This is the most common request I receive. “Where can I find the money to write my book?”
This is the second most common request I receive. “Where can I find the money to publish my book?”
First and foremost, you do not need money to write a book. Writing is the most liberating, free-rein, no start-up money
required art on the planet. You and the paper. If you need research, you have a phone, the Internet and the library. Easy-peasy.
If you need money to publish your book, you are self-publishing. Fine. Nothing wrong with that. Let’s make some assumptions here. You wrote the story. You’ve edited the story. You’ve HAD the story edited. You want that book out in the world and you don’t have two dimes to rub together. What do you do?
1. You try to traditionally publish.
Yep, this means you have to learn the publishing business. But you want complete control over your book, you say. Do you even know what that means? Can you talk traditional vs. self-pubbing? If you cannot, then stop trying to publish. Learn which road to take before get totally lost and ruin that story by publishing it too soon and too naively.
2. You publish an e-book.
I know you want to hold paper in your hands, but why not sell e-books until you have the money saved to pay for print?
3. You publish through CreateSpace.com or Lulu.com.
This requires you understand formatting, cover design, and so on. If you want someone to publish your book without you thinking about these things, then go back to Item 1.
4. You crowdfund through Kickstarter.com or Indiegogo.com.
Not only has Kickstarter funded many books, plays and films, but it makes you develop a defined plan for your book project. Most crowdfunding projects fail because the author doesn’t want to think marketing or development . . . doesn’t plan deeply enough. Either that or the book is a bad idea to start with.
5. You freelance and save your money from articles and gigs to pay for the publishing.
No elaboration needed here. If you think you’re good enough to write a book, you should be shrewd and talented enough to make money freelancing.
6. You save money from other sources.
Only you can define your “other” sources.
7. You borrow the money.
Gasp! Borrow? What if the book fails? Truth is you need to believe in this book hard enough to be willing to borrow money for it. That means you’re more likely to do your homework on the process, edit a few more times, create the start of a platform, and design a short-term and long-term plan.
What about grants? Grants should be your last resort. Besides, most grants won’t fund a self-published project, especially from a first-time author or a second-timer who didn’t sell the first. You have to prove yourself to a certain degree. But hey, with all of the above options and a little bit of elbow grease and sweat, you’ll be published in no time.
C. Hope Clark is editor of FundsforWriters and author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series – www.chopeclark.com