Creative authors can take a new route to fund, publish, and promote their story without the need of a traditional publishing company. Crowdfunding can help turn author’s ideas and manuscripts into creative published work.
After adding the finishing touches to my second children’s book manuscript, Curious Conditions: Dentist, I was filled with joy and excitement because I knew that my creative craft was nearly complete. The moment of excitement dissipated when the daunting reality of finding funds, publishing the book, and planning a marketing strategy set in. I began looking into crowdfunding, particularly Kickstarter, to hopefully help make my work a successful reality. The nationwide phenomenon, Kickstarter, is a crowdfunding platform designed to promote and raise funds for creative projects and it definitely has great potential for authors such as myself.
In 2010, I published my first children’s book, Curious Conditions: Emergency Room, through an online book publishing company Bookemon. Even though the story went on to winning Bookemon’s National 2010 book of the year award, it still required a lot of work and self-promotion to get the end product out into the market. Looking back at this experience, Kickstarter would have definitely helped make the process easier.
Kickstarter has helped raise over $319 million in 2012 on many creative projects in the realms of film, games, tech gadgets, and even children’s books. This included a children’s book from an author in Bellevue, WA that raised more than $90,000 in 30 days. Crowdfunding, such as Kickstarter, can be used as a launching pad for creative manuscripts or completed children’s books. By initially sharing the work with the author’s personal contacts and social network, the project has a chance to spread beyond their personal network and can ultimately go viral.
Crowdfunding is a great platform for authors to validate their work without investing large amounts of time and money. Validation requires viewing the target audience’s response to your idea. With Kickstarter, authors can directly understand and engage in the audience’s response without personal financial commitment involved in printing and distributing large volumes of books.
Crowdfunding gives authors the ability to avoid the traditional publishing route which sometimes requires an extraordinary amount of luck and talent in order to make the project achievable. Using crowdfunding for self-publishing, an author is given the artistic freedom to create really unique and creative pieces of work without the sometimes crippling control of a publishing company. Authors pitch their project directly to their audience, not publishers. Many times, publishing companies set out to tailor stories to generate sales by sticking to generic formulated plots. The concept of "thinking outside the box" is diminished and one story after another ends up sounding similar. But with self-publishing and crowdfunding, however, it allows an author to create projects that are limitless in creativity.
My second children’s book entitled, Curious Conditions: Dentist, is a fun and adventurous story about a young boy exploring and learning about a dental visit in order to help lessen his fears and anxiety. Kickstarter wasn't chosen to avoid conforming to a publishing company’s formulaic path, but rather to express my own artistic freedom by releasing an independent series. I wanted a chance to engage in promoting the story through social media and connecting directly with my audience. The idea of being one click away from sharing my project with the rest of the world is powerful, and Kickstarter will allow me to be the independent author I am.