GoFundMe & Writers


Aside from GoFundMe being a successful way to raise money for a wedding, honeymoon, or sick family member.  Several writers have had success with GoFundMe drives to help them publish their books.

Editing can run anywhere from $300 to $3000.  A good proofer is somewhere between $200 and $1,500, depending on their per page rates.  A good cover artist, like Covered Creatively, charges $170 or so for a wrap around cover.  Formatting is yet another expense.

Most of us have to have full time jobs in order to pay our bills and publish books.

KickStarter is designed for these things, but if you don’t meet whatever goal you put on your fundraising, you get nothing.

This has made a lot of indies turn to GoFundMe.  That way, if they raise at least a few hundred dollars, that’s better than they were before and they get the money regardless of whether they reach their goal amount or not.  Also, GoFundMe allows you to offer rewards, just like KickStarter.

Since I’m broke this month, I’ll give you an example of what I mean:

  • I have paid for the cover.  So I don’t need money for that.
  • I need to pay a formatter.  Mine is cheap and I only need her for Smashwords, meaning I would need $15 for the formatter.
  • I need to pay K.Smith Proofs.  She charges a $1 per page and a page is 250 words.  Triggered Reality looks like it is going to be around 300 pages, so $300.
  • But I will need to order proofs of the paperbacks and hardbacks so we can figure in another $50 for proofs.
  • After the proofs, I need to order around 10 copies for promotional purposes.  That’s another $80.
  • Sometimes, unexpected expenses also crop up, like one time I had to pay the formatter twice, because I broke it.  Another time, I had the cover and then realized a different cover would work better, so I bought a different cover.  I always set $300 aside in case I need a little extra for cover changes, the book gets a little longer right before I send it to the proofer or editor making my page count longer meaning I need more money for it.  Or I break the file that the formatter sent me because I do something stupid.
  • Total needed to publish Triggered Reality: $750.

If it was a Dreams novel and not a set of 3 stories about serial killers and how they were captured, it would cost closer to $1,200 because I would be paying an editor and a proofer.

Now work that into your monthly budget?  Are you able to set aside the entire amount in a single month?  For most, the answer is no.  Which is why more and more writers have turned to GoFundMe to get their first handful of novels published.

When I have extra money, I try to donate to at least one of these campaigns a month.  I’m four and a half years in it and I still have months like this one (where I start to wonder about getting a part time job).  Because it isn’t cheap to publish a book, even if the platforms are free.

Just something to remember when you look at the price of indie ebooks.  $3.99 might sound unreasonable to you, but I know I have to sell 480 of them to break even and that’s not counting any advertising.

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