We started the Princess Charming book series to make children's books that feature active, competent princess characters who do more than wait around to get rescued. We've already published six books across three different reading levels, but we're far from done.
Publishing the first six books was a great experience, and we're ready to bring out the second batch, starting with Princess Rowan Charming.
The third princess of the Charming dynasty is the unstoppable Princess Rowan Charming. Rescued by Fayola along with her mother Imogen, Rowan enjoys a life of safety and security with her two moms. Safe, that is, except when she sneaks off to go adventuring. Which only goes to show that you can take the princess out of the danger, but you can’t take the danger out of the princess!
Only one thing slows down our Rowan — her friend, Prince Sundara, who insists on coming along. Something about Rowan having only one hand and that he has to protect her. But he only gets in the way! Somehow Rowan has to make the boy understand that he’s not cut out for adventuring… before he gets hurt.
And In the Wings…
If we fund all of Princess Rowan's titles, we've got two more princesses lined up and ready to go: Princess Chandra and Princess Nayeli are both penciled in for three books, which we will unlock as stretch goals.
Our goal for Princess Charming is to make more than a single book: we're creating iconic and memorable characters that kids will identify with because they grow up with them. So we're not making one book for one age group. We're talking about three books for each princess.
The Early Reader Books are 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 black-and-white illustrations.
The Bedtime Books present two stories each, both featuring the same princess. These stories have a little more detail and more complex language, appropriate for reading to young children. The stories 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 Picture Books bring our princesses 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.
We've already published two Picture Books, two Bedtime Books, and two Early Reader books. One set features Princess Kadri and the other Princess Fayola. You can order these as part of your pledge in this kickstarter, picking up all three early readers or even just all of Princess Kadri's books.
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 more than a decade (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. Nowadays, most of Josh's time is spent as a home maker and raising two darling 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.
As you can see, our reward tiers go in series of eights. Together with shipping, that comes out to ten bucks a book (international shipping runs a touch more).
At the launch of the project, we've kept things simple: one book, two books, three books. When the project funds, you can tell us which books you want: any of Princess Rowan's books that we've unlocked, any of Kadri or Fayola's that rolled out in the last batch, or any combination thereof.
If things go well and we start unlocking more books beyond Rowan's three, we'll add more tiers that will let backers order more books. In the mean time, if you really need six books (or whatever), feel free to pledge $60 (or whatever number-of-books x 10 is) and we'll be happy to fill that order.
If you'd like to support the project but don't have any need for children's books, we're happy to donate your copies to worthy places like libraries, children's hospitals, and shelters. We'll send you a PDF of the titles, too, just so you're not completely left out of the swashbuckling princess fun.
When we ran the first Princess Charming kickstarter, we set things up to unlock one princess at a time. That meant that when we funded and when we hit a stretch goal, we unlocked three books at different reading levels for the same princess. This gave us a broad audience: folks who wanted picture books and folks who wanted bedtime books and folks who wanted early reader books, all at the same time. This worked out well enough: we had over three hundred backers and unlocked two princesses for a total of six books!
The setup also meant we were staring down pretty big hurdles to fund: to the tune of seven thousand dollars for each set of books. Since crowdfunding runs on regular doses of enthusiasm, those difficult-to-hit thresholds meant the campaign wasn't generating as much excitement as we had hoped for.
This time around, we're unlocking one book at a time, starting with Rowan's Early Reader book. These books require black-and-white spot art, which takes the least amount of time to create, and thus our initial funding goal is less than half as much as last time. We reached that on the first day last time, so we're pretty confident we can do it again!
Beyond our initial funding goal, we will unlock more books as stretch goals. At $5000, we'll unlock Rowan's Bedtime Stories book. These books use color spot art, which takes a little more time on Anna's part. But we can also use the art, without its color, in Rowan's Early Reader book. And then at $8000, we'll unlock Rowan's Picture book, which will be full to bursting with art on every page. That's a big time commitment for Anna, but those picture book pages can be harvested for spot art for Rowan's other titles.
If this campaign keeps going, we'll do it all over again for Chandra (and then maybe Nayeli!). At $11,000, we'll unlock Chandra's Early Reader title. At $13,000 we'll make her Bedtime Stories, and at $17,000 we'll complete her set with Chandra's Picture Book.
Risks and challenges
This is not Josh and Anna's first rodeo. Not only have we published six children's books, but we've published a number of titles for grown-ups. We know how all the parts of books go together, the trials of print runs, and the agony of fulfillment and shipping. We've also got SEVEN 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
- (25 days)