Crowdfunding: Your Way to Publishing Success

Raising money for projects via crowdfunding (soliciting a large volume of people for small donations incentivized through rewards) has become the “thing” to do. In fact, Forbes reported that in 2013, crowdfunding websites raised an estimated 5.1 billion dollars. With major success stories (and some fairly wacky attempts) coming out of websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it was perhaps inevitable that a crowdfunding site would be developed with authors in mind. Cue Pubslush, a website that offers authors and publishers options designed with the publishing industry in mind.

Founded by mother/daughter duo Hellen and Amanda Barbara, Pubslush takes its name from the notorious “slush pile” of publishing houses, the place where rejected manuscripts are discarded. Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s challenging experience of trying to find a publisher for the Harry Potter series, Pubslush’s goal is to “give authors the opportunity to get out of the slush pile, prove their talent and market viability, and successfully publish quality books.” Pubslush proudly gives a voice to authors who otherwise may never be heard.

But what truly makes Pubslush different from other crowdfunding websites? I talked to Nicole McArdle, Pubslush’s marketing director, who proudly touted a series of unique features only available via Pubslush. Features designed by authors with authors in mind:

  • Pubslush isn’t all or nothing when it comes to funding: authors get to keep the funds they raise (with the exception of Pubslush’s 4 percent commission—an industry low), even if they don’t reach their goal. Pubslush is the only major crowdfunding site to work this way.
  • Sophisticated and comprehensive data: when a campaign is complete, Pubslush provides the author with a huge amount of demographic data about the people interested in their project, including age, location, gender, traffic source, and click-through rates. Armed with this data, authors can do their own marketing knowing that they’re targeting the right groups.
  • A team of people who want every author to succeed and are willing to help throughout the entire process! Pubslush also provides authors with a plethora of reading material prior to the launch of a campaign to ensure they’re as prepared as possible.
  • Successful campaigns are forever a part of the Pubslush community, allowing authors to continuously drive traffic to their book via Pubslush’s Buy Button feature.

Curious about what an active project looks like? Or, maybe you’re thinking about submitting a manuscript of your own. Check out Oasis Pages Diary for Teen Girls by Grace Welker and Riva Danzig, or From Tequila to the Tao by Stormy. Nicole called both of them out as great examples of currently active pages that have all the necessary components (and some great extras) to be successfully funded, including a concise synopsis, an amusing interview with the author, and a clearly laid out rewards structure.

And the best part about Pubslush? Because it’s for authors only, you won’t be competing for funds against bizarre projects like a squirrel census. In Nicole’s words, “your book will be seen by a serious literary community, meaning you won’t be competing for attention with potato salad, or other trending crowdfunding campaigns.” Because really, who would choose potato salad over a good book?

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