After making crowdfunding history last fall by raising over one million dollars to publish a children’s book with 100 illustrated stories of inspiring women, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo have announced plans via Kickstarter for a second volume, along with a series of podcasts of the same name. Favilli and Cavallo had planned to print 10,000 books in time for the holidays if they reached their $100,000 goal.
Given that they topped $100,000 in the first three hours of today’s campaign’s launch and had more than doubled it at press time, they could be printing a lot more. And that’s with another 29 days yet to go.
The pair, who used their children’s media startup, Timbuktu Labs, to publish the first book, launched a joint campaign for both Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2, which will feature 100 new stories of pioneers, scientists, activists, and heroic women, and for the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls podcast via the Kickstarter Gold platform. “We’re thrilled they have come back to launch such new exciting projects,” Margot Atwell, director of publishing at Kickstarter, said in a statement. “They are redefining the future of publishing.”
Whether that’s the case, Cavallo and Favilli certainly made a splash with their first book, which was funded by 13,454 backers from 75 countries. Written to introduce children between the ages of five and eight to the stories of women from around the world, the initial collection has sold over a half million copies worldwide in 30 languages. Although many of the copies were sold through Kickstarter and then through Indiegogo InDemand, last spring Favilli and Cavallo began offering wholesale terms. Barnes & Noble and a number of independent bookstores have begun carrying the book.
“We got an email from their sales department early in May saying that they were starting a wholesale program, so we jumped right on the offer,” Josh Christie, cofounder of Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine, said. “It’s been selling very well. We’ve already ordered stock twice, and will likely need to order again at the start of the month.”
Favilli, a writer and entrepreneur who has managed digital newsrooms on both sides of the Atlantic, told PW that she sees Timbuktu as a new kind of independent publisher that creates unique books in constant dialogue with its audience of millennial women and their daughters. “We are redefining the boundaries of traditional publishing and creating a model where we are in control of the entire pipeline, from creation to delivery to the readers.”
In a video on the Kickstarter page for the new book and podcast, Favilli and Cavallo note that most media continue to be filled with gender stereotypes, which is why these projects are so important. They encourage supporters to “help us push the rebel revolution and create a world where gender won’t define how big you can dream or how far you can go.”
Although Favilli and Cavallo set the campaign goal for the first volume of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls at $40,000, meeting their $100,000 goal will enable them to print the second volume of kids’ stories and to make a series of 10 12-minute podcasts on inspiring women like Margaret Hamilton with NASA. The first episode will be released next February with the rest of the first season available in March. Funders will receive a special, or “secret,” podcast in December.
Favilli and Cavallo plan to print the new book in Canada. It will be distributed through fulfillment centers in Chicago, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. It is available separately or as a boxed set with volume one in November; international editions of the second book will be available in March 2018.