The campaign for "Olly, the Lone Red Squirrel" book was a success!
The campaign ran from 20th February to 18th March, 2022. We had 213 amazing people supporting to bring this project to life! In total, we were able to receive around $8000 after Kickstarter fees. And as we speak, the book is being printed in high quality by Shenzhen King Fu Color Printing company!
How amazing is that?!!
Sneak peak of the book being printed in bulk below.
I need to admit it's not easy though. I had to learn and work a lot before, during and after the campaign. It was my first Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to print my first children's book. I made some mistakes in the process, and mistakes cost money and make us waste our precious time which is also money!
I'll share a few tips if you want to run a Kickstarter campaign for the first time for a children's book:
1- Be 100% sure your manuscript is well edited and ready for your target audience.
I edited my story in British English, as my inspiration for writing the book came when I was there. During my campaign, I noticed that most of the backers were from US.
Some Americans read my story and they all told me it didn't sound right to them. And then I had to find a new editor and do all the work again to rewrite the story. This caused me a lot of stress and it was time consuming. If you can, avoid it!
2- Learn about Kickstarter and build your campaign in advance.
Although I read many articles, I realized that I didn't know enough when I launched my campaign. I had to redesign everything during the campaign. It was also stressful and time consuming. If you can have everything ready before launch, it's the best option.
3- Engage with other authors running campaign at the same time as you.
I engaged with many authors and it helped me tremendously! We had a Facebook chat where we asked questions, advices, opinions. Self-published authors help each other. I suggest you to join this group: Children's Book Authors and Illustrators: Publishing, Marketing and Selling
4- Post a lot in your social media and Facebook groups.
People need to know about your project and mission before they can even think about helping you. So post a lot! Try to find Facebook groups related to your book's topic that allow you to share your campaign link. Or just post about it and wait until someone comments asking for the link. Some authors post and add the link in the comments after it's accepted by the group admin. Facebook groups were the best place for me to find supporters.
5- Set a realistic goal.
Take into account exactly how much you need and try to set an achievable goal on Kickstarter. Because if you don't reach your goal by the end of your campaign, you get nothing! If you don't have a lot of followers and it's your first time running a campaign, set a smaller goal. But make sure that this amount will cover the costs needed to produce the products you are offering to people.
My goal was high, but I didn't find out about it until after I launched the campaign. After launch, you cannot change your goal. Some experienced authors have told me that I should aim for $5000 instead of $8000. I had to work hard to reach my goal. Luckily I got it in the end.
If you have any questions about Kickstarter or my campaign, comment below. I will do my best to reply.
Want to check it out my successful book? Here is the link for the book: Olly, the Lone Red Squirrel