Davide Arbisi, 26, of Bulkington Avenue, Worthing, has penned sci-fi novel 7-19, but the difficulties of getting a publishing deal has led him to alternative sources.
He is hoping to raise £2,000 from online crowdsourcing site Kickstarter, in which people donate money in exchange for incentives.
The concept has proved popular in the United States, but is relatively unknown in the UK.
Mr Arbisi said: “I came quite close to getting a deal but as those who have tried before will know, it is nigh on impossible.
“I was in talks with Penguin and I have no idea how it got that far but, sadly, it didn’t work out.”
The Kickstarter project will be launched next week, and Mr Arbisi will have 30 days in which to raise the funds.
If he does not reach the target, none of the money will be released.
He said: “In total, to get a professional finished product to market and sell to shops, I think it will cost more like £4,000.
“But £2,000 is a realistic figure to raise, and, hopefully, it will get me started.
“I’m fairly confident that I have got a good project, and can raise the money.”
As rewards, Mr Arbisi is offering pre-release copies, specially designed artwork of scenes from the book and a personally recorded audio version.
He said: “I have ambitions to write further books in the 7-19 series, but it would be great to get this one off the ground, and realise the ambition.”
Although this is Mr Arbisi’s first novel, he has held a long-running passion for writing.
He said: “When I was at school, my favourite subjects were music and English.
“I recorded some small things for the BBC in the past, but I always wanted to write a novel.
“I love the idea of a dystopian universe, and my book is based upon that idea.”
7-19 focuses on a character who wakes up as a prisoner in a world ravaged by war.
It follows his desire for escape and answers about what happened to him.
Project updates can be found by visiting the ‘7-19 By Davide Arbisi: Kickstarter Project’ Facebook page.