The PubLaunch
Learning Center

How to create compelling rewards

Good rewards can turn an interested reader into an actual supporter. A good list of rewards will give supporters a chance to get in on the ground floor, be a part of your book project, and maybe even interact with you, the author. Your rewards should be creative and fun while offering a little something for everyone.

Things to keep in mind

Offer a great reward for every financial level. Some people will only have $5 or $10 to spare but still want to be a part of the campaign. Alternatively, some people have a lot to spend so give them the opportunity and motivation to do so. And, of course, remember to think about all the people in between.

Rewards are meant to be exclusive offers that the general public won’t be able to get: a special edition cover that won't be distributed later on, exclusive character art, or the chance to name a character. These are things that won’t cost you too much but add great value to your rewards.

Incentivize your contributors to buy early by either offering a discount off the future retail price or by packaging multiple items in one reward to add value.

Give people a chance to be part of the process. Create rewards that give people a behind-the-scenes peek: a copy of an early draft or character studies from your novel.

Keep the hard costs low but the value high. Things like bookmarks and copies of early character studies have a very low cost to produce and won't add hefty shipping costs but offer supporters a high value.

Offer rewards that are consistent with your project. For example, offering a homemade quilt on a campaign for a self-help book doesn't make too much sense.

Finally, ask people for help! Ask friends, family, and readers what they’d like to receive as a reward. These are the people that will be supporting your campaign, so make sure your rewards are built for them.

A basic example:

Level 1 – Your name printed on the book’s contributor list

Level 2 – Level 1, plus the ebook edition (15% discount)

Level 3 – Level 1, plus the paperback edition (15% discount)

Level 4 – Levels 1 through 3, along with a personalized thank-you note

Level 5 – Level 1, plus two print editions, two ebook editions, and a personalized thank-you note

Level 6 – Levels 1 and 2, plus a limited-edition hardcover and a personalized thank-you note

Level 7 – Level 6, and the author will let you name a character in their book

Level 8 – The author will dedicate the book to you

A special note about rewards

One of the things that people often forget to consider is the cost of reward fulfillment. Printing books, postage, shipping, and t-shirts or mugs cost money. Make sure you account for these things before listing them as rewards.