Business, Publishing, Writing Business

Getting Sponsorship for Your Self-Published Book

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This article was written in 2012, if you want the updated version please go to:  Old School vs New School Crowdfunding: Which One Should Authors Consider and  Affiliate Marketing for Indie Authors to get more info on how to get money for publishing.

Getting a Sponsor Your Book Part 1

When thinking of sponsorships we immediately think of charities, athletes, or musicians, but authors can also use sponsors to launch their books.  Several months ago, I talked about how you could get others to pay for your self-publishing expenses through crowd funding and today, I would like to expound a little further.  Launching a book is expensive and most publishing companies won’t lift a finger to help with the expenses.  That’s where a sponsor can save the day or your career!

What You Need

Start with a business plan that is realistic for the launching of your book.  What are your goals both short and long term?  If you’re self-published, how much money did you spend on editing, marketing, printing etc?  How much will you need to sell in order to break even?  Now, how much can you sell realistically?

You can’t skip this step, because your sponsor will want to know what you’ll do to make this a success.  Nobody will put money in a sinking ship!  Besides, if you don’t know the details about your own business, why would they trust you with theirs?

What Can a Sponsor Do for You?

Many authors have used sponsors to get into book festivals, fundraisers, and even start book tours they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.  In cases like this, an author puts information about a company’s product, or service on their signing tables, or by even putting company logos on their book.  In exchange, the author gets free travel and accommodations which isn’t a bad deal.  So, if you always wanted a booth at that giant book fair in New York, this might be your ticket there.

What Can You Really Offer?

Most companies want visibility, they want media coverage, and buzz from this arrangement.  You’ll have to provide eyes and ears for their product or marketing campaign.  Can you realistically do this?

In most cases, a sponsor is using you to do a grass roots campaign in a town or community.  Usually, somewhere they haven’t reached.  They don’t expect you to sell zillions of their products, but they do want a serious effort.  That possibly means blogging about them, or doing interviews where you just happen to mention them.  If you can’t provide that, then sponsorship isn’t for you!

The Artistic Hustle

The trick with a sponsorship, is remembering to promote your book while, promoting a product that you may, or may not be passionate about.  Celebrities do it all the time, just ask Snookie, or Lady Gaga.

Even with all her success, Lady Gaga’s record company is not going to pitch in a dime for her concert tours which is how she makes her money.  Why?  Because the record company won’t get a big enough cut to validate the risk.  People get sick, bad weather happens, controversy arises and they can easily get left in the cold.  The record AND publishing industry make their money selling books and music, not by promoting their artists!

This isn’t unusual, in the 17th and 18th centuries, painters often were sponsored by wealthy families and in return, they would paint their portraits for free.  Sound familiar?  Your struggles aren’t unusual, and are actually quite normal.  That starving artist image had to come from somewhere right?

In part 2, I’ll explain how to approach a sponsor.

16 thoughts on “Getting Sponsorship for Your Self-Published Book”

  1. Interesting. I’ve dealt with a lot of sports sponsorships in my time, but getting a book sponsor hasn’t occurred to me.

    With writing being such an art, do you not see many writers shying away from this method?

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    1. Honestly, no. There is commercial writing and literary writing. Literary writers write for arts sake. While commercial (genre) authors write to make money which is hard, because most publishing companies offer little, or no support for their writers in the form of marketing and visibility. They invest only in authors who sell BIG while the others, are left on their own. If you’re not Stephen King or J.K. Rowling then this is a problem. That means advertising and book tours are out of the question for most authors unless, they want to pay the costs themselves. I say, instead of using your own money, why not get a company to foot the bill? If you’re willing to promote a book, why not another product?

      1. Fair comment. I’m always open to sponsorship, because i know what the benefits such things can bring. I do think i’d be very careful of the company and the product though. With it being my own book i’d want to have passion for the product. Whereas if i was a sportsmen and asked to endorse a clothing company i didnt particularly like, well, that wouldn’t be much of an issue

        I look forward to post number two though 🙂

        Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

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  5. Oct 7, 2013 Monday Morning West Coast time 4:335 AM

    I was ripped off by Publish/America having received only one Royalty check in the amount of $1.40 this one check was to prevent me from suing them for breach of contract. Here seven years later I notified them that I would not be extending my contract with them. My novel is now ready and waiting to go into production. I too am in need of a sponsor to help me with the cost of initial publishing. I have the travel and promotion expenses covered but without a product in hand to display and sell that leaves me out of business. This is the first of three finished manuscripts that I can have published this year. A sponsor would allow me the opportunity to get published now rather than waiting to finance this project myself during the first quarter of next year. (E-bay MRL1950)

  6. October 19, 2013 West Coast Time 7:13am

    I am a writer. I have three manuscripts finished that I would like to now self publish. My first Novel Sheryl, Lost In Ecstasy – By MRL was Published by Publish/America. The corrections they said they would do was not made. I received one Royalty Check in the amount of $1.40 over a seven year period. I am now ready to take my revised novel to a second printing. I am looking for a sponsor who can assist me with initial printing cost and the launch of my Romance Novel. Thank You.

    NOVELS READY TO LAUNCH: Sheryl, Lost In Ecstasy – Once In a Life Time – Johnny (dirty dancing story).

    MRL Enterprises, Inc.
    561 Keystone Ave. 685
    Reno, Nevada 89503-4304

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