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.