A Kickstarter Journey
In March 2013, I released my first children’s book in the Science and Faith Matters series, called Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation, a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories ( http://amzn.to/1hoCogt). I self-published and paid the full costs for illustrating, editing and publishing this activity book. The book has been well received and I was happy with the end result.
a children’s activity book that features more than 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It’s ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life.
Before I completed this manuscript, I learned about an appealing way to raise money -- called crowd funding -- through Kickstarter. I was excited to learn that Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/) had recently been made available in Canada and so researched this opportunity further. Kickstarter had been around since 2009, and had been part of funding for 55,000 creative projects. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people liked a project, they could pledge money to make it happen.
I estimated that the costs to create this second children’s activity book would be around $3,500 which included paying an illustrator and full publishing. I believed that my family, my friends and those who loved my first book would be supportive in my endeavour to create this new book.
Kickstarter recommended that a project campaign last for 1 to 60 days. I gave myself a timeline of one month (28 days), February 2014, to reach this funding goal. Originally, I planned to launch on the first of February, however, I had bloggers who were willing to host me and introduce my campaign in early January. I wanted to take advantage of their generosity and launched a little earlier than planned.
It took months of work to get to the point of launching the campaign. I attended “Kickstarter School”, reviewed other campaigns, and learned what needed to be done before I could launch.
First, I had to create a video to post on Kickstarter. Originally, I interviewed the publisher and illustrator and tried to create a 20-minute video, however, the quality of the production was too poor to include. In the end, I made a short 3-minute video with just myself. I’m an amateur videographer at best and would’ve loved to have a professional video made. However, I did the best I could using the Movie Maker program.
Next, I had to write a description about my book and what I was raising the funds for. I had to ensure that I had a focused and well-defined project with a clear beginning and end to meet the Kickstarter guidelines. My description included such things as the identities of the people on my team and my qualifications to complete the project.
I then had to come up with unique rewards for those backers who pledged money, such as an autographed copy of Adam’s Animals, an autographed copy of Trees of the Book, a jpg watercolour of a rooster, and lunch with the illustrator. I designed 15 different prizes, depending on the amount pledged.
Lastly, I had to advertise my campaign and invited bloggers to host me on their blogs, radio programs to interview me, and sent a newsletter to my subscribers to tell them about the campaign. I used most social media networks to promote the campaign including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
In the middle of all this, I still worked on the manuscript to complete the edits.
As of today, the campaign is still running. I pray that it is successful, I reach my funding goal, and can bring Adam’s Animals to life. God willing, I may take the same route for my third book in the Science and Faith Matters series.
If you are considering taking a similar route to crowd fund your next creative project, I would suggest one thing.... give yourself lots of time! I started in August with a deadline to launch in February and still feel as if I should’ve started earlier.
To learn more about Kickstarter and my campaign for Adam’s Animals, visit http://kck.st/19NBYR6
Kimberley Payne is an award-winning self-published writer and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network.
She has volunteered as a teacher with many children’s programs at her church, as a teacher’s aid for student’s reading, and within the library at her children’s school.
Kimberley combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith.
Kimberley’s website www.kimberleypayne.com