5 things to know before crowdfunding your book

5 things to know before crowdfunding your book
October 8, 2019 Calverts
Inside spread of The Truth of Revolution
Inside spread of The Truth of Revolution


5 things to know before crowdfunding your book


In the world of crowdfunding plenty has been written about attracting an audience, building support, marketing and distribution. I’m not going to cover any of those things.

Instead, I’m going to reveal some tips and tricks from a print company experienced in producing beautiful books for successful crowdfunded campaigns.

#1 Adding value to your rewards

When crowdfunding a book it’s commonplace to offer various levels of rewards linked to how much a backer is pledging, but have you overlooked some things which your printer might donate to your campaign for free, things that might add value to your rewards such as original printers proofs, or printing plates? These are one-of-a-kind items which not only have a curiosity value but you can use to dress a launch event, or sell when your book becomes a collector’s item.

#2 A picture is worth a thousand words

Are you creating a short video to promote your crowdfunded book? Ask your printer if you can film a production meeting at their factory, or the printing presses in action. You can include these in your trailer as cutaways.

#3 Judging a book by the cover

When considering whether your book should be hardback or softback bear in mind that the inner pages will most likely be printed in the same process and at the same time irrespective of whether the cover is a hardback or softback. This means you can get great value on printing a smaller amount of hardbacks as part of the main print run.
For example, print 150 hardbacks and 350 softbacks rather than 500 softbacks. You will have some nice cost effective hardback copies for those higher rewards.

#4 Barcodes

A barcode and an ISBN number are essentially the same thing. Both give your book a unique identifier, although a barcode allows a retailer to enter your unique code via a scanner. The ISBN/barcode contains information such as pricing, publisher details and inventory tracking.

In the UK, ISBN numbers can be bought through Neilsen Data. For a one-off book project you’ll need an EAN13 ISBN number. If you need a barcode to go with that Calverts can generate one for free.

Another interesting thing to add on the back cover (besides a barcode) is a limited edition number.

# 5 Workshop

Uncertain about how you want your crowdfunded book to look and feel? Calverts regularly run workshops which cover the various print processes available to you, papers you might to consider, interesting binding methods, and ways to minimise the environmental impacts of producing your book. Get in touch with us for further details, and good luck with crowdfunding your next book.

Crowdfunded projects we have worked on

  • 10.12.2014 The Truth of Revolution, Brother captures the philosophy and legacy of the punk movement through interviews with influential figures…

  • 10.10.2018 The Second Shelf 01: A Quarterly of Rare Books & Words by Women The Second Shelf is a rare…

  • 10.10.2018 The Second Shelf 01: A Quarterly of Rare Books & Words by Women The Second Shelf is a rare…

    The Second Shelf: A Quarterly of Rare Books & Words by Women

  • 25.07.2011 A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive it David Fleming’s Lean Logic was published in his memory…

    David Fleming: Lean Logic

  • 09.07.2014 We’re proud to have printed Carl Randall’s breathtaking ‘Japan Portraits’, an exquisite collection of carefully observed and sometimes disturbingly…

    Carl Randall: Japan Portraits

  • 31.01.2018 This zine-style booklet, designed by Adrian Phillpot, is a perfect example of designing for Risograph. With knockouts and overlayed…

    Open Data Institute: 🐱 LMAO

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