Setting Realistic Goals in Book Crowdfunding

Learn key strategies to set achievable crowdfunding targets for your book. Maximize your campaign's success!

Crowdfunding has become a popular way for self-published authors to raise funds, pre-sell copies of their books, and build an audience before a book's release. However, the difference between a successful crowdfunding campaign and one that falls short of its goals often comes down to the planning phase—specifically, the ability to set realistic and achievable targets. In this blog post, we'll explore key strategies that will help you set the right goals for your book crowdfunding campaign, ensuring you maximize your chances of success and truly connect with your audience.

Understanding the Crowdfunding Landscape

Before diving into setting goals, it's crucial to understand the crowdfunding landscape. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become hotbeds for creative projects, including books. These platforms operate on an all-or-nothing basis, meaning if you don't reach your goal, you won't receive any funds. This makes setting a realistic goal not just a matter of strategy, but of necessity.

Research Past Campaigns

Start by researching campaigns similar to yours in genre and scope. Look at both successful and unsuccessful campaigns to understand what targets they set and how they fared. Pay attention to their funding goals, rewards offered, campaign length, and marketing efforts.

Know Your Costs

A clear understanding of your costs is essential. Factor in everything from production costs, editing, cover design (which you can learn more about in our guide on creating a budget-friendly book cover), to shipping, platform fees, and taxes. Underestimating your costs can be as detrimental as setting an overly ambitious funding goal.

Setting Realistic Goals in Book Crowdfunding

Setting Your Funding Goal

Calculate the Minimum Viable Goal

Your minimum viable goal should cover the absolute essentials to bring your book to life. This includes production and distribution costs, and the bare minimum marketing expenses. It's better to surpass a modest goal than to fail at reaching a lofty one.

Consider the Psychological Aspect

Setting a goal that's too high can deter potential backers. People like backing winners, and a campaign that's struggling to reach its goal can seem risky. Conversely, a campaign that's close to or has surpassed its goal appears successful and can attract more backers.

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Reward Tiers and Backer Engagement

Offering Value at Every Level

Your reward tiers should offer backers real value and encourage them to pledge more than the minimum amount. Consider offering tier-exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes updates, special editions, or bundled rewards.

Engage with Your Backers

Backer engagement is key to maintaining momentum throughout your campaign. Regular updates, interactive content, and prompt responses to questions or comments can keep backers invested in your project's success.

Marketing Your Campaign

Pre-Launch Strategy

A strong pre-launch strategy can create buzz and ensure a successful start. Build an email list, leverage social media, and engage with communities related to your book's topic or genre. Consider writing articles or blog posts that can link back to your campaign, such as discussing defining your book's target audience.

Consistent Promotion

Once your campaign is live, consistent promotion is crucial. Schedule regular updates, reach out to media outlets, bloggers, and influencers in your niche. Don't forget to remind your personal network to support and share your campaign.

Setting Realistic Goals in Book Crowdfunding

Stretch Goals and Overfunding

Plan for Success

If your campaign does well, be prepared with stretch goals to keep the momentum going. These should be well-thought-out enhancements to your project that add value for your backers without overextending your budget or timeline.

Managing Overfunding

Overfunding can be a blessing, but it can also create challenges, such as increased production demands and higher expectations. Plan for how you'll handle any extra funds and communicate this clearly to your backers.

Risks and Challenges

Be Transparent

Crowdfunding comes with inherent risks, and being transparent about these with your backers can build trust. Outline potential challenges and your plans to address them should they arise.

Prepare for Contingencies

Have contingency plans in place for common issues like production delays or shipping complications. This preparation can save you from scrambling to find solutions under pressure.

Post-Campaign Follow-Through

Delivering on Promises

The work isn't over once your campaign ends. Now you must deliver on your promises. Keep communication open with your backers, provide regular updates on progress, and be honest about any delays or changes.

Gathering Feedback and Learning

Use the post-campaign period to gather feedback from your backers. What did they like about the campaign? What could be improved? This feedback is invaluable for future projects.


Setting realistic goals for your book crowdfunding campaign is about more than just picking a number. It requires research, understanding your costs, engaging with your backers, and marketing your project effectively. By following these strategies, you can set yourself up for a successful campaign that not only funds your book but also builds a community around your work. Remember, a well-planned crowdfunding campaign is a powerful tool in a self-published author's arsenal, and setting realistic goals is the cornerstone of that plan.

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