Supporting Your Publishing Costs with Book Sponsorship
Posted On: 2015-06-03
by: Amy Harrop

03, 2015
In general, writing a book is very inexpensive. You donít even need your own computer. You can just head to the nearest library and write your masterpiece in your spare time. You can usually write a book for close to nothing. So, why would you want sponsorship?

It can help with marketing and distributing, but the major benefit is that you can dedicate your time to writing. The cost of writing isnít direct. Instead of laying out dollars, youíre laying out hours, and most of us need to work. Sponsorship gives you the time to write without stress, and it also has some hidden benefits.

The Easy Approach

Please note: gaining sponsorship isnít easy, so this might be better named the ďeasier approach.Ē You donít need much of a presence or reputation to make money with this approach, though being connected to your niche can be very useful. This type of sponsorship relies solely on crowd-funding websites like KickStarter and PubSlush.

Crowd-funding means that you put a project up, ask for money for specific reasons (such as distribution or time) and offer benefits to sponsors (like t-shirts, limited run merchandise or the first copies). While people can leave hundreds or thousands of dollars, most sponsors will leave around $1-$10. The power of this approach is that hundreds of people can sponsor your project.

Gaining funding can be hard, so you need to make a great presentation to get people excited. While literary books can be successful on KickStarter, graphic novels and similar books tend to work better. PubSlush is better for text-based books. The website will take some of the money if your project is funded, but youíll get the lionís share. Just be sure to make good on your promise and deliver the benefits after your project is complete.

The Hard Approach

This approach is harder because youíre asking for funding from a single, large entity, such as a business or organization. For example, letís say that you write a book on the analytical aspects of growth hacking. You can ask for sponsorship from businesses that typically rely on this approach. In general, youíll be looking for businesses that can use your book to further their own agenda.

Why is this harder? There are two reasons. The first is that businesses donít like giving out money without seeing some ROI (or, return on investment). If you canít guarantee without a shadow of a doubt that your book will be beneficial to them, then you probably wonít get sponsorship. The other reason is that businesses often ask for more from writers. The above approach forces you to give incentives to sponsors, but they are typically small and easy to fulfill.

A business might ask for your time in marketing or implementing the book, or they might ask for a large share of the proceeds once the book is complete. Or, they might even request full rights to the book once youíre finished. Not only that, but you either have to be very well known in your subject or have an amazing idea for this to work because businesses donít want to use their money unless they can be sure that youíll deliver the quality that they need.

At the same time, this can be better because youíll have brand power behind your book (which will help you reach a massive number of people) and much more resources in terms of money and personnel. You might be able to request help with research or idea development to make your book as good as possible.


Sponsorship is like a book advance. You get some extra money so that you have more time to dedicate to your writing, and this can help with distribution and any other associated costs. However, sponsorship can be difficult to obtain. If you already have a presence, then approach a business to see if they would like to sponsor your book, but crowd-funding can also be a powerful resource if your product speaks to your niche. While difficult, this can be a great way to give you that much needed money that you require to finish your project.

Amy Harrop regularly publishes articles on her blog and she produces guides to help writers improve their writing and the reach of their books. You can pick up one of her more recent guides, which exposes the secrets to creating best selling books on Amazon that require little to no written content.