Think about sponsorship before you finish your book. Lots of companies are willing and able to sponsor authors, though many of them never get asked. Before you invite someone to sponsor you, get clear on what you can offer them in return, and include that in your request. When narrowing down potential sponsors, make sure you can demonstrate how your target audience matches theirs.
Sponsorship is about gathering support to lead to greater sales than you could achieve on your own, and it can be a great way for authors to get their book or information product out to the public. By accepting to sponsorship, you the author become a marketing tool for the sponsoring organization. Look at all the ways you can advance their efforts and not just your own. Know their problem, and then solve it.
If you are not sure who to approach, here are a few starters:
- Make a list of the things about the writing business you don’t know (accounting, website design, computer backups, cover design, etc.).
- Make a list of businesses you are currently doing business with (all of them).
- Make a list of your dream sponsors.
- Research brands and businesses that already sponsor others. Approach them, or their competitors.
You won’t know if someone will sponsor you unless you ask them first, and the worst thing they can do is say no. Remember, they are more likely to say yes if you have a great value proposition for them. Make sure your presentation is clear on how you help resolve their pain, and be realistic about it. A new author promising to bring more foot traffic into a store just because they have a good book isn’t realistic. But, an author who can also sing or play guitar could commit to hosting interactive events at the local library. A military writer could host Q & As at the local military museum or legion. Writers of pet stories can host launches and events alongside with training experts at pet stores. There are lots of options.
Look at the success stories – and sob stories – of crowdsourcing. There are really creative ways of acknowledging sponsors, and you’ll probably get some great ideas. You might consider crowdsourcing for your book, as it has been successfully done, but again, you’ll want to build a marketing plan around it and see what the best approach is for your particular book.
When you’re planning to work with sponsors, you’re approaching your book as a business, and that’s the way to effectively monetize it.
Although I haven’t got anyone sponsoring me at the moment, I have had several businesses do so in the past, and currently I am sponsoring Quilts of Valour – Canada Society through my book, Border Pieces. Are you ready to start asking for sponsorships? Let me know how it goes, and reach out if you are looking for help on how to set them up.