I’m getting all excited about the release of a book I supported on Kickstarter, The Boy In the Castle.
The Boy in the Castle is a picture book with a poignant message. In my mind, I equate it with The Little Prince. Like The Little Prince, The Boy in the Castle touches on love and depression. I can’t wait to read the book and see how the story plays around these subjects.
Still, I have to admit, my initial attraction to The Boy in the Castle was its combination of paper-craft illustrations (if you’ve followed me for very long, you might already know about that little obsession of mine) and lyrical language. The book was written by a Scottish song-writer!
In honor of The Boy in the Castle’s success, I decided to throw together a few observations I’ve made about the type of books that do well on Kickstarter.
Note: for those of you who are unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding platform devoted to raising funds for creative projects. Kickstarter community members choose a project that they like and donate any amount of money that they choose. If the project meets its funding goal, then it will be put into production. If the project does not meet its funding goal, donations are returned to the community members. There are some wild gadgets available on Kickstarter, but of course, I favor the book section.
1) Picture books
I think there are a couple of reasons behind the Kickstarter community’s marked preference for picture books.
- Kickstarter community members are artsy people. Specifically, they love the visual arts. Creative illustrations will woo them.
- Kickstarter campaigns are visual. Basically, a Kickstarter donation is like making a small purchase online. As with any online purchase, buyers get more excited when they can see what they are buying. Pictures book have plenty of fodder for product images.
A note here: there’s a wide scope for picture books. They may be for kindergartners, whimsical adults, or even photojournalism geeks.
2) Books addressed to a specific demographic
The Boy in the Castle reaches out to a demographic which society often prefers to overlook: people suffering from depression. I can think of two reasons why addressing a book to a specific demographic is a powerful marketing technique on Kickstarter:
- By claiming a niche, a book demonstrates to Kickstarter community members that it has a place in the world, ergo, it should exist in the world.
- Members of that demographic will be drawn to the book like moths to light. A passionate minority is always more powerful than an indifferent majority.
3) Comic books
Honestly, I’ve never read a comic book in my life. I don’t really know enough about them to speculate about their success on Kickstarter, but I can tell you this: if you’ve written a comic book, go to Kickstarter. They go like hot potatoes on there.
4) Educational books
Creative people (like Kickstarter community members) also tend to be highly curious people. If your book offers knowledge, as well as entertainment, it has an extra draw!
Those are my thoughts. What do you all think about Kickstarter? Have you ever considered Kickstarting a book? How do you feel about the concept of crowd-funding?