With more funding, BookHippo.uk could get indie authors hundreds of sales every time you run a promotion, without snatching a share of your hard-earned royalties.
The system is ready to send emails to hundreds of thousands of recipients everyday, as well as reaching the same number again on Facebook.
The website is ready, but the bank balance isn't.
One of the major online book promoters collects thousands of pounds every week, which they use to expand. On the one hand, I'm delighted that there's a service that can get sales for authors on such a large scale. On the other hand, I'm frustrated because they take such an enormous share of authors' royalties.
Some of the bigger sites use cloaking techniques so that they can illegally obtain commissions from Amazon. It's against Amazon's T&Cs to use an affiliate link in an email, but some well-known sites do it every day, by using redirects.
If I was happy to extort authors and cheat Amazon, then BookHippo.uk would be able to expand exponentially. But I'm not.
Commissions and donations allow us to attract 5-10 new followers a day. This is not enough to become a major player. I'd love for this non-profit organisation that could get authors thousands of sales, without the frightening price tag.
So what I'm after is ideas for fundraisers. Any inspiration, folks?
As we authors have already got our fingers glued to the keyboards, could we each contribute a very short story (500-1,000 words) to an anthology to raise money?
Not very original, I know. Sorry.
I'll carry on thinking.
I'd be happy to contribute a story.
Is it a steady income or large sum you're looking for? You probably can't say, but roughly how much do you need?
- Charge for a highlighted slot
- Paid advertising in the emails
- A modest charge for book promotions
- An author whip round
Also - are you trying to build a business? Or just wanting to expand your reach?
Thanks for the suggestions.
An anthology is a good idea, but I don't think it would bring in a big enough income to make the kind of impact necessary for this to really take off. I'll keep that idea on a back burner for now, but definitely not take it off the stove. Thank you for offers of stories.
I previously proclaimed that BookHippo.uk will never charge for book promotions. So that's a definite no. Indie Book Bargains was based on the principle of being free for indies to promote their books and I want to keep it that way.
Michael's second idea, paid advertising in emails is something I've been considering. Sponsors could buy adverts to go at the bottom of the newsletter, which is something distinctly different from offers, and would be labelled as such. That would keep the offers merit-based.
An author whip round would be much appreciated - indeed voluntary donations have been integral to the site's growth so far. I can't help wondering if it would be most effective to run a proper, wide-scale crowd sourcing project, with something like Indiegogo or Kickstarter.
In terms of building a business or expanding our reach, I'm really just looking to do the latter. It would be great if I could eventually take a modest hourly rate for the work I do, but I plan to keep it non-profit.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
I don't think you'd have too many problems getting an author whip round going. (I've just whipped) We all appreciate what you've done for us and the UK is crying out for you to expand!
Come on everyone - let's feed The Hippo and help keep him free. Please donate!
I've made a small donation - and how I wish it could be more - and would suggest you make the Donate button here bigger and move it to the top of the page.
Other than that I've little to offer, I'm afraid. My brain is in serious need of a re-bore and a de-coke this week! I'll gladly sponsor an ad, or pay to advertise my books - a small banner showing my covers, say - at the bottom of the mailing.
Good luck in your efforts, Rosen, and if I come up with something brilliant, I'll be in touch.
All donations are appreciated. Thank you very much.
Good idea about the donate button. I'll make it more prominent.
I've had half an idea about crowd funding. As I understand it, most decent crowd funding projects include lots of media about the project - interviews, testimonial etc. We could do one where we're all in character. The idea's not quite cemented in my head yet, but those are the lines I'm thinking along.
Okay. I've pimped up the donate page and coded a 'Donate' banner to appear at the top of the page.
The banner should show if:
- you don't have the newsletter sign up banner
The banner should not show if:
- you're on the donate page
- you're on the thanks page
- you've already cleared it (by pressing the 'x')
Also, once people have made a donation, the banner should automatically hide for 30 days. (Applies to donations made from now onwards.)
Let me know if you find any problems.
I've contributed to the cause.
With thanks for your hard work, Rosen, I've just fed the hippo too. He said he'd not been fed for days.
I love the expression 'feeding the hippo'.
Thank you for your donation.
I hope your hippo has not been on an enforced diet.
Time to bump this thread, so newcomers can see it.
I'm not sure if it's safe to bump a hippo, but here goes!