Crowdfunding continues to grow in popularity, and while it may be a great new way to fund your latest project, it’s easy to get wrong. In this article, I’ll go over how to give yourself the best chance of receiving funding—and the easiest way to learn how to do this is to look at those who came before you.
Here are ten fantastic books you need to read before embarking on your crowdfunding project. If eBooks aren’t your thing, most of these titles are available in hard-copy as well.
1. The Crowdfunding Bible: How to Raise Money for Any Project by Scott Steinberg (Amazon rating – 3.9/5.0)
This holds the title of being one of the first authoritative texts on crowdfunding. It’s only 90 pages on Kindle, which makes it easy to flick through during lunch. It contains everything you could ever want on crowdfunding, which is why it’s gained success with both the U.S. and the foreign markets.
Ideal for beginners, it contains multiple worked examples on PR, social media, and pitches.
2. Crowdfunding: The Next Big Thing by Gary Spirer (Amazon rating – 4.2/5.0)
This is a crowdfunding option for people who want to advance from the novice level to the intermediate level. You’ll also be able to relate to this book beyond just examples of successful crowdfunding, as it also draws plenty of comparisons with successful ventures in an offline capacity.
I also liked this book because it shows successful crowdfunders in a range of trades, including part-time scientists, part-time designers, and part-time artists.
3. The Crowdfunding Revolution: How to Raise Venture Capital Using Social Media by Kevin Lawton (Amazon rating – 4.8/5.0)
This book is another excellent read on crowdfunding because it takes on things from a scientific perspective. Every claim is well supported, with real data and real life examples. It also delves deep into the historical roots of crowdfunding, in order to give you some perspective on things as they are today.
4. Crowdfunding: A Guide to Raising Capital on the Internet by Steven Dresner (Amazon rating – 4.9/5.0)
Steve Dresnar is the founder of Dealflow Media—this makes him a pro when it comes to raising money for private customers. This book was even crowdsourced from a range of the greatest thinkers on the crowdfunding scene today. It goes into detail on the different aspects of crowdfunding, and also explores the various legal and regulatory aspects.
5. Crowdfunding for Social Good, Financing Your Mark on the World by Devin Thorpe (Amazon rating – 4.8/5.0)
If you need some inspirational stories to get you going, this is a good read to add to your list. The focus is on nonprofits and social entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take these lessons and apply them elsewhere. Remember to look between the lines of these stories—that’s how you’ll get the most value from this book.
6. Crowdfunding: The Complete Guide to Using Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Other Crowdfunding Sources by Janet Ruth (Amazon rating – 4.5/5.0)
This book by Janet Ruth hones in on the specific crowdfunding platforms you can use. It’s easy to look at a website and not have a clue what to do; the platforms are different, and you’ll have to input information on each one.
Janet introduces us to each platform in-depth, and demonstrates which platforms are best for each subject. Remember, different people go to different crowdfunding sites.
7. The Crowdfunding Book: A How to Guide for Entrepreneurs, Writers & Investors by Patty Lennon (Amazon rating – 5.0/5.0)
Once you’ve set up your campaign, you’ll want to find out how you’re going to put yourself above the competition—and you’ll learn a number of lessons in doing so from this book. Author Patty Lennon details how she managed to get her campaign featured on Indiegogo, and she’ll show you how to become a magnet for investors too.
This book also focuses on generating social media buzz. Lennon believes that social media is the key to any successful campaign, and she’s right. New investors will learn how to start a social media campaign and how to drum up support when organic reach is beginning to diminish.
8. Crowdfunding: How to Get Crowdfunding Fast and Easy…even if you were Rejected by the Bank by Lise Gottlieb (Amazon rating – 4.8/5.0)
As you can guess from the title, this book concentrates on what businesses can do if they’re unable to receive funding from the bank.
This book focuses on a few different aspects, such as how to raise funding quickly and easily, and how to use crowdfunding in general. Once you have the basics out of the way, it takes you a little deeper; you’ll learn what types of projects tend to get funding, along with some tips and strategies to boost your chances of success.
There’s even a section on marketing, where you can learn how to utilize social media, and what you need to do prior to the formal launch of your campaign.
9. The Kickstarter Handbook: Real Life Success Stories of Artists, Inventors, and Entrepreneurs by Don Steinberg (Amazon rating – 4.5/5.0)
While this book focuses on Kickstarter, plenty of the lessons learned can apply to all crowdfunding platforms.
This book takes an unexpected format: Journalist Don Steinberg has interviewed thousands of successful Kickstarter project owners, and rather than writing in his own voice, you’ll learn through their stories.
With this in mind, the stories aren’t complex; they contain real, actionable pieces of advice that you’ll be able to learn from and implement.
10. Crowdfunding Checklist: How to Raise Money for a Best-Selling Kickstarter in 90 Days by Jonathan Leow (Amazon rating – 4.6/5.0)
Setting up a crowdfunding campaign isn’t difficult; the difficulty comes when you’re trying to determine the direction.
The Crowdfunding Checklist book will show you how to direct your campaign from the very beginning. When you finally launch, you’ll know precisely what you’re doing—and that’s going to have an impact on whether or not you’ll be successful.
Take note that while most campaigns won’t last this long, this book teaches you the importance of advanced planning. Most people miss this part, so you’ll have an edge over 90 percent of campaigns just by following the advice in this book.
A head start on crowdfunding
Reading this list of books should give you nearly everything you need to know about crowdfunding. I believe that you’ll have a massive advantage over your competitors by following these tips and tricks.
Just remember: With crowdfunding, it’s often a case of timing, presentation, and even a bit of luck. If your campaign fails, there’s no reason why you can’t go back to the drawing board and get started all over again.
There are no limitations on how often you can attempt to get your project funded. If you really believe in it, the sky’s the limit.
Have you read any great books on crowdfunding to add to this list?