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.

A basic example:

$10 – The ebook

$25 – A personalized thank-you letter and a copy of the completed paperback

$50 – A copy of both the print and ebook editions, along with a bookmark designed by the cover artist

$75 – Two copies of the print edition, the ebook edition, and two different bookmarks designed by the cover artist (one for each book)

$100 – Two copies of the print edition, two copies of the ebook edition, and a 24 X 36 inch poster of the cover art

$200 – A signed, limited-edition hardcover (with its own unique cover art), a copy of the ebook edition, a bookmark designed by the cover artist, and a personalized thank-you note

$500 – An invitation to the book launch party, a signed, limited-edition hardcover (with its own unique cover art), a copy of the ebook edition, a phone call with the author, and a bookmark of the unique cover art

$1,000 – A home-cooked meal by the author, an invitation to the book launch party, a signed, limited-edition hardcover (with its own unique cover art), a copy of the ebook edition, and two unique bookmarks by the cover artist

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 signed copy of your book with a personalized note, bookmarks featuring the cover or character art, or getting named on the dedication page. These are things that won’t cost you too much but add great value to your rewards.

Don’t upcharge your supporters. If one of your rewards is your book listed for twice your planned retail price, you risk making your early fans feel ripped off.

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 early cover art, character studies from your novel, or an opportunity to name a character in the book.

Packages can give your rewards extra value. To avoid the upcharge problem we mentioned, combine the tangible and intangible (things that have little or no hard costs but offer a high personal value) for higher level rewards: a copy of the book, an invitation to the launch party, and a Skype call with the author.

Keep the hard costs low but the value high. Things like bookmarks and copies of early character studies have a very low cost but offer supporters a high value.

Finally, ask people for help! Ask your readers, friends, and family 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 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.