There are a lot of lists out there that give examples of regular people who made it big after using Kickstarter to publish their book. These success stories are, of course, amazing, but there has also been a subtle movement of the exact opposite happening – bestselling authors who choose Kickstarter over traditional publishing. Each author has his/her own reasons for doing so, but one common theme is that they have realized that the ways of publishing and promoting a book have changed and want more control and input. Here are 5 of those authors:
Bestselling writer Alan Jacobson turned to Kickstarter at the urging of his publisher, Norwood Press. With the popular Karen Vail series under his belt, Jacobson responded to the rising cost of publication and wide variety of marketing platforms by choosing something new and different. In an article about his decision, Jacobson pointed to these changes as the driving forces behind his decision to give crowdfunding a try.
Jane Green has 16 bestselling novels to her credit, but her newest project is a bit different – it’s for a cookbook. In all likelihood, Green probably could have traditionally published her new venture, even if it is a complete 180 from her previous works. But according to Green, she opted for Kickstarter because “Crowdfunding allows me to express myself in a whole new and wonderful way. It allows me to include people in the creative process and share the adventure as never before. Publishing this with Kickstarter means my fingerprints are on every inch of this book…”
If you’re not in sales or marketing then you’ve probably never heard of Seth Godin. Regardless, the incredibly successful entrepreneur decided to give crowdfunding a whirl as an experiment and the results were stunning, Within 3.5 hours, he met his goal of $40,000 and was able to release his book, The Icarus Deception. You can learn more about his reasoning behind the experiment here.
Jeff Gitomer is another author known for his books about sales, perhaps most notably The Sales Bible. In 2014, he launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new book and speaking tour. The kicker? His backers got to vote on a few of his city stops, fostering competition amongst his backers and incentivizing even more funding (this is not a surprising turn of events, given his background).
The bestselling author of Lean Startup took Kickstarter to a whole new level by both crowdfunding for it and only selling his book only to backers on Kickstarter. That’s right – the book cannot be purchased in stores and is only available to those who contributed to his campaign. A wild success, the campaign raised more than half of its goal in the first day and has brought in more than 4x its original goal (as of this post’s publication).