Mellany Paynter spreads a message that can relate

Author case study: Dancing at the Crossroad #book

When Mellany first starting working with Publishizer, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to self-publish or not. So we gave her a way to test the market for her book while raising preorder funds and a chance to showcase them to a range of publishers. If she reached her goal, she would have more options to choose from.

Mellany is a first time author, entrepreneur and life enthusiast whose personal mantra is YOU MATTER. Her book, Dancing at the Crossroads, is an intimate narrative on using the power of journaling to cope with the harsh reality of overcoming loss. It’s also her way of spreading this message to people who could directly relate.

To reach her goal, Mellany knew she had focus on her immediate network and connect with them on a personal level using email and social media. She told them what the project was about and asked them to support. Then she went to her extended network and contacted groups and organizations she could collaborate with based on her book topic. This word of mouth had a ripple effect that spread to enough of the right people in less than 30 days.

  • Email subscribers: 4,000
  • Phone calls: 200
  • Social media following: 800
  • Result: 106% funded totaling $5,890 with 267 preorders.
“Word of mouth was the most significant way I got preorders. Talking to people directly added a personal touch and got people interested.” — Mellany Paynter

Here’s what Mellany had to say:

Q: How would you sum up your experience in one sentence?

My experience was a huge learning curve.

Q: Why did you decide to crowdfund your book?

Being a new author, crowdfunding provided an easy transition into the unknown world of publishing. I was gravely concerned about marketing and the platform provided a seamless tool I could use.

Q: Why was now the right time to start this book project?

The manuscript was finished and I needed to press go.

Q: How did you plan to sell and publish your book before Publishizer?

My plan was always to self publish. I built a documentary series around the book topic to attract supporters and build a following early on, but production was slow and I never got to release it. Then I was introduced to Publishizer.

Q: What results did you get this way?

The best thing about using Publishizer was that it provided a way to test the market for my book while raising preorder funds and a chance to showcase them to a range of publishers.

Q: What results did you get from crowdfunding on Publishizer?

I was able to surpass my minimum preorders goal of 250 within 30 days. I got people more aware of the book and, the best part, a link to publishers.

Q: How did you reach your goal? Details.

I focused heavily on different forms of marketing.

  1. Email Marketing. I sent emails to over 4,000 people before and during the campaign.
  2. Hired a Publicist. We sent out a press release in the 2nd week of the campaign and started building traction on the media circuit. This resulted in two radio interviews before the campaign ended, an invitation to write for a blog and showcases on a few other shows, plus bookings for future shows.
  3. Social Media Daily Posts. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I also ran a 5-day Facebook Ad.
  4. Word-of-Mouth. (a) I contacted individuals I knew and told them what the project was about and asked them to support. (b) I contacted groups and organizations that I felt I could collaborate with based on my book topic.

Q: How much time did this entire process take you? On a weekly basis?

The entire process was constant throughout the campaign. It was everyday, at least four hours per day. Weekly, about 20 hours.

Q: Did posting sample chapters or excerpts on Medium help?

I did not post my sample chapter to Medium, but I did post to social media and got rave reviews. I did some other blog posts that were viewed by people unknown to me. I cannot say it encouraged preorders.

Q: What was the most significant way you reached your goal?

Word of mouth was the most significant way I got preorders. Talking to people directly added a personal touch and got people interested.

Q: What’s next for your book and for you?

I am planning programs and workshops around the country to spread the message of self love and healing.

Q: Are you happy with the amount of publishers that expressed interest in your book? The types?

I would have loved more traditional publishers to have expressed interest, but having Hybrid publishers in the mix gives me more options if I decide to stay on the self publishing track.

Q: Are you happy with the amount of funds raised in your campaign? How do you plan to leverage those?

Yes, the amount of funds I raised can get me started with editing and getting the book ready to hit the market if I go the self publishing route. However, it is also an advance if I decide to use a traditional publisher

Q: Has your publishing goals changed since your successful crowdfunding campaign?

Yes! Since Publishizer.com has provided an inside access to traditional Publishers, I may go that way.

If this resonates with you and the book you’re writing (or thinking of writing),we’d love to have you apply.

If you have questions we can answer, reach out. To stay up to date, follow us onTwitter. Want to support our community efforts of supporting more authors who want to get published? Get involved.