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How can I get funding to have my book published?

[Updated Feb. 13, 2013 & Dec. 10, 2014]

When I first answered this question, crowdfunding was still a new idea. (Crowdfunding is when you request donations from lots of people, usually online, and usually the donors/backers receive some type of perk based on the amount of their contribution.)

You can get money just by asking for it! (Who knew?) Writers have used Kickstarter to fund audio versions of their books and the start-up of a bimonthly fiction anthology.

You don’t really get money for nothing: You’ll need to make up a persuasive package and, if your project is funded, distribute any rewards that were promised.

Some crowdsourcing sites:

See Wikipedia for a comparison of crowdfunding sites.

[Original response]
There is no fee to have a book published if you go the traditional publishing route. The publisher pays the author.

You may be thinking of using a subsidy publisher (sometimes called a POD publisher or self-publishing company; both are misnomers) or of self-publishing. A subsidy publisher makes money by getting authors to buy its services. You should not expect any support beyond delivery of the books you purchase.

If you self-publish, you are responsible for purchasing your ISBN and arranging the editing, design, typesetting, and printing. You are also responsible for marketing and distribution.

Here are some resources to help you get started. You might also check out the Independent Book Publishers Association and any publisher associations in your local area.

How a Book Gets Published
Warnings About the Schemes, Scams, and Pitfalls That Threaten Writers
Preditors & Editors

Good luck!

About Sandra K. Williams

Sandra K. Williams loves books, both printed and digital. Since 1996 she has worked with authors and independent publishers, editing and designing books for print. Since 1999 she has built easy-to-use, accessible websites, and she uses her HTML and CSS skills to design reader-friendly e-books.