Keep up with Princess Charming at http://princesscharmingbooks.com
Every little girl is one, the commercials tell us. Nearly every little girl in North America has one, whether it be a doll or a movie or a bedtime book. And no one, girl or boy, young or grown, hasn't been affected by their stories.
Stories of wonder, daring, courage, and heart — usually on the part of the rescuing prince, but sometimes the girl gets to be spunky. And that's worth something, right?
We know princesses by their trappings: ball gowns, tiaras, glittering jewelry — despite the fact that all those trappings come in at the end, at the happily-ever-after, and while they're pretty, are they ever anything else?
And who doesn't want a fairy tale wedding — for themselves, for their fiancées, for their daughters — as if that's the greatest achievement any girl can hope for?
Princesses have their good points, but there's a whole lot of not-so-great lurking in the shadows, too.
The goal of this project is to create princess stories with characters who are brave, capable, and, in a word, awesome. Princesses who are more than a ball gown and a pair of lips waiting for True Love's Kiss.
Princesses who don't all look the same, who come in different shapes, sizes, and colors—just like our kids and the world they live in.
Princesses who go on their own adventures. The boys might come along, too, but only if they can keep up!
Princesses who our kids can look up to and aspire to be like.
Kadri is the first Princess Charming, and her parents don't know what to do with her. The Charming dynasty has always borne boys: brave strapping lads who ride out into the world, rescue a princess, and come home victorious.
The Charmings know how to raise a prince.
Raising a daughter like Kadri? Not so much.
The King and Queen (and Grandmama Dowager) love their girl to pieces, but when the only mold you have is a Damsel in Distress, and your daughter has her own ideas plus, well, a bit of a stubborn streak, things get a little interesting.
Our goal for Princess Charming is more than just one cute book. The world already has The Paper Bag Princess, and we are all the better for it. What we want to do with Princess Charming is one step beyond that, creating iconic and memorable characters that kids will identify with because they grow up with them. So we're not talking one book for one age group. We're talking about three.
The Picture Book will see our princess brought to life with lively color illustrations and light prose. With 24 pages and a read time of about sixty seconds, it can be read to one-year-olds and enjoyed by anyone.
The Bedtime Book will present the same story with a little more detail and more complex language, appropriate for reading to young children. The story will be aimed at a "story before bedtime" length of about five minutes (36 pages) and be filled with color illustrations to accompany the story.
The Early Reader Book will be aimed at children just beginning to read, allowing them to explore the princess stories for themselves. This 64 page story, written in simple but evocative language, will also engage young readers with smaller black-and-white illustrations.
My name is Josh Roby, and I'm partnering up with the illustrious Anna Kreider to make this project happen.
Josh Roby has been writing professionally for twelve years (and writing unprofessionally for a long time before that), and has worked as an editor for curriculum development and a number of early reader titles. He spends most of his time as a home maker and raising his two precocious children.
Anna Kreider is a writer, game designer, and illustrator who spends a lot of time blogging about depictions of women in pop culture. She is also attempting to raise a toddler, despite the toddler's best efforts to the contrary.
We have a lot of reward tiers, but we've tried to keep them as simple as possible. Each tier gets you one more book than the last tier. Three Books can get you a full set of Picture Book, Bedtime Book, and Early Reader Book.
Once the campaign completes, you'll also be able to select more than one of the same book, up to a limit of 10. Why would you want more than one? Maybe you want to keep one and gift one. Maybe you've got three grandchildren. Maybe you've got a local library or school library that could use a copy.
Or maybe we'll hit our stretch goals…
Now that we've reached our initial funding goal of $7000, we are shooting for our stretch goals. We're incredibly excited about seeing Kadri in print, but to make this project most effective, to provide kids with a diversity of great role models and engaging stories, we'd love to make more books with more princesses.
We have five princesses sketched out and ready to go. Kadri is the first princess, but the thing about royal dynasties is they tend to produce heirs… and the Charming line isn't done with princesses. Each stretch goal we reach beyond the initial funding goal will unlock another princess, with her own story.
At $14000, we've already unlocked the quick and clever Princess Fayola. Read more about Fayola here.
At $21000, we'll unlock the unstoppable Princess Rowan. Read more about Rowan here.
At $28000, we'll unlock swashbuckling Princess Chandra. Read more about Chandra here.
At $35000, we'll unlock our savvy socialite, Princess Nayeli. Read more about Nayeli here.
Each princess unlocked will add another Picture Book, another Bedtime Book, and another Early Reader Book to the series. When the campaign completes, you can pick which books you'd like. If you've ordered two books, you can pick any two unlocked princesses' Bedtime Books… or two of the same princess' Picture Books… or Kadri's Bedtime Book and Early Reader Book… or any two books of any two princesses.
If we're really lucky and we unlock all five princesses, we won't complain if you order them all!
We're excited about this project and dedicated to its success. We'd love to have you join our effort. With your help, we can put out a quality set of books featuring engaging, admirable role models for our kids. Even if you don't have kids or grandkids (or nieces or nephews), even if you don't really want a children's book, you can still back the project to help put these characters in the hands of the next generation.
We can't do this without the generous support of backers like you.
Risks and challenges
While Josh and Anna haven't made children's books before, we've both published a number of books. We know how all the parts go together, the trials of print runs, and the agony of fulfillment and shipping. We've also got FIVE successful crowdfunding campaigns under our belts, so we've done this song-and-dance at this circus before.
This is a big project, and we have big hopes that it will balloon into something even greater. There will be a lot of things to wrangle: art assets, manuscripts, print runs, shipping solutions… and it will probably happen over the course of many months. Despite our intention of creating something big, broad, and lasting, we are trying to keep the particulars of this kickstarter simple: a series of short books full of big ideas.
We're pretty confident we can deliver on that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)