Kickstarter: Kick-start your Dream

Kickstarter Message

My sister and I have always talked about writing a children’s book together. She’s very artistic and I enjoy writing, so we’ve agreed that, if it were to ever happen, she would do the illustrations, and I would work on the text. While we’ve had this plan in mind for years, we’ve never gotten past the talking stage. I think part of the reason for this is that we figure, ‘OK. Once the book is written, now what? How would we ever go about raising money so that we could get it published?’ With Kickstarter, all of this has become a reality for people just like my sister and me.

For this week’s assignment, we were given the task of exploring Kickstarter, a popular online crowdfunding platform that helps bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter is used by aspiring musicians, models, singers, startup companies, writers, dancers, etc. to ask a crowd of people to donate money to their project. Each person sets a goal amount, a deadline by which they’d like to reach their goal and any rewards or incentives being offered to those that support their dream. Below are two of the projects that caught my eye.

Bob and his time travel adventures, a children’s book

Bob and his time travel adventures

Selena Lin, a graduate student from Philadelphia, Pa. has written a children’s book to shed light on the issue of childhood obesity. The book’s main character, a boy named Bob, has the ability to time travel, and, therefore, has been able to witness the negatives of obesity firsthand. The book focuses on promoting healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. As incentives to support her in her children’s book project, Lin is offering backers such things as a personalized thank-you note, a paperback copy of her book, a Bob keychain and a Bob clay sculpture. The reason this project caught my eye is because it only needs $89 more before Friday, March 7 at 7:52 a.m. Eighty-nine dollars is nothing compared to the $3,111 she’s already earned from backers. My prediction is that she’ll be able to meet her goal in time.

“All-American Boy” – The Album

Steve Grand and Larry King

Only 17 hours after launching his Kickstarter campaign, Steve Grand had already received $44,000 more than he needed to reach his goal. Larry King was his first sponsor. Grand is an aspiring gay country singer from Chicago who posted his first video to YouTube last July. He made the video without the help of a label or a management team and even admitted to having maxed out his credit card for this pursuit. What I most liked about this project was that, in the description, Grand constantly refers to it as “our album.” In other words, while he might be the one actually working on this record, it would not have been possible without the financial backing of his Kickstarter supporters. As incentives, Grand is offering everything from a personalized thank-you note to a private acoustic set for you and your friends. With the $169,507 he’s already received, he will no doubt be able to put out a great album.

My Thoughts

After exploring Kickstarter, I can, honestly, say that I’m glad a concept like this exists. It not only gives the little guys a chance to realize their dreams, but it also brings people together for a common goal of helping others.

9 thoughts on “Kickstarter: Kick-start your Dream

  1. Juan Alejandro Di Prado says:

    I am glad that you see in Kickstarter a way to make your project of writing a children’s book with your sister a reality. I really enjoyed reading the Children book project that focus on obesity and talking about a healthy life style. I think many of us stumbled upon projects that had a deeper meaning, I was not expecting it to be like that so much when we were given the assignment.

    • Hi Juan,

      Yes, discovering that my sister and I could use Kickstarter to fund our dream of writing a children’s book was certainly great news! I hope this will give us the incentive we need to actually sit down and start working on it. Like you, I also wasn’t expecting to find such meaningful projects on Kickstarter, but it seems like every project I encountered had a much deeper meaning than I had originally thought. After checking out a few of them, I began to realize that these people are regular, everyday people just looking for some financial help to achieve their dreams. Thanks for commenting!

  2. seanburke4 says:

    Hey Lynette,
    I think Kickstarter is a great website as well. It really helps the little people out there realize their dreams. I go to Kickstarter to check out the technology things and never really look at anything else. I think the two examples you posted above are pretty awesome. It’s refreshing to see other crowdfunding campaigns doing so well and reaching their goals. Technology is one thing, but making an album or a children’s book with a good message is a completely different type of success. I can’t imagine being the founder and having the stress and excitement of a campaign running. I would probably check the page every 5 minutes to see the progress. If you and your sister decide to pursue a crowdfunding campaign, I wish you luck! Let us know too. I’m sure most of us would be more than happy to pitch in a few dollars!

    • Hi Sean,

      I didn’t even think to check out the technology section, but after reading your post, it seems I may have missed out on some really cool ideas. I really liked the two I came across, though. I almost find myself rooting for these people’s success, even though I’ve never met them before. There’s just something really special about seeing the little people start with nothing and eventually succeed.

      Thank you for your words of encouragement! I do hope my sister and I get the ball rolling on our children’s book idea, especially after seeing firsthand how successful many of these crowdfunding projects can be.

  3. I looked up “Bob and his Time Travel Adventures,” and good news! The author, Selena Lin, has reached her fundraising goal! Actually, she’s got a few hundred more than her goal, with 10 hours left to go! It looks like Bob the time traveler is now a reality. And what a great idea! Childhood obesity is a topic that really should be addressed in children’s books since it has become such an epidemic, and it sounds like Selena Lin found a creative and entertaining way to do that.

    I really hope you and your sister will pursue your dream of publishing a children’s book one day! Now you know where to go for funding. And definitely let your classmates know via our Facebook group or something! I, for one, would gladly contribute to your book efforts and help spread the word. We’ve got to stick together, even after we all graduate!

    • Hi Julie,

      That’s awesome news! I’m really happy Selena’s book is finally going to come to life! Not only is it great news for her, but for all those children and parents that will be able to benefit from reading it.

      I really appreciate it, Julie! Thanks for the words of encouragement. Spreading the word on social media is always a great idea. I hope she and I are finally able to get the push we need to do this! And I agree. We’ve all got to continue to stick together even after this program ends 🙂

  4. Hi Lynette,
    I think it’s great how you and your sister have put a book together and all you need now is the funds for it, I think Kickstarter would really help you get started and reach your goal. I really liked your post about the book “Bob and His Time Travel Adventures”, it seems like a great children’s book in today’s world. I think it’s great how people that contribute get something back in return, especially like a personally note back for instance, in a way it makes you feel like you have a connection with that person for being able to donate to their fund. Great Post and good luck with your fund once you get it started. I’ll be looking out 🙂

    • Hi Cyndi,

      I wish I could say we were that far along in the process. All we’ve got so far is an idea, but so much more work still needs to be done. Thank you for your support, though! I will be sure to keep the class posted as soon as we’ve made more progress.

      I agree with you that it feels good to receive a personalized thank-you note rather than a standard email from a person on Kickstarter. It makes you feel a part of that person’s fundraising efforts and, like you said, gives you a special connection to them.

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