By Rebecca Lang
(from the September 2014 Writer’s Corner)
What is Pubslush?
Kickstarter for Books!
Basically, Pubslush (http://pubslush.com/) is a way for authors to raise money by creating a “campaign” for a set amount of time (15-45 days) and asking your supporters to donate money in exchange for incentives. The authors (or agents or publishers) can use this money to create or promote their book.
A 2013 article in Forbes says this: “Run by mother-daughter team Hellen and Amanda L Barbara, this American start-up is focused on providing crowdfunding services tailored to the needs of authors, agents, self-publishers and small presses.” (http://www.forbes.com/sites/suwcharmananderson/2013/12/10/pubslush-crowdfunding-just-for-books/)
On the website: “Pubslush is a global marketing platform for literary projects only. We offer flexible funding, we have the lowest fee in the industry, and we provide our campaigners with valuable market analytics. Most importantly, though, we pride ourselves on our emphasis on user education and for being an accessible resource for our campaigners every step of the way with the Pubslush Prep program.” (http://pubslush.com/faq)
All About the Money
You must raise a minimum of $500 in order to keep any of the money. You can raise the minimum if you so choose and you can set a maximum, although you get to keep the money.
If you reach $500 (or your own minimum), Pubslush deducts a 4% fee from any money you make.
“Supporters of a campaign will be charged on the final day of the Fundraising period. In the event that the Minimum Threshold has not been met […], Supporters will simply not be charged.” This is in the Terms of Services.
You entice people to donate by offering “incentives,” small rewards for certain amounts. Although authors, in general, try to offer “free” rewards, you may have to spend some of your own money purchasing rewards. You will also have to factor in the cost of shipping. You have the option of tacking on additional fees for international shipping.
You can also choose to donate some of the proceeds (a minimum of 10%) to a charity called the Pubslush Foundation, which fights illiteracy. If you do so, you’ll receive “a special distinction on our site.”
Pubslush Prep is “a customized program designed to provide our campaigners with hands-on campaign support.” On a basic (read: free) level it offers email templates and an introduction email with campaign relations coordinator. However, it also offers Bronze Prep ($50/), Silver Prep ($75), Gold Prep ($175), Platinum Prep ($250, and Strictly Social Media Package ($100). Bronze level offers thing like an initial email consultation with the campaign relations coordinator plus 30 minutes of phone time, while Platinum Level gets you customized tweets and a feature on the Pubslush blog.
Though the primary function is to raise money, the secondary function is to generate interest in your books. First-timers can build an audience outside their usual friends and family. Authors with an audience can appeal to their fan base by offering samples of new work.
Once you run a (successful?) campaign, it stays on the website, so that people can click on it and have a peek.
They have a pretty good Author Education website. (http://pubslush.com/authored) Check out the articles.