So much amazingness since I reached out to some successful Kickstarter creators for children's picture books. Within a few hours, half of the people I contacted had written me back with encouragement and advice about the process. I am including some of their responses here to pay the inspiration forward.
The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth
Dreamling Books says:
Thanks for reaching out to us. And thank you for including us in your 10 most inspiring Kickstarters for Children's Picture Books. Our goal from the beginning has been to inspire readers, so we're glad to hear it's working!
Dreamling Books is definitely a more collaborative approach to publishing. We ran the Kickstarter, but if you watch our KS video you'll notice that the author (Chris Burkard) is still very much at the forefront. And all of our updates came from us, Chris and the illustrator David. It was beneficial to present the project from our company, because that ensured backers that it would be a quality product. But if you don't have a publisher onboard for your book, it's not a necessary thing to do.
As far as advice, the most important thing you can do is gather email addresses before you ever launch your KS project. Use your blog to do that perhaps. But the more people you can get on a list the more likely you are to get a lot of backers right out of the gate. That will give you momentum and social shares, which will lead to more backers. But most of the hard work (harvesting emails) is done long before a project ever goes live. Also, realize that Kickstarter is a marathon, not a print. You need to be constantly updating backers, posting on social media, appearing in traditional media, etc. We'd suggest making a campaign timeline where you map out that you're going to be doing every day that your Kickstarter is live. There really are no days off. The majority of backers will come at the very beginning and at the very end. But you need to stay active during the middle portion.
Good luck! Let us know how it goes! Thanks for your support of The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth. If anyone is wondering where they can get a copy, you can send them to our website: https://www.dreamlingbooks.com
- The Dreamling Books team
B is for Brains
I'd love to help any way I can. :-) My biggest piece of advice is doing as much of the work pre-Kickstarter launch as you possibly can. So many little speedbumps, the more of those you can have ironed out before launching, the better. Our biggest speed bump has been getting the printers files ready. Because we're doing it ourself, and this is the first time doing something like this, it's a slower process than I thought it'd be. This is totally something that could've been done pre-launch.
The fact you've already started a blog and are gaining followers is huge. And obviously connecting yourself with printers in Asia will save you a ton of money. When I was price shopping, the printers I reached out to, printing without the middleman was going to save me thousands of dollars. And obviously that then keeps your goal amount smaller and easier to reach. When I hit the proofing phase with our printers, I'll gladly share the contact info of who we're working with. Navigating printers in Asia can be intimidating if you have never done it before. I thankfully have friends who have experience and are guiding me through it.
Keep your rewards easy to ship. Shipping costs derail many a project. I am personally still nervous about this one, hoping we estimated everything accurately.
For pre-ordering the book, we are working on the website still. I hope to have it up soon. The Web address will be www.bisforbrainsbook.com
Best of luck with your project! It looks great! You should definitely reach out to homeschooling groups with your book. (I homeschool and we're always looking for fun interesting ways to introduce math concepts to kids).
Thank you so much, creators, for sharing this knowledge! Kickstarter is so inspiring. What do you think are the important elements for a successful children's picture book campaign?
Emily Grosvenor, author of Tessalation!, a children's book about tesselations and patterns in nature.