Kickstarter, and crowdfunding in general, continues to transform the way small publishers and self-publishers secure funding for all types of book projects. Although a number of crowdfunding sites offer the ability to raise funds from the general public, the Kickstarter model leads the way. As 2015 draws to a close, the site has raised more than $70 million to support projects in the general publishing category, and it raised more than $42 million to back publishing projects in comics, for a total of more than $112 million supporting more than 35,000 successfully funded publishing/comics projects.
None of this is by accident. Besides offering cutting-edge technology, Kickstarter gives publishing campaign organizers three community managers—Margot Atwell and Maris Kreizman for general publishing, and Jamie Tanner for comics—for guidance and expertise on running their campaigns.
Kreizman is a former editor at the Free Press and a former editorial director at Nook Press, B&N’s self-publishing channel. Atwell is a publishing veteran who has worked as publisher at the indie press Beaufort Books, in addition to being a skater for Gotham Girls Roller Derby; she even used Kickstarter to launch Gutpunch Press, her own indie publishing house, in 2015. Tanner is a graphic novelist (The Aviary, 2008, AdHouse) and manages the comics category, which has one of the highest campaign success rates (50%) on Kickstarter.
It’s a new era in book publishing, and Kickstarter is one reason why. Kreizman said earlier this year that “consolidation [in the book industry] has led to people looking for new ways to publish. We’ve only scratched the surface of what we can do here at Kickstarter.”