When we talk about indies and self-publishing, we’re often focused on vanity presses or publishing tools such as those Amazon makes available. But over the past few years, one of the best resources for indie authors has become Kickstarter, which not only provides the platform for raising funding necessary to publish print copies and ebooks, but also helps to gauge reader interest.
Kickstarter pretty much invented the concept of crowdfunding (newer options include IndieGogo, PubSlush and Unbound), an excellent way for authors to bring their work to readers while maintaining control.
If you’d love to see what sort of titles are available on Kickstarter, we’ve got a roundup of recently completed campaigns. You’ll find books for children, comics, novels and even art books—Kickstarter has everything.
Beast Wagon by Owen Michael Johnson, John Pearson & Colin Bell
This Kickstarter campaign was smart for offering their book exclusively to backers–but retailers are included in the deal as well, so no worries if you missed out.
This “black comedy comic book” features brilliant and beautiful psychedelic artwork chronicling the disturbing events at a zoo. The book looks strange but wildly fun, and a little bit creepy.
Hero Hourly by James Patrick
Another graphic novel, Hero Hourly turns readers’ expectation their heads by portraying the iconic comic superhero trope into an hour-wage day job.
It’s “Office Space meets Superman,” and this hero story with a twist is a creative enough idea to catch interest–even if superheroes might not be your thing.
Helen’s Postcards by Scott St. John
This Kickstarter is a bit of a time capsule immortalized in a book. Helen’s Postcards is a scrapbook of postcards from 100 years ago, received and collected by Helen Thrun Nadratowski. This romantic life lived through correspondence looks to stitch a beautiful portrait of the postcards’ recipient, as well as the world and time in which they traveled the world.
The Window on the Door by James Watson
“The book is a book of suffering—but it is not a sad book,” says its author. The book promises to be one of Texas charm, love and suffering that spans across three decades.
The campaign video is moving and delightful, and it will be fun to see how Watson’s creativity transfers to the page.
California Four O’Clock by Martin McClellan
Put on your rose-tinted glasses and hearken back to mid-century Los Angeles for this novel exploring “the world of the pin-up.”
The book isn’t all about a simplistic view of beauty or sex; it will explore gender roles and aspects of queer identity in an industry that “now belongs to women.”
We’re Not So Different After All by Lisette Lent
An important work, this children’s book aims to teach acceptance to young children for others with disabilities or special needs. We can all use another healthy dose of empathy, and this project teaches children compassion while they’re young and learning to socialize in school. “I want kids to know that it’s ok to be scared and curious,” writes author Lisette Lent. “It’s ok to be shy and ask questions.” The cover art is beautiful, and I can’t wait to see more of the book!
We Were Like Sons by Aaron M. Green
Ah, the romantic and youthful coast-to-coast American road trip trope. Green’s memoir recounts a cycling trip across the country with a friend, and the people they’ve met. Judging from the Kickstarter campaign, it appears that when left to your own devices, even total strangers can treat you with hospitality as though you’re family.
This campaign is also notable for having offered things like bike tune-ups for backers! I can’t wait to read and “imagine” the American sights with this American adventure.