I've been tooling around with the idea of doing a first print run of Tessalation!, and am researching Kickstarter to see if the platform is right for my project. I thought I should put together a post that lists what my takeaway from these projects is as a potential Kickstarter-er.
Is that a thing? A Kickstarter-er?
To be clear, lots of children's picture books have been funded through Kickstarter and other crowd-funding programs. So when I say inspiring, I mean that I, Emily Grosvenor, would be inspired by this campaign to participate in the Kickstarter. Those are my criteria.
1. You're Doing Great, Baby
This Kickstarter campaign, for the book You're Doing Great, Baby, is interesting to me because it has a book aimed at two groups -- babies and the parents. The campaign was well laid out, and the message resonates with a wide group of people. The takeaway? This baby stuff is hard and we'll get through it together. I also really love the idea of including a visual representation of the awards levels for the Kickstarter. All in all, a bang-up job doing a Kickstarter.
2. A Whale Who Dreamt He Was A Snail
The cover image drew me in immediately to this Kickstarter, but once I read through the campaign, I was most impressed by how forthcoming the creators were about their own risks and challenges. When the creators say: We got this 100%, I tend to call shenanigans!
In my case, the book will be almost completed by the time I launch a campaign. That seems like a good model -- have the book's creative finished and launch to give you that extra bit of oomph to put it out in the world. You can read more about the book here.
I generally hate picture books with morals or lessons or any other overt reason to exist (even though my book has a few hidden ones, too), but this campaign for a board book starring a sweet and misunderstood pit bull just blew me away. Professional and compelling all the way through. No surprise here -- one of the highest funded picture book campaigns in the platform's history.
4. Dragons in the Library
I always tell my students that you often need only two words to tell a story. This one had me at Dragons in the Library. Dragons + Library = Easy to understand from the get go.
5. A Little Help from the Imps
This campaign, to get an old German fairy tale resurrected, translated and re-calligraphied, doesn't have many of the bells and whistles of some other Kickstarters. But the illustrations are absolutely charming beyond measure, and the idea of having the postcards sent out by The Imps is just perfect. Big on personality, and, therefore, high on emotional attachment from prospective supporters.
6. Thunder & Lightning
It's the little things that drew me to this campaign for a book about thunder & lightning -- especially the random inclusion of a little gnome in one of the drawings, the odd, atmosphere music, and the lettering, which looks oddly reminiscent of bauhaus lettering.
7. Tolliver Toad
I'm not attracted to the story line of this one at all, but that frowny face on the toad is just killer. It doesn't look like anything else on the Kickstarter page, which is a welcome element when you've been scrolling through Kickstarter projects waiting to fall in love...
9. B is for Brains: A Zombie Apocalypse ABC
This campaign, for a funny board book going through the ABCs of zombies, is the one that got me thinking that doing Kickstarter might be a great idea. This book is all concept, and a great one. But I especially like the approach the creator.used to make the video -- clearly shows that kids can get into zombies, which might be a stumbling block for some. I actually bought into this project at the level of $25, mostly just to see what the process was like.
10. The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth
It's easy to fork over money to people who clearly know what they are doing. Inspiring a level of confidence in potential backers is my major takeaway from this book, stunning in all respects.
Have you ever funded a Kickstarter project? Which of these would you have funded?
Emily Grosvenor, author of Tessalation!, a children's book about tesselations and patterns in nature.