Written by A Guest Author November 10th, 2016

4 Ways to Fund Your Self Published Novel

By Elizabeth Wangare 

Publishing should be the next step after writing your book, but is it?  Many manuscripts have found their abode underneath beds and in drawers due to different constraints. Chief of these is lack of funds; whether actual or imaginary. Imaginary because some publishers have basic publishing option for about $78; even with the add-ons, it’s unlikely to go beyond $100.

There is also the POD option that allows one to pay for few copies at a time. Or you could just publish an electronic version at no cost. However if you want to pay an editor, or a cover designer, or a publicist, those services will cost you. If you have determined that you need funds for publishing, you may look into these 4 sources of funds.


In recent years, crowdfunding has been the go-to-choice for many artists and writers. In her blog, C. Hope Clark recommends crowd-funding “whether you need the money or not.” If you choose this route, you have several options to choose from such as Kick-starter, Indiegogo and others.

These platforms allow you to raise money first and pay the commissions after receipt of funds. Many people who have used this route get more than the target amounts. Putting out a call for support in effect draws people to know what you are working on. You can simplify this by offering free copies of your book to your supporters.


  • Helps you to market your writing.
  • The cost of crowd-funding is low.


  • You have to aggressively market your project to raise the funds.
  • Constant engagement of supporters may take time off your writing


Depending on your niche, you could find organizations that give grants to writers. Websites that lists such opportunities include “Funds for Writers” and Artshub.  You should start searching early in your writing as some grants have a long time lead time between application and approval.


  • Some grants will cover the whole cost of publishing, enabling you to focus on your writing.
  • Greater focus on niche can help you to break into certain markets/ niche.


  • You have to schedule to work with their timelines which may delay your expected publication date
  • You have to scale your writing to fit within the grant’s conditions
  • Grants tend to be very competitive.

Credit/ Loans

Credit has traditionally been used to raise funds for businesses; and your book is your business. Given the right push, your book can be the best business for a residual income.  The chance to negotiate for a loan is also a chance to justify your project- hopefully this will help you to see whether this is the right step for you.


  • Gives you a reason to have schedules, business plans and actually market your product.
  • You can negotiate for and get all the funds you require to design a great cover, engage an editor and build a market base.


  • If you factor in the interest rate, you will be paying more.
  • You might be tempted to use more money than necessary.


Have you thought of seeking a benefactor? One of the reasons it makes sense to create effective networks, is that you can easily sell an idea to your connections and they will happily fund you. For instance, you could offer to mention them and their business on your website as sponsors. Or you could share a certain percentage of your royalties – options are endless.


  • You can negotiate a partnership that helps you to market the book.
  • Partners may open other avenues for further writing.


  • You have to create a profitable exchange for them.
  • If you choose to share your royalties, it means you will earn less.

Whichever source of funds you may focus on will have its distinct advantages and disadvantages. The choice is yours to make, on which method serves you best based on your needs and personal circumstances.

Elizabeth Wangare is a Communication Consultant and Writer from Kenya. She has been freelancing since 2015, and is now a full time blog writer. She has contributed to the Huffington post and Writers Weekly. She shares her freelance writing tips on www.elizabethwangare.com. Connect on LinkedIn or Facebook



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