Planning a Successful Children’s Book Kickstarter’s a bit of a mystery to most people but a blessing to many others. I was lucky enough to experience Kickstarter’s power and potential recently, so I’d like to share what I learned. 

For those who are unsure what a Kickstarter is, it’s a funding platform for creative projects. Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline, and if other people in the world like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal and the designated deadline is reached, backer’s donations will be honored. If a project creator’s monetary goal isn’t met, then they get zero.

Luckily, my recent Kickstarter was not only successful, my pledge goal was exceeded! It was much work, but it paid off big.

When I was in the initial planning stages of the Kickstarter Campaign for my Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess 5-Book Series, I set an ambitious goal. My team was concerned that I put too lofty of a goal, but I had crunched the numbers, and I knew how much cash it was going to take to make these five diverse picture books comes to life. I went BIG, and my team was anxious that we were biting off more than we could chew.

My exact words to them were…

…I will not only meet this goal, but I will also CRUSH this goal.

And I am proud to report that I did exactly that!

Planning a Successful Children’s Book Kickstarter

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. It is better to raise $1,000 and be successful on Kickstarter than to win for 30,000 like I did and fail. No one wants a failed project that is easily accessible for all of the world’s audiences to see forever. Sometimes, you need to feel the fear and do it anyway. On Kickstarter, project creators are supposed to set the minimum amount required to achieve their project. Setting it high was a gamble, but my entire entrepreneurial career has been a risk.

Commit to the fact that this project is a ton of work. The idea of throwing a Kickstarter into my already hectic life and business looked crazy to others. I knew it was another step in a plan to use everything possible the world has to offer an entrepreneur. 

This project would not be like me pearl-hunting on the beach and finding them on top of the sand and easily accessible. No, these pearls could only be seen by rolling up my pants legs, wading into a rocky shoreline barefoot, cutting on the bottoms of my feet while getting knocked back by a few waves. These pearls were deep underwater, and after I soaked my hair, reaching down into the water, grabbing the shells myself, hauling them all back to the beach, and then painstakingly prying open each shell to find the rewards. I was labor-intensive, but I gained many pearls.

The people who supported me then, and continue to support me now, are the pearls.

Honestly, preparing for this Kickstarter and all of the moving parts affiliated was more work than I could have imagined. But the wisdom and insight I gained are priceless.

Set reasonable goals. When choosing a Kickstarter goal, be realistic and set one that goal you know you can reach.

Do your homework. Do as much research as possible on what Kickstarter is and how it works. There are many wonderful author groups on Facebook that are a wealth of knowledge and support.

Spend a lot of time defining your mission. What exactly is your dream? What steps are needed to move forward? Why does the world need your project? Why are you the person to do it? Make people understand that the world needs what only you can provide.

Put your best brand forward. Plan your Kickstarter meticulously. Make sure your current online presence is polished and accurate. Update your headshot and logo if needed. Assign tasks to team members and meet weekly to keep everyone on track. The first week, and the last week of your Kickstarter, the most critical and likely the two times you will bring in the most backers true if you are creating a project surrounding publishing a children’s book. Backers want to see the illustrations’ vibrancy and fun and be drawn into your project because of them. With this in mind, pay your illustrator to design what some of the characters will look like ahead of time so the world will fall in love with them. 

Connections are important. Make a list of every single person you know will give and of those you think will give. Reach out to every single one of them. Personally, make that connection. People will usually give when you ask directly. 

Do not underestimate the power of $10. Some people don’t give because they think you are looking for hundreds of dollars. Let them know that they can help you make history and support your dream for what they spend on coffee or their lunch in a day. Almost every single person I asked gave at least $10 once they knew that. 

Have faith, and don’t rush the process. This is something that you should have a strategic plan for and also be sure you can deliver. Do not begin a Kickstarter without your team reviewing your strategy and giving you feedback. 

You can do this! If this has been a dream of yours like it was for me, I know you can do it. But know that Kickstarter is not a windfall. It is real work. 

Kickstarter still works. People are running successful projects every day, and you can as well.

If you always wanted to write children’s books, but the costs are something you can’t manage, Kickstarter can help you raise the money needed for illustrations, publishing, printing, and marketing.

Before you begin, make sure to define your dream in writing, invest a little money in putting your best face forward, and go into this adventure knowing it will take a ton of time and patience to run a successful campaign too. For me, it was grueling and stressful, but it was worth it. Looking back now that many weeks have passed, the cuts, bumps, and bruises have healed and I am beyond grateful for the support and wisdom I’ve gained.

And I have many pearls I would never have found otherwise. Plus, one heck of an adventure to tell my grandkids about in the future!

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess Series Book One in this amazing FIVE BOOK series is HERE!

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. This five-part diverse picture book series shines the spotlight on a little brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. It seems that everyone else has an idea for who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.

The story also reveals the very special family dynamic that Kayla shares with her mom- a hard-working woman who struggles with the guilt of not being as available for her young daughter as she would like. But as the story progresses, Kayla and her mom realize the impact of valuing the time they have together as well as the importance of seeing each other acknowledge (and pursue) their individual dreams. {ages 4 to 8}

GO HERE to order your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by veteran author, Deedee Cummings, the Kayla: Modern-Day Princess series is inspired by her own real-life princess and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 16 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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