Crowdsource Funding Guide

Jeff Montgomery -

Crowdfunding Fulfillment With OneBookShelf

Getting ready to fund your next title through a crowdfunding source such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo?

We have lots of options to make it easier and more economical for you to deliver your digital and physical rewards to your supporters.

 

Why Fulfill with OneBookShelf?


"Thank you very much!  As someone who has worked in customer service for 20+ years, you've exceeded my expectations and I want to thank you and commend you on not only prompt attention but near-immediate resolution to my issue.  Have a great day and thank you again!"

"Fast and exceptionally good customer service. Thank you very much!"

"The support was quick and responsive, the issue was resolved, would always recommend DriveThruRPG thanks for the service."

 

Everything is all taken care of right on site. 

When you fulfill with us and complete your order, whether it's print or digital, our customer service team is with you every step of the way around the clock. Our team is efficient, quick to respond, and always available for any questions your customers might have. One of the benefits of having great customer service is that people feel comfortable coming to them for help - which is exactly what we want and what customers want. Whether the customer is unsure of when the order was placed and needs to learn more about the location or there is an issue with the coupon you sent to your customer, our Customer Service team is ready to make sure your Kickstarter Rewards are fulfilled to every single backer.

Before Your Project

Before you launch your crowdfunding project, we suggest doing adequate research to make sure that all aspects of your project will be covered and that you avoid any snags along the way.

Things to consider:

  • What formats will your title be offered in? Hardcover vs. softcover, premium cardstock vs standard, etc.
  • What will be the estimated print cost for each copy?
  • Will you be asking backers to cover all costs up front, or some now and some later?
  • How much time will you need to fulfill your backer rewards?

DriveThru research links:

If you have any questions as you work through your pre-launch research, contact us at publisherservice@onebookshelf.com. We’ll be glad to help you out.

Setting Up Your Project

If you’ll be promoting your project and fulfilling your rewards through DriveThru, you’ll want to make sure you have clear wording or imagery on the project page that explains your intent to use DriveThru.

You may use any of the images at the bottom of this guide.

Please allow enough time for fulfillment on each of your reward tiers and your project timeline. We suggest a minimum of six weeks time to prepare for print fulfillment, but you may wish to allow for more, especially if this is your first time using our print programs. It can take a couple iterations of files and proofs to make sure everything is just right.

Even if the print process goes off without a hitch, you’ll still need time for your files to be approved and proof(s) to be ordered, shipped, and reviewed—all of which takes time!

Promoting Your Project

Now that your crowdfunding project is underway, it’s time to get the word out!

While on-site advertising is reserved for those titles actively available for sale in our marketplace, you can contact Publisher Services to have an email sent out to your DriveThru customers to alert them to your crowdfunding project. The requirements for project promotion emails:

  • You may have us send up to two emails via DriveThru’s customer email tool during your campaign (usually one at the beginning and sometimes one at the end).
  • Crowdfunding promotion messages will be sent as soon as possible, but please allow ample time for them to be sent, with at least 24 hours’ (1 working day’s) notice.
  • Only projects being fulfilled through DriveThru may be promoted via customer email.
  • DriveThru reserves the right to deny that any email be sent for any reason.

Want to promote in other ways? You are more than welcome to create a free download as a sample to use in conjunction with your campaign, and may include a link to your crowdfunding project in the product description or purchase notes for that title for the duration of the campaign. Only links to the active crowdfunding project may be included, and only in the free sample download, and must be removed once the campaign is complete.

Fulfilling Your Digital Rewards

Why use DriveThru to deliver your digital files to your backers?

  • It’s FREE!
  • We’re set up to handle thousands of backers.
  • Security. Every backer gets his or her own unique redemption code.
  • Backers appreciate it. Many backers already have accounts and digital libraries at DriveThru, and they appreciate having their new PDF added to their existing digital library.
  • Updates are easy. As your files go from alpha to beta to final, you can easily update the file and push new versions out to your backers.

Using the Complimentary Copy Tool

As soon as you’re ready to get your digital copies to your backers, you can use the Complimentary Copy Tool to send digital copies free of charge to your backers (they don’t need a DriveThru account already).

If you have a large number of backers, our Complimentary Copy Tool features the ability to paste in a list of emails or upload a CSV file your backers into a Group and then send to that Group.

Where to Find It: Click “Send Complimentary Copies” under “PROMOTION” on the publisher hub.

Fulfilling Your Physical Rewards

Physical rewards require some planning and time to make sure that everything looks excellent before being shipped out to backers. As mentioned previously, we suggest a minimum of SIX WEEKS be allowed to prepare your print versions; you must allow time to upload and submit your file and then have it go through a pre-media check (books only), then have a proof copy shipped to you for review (books and cards).

REMEMBER: Even the most experienced publishers occasionally see things in their early proof they would like to correct before having copies sent to backers, which requires the process to be started over again.

Shipping and Payment Options

If you will be printing your books or cards through DriveThru, you may choose to either cover the cost of printing and shipping as a part of your crowdfunding project, or pass a portion of the cost on to the customer. Publishers have been using DriveThru in three different ways so far:

1. Backers Process Their Own Orders: During your crowdfunding, you specify in your project that backers are supporting you for a lower amount because they will need to later pay the base printing and shipping costs of the book or cards at DriveThru. (They effectively buy the books/cards—but at cost—from us, plus pay their own shipping.)

When your book or cards are proofed and ready, you can use the Complimentary Copy Tool to send your backers a discount that allows them to purchase the print format of your title at the cost of printing. Each customer then inputs his or her own address and pays shipping charges during checkout. This means your backers pay the absolute base print cost plus our shipping charges (which are actual charges, not inflated), but you put the onus of having the correct shipping address on your customers and do not have to handle fulfillment beyond sending the Special Discount to your backers.

Note that currently with this approach the customer could increase their quantity ordered in their Cart and buy multiple copies of your book or cards at cost. In practice publishers using this method have not experienced this to be abused.

NOTE: Cards with printed tuckboxes are currently unavailable for this option. Cards with printed tuckboxes can only be ordered for backer fulfillment via Option 3 below.

2. You Process the orders on DriveThru: If you’d rather cover the cost of printing and shipping in your Kickstarter, you may ship out copies to your backers (again, at cost) as if you were purchasing them as proofs for yourself, but just selecting that group of backers.

You can process the orders with a few simple clicks through the Send Complimentary Copy Tool. When you select this tool under PROMOTION on your Publisher Hub, you will be able to design the order and then select one of your groups (you can edit, delete, and add Backer information into a CSV file for upload) and then send them off to your backers. You will be charged for the print cost + shipping of each order into one final cost.

NOTE: Cards with printed tuckboxes are currently unavailable for this option. Cards with printed tuckboxes can only be ordered for backer fulfillment via Option 3 below.

3. You Order in Bulk and Fulfill Yourself (or through a fulfillment service): If you’d rather handle all of the shipping on your own, or if you have other rewards you need to combine in your shipments, then you can easily order multiple copies of your title to be delivered to you, so that you can ship them out to backers on your own.

Considering a bulk order? One advantage to this method is that you have the possibility to qualify for bulk discounts on books and high volume discounts on cards if you have a large enough order. We do suggest weighing the savings of bulk discounts + shipping + re-shipping versus processing each order individually on DriveThru.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to fulfill my crowdfunding project via DriveThru in order to email my customers via my publisher tools and alert them to the project?

A: Yes. You must be fulfilling at least the digital portion of the project through DriveThru if you intend to notify your customers via DriveThru customer email.

Q: Is Kickstarter fulfillment considered a violation of my exclusive contract?

A: No, but we do expect that titles fulfilled to backers through DriveThru by exclusive publishers thereafter are exclusive as normal.

Q: Is there a charge to send out complimentary copies of digital files to my backers?

A: No, there is no charge for this service to you or your backers.

Images

You may use any of the images below on your crowd-funding page as appropriate to how you will fulfill or print your product.

Books are printed in USA and Europe. IMPORTANT NOTE: Cards are currently only printed in USA. So the first image below only applies to book product shipping.

 

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