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I'm going to publish a children's book, is Kickstarter the way?


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#1 berzirk

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

Curious if anyone else has gone through the process or done any research. For years I've told myself I would write something, then I had a minor epiphany while on the toilet. So, with what I think is the entire text written, notes on how I want to illustrate, (but need to hire a real artist to illustrate for me), I suppose the costs are print, arguably any copyright, and Library of Congress number issuance. I suspect it could be about $3k total.

Has anyone tried Kickstarter for something like this? I see a nice handful of books up there that have been funded from donors in my area.

Thoughts are greatly welcomed.

#2 Dark Rider

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

I wonder if I could start a Kickstarter, to purchase Kickstarter. Good luck on your book OP!

#3 irideabike

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

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Probably your best route, good luck!

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#4 Strell

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

That depends on what sweet ass swag you give to donors.

Also I don't know how much artists charge.


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#5 slidecage

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

cousin wishes kickstarter was around 10 years ago .. she used to write short stories like screenplays but havent picked up a pen in 10 years....

could of used this for a local high school radio station 10 years ago as well... they could not come up with the 10,000 then needed for start up cost for the station
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#6 Rasen

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

I'm a little leery of any children's book which was inspired by a trip to the toilet.

#7 Strell

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

I'm a little leery of any children's book which was inspired by a trip to the toilet.


Everyone Poops!


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#8 berzirk

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

I'm a little leery of any children's book which was inspired by a trip to the toilet.


haa haa. Perfect! THAT is the type of reader I'm hoping to appeal to. Hoping it will be funny enough to make a person say, "really? No, that's not right...hunh. Hey, that's pretty funny." -preferably in that order.

I personally think any parent of 3 should get to write a book. The amount of material we have is such wasted potential.

The working title is: "Things I Would Do If I Didn't Have to Poop".

#9 Strell

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

Berzirk probably stays up all night at home really angry that he didn't write Go the Fuck to Sleep.


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#10 berzirk

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:51 PM

Berzirk probably stays up all night at home really angry that he didn't write Go the Fuck to Sleep.


Haha, I didn't need to write that, I LIVE that :P

#11 KillerRamen

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:51 PM

I suppose that's one way of doing it if you're looking to self-publish. There's also Kindle self-publishing, but I'm not sure if that would work with a kid's book. https://kdp.amazon.c...blishing/signin

Have you tried selling your book to any publishers?
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#12 berzirk

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

I suppose that's one way of doing it if you're looking to self-publish. There's also Kindle self-publishing, but I'm not sure if that would work with a kid's book. https://kdp.amazon.c...blishing/signin

Have you tried selling your book to any publishers?


Not yet. Literally got the idea for it last night, wrote most of it, then am at what I would consider to be a final draft today. Been adding notes on illustration ideas as the day goes on. Apparently for people who want to sell it and make real money, it's better to send it off for publisher reviews without illustrations, because they'll employ the ones they like should they choose to pick it up, but I'm more interested in grass-rooting this I think. Local print shop, employ one of a handful of illustrators who have expressed interest. Pitch it at small local bookshops, offer to read it at libraries. If I sell 20, and I printed 50, yay for me. If I sell none, and have to give away 50, having burned $3,000 of my own money...lesson learned.

Having the goal to make a real book and NOT lose 100% of $3k, would be great, and thus the idea of Kickstarter. Obviously offer things like copies of the book, signed copies. Maybe for higher donors, find a way to incorporate the name of their choosing to a character. I dunno. Regardless of which avenue I end up taking, it will happen. I've decided that. It's just a matter of how, and when, at this point.

#13 Strell

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:04 PM

Just as a word of advice: Before going to Kickstarter, I would highly suggest that you have a fairly clear idea of costs and time to get everything out the door. Kickstarter is more or less a binding contract, and you can potentially have legal issues down the line. There was an article about this just this week. Some guy had made an iPad stand, but couldn't deliver in time. Ultimately one of his backers sued him.

Anyway, just for your own information.


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#14 berzirk

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:10 PM

Just as a word of advice: Before going to Kickstarter, I would highly suggest that you have a fairly clear idea of costs and time to get everything out the door. Kickstarter is more or less a binding contract, and you can potentially have legal issues down the line. There was an article about this just this week. Some guy had made an iPad stand, but couldn't deliver in time. Ultimately one of his backers sued him.

Anyway, just for your own information.


Good to know, I appreciate it. Definitely in the information acquisition phase. It works out that I've got a handful of friends/contacts in some useful locations, such as hired illustrators/artists, manager of a local printing press, friend who works at an indie bookstore. Need to get as much info as possible, because I know how much I'm comfortable spending, and since I want to get this out, the level of print/illustration quality, or even the decision to try and shop it around for a publisher, will all have to be made. I'm actually pretty damn skeptical of Kickstarter myself, for those very reasons. I'm glad to see that they've made it more strict in terms of what you can promise, vs. what you deliver. That was overdue.

#15 twiceborn

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:42 AM

Lulu is an excellent option for self publishing paper books. That along with Amazon's digtal self-publishing should cover all bases.

The biggest hurdle your going to encounter is how to go about promoting the book and getting it exposed to the audience your going after.

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#16 tmonahan87

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:57 AM

My first book was published a few months ago, and the biggest piece of advice I can offer is slow down and spend ample time thinking things over. I am not sure if creating the story in a few hours means you are ready to publish. Let a wide variety of people look it over and provide feedback. You will see that it may change countless times before the end, even as a children's book.
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#17 The Great Muta

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:01 AM

Well, if you were to ask Mitt Romney, he'd tell you to ask your parents for the money.

#18 Access_Denied

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:44 AM

Well, if you were to ask Mitt Romney, he'd tell you to ask your parents for the money.


And if the OP were to ask Obama, he'd give him the money for free out of our pockets.

Way to contribute. :roll:

OP, have you considered releasing it on the Amazon or iTunes store? I know a few authors who have done it and saved a boatload. You won't get as widespread of an audience, but you could gauge interest in your book/style of writing before deciding to invest too much time or money into it.

#19 berzirk

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

More good advice and questions. I am sending it around to a handful of friends, reading it to my kids, some of their friends. It's doing pretty well. It's no Dr. Seuss, but it has some cute little rhymes and ideas. If I were accused of ripping anything off, I'd say stylistically it mildly resembles Weird Al's "When I Grow Up".

I'm more after this as a fun hobby and creative outlet, that ideally, I would like to break even on, or lose no more than a grand. If either of those happened, I'd consider it enough of a learning experience to be a success.

In terms of "sales and marketing", that's literally my day job, and while I'm pretty darn humble about what I do day to day, I'm kinda starting to realize that I'm fairly good at it. Nothing earth-shattering, but in my mind I want to sell one for every one that I give away. Do readings at local libraries, hit up independent bookstores. Give readings kid Q&A's at pre-schools (there's one that my kids have gone to that has a hundred or more kids over the course of the day). It would really be a grassroots sort of thing. If I sell 25, giveaway 25, hurray for me. I'll be a published author, my kids will have a book they can hold in their hands which lists their dad as the author, and I can add it to the list of fun things I've done.

Looooonger term, I also write stuff purely as a brain dump, but it's more catered to a non-kid crowd. The thought is that if I can learn the process at a relatively low cost, on a children's book that I feel good about, if/when the time comes that I really want to chase writing as a side job, I'm now "published author ____" instead of "first time writer ____". Again, the marketing side of things. Having a bigger name than nothing, when trying to publish a short story/novel would be helpful.

So don't let the short amount of time it took to write, make it appear that little thought went into it. There is a continuous refinement process, and I think the illustrations are going to be critical in making it more entertaining, but for a short, simple, mildly funny children's book, I think it's worth doing.

#20 Strell

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Berzirk can be the Tom's Shoes of kids publishing. And later on when all those children become poorly adjusted adults with scat fetishes, he can die knowing he truly changed the world.


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#21 berzirk

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:14 PM

And later on when all those children become poorly adjusted adults with scat fetishes, he can die knowing he truly changed the world.


I've asked nothing more from life!

#22 Strell

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:18 PM

"My life went downhill when I became obsessed with One Shit Two Shits Green Shit Brown Shit by Dr. Berzirk back in kindergarten."


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#23 usickenme

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:58 PM

funny, every parents thinks they should write a kids book. Not slamming you but everyone I know with kids has mentioned this.

Good luck,

I simply just saved my stories for my kids- told them at bed for the years they wanted stories-and let it go. However, there are so many shiity kids books it would be nice if your was legit good

#24 Strell

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:03 PM

there are so many shiity kids books it would be nice if your was legit good


He is trying to make a good shitty book, of course.


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#25 Clak

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

How hard can it be to write a children's book? They walk around all day picking their noses and eating it. As long as it has princesses or robots, you're gold.
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#26 LordVila

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

How hard can it be to write a children's book? They walk around all day picking their noses and eating it. As long as it has princesses or robots, you're gold.


A Princess Robot who gets magical powers by picking her nose. Writing children's books is easy.

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#27 berzirk

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

funny, every parents thinks they should write a kids book. Not slamming you but everyone I know with kids has mentioned this.

Good luck,

I simply just saved my stories for my kids- told them at bed for the years they wanted stories-and let it go. However, there are so many shiity kids books it would be nice if your was legit good


It's true. But like most things, thinking about doing it, and doing it are very different. I thought about doing stand up for years. Then I finally did it. Every office has the funny guy. Not every office has the funny guy who gets the balls (and material) to try to entertain on stage and get into the craft of comedy.

Since it's not my goal to make a million dollars on this, it's more about seeing how to do it, and actually following through, I'm measuring "success" very differently than a business would. My kids were giggling when they went to bed, repeating a couple of lines, so truly, if that's all I get out of it, and they can hold a book in their hands that Dad wrote, that would be worth a ton to me.

How hard can it be to write a children's book? They walk around all day picking their noses and eating it. As long as it has princesses or robots, you're gold.


To do it successfully? I would guess very challenging. I'll go back to the comedy example. I was mediocre. Some nights, with the right crowd, I did really, really well. Applause breaks, standing ovation, all that. Other nights, they hated me about as much as I hated them. I remember getting heckled during my introduction once.

Thinking that just because you make your buddies laugh, or your co-workers think you're funny, means stand up is simple, misses on the performance and business aspect of it. I know you were being sarcastic, but I admire folks who can write children's books and do it well. Clearly there are examples of good and bad books in all genres.

Unless I have already done something better than a person I'm criticizing, for the most part, I'll give the benefit of the doubt that there is challenge involved.

#28 elessar123

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

How hard can it be to write a children's book? They walk around all day picking their noses and eating it. As long as it has princesses or robots, you're gold.


Robot princesses.

#29 usickenme

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:16 PM

How hard can it be to write a children's book? .


Check out "celebrity" children's book authors. Thats how easy

http://www.amazon.co.../R1DML0L29FM885

#30 bordjon

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:51 PM

If you just want a book for your family and friends - I'd look in to blurb or lulu. See if you can get one of your illustrator friends to whip something up for dinner and a beer (or 3.) But the way it sounds - you sorta kinda want this to go big and make a ton of money which is a totally different ballgame (which you sound like you are aware of that.)

You might look up Writing With Pictures (Shulevitz) and (tangentially) any of the Scott McCloud books like Understanding Comics. These books discuss writing along with illustration - they aren't just about the images. I'm sure there are other books out there as well that discuss children's book writing and illustration these are just the ones I know about and have read personally.

There are some complex ideas behind crafting such concise information inside a children's book. I've always heard it's easy to write a novel, a little bit harder to write a short story and a little harder still to write a poem.

You might be able to find some niche and turn a ho-hum book into something more. An example is this book my wife found that we are going to get my daughter for some holiday or something. It's on etsy but I can't find it right now - forgot the name (not a good sign?!?) But I do remember the "hook" - it's about a girl who has a toy bear or doll or something that has a jacket that's been knitted or crocheted and the book comes with patterns to make the jacket for the child and the child's doll. It's a Waldorf inspired book. My wife knits/crochets and she's all in to the Waldorf education stuff so now she wants the book. This lady has like 4 or so books on etsy so who knows - my wife may want them all - whether they have a worthwhile story or not.
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