If you go to Kickstarter.com you'll see the category of Writing & Publishing. Then you'll see those broken down into New and Noteworthy, Popular This Week, and Recently Successful. It doesn't take you long to see that each of these projects has a little table that indicates percentage funded, dollars pledged, and how many days the project will remain alive on Kickstarter, seeking sponsors.
Why do I think Kickstarter is important?
- You gather ideas for your own project.
- You gather ideas on what's involved to solicit sponsors.
- You learn how to recognize a well-done project and a half-baked one.
- You might find a collaborator.
- You might want to donate to a cause.
But how does Kickstarter stay in business? A small percentage of the funds goes to Kickstarter for an administrative fee. That's equivalent to being a fiscal agent. To learn more about how fiscal agents work, see the Foundation Center's tutorial about how to use fiscal agents in your project. It's a great concept.
Kickstarter participants, however, go a step further. The participants usually offer perks or benefits for donating. You get books, toys, and all sorts of freebies, depending upon the project. Today, let's look at children's books.
Bunny With a Toolbelt Elephabet Book is a children's book that just recently gained momentum and became fully funded. I almost donated to it, because the concept was so darn cute. Freebies include buttons, sculpted animals and books. The project's goal was $3,500, but 107 people ultimately pledged over $4,900 as of the date I last checked, with about three weeks to go. The extra pledges are enabling the author to seek a better publishing contract for a larger quantity of hardcover books.
Elephabet will be an alphabet book featuring my handmade wood elephant sculptures. For each letter of the alphabet, I have chosen a word and am in the process of making one or more figures that embody that word. The back of the book will have a glossary so all of my portmanteaus will be explained, as well as some insight into the words I have chosen. Photographs of my sculptures will be used to make the book, a set of five 1" buttons, and a stop action animation. I will print this book in both softcover and hardbound, and every book will come with a dvd of the animation.
Home Grown Books is another children's book project that is geared toward the pre-reader, utilizing art work to tell the story. The goal is a huge one, at $27,500, and last I checked, they were about 20 percent along. From the Kickstarter site:
Home Grown Books is creating a line of 'early readers' books for children. The quality and thoughtfulness of these books will capture kids' imagination, use their whole mind, stimulate their discovery, and support their fantastic capacity to learn. We worked with artist, Cecile Dyer on the first set which includes nine beautiful books for the early reader in your life. Now, we are ready to develop the packaging and print a big run of sets so everyone has access to them. Our local and green printer, Rolling Press, is working with us to make this project a reality.
A Children's Book That Comforts Your Child is a simple concept. A mother wants to publish this book for her child, and other families. It only has a $1,700 goal and plenty of time to get there. From Kickstarter's site:
This book was written and illustrated with the pure love I have for my son. I was having a difficult time explaining to a 3 year old that I needed to be with a baby I was watching because she needed to be fed, along with several other instances. It can be hard for a child to realize that there are other situations that need to be handled before their own. So that evening my son and I went to a sub sandwich place and I came up with this idea....... which turned into my book. My goal is to get enough money donated to make enough books to give to my fans and to start self promoting my book by getting my book out to the public and hopefully mass producing so that the world of parents and children can enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. The money will be used to have the books made and for me to get the fabric and supplies to sew all the hearts.
You'll see that some projects are sophisticated and others are possibly too homemade to draw attention, but you can't help but learn from these writing projects. And once you get the gist of the site, you might consider throwing yours up for consideration. Next week on Kickstarter Monday, we'll cover what makes for a good Kickstarter project.