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Why use Kickstarter to Crowdfund your Children’s Board Book

An amazing Children’s book concept can come to you in a flash, and you have the skills to write a compelling story that kids will love. But, once you start researching all the details on what goes into printing a board book, you’ll quickly learn that it’s easier said than done. Yes, you’ll have to find a printer and possibly an illustrator, but many writers find financing their children’s book project to be the biggest challenge of all. Luckily, you have options.

Many of the artists and authors who work with Pint Size to print their children’s board books are publishing for the first time and aren’t able to afford the costs of printing and distribution. In these cases, we often recommend Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform that many creators utilize in order to fund their projects.

Pint Size does not work directly with Kickstarter and we can’t help with the hands-on creation of your Kickstarter campaign. However, we have seen many authors and artists launch successful crowdfunding campaigns and are happy to share some thoughts in this article to help you get started.

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter Logo

Kickstarter is an online global crowdfunding platform that creators use to fund a wide range of projects including film, fashion, crafts, music, and publishing. Kickstarter creators set up a webpage that explains their project, outlining why they’re passionate about the subject, the costs of the project, and any obstacles that stand in their way. Then, they select a crowdfunding goal so friends, family, or anyone with internet access is able to help fund the cause. There are a few aspects of Kickstarter that make it the ideal crowdfunding solution for children’s book publishing projects:

A win-win solution with all-or-nothing fundraising

Kickstarter fundraising is all-or-nothing. If you don’t meet your crowdfunding goal for your children’s book, your backers will be refunded and you will not receive any funds from Kickstarter. This concept sounds intimidating to many authors at first, but shouldn’t make you hesitant to use the platform. It’s actually a good thing!

Kickstarter encourages creators to set realistic goals. Because of this, if you were to fall short of your goal, you wouldn’t have enough funds to move forward with your children’s book project. What would that mean for the backers who contributed toward your cause? The all-or-nothing mentality helps backers feel more secure making a contribution. If you reach your goal, they’ll receive their reward, in this case, your book. If you don’t reach your goal, they will get their money back.

The all-or-nothing rule also makes backers feel more personally invested in helping you achieve your goal. They’ll want to make sure you raise enough money to publish your children’s book so they can share it with their family or students, making them more likely to share your crowdfunding campaign with their network. This word of mouth marketing will help you get more backers and ultimately reach your goal.

No fundraising limits for your campaign

Although you must set a minimum goal for your crowdfunding campaign, there is no limit to how much you can raise for your children’s board book project on Kickstarter. The sky is the limit! Once your goal is met, update your backers on how you’ll use any additional funds that you raise. Will you print more copies of your book? Can you come up with an idea for a toy or keepsake that can be offered with your book? Or, will you start working on another children’s book right away? Make sure your backers know that additional funds will be put to good use and watch the contributions pour in.

Conduct market research with your campaign

Some of the most exciting children’s book projects on Kickstarter today are created specifically for niche or minority audiences that aren’t represented by other books on the market. Many children’s book authors write stories to help children identify with their characters and feel a sense of belonging. However, it’s not always clear what the demand is like for a unique topic or point of view. Kickstarter can help with that. Backers are telling you that they’re interested in your book, and most donations will essentially count as pre-sale purchases of your book. You may be surprised how many people are excited about your children’s board book project and want to buy it! Use this information to make sure you’re publishing and printing the appropriate number of copies.

Tips for creating a successful Kickstarter campaign

Create great rewards for your backers

The key thing to remember about Kickstarter is that it’s a crowdfunding platform, not a fundraising platform. To entice backers to make donations, you’ll offer special rewards based on how much someone donates. Coming up with reward ideas does take a little bit of planning and there is a cost to the rewards. However, rewards make Kickstarter backers more willing to contribute to your board book project so they can get their hands on whatever special incentive you’re offering.

For children’s book projects, in particular, reward ideas are easy to find. You can offer anyone who donates the minimum amount a copy of your board book once it’s published. This is a great option for donations around $20, but what can you offer people for higher amounts to inspire them to dig deep into their pockets? Consider offering signed copies of your board book, related merchandise, or educational resources that coincide with your book. For particularly generous backers, handwritten thank you notes or an acknowledgment on your book’s website can go a long way.

Build excitement

Kickstarter campaigns can also be a marketing tool for your book by helping you build excitement around your children’s book project before it’s even available for purchase. All Kickstarter campaigns must have a start and end date, which will create a sense of urgency for patrons and inspire them to tell others about your project. Your backers will act as word of mouth marketers for you, sharing your Kickstarter campaign with friends and on social media so you can reach your fundraising goal and they can receive their copy of the book. Teachers and community leaders actively seek out exciting new children’s board book projects on Kickstarter, making it a marketing platform in and of itself.

Looking for Inspiration?

Kickstarter is a great tool for finding other inspiring children’s book projects and connecting with independent authors around the world. If you’re in the early stages of writing your book, you should join the Kickstarter community now and find other children’s board book projects to support. Authors will outline the cost and obstacles on the journey of self-publishing and reading up on these challenges now can save you headaches down the road. Some authors also have information on their crowdfunding pages about the printers and illustrators they work with, giving you an opportunity to find collaborators for your own project. When it comes time to create your actual campaign, pay attention to the strategies that other children’s book authors use for their crowdfunding campaign. Learn from the successes and failures of others and find strategies to ensure your children’s book project gets funded.

Search for Inspiration

Get Started

Before you start your Kickstarter campaign and set your fundraising goal, you’ll need to find a board book manufacturer so you can calculate your production and shipping costs as well as the timeline of the production process. Pint Size Productions produces high-quality board books from our factory right here in the United States. We don’t directly assist in the management or creation of Kickstarter campaigns, but many authors turn to us to print their board book after they reach their fundraising goal. Contact us about your board book project and take the first step toward bringing your self-published board book to life.

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