Image shows two hands holding change and a note that reads "Make change" to illustrate that authors use Kickstarter - but should they?

There’s always a cost to book publishing. If you want to self-publish or partner with Argyle Fox Publishing, there is a financial cost. In the old days, that meant saving your pennies until you had enough extra cash. With the advent of online fundraising, some authors use Kickstarter or their competitors to fund their projects.

Should you? No.

Why Authors Shouldn’t Use Kickstarter

Famous authors use Kickstarter, including Brandon Sanderson. Doesn’t that prove that it’s a legit way to bring your book to life? Not necessarily.

Here are three reasons to avoid Kickstarter, Kindful, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and all the other online fundraisers.

  1. When authors use Kickstarter, they rely on someone else’s generosity to fund their dreams. In one sense, there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, if someone wants to give you money for a dream, that’s their prerogative. But publishing your book is your dream.
  2. It may stall the process. Most people want to know what their hard-earned money is buying. Because of that, it’s an uphill battle to sell others on a book you hope to publish one day. So, what happens if your online fundraiser gets no response? Will you continue pushing forward or will your dream of publishing die? Your book is a business. You don’t want to shut it down before opening day.
  3. You’re no longer independent. One of the main reasons to sidestep traditional publishing is control. As soon as someone else pays for you to publish, you lose some creative control. You want to please your paying audience. Even if you keep full control, you live in the fear that your supporters won’t be excited about the end product and won’t back your next venture.

What to Do Instead

Without online fundraising, what should you do if you can’t afford to publish and you aren’t willing to lose control over the creative process? Keep writing. Hone your craft. Master the art of storytelling. And save your cash where you can.

Also, leave the house and meet other creatives. Become friends with illustrators, book designers, and other people in the book world. Sell them on your story. They may give you a deep discount for their services or help you learn how to do it on your own. Become close enough friends, and they may even illustrate or design your book for free! (Of course, true friends wouldn’t allow their friends to give their professional services for free, but perhaps you can work out a trade.)

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Don’t stop writing. And if you must, remember that Argyle Fox’s recommendation that authors not use Kickstarter is just an opinion. Do what’s best for you and your book, even if that includes online fundraising.

If you’re ready to publish your book, Argyle Fox is here to serve. Submit your manuscript to get started.