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
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
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.
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.