal you make things, the more people will connect to have a change at your special offers.

The Marketing

Crowdfunding is not “put up a project and they will come” mentality. If you expect to fund your project simply by putting together a page, you’ll be disappointed when you don’t achieve results.

Two things must occur in order to achieve success.

First, have a list of people you can push your project to the moment its live. Yes, this may include family and friends. But even a few backers at this level will help create a strong beginning, and motivate others to invest over the course of your campaign.

Second, you have to work at marketing every day.

  • Using a resource like CrowdsUnite to review which platform is right for you.
  • Learn and read all you can on crowdfunding at sources like CrowdCrux.

I follow the advice from long time mentor Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup fame. I was a part of a coaching program of his many years ago, and he spoke of his “3 things per day” approach to marketing. Before Chicken Soup was big, he would put 3 things on his to do list every day that would help him reach out to prospects and help him market his idea. He would never leave the office at night until those 3 things were completed.

If you do 3 things a day that helps people find out more about your project, you’ll have a much larger shot at funding then if you leave it all to chance.

Luck is only as good as the effort you put behind it. So change your luck and take action today.