Everyone can utilize the strategy I outline below.
Book not yet published: Use this strategy to drive sales during your pre-order period.
Book already published: Use this strategy to revive book sales during a special “extra rewards” month.
Note: There’s a video at the end of this post for those who learn better by listening and watching.
Crowdfunding Marketing Strategies Without Crowdfunding
How do you convince readers to pre-order your book before it’s available?
This is a common dilemma that authors face while planning their crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter but great news, everyone…
You don’t need to crowdfund your book in order to implement crowdfunding strategies.
Not everyone wants to crowdfund their book and many people shouldn’t.
(Here’s a list of questions you should ask yourself to see if you should or shouldn’t crowdfund your book.)
Reward Your Readers
Crowdfunding your book entails offering readers extra rewards that are only available for a limited time.
Non-crowdfunding authors can use the same approach to drive more book sales or pre-orders.
Also, this strategy involves MUCH LESS stress and nail biting compared to launching a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign where it’s all-or-nothing.
So, if you like all upside and very little downside (really just your time and effort), then this strategy will set you apart from the other authors who are struggling with Facebook ads and Amazon marketing.
Here’s the process:
Step 1: Create 4 (or more) rewards
These can be anything, really, but can include:
- Activity workbook with material that complements your book
- Printable coloring pages
- Anything that involves your time (e.g., course, coaching, training, webinar, event, etc.)
I advise you to keep it relatively easy to create, original to your work, complementary to the book you are launching, and easy to deliver (digital rewards can be delivered via email).
If you start deviating from the above characteristics, you’re going to create more work for yourself than necessary.
Remember, these are valuable rewards for readers but you shouldn’t be spending tons of money creating them. Mostly, invest your time and effort into creating the rewards.
2. Make those Rewards Disappear
Incentivize readers to take action right away and not wait to pre-order your book.
So, anyone who pre-orders or buys your book during this Reward the Reader month (or whatever you want to call it), will have access to disappearing rewards in addition to your book.
Week 1: Readers get all 4 rewards
Week 2: Readers select 3 out of the 4 rewards.
Week 3: Readers can select 2 out of the 4 rewards.
Week 4: Readers can select one reward.
At the end of your Reward the Reader month, you’ve successfully rewarded ALL of your readers (they should be super happy) but the early bird readers should be the happiest because they got ALL of your goodies.
Step 3: Deliver the goods
At the end of the pre-order marketing blitz, be sure to deliver all rewards to everyone who pre-ordered your book, encourage them to read your book and leave a review, and thank them for being awesome and supportive people.
The best way to do this is via email using your newsletter service provider.
Be sure to have them specifically opt-in to receive your newsletter if they want to continue to receive emails from you to be GDPR-compliant.
Rules, man, I know, but transparency is crucial to building trust between you and your readers.
Benefits to using this approach
1. Everyone can do it
Whether you have already published your book or are still planning your book launch strategy, everyone can use this approach reward readers.
Come up with some great digital rewards that your readers want and get to work.
2. It relieves some pressure
If you aren’t “salesy” and don’t like talking about your book, then you’ll LOVE this approach.
Many authors find it easier to promote FREE items than they do about promoting their book for sale.
3. Organic sharing
Readers love to share free things. They are more likely to share a bundle of four free goodies that are available with the purchase of your book than they would an ad for a book. (Actually, does anyone share ads? Not really.)
4. Everyone wins
Your readers get 1-4 valuable rewards in addition to your book and you get more book sales and exposure. Win-win.
Less Stress but Still Requires Effort
So, no need to stress about launching an intimidating Kickstarter campaign in order to benefit from crowdfunding marketing strategies.
And just a reminder that as everything goes, you’ll only get out what you put into this process.
Creating and promoting these disappearing rewards still requires time and effort and marketing dollars to drive those book sales, but you should feel good about the value you’re giving your readers.