The PubLaunch
Learning Center

Crowdfunding writers

 

What is “crowdfunding”?

Crowdfunding is a process in which people raise funds for a project by receiving small amounts of money from a large number of people using an online platform. The project itself is the “crowdfunding campaign.” In exchange, the campaign owner offers their supporters enticing gifts (called “rewards”).

See Crowdfunding 101 for a full explanation. 

 

What projects are eligible for crowdfunding on PubLaunch?

We welcome all book-related projects, as long as they follow our terms of use.

 

I don’t reside in North America. Can I still use your site?

As a campaign owner, you’ll need to create an account with our payment processor, Stripe, to receive your campaign funds. Stripe can only process payments to the specific countries listed on their website (if you are not in one of those countries, you’ll need a bank account in one of them): https://stripe.com/global

 

How do I set up a crowdfunding campaign?

See our crowdfunding user guide for a walkthrough of our campaign set-up process.

 

Do I have to use the Marketplace to crowdfund on PubLaunch?

Nope! If all you'd like to do is crowdfund your book project, then feel free to do that! PubLaunch is designed so that you can use as much or as little of the site as you like.

 

What fees do I need to consider when creating my campaign target?

PubLaunch receives 5% of the total funds raised by a campaign as a commission fee. You will also want to consider credit card processing fees deducted from each contribution (2.9% + 30c), managed by Stripe.

 

Does PubLaunch charge tax on the funds I receive through crowdfunding?

If you’re an individual or business residing in Canada, PubLaunch is required to charge sales tax on its 5% crowdfunding commission, based on your province of residence/incorporation.

 

Why is the crowdfunding budget for my Marketplace services higher than if I pay directly out of pocket?

There are fees and added costs to crowdfunding, which we’ve considered for you when calculating your crowdfunding budget. These include the cost for you to fulfill your rewards (roughly 15% of your original budget), credit card processing fees taken from each contribution (2.9% + 30c), and PubLaunch’s 5% commission taken from the total funds raised.

The equation we used to generate your crowdfunding goal based on your Marketplace budget is:

M = Marketplace budget

F = cost of reward fulfillment

G = total funds needed from campaign
= M + F
= M x 1.15

P = dollars earned per dollar contributed, after subtracting fees
= 1 – 0.079
= 0.921

T = total crowdfunding goal

T x P = G
T = G / P
T = G / 0.921
T = M x 1.15 / 0.921
T = M x 1.249

If your PubLaunch Marketplace services are budgeted at $5,000, then you could:

  • pay the $5,000 out of pocket, and all funds would be transferred directly to your suppliers, or
  • crowdfund $6,245 (i.e. $5,000 x 1.249). Of the $6,245 raised,
    • $495 would go toward platform fees,
    • $5,000 would be transferred directly to your suppliers, and
    • $750 would remain in your personal account so that you’re able to fulfill your rewards.

 

What’s the difference between minimum and maximum crowdfunding goals?

The minimum goal is the amount you need to reach for your campaign to succeed. In other words, if you do not meet your minimum goal by the end of your campaign, no contributors will be charged for their contributions, and you don’t need to return contributions or fulfill any rewards. This is an internal goal that won’t appear on your campaign page, unless you choose to make your minimum and maximum goals the same.

The maximum goal is the goal that appears on your public campaign page, and represents the target you are trying to reach. Once your minimum goal has been reached, all further contributions will be added to your funds raised.

If you’re crowdfunding for Marketplace services, your pre-generated crowdfunding goal is your minimum goal. If you’d like to add to your crowdfunding goal (for example, for fulfilling costly rewards or for a higher marketing budget), you can do so by raising your maximum goal.

 

What does the “top-up” do, and do I have to use it?

The top-up is a safety net built into PubLaunch’s platform. When you’re building your campaign page, you’ll be able to specify ahead of time how much you’re willing to pitch in personally in case your campaign doesn’t reach its minimum goal. The top-up ensures your contributors will still be charged and allows you to use the publishing team you’ve hired (if you’ve used the PubLaunch Marketplace).

When your campaign ends, if you have not hit your minimum goal but you’ve indicated a top-up that will allow you to reach that goal, you’ll have 48 hours to use your top-up.

 

What currency is my campaign goal set in?

Currently, all crowdfunding campaigns on PubLaunch are in USD.

 

Why can’t I set my campaign to live right away?

We review campaigns first to make sure every project has the best chance to succeed on PubLaunch. We’ll respond within two business days, either approving your campaign or recommending changes. Once we’ve approved your campaign, you can log in and set your campaign to live.

 

Why haven’t my contributors been charged for their contributions?

Contributors will not be charged for their contributions until the end of your campaign and only if you’ve reached your minimum goal. This helps avoid refunds and commitments before you have sufficient funds to see your book project to completion.

 

How do I receive the funds I’ve raised through my campaign?

You’ll receive your funds through our payment processor, Stripe. You will be asked to connect (or create) your Stripe account to your campaign during Step 3 of the set-up process. See our crowdfunding user guide for more information.

 

When will I receive my campaign funds?

If all you’re using our site for is crowdfunding, you’ll start receiving your funds once you’ve passed your minimum goal.

If you’re crowdfunding to cover an estimate you received through the Marketplace, funds equalling the Marketplace estimate will be sent directly to your suppliers when your campaign reaches its minimum goal. If you receive a higher amount than is required for the services, the extra funds will remain in your account.

 

Can I receive my campaign funding in my own currency?

Yes. If your Stripe profile indicates a different currency than USD, your campaign funds will be converted to your local currency when the funds are transferred into your account. Stripe determines the exchange rate.

 

What happens if I don’t make my minimum goal?

If you don’t reach your minimum goal by the end of your campaign, no contributors will be charged for their contributions. This means you’re not responsible for fulfilling any rewards, and you do not have to provide any refunds.

If you were raising funds for Marketplace services and do not reach your minimum goal by the end of your campaign, all contracts with your suppliers will be considered null and void.

 

What happens to my campaign page after I’ve finished crowdfunding?

Your page will stay exactly where it is. If it reaches its target, we’ll list it under our successful campaigns.

 

Who is responsible for fulfilling my campaign rewards?

Once you’ve reached your minimum goal, your contributors will be charged for their contributions, and you’ll be personally responsible for fulfilling all rewards, including packaging and shipping requirements.

 

How do I know who contributed to my campaign?

A list of all contributors, their contact details, and their contributions (including reward level) is available through your PubLaunch account.

To access this list, log in to PubLaunch and access your campaign page, then click on the tab “Backer report” (located below “Campaign Details”). From here, you can see all contributions and contributor details, and you can download this list to your computer by clicking the “CSV” button at the bottom of the page.

Help! I got an error message. What do I do?

We want to know everything we can about any bugs or errors that pop up on the site so that we can fix it as quickly as possible. Please send a screenshot of your error and a description of the problem to hello@publaunch.com.