Learn from the best: How Kickstarter children's book creator Will Mason got his project funded in 24 hours
Q & A with Will Mason, author of The Boy with the Rainbow Heart
I'm in the great position of being in contact with fellow Kickstarter creators in the children's book arena and get to follow their stories as they progress. Well, I have a real treat for you today. One of the readers of my book was able to get his project funded in just 24 hours on the site! Hooray! I thought I should check in with Will Mason about The Boy with the Rainbow Heart to see if he had some other tips he's learned along the way.
1. What do you think has been the most important element in creating a book that gets backed on Kickstarter?
Without question, it is crucial to have a strong social media following before you launch. Make sure that you tell your friends, family, and as many people as possible about what you are trying to accomplish – they are your biggest audience & supporters early on. Without them, if you don’t have an email list or an audience already built – you most likely won’t get funded. Fortunately, I had been talking about my project for months with family and friends – and because of their understanding of my project – we had a great launch day and we were able to hit our goal within 24 hours of our 30 day campaign!
2. Did you do anything special to celebrate your launch?
Yes and no. I went out to dinner with my family the night before launch to remind them that we were launching the next morning and to gently remind them of the importance of their initial shares on facebook and other social media platforms. I wanted them to understand how important their own networks and connections were going to be to my success. After our launch day concluded, all I did was thank everyone on social media NON-STOP. You can never thank your backers enough.
3. Have you noticed anything about HOW your backers are connecting to the idea behind your book?
Yes – I think that was the most surprising part of my campaign. Seeing all of my friends and family sharing my video and posts was one thing – but seeing all of THEIR friends share it as well was very surprising. It showed me that people were very interested in what my project stood for (acceptance and love for all kids – especially LGBTQ children). Most backers were proud to make statements that they support the LGBTQ community – and supporting my project was their way of showing that.
4. What social media channels have inspired the most people?
Without a question, facebook has been the biggest driving force to get backers to my project. That might be because that is the only social media channel where I have a strong following, but nonetheless, that is where the majority of my backers came from. That being said, if you post video or picture on Instagram, you will see a lot of views/likes.
5. Why go on Kickstarter for this book?
Kickstarter allows a platform to connect with the world like no other. It allowed me the opportunity to rally all of my friends and family to believe in something that I also believe in: acceptance and love for all kids. Kickstarter allowed all of my networks to come together in one central area to get behind something to help to make it become a tangible reality. It not only helped fund my book, but it built a network of supporters that are now customers and believes in my book. The backers that have supported my project are now part of the book – forever. Without Kickstarter, this book wouldn’t have happened.
6. What has it been like being a Kickstarter creator for you? Have you been able to connect with others in the Kickstarting children's books community?
It has been an absolute rollercoaster. I didn’t sleep well leading up to the launch, and that certainly didn’t improve once the project was live. It was not uncommon to wake up several times in the middle of the night with anxiety – checking my phone to see if any backers came in and making sure that everything was going okay. It is one of the most stressful experiences that I have gone through – but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences, too. I have been able to connect with people in the children’s book community that I never would have had the opportunity to achieve outside of Kickstarter – and those connections have been invaluable. Would I do it again? Yes, definitely, but not for a while. You will understand after you launch!
We are so thrilled for you, Will! Visit the project (you can still back!) or download your own copy of The Ultimate Guide to Kickstarting Children's Books.