Most would-be authors have never considered book sponsorship. Yet this is a creative and effective way to leverage other people’s money (usually corporations) so that you can write, publish and promote your book. Let’s look more closely at exactly how you can access this money.
It’s a dream so many of us have – to write a book. People come to us all the time with their book ideas. When individuals come to us, they often have one of the following ideas:
- A great novel idea they want developed.
- A biography based on incredible experiences they have lived through.
- A self-help topic they feel can benefit many people.
- A topic they know a lot about and want to share their knowledge.
If any of these sound familiar, read on. Most people bring forward really good ideas. Yes, there are a few truly bad ideas that come up. But they are rare. And we do get some “kooks” – eccentric people whose ideas just don’t make sense at first blush. But you would be surprised how engaging a totally crazy idea can be; most of the “kooks” have ideas with good book potential.
With a few exceptions, most book ideas we see have what it takes to succeed, if only the authors can get their hands on…
A) A good writer or editor
C) Good marketing
D) The money to pay for A, B, and C above
“D” is the key, of course. “A” is easy – we provide top-quality professional book writers and editors. “B” is easy, too – there are plenty of publishing options, including self-publishing and POD (print-on-demand) publishing programs, and we are happy to help our clients decide what publishing option is most effective for them. As for “C”, we can also put our clients on the road to effective marketing.
All this takes money, and we don’t do banking. Some authors have money when they come to us. Many do not. We would love to help them all, but our writers need to eat, too. That is where corporate sponsorship kicks in and works its magic.
Not long ago, I was approached by someone who runs a not-for-profit animal shelter with a real tear-jerker tale of two puppies they had rescued and how one of them survived. But they had no money. So I suggested…
“Have you considered contacting a pet food company to be a sponsor?”
This book was just screaming to be written and to be sponsored. Not every book is this obvious, but most books can be sponsored in numerous ways. After a couple more fairly obvious candidates for sponsorship showed up on my door (one related to health and the other that could show off a nice tourism destination), I realized that I should do something to help all those would-be-authors lacking the financial means to move their ideas forward.
So I took action. I contacted a couple experts in sponsorship, and I was thrilled to find a corporate sponsorship expert who specializes in authors and books – Jane Ubell. Although she generally charges a pretty hefty fee for her expertise, she was willing to share her best tips and discuss practical ways to land sponsors with a small group of our clients for a ridiculously small entry fee. (Yes, you could be one of them, but only if you are one of the first ten to sign up.)
Did you know you can get several sponsors for your book? You could, for instance, get a sponsor to pay for the printing, another to pay for or supply refreshments on a book tour, another to provide transportation, etc. Some independent authors have actually become very adept at getting sponsors to help them sell their books.
All you need to do is find the right angle. And you need to pitch the sponsor. Others are doing it successfully. Just search Google for “sponsored my book” to see what might be possible.
At this point, you might have some questions:
- How do I start searching for a corporate sponsor?
- Who would want to sponsor my book?
- How do I find a sponsor for my book tour?
- What do I say to convince a company to sponsor me?
These are pretty complex questions with different answers for each situation. Which is why they are best addressed case by case rather than in a huge assembly hall.
Of course, the first step is to make a list of all the things your book is about. A self-help or how-to book might be obvious. A fantasy novel, less so (not many companies selling pet supplies for dragons or magic dust for river fairies, right?). But even a fantasy novel can get sponsorship, so you might need some help.
Next, think of your readers and what types of products they like. Are they more into fancy coffees or beer? Hunting and fishing or macrame?
Once you have the list, then comes the strategy…which is where the “pretty complex questions with different answers for each situation” comes in and you might need help answering those questions.
Thankfully, Jane Ubell will be helping navigate questions like these at a private consultation with ten of our clients on October 15. My hope is that ten amazing ideas will become books following this extremely focused session.
If you wish to be part of this intimate, two-hour workshop, you can sign up here.
Interestingly, I am right now in the process of building a niche book project with built-in sponsorship opportunities. In fact, there could well be thousands of sponsors for hundreds of these niche books over the next decade. It is very exciting. I firmly believe that sponsorships will be a major power tool for independent authors of the future.
The key is knowing how to access the sponsors.
Just a postscript word on the workshop…
Because the workshop is a custom, personalized event, there is no telling what will be discussed. But here are some of the points that are expected to be covered…
- How to find companies that are in alignment with your project
- How to turn these companies into a sponsor
- How to create benefits that will entice them to want to be your partner
- How to create a deck that will “speak” their language
- How to close the deal
- How to keep them as a sponsor
- Create pitches and learn how to bring in immediate cash each time!
- How to ask for the money and practice asking! (I am pretty sure there will be a lot of interest in this).
- Clever ways to get free PR.
This workshop is not the only way to find sponsors. You could also hire somebody who moves in corporate circles. Or you can try crowd-funding on Kickstarter or IndieGogo. Or you could just go for trial and error, knocking on doors.
Whatever approach you try, if you don`t have the money to write your book…go and get the money from someone else.*
* The author of this blog in no way wishes this statement to imply that he condones< /br>bank robberies, train robberies, muggings or pickpockets.