Today over at Apex Books we launched a sales drive. If you like amazing books by authors like Maurice Broaddus, Ren Warom, Brian Keene, Rudolfo Serna, Cody T. Luff, and more, then this is the sales drive for you.
There is an even an anthology I co-edited that’s available in a 2019 Big Bundle. Yes, I am referring to Do Not Go Quietly. The reviews have been excellent.
About halfway through the preparation and planning of the sales drive, I started to wonder why I was having a sales drive instead of a straight-up fund drive. After all, we’re not hiding the fact that we’re trying to raise money to fund some projects for 2020.
During the early years of my time as a small press publisher, a sign that a publisher was struggling was when they put out a call for a fund drive. Hell, Apex did this once or twice back then. Small press margins are slim and it is dangerously easy to find yourself in the hole when one project bombs. Have two or three bomb and you had to either close shop or go to the community with your hat out.
But it appears that times have changed with the rise of crowd sourcing. In particular, Kickstarter and Patreon have changed society’s perspective on how we support the small margin creators of art, literature, music, and so on. The stigma of requesting crowd support has declined.
Apex’s last few sales drives have been met with a collective eh. There are so many businesses busting down your social media feeds and inboxes with newsletters and special offers that we’ve become numb to it.
When you make a fund drive, it becomes more personal. The person who is a fan of your work (in my case the work being the books I publish) knows they are making a difference they can measure by supporting a fund drive. You’re tapping into what makes the small press so awesome–the sense of community and that we’re in it for the love. In return, the beneficiary of such a drive can return the appreciation with more fine products and even certain sales benefits tailored to each backer.
All this is to say that the next time Apex needs an influx of money for projects, I think we’ll try a fund drive via an official platform (like Kickstarter, but not necessarily Kickstarter).
I would absolutely love your feedback on this. Do fund drives turn you off from a small press publisher? If sales drives aren’t working and you don’t like fund drives, what would you suggest? Let’s have a dialog about this!