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Fundraising for

Rosen Trevithick on 30.07.2015 15:18
Rosen Trevithick

With more funding, 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 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?

Last edited: 30.07.2015 15:25

Anna Faversham on 30.07.2015 19:37
Anna Faversham

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.

Michael Brookes on 30.07.2015 20:04
Michael Brookes

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?

Some suggestions:

- Charge for a highlighted slot

- Paid advertising in the emails

- A modest charge for book promotions

- An author whip round

Michael Brookes on 30.07.2015 20:19
Michael Brookes

Also - are you trying to build a business? Or just wanting to expand your reach?

Rosen Trevithick on 30.07.2015 23:36
Rosen Trevithick

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 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.

Dave Haynes on 31.07.2015 05:52
Dave Haynes

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!

Last edited: 31.07.2015 05:53

Lyndawrites on 31.07.2015 09:24

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.

Rosen Trevithick on 31.07.2015 12:00
Rosen Trevithick

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.

Last edited: 31.07.2015 12:01

Rosen Trevithick on 31.07.2015 13:24
Rosen Trevithick

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.

Last edited: 31.07.2015 13:25

Michael Brookes on 02.08.2015 20:53
Michael Brookes

I've contributed to the cause.

Rosen Trevithick on 03.08.2015 09:36
Rosen Trevithick

Thank you.

Anna Faversham on 05.08.2015 17:55
Anna Faversham

With thanks for your hard work, Rosen, I've just fed the hippo too. He said he'd not been fed for days.

Last edited: 05.08.2015 17:57

Rosen Trevithick on 06.08.2015 00:08
Rosen Trevithick

I love the expression 'feeding the hippo'.

Thank you for your donation.

Anna Faversham on 14.10.2015 09:54
Anna Faversham

I hope your hippo has not been on an enforced diet.

Anna Faversham on 03.09.2016 18:55
Anna Faversham

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!

C. L. Abrams on 26.07.2017 09:02
C. L. Abrams

I'm new to this site, but think what you do is awesome. So, and it feels very odd to say this phrase, but I've just willingly fed the hippo 😂

Rosen Trevithick on 26.07.2017 11:33
Rosen Trevithick

Thank you very much.

thoward34 on 20.08.2017 04:24

Rosen, I'm new to your awesome site and had some ideas for fundraising because I LOVE what you are doing and how you do it.

1. You could run a contest on the site (best cover, best book, etc) and charge perhaps a nominal entrance fee such as 1$. Many authors would join I believe.

2. Have paid advertising, not from authors as you said you wanted to keep the site free, but from sponsors, in your emails and on your site.

3. Do a most popular author report every month or year. I saw one from last year. These authors listed in the report might donate more because you helped them create a following. There would be no way for them to know that unless you told them with your report because only you will have access to the click-through and open rates for each book.

4. My personal favorite: Cross promotion! If lets say 10-20 authors came together and offered you our work for a promotional bundle. For this example, lets say 10 authors gave you 10 ebooks, offered in every email blast for $2 for the entire bundle. $2 is an unbelievable value for 10 books. Even if you only sold 5 bundles per day, that's 10$ a day, every day, that cost the hippo nothing, and the authors get more exposure. I have a short ebook (it's about how to protect yourself from identity theft) I'd be willing to start you off with, free of charge, because I love what you do and am very appreciative. I think I could even get you more authors, but once the idea catches on, you may not need my assistance.


Last edited: 20.08.2017 04:27

Rosen Trevithick on 20.08.2017 12:42
Rosen Trevithick

Tony, thank you for taking so long to think up and write fundraising suggestions.

1. I used to run Self-Publishing and Small Press Awards (SpaSpa) but it turned out to be way too time consuming. Although, now you've made me think, I could do odd short competitions, with one category for example, then run another a month or so later. SpaSpa had about 20 categories. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable charging authors to take part. Is it still the case that payments of less than a pound incur really high percentage transaction fees?

2. Great idea.

3. I have been quite lax with my reports. Thank you for the nudge.

4. How do you envisage the bundle working? Does Amazon have an option for this, or would it involve having to store the books on the server?

thoward34 on 20.08.2017 23:20

Hi Rosen,

1. I'm not sure as I'm based in the United States. Using services like Paypal, they use a flat percentage I believe (at least they did on my last translation).

2. Thank you very much

3. No problem at all:) :) I believe it will help.

4. For this bundle, it would be ebook only. Folks would purchase the bundle directly through you via a service like paypal (or whatever service has a good reputation). You would just include a button with each email, and on your site, just like you made the donate button. That way, you would get the funds immediately. The bundle would be pdf ebooks only, so you would not have to worry about shipping. The buyer would send his/her email in the comment section of the paypal (or other) service, and you would simply email the bundle in one *.zip file. Any computer can read the zip file and open/extract it without additional software or skillset. We'd use PDF for the bundle, as with EPub or mobi formats, folks may need to download software, which many may consider inconvenient, or they not know how to do it.

Thanks for reading my ideas!

Amazon Link: The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox

Last edited: 20.08.2017 23:21

Anna Faversham on 11.09.2017 13:15
Anna Faversham

So good to see someone coming up with useful ideas.

I'm not sure about the book bundle because all my books are with Amazon exclusively. Others may be able to take part.

If #2 can be arranged without too much work, that would be very good. I wouldn't mind having advertising (one or two per email?) if it would help.

Rosen Trevithick on 12.09.2017 12:28
Rosen Trevithick

Just a quick note to say I've had to prune a couple of these posts to take out the massive book ads. I really appreciate all the helpful suggestions, which is why books by authors who post are displayed in the right hand sidebar.

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