Book Country Launch Curated Kickstarter Page

Penguin Random House continues to oversee the expansion and development of Penguin Group’s self-publishing imprint and writing and reading community, Book Country. Penguin has just announced the launch of ‘a curated’ page for Book Country on Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdfunding program.
Brandi Larsen, Book Country Director, announced the news this week on the community’s blog:

We wanted to give more exposure to Book Country members who have also created Kickstarter projects so you can reach your fundraising goals. For us, Kickstarter is a natural fit. You’re starting your books here and working with other writers on Book Country to shape them into the best books possible. Then, when you’re ready, a Kickstarter project can help you cover the costs of getting those books into the hands of readers. ~ Brandi Larsen, Book Country

There are currently five Book Country Kickstarter projects listed, of which two have already achieved their funding targets, one last May and one in 2011, long before Book Country ever launched this project! Both authors of the completed funding projects did not use Book Country for publication of their books. Jessica Hawkins (a Book Country member for a year) uses CreateSpace under her self-publishing imprint (Book Country don’t support publication under an author registered ISBN). David J. Bookbinder (I couldn’t find him or his book on Book Country’s community) intends publishing high-quality colour, limited editions of his book, and his The Flower Mandalas Project is actually listed through Wattpad’s writing community. The other three projects have just begun their funding programs.

Thinking about creating your own Kickstarter project? Let us know. We’d love to help you by featuring it. ~ Brandi Larsen, Book Country

Kudos to Book Country for supporting authors, regardless of whether they decide to spend those funds on purchasing some of Book Country’s services or explore another publishing path or service provider. But it should be noted that this latest announcement by Book Country is not a commercial partnership with Kickstarter, simply ‘a curated’ page listing that highlights already existing Kickstarter projects, and all of it hosted outside of the Book Country website. Book Country asks member authors with a Kickstarter project to contact them so they can ‘help you by featuring it.’ It’s hard to know what this entails (blog features, interviews, community forum notices?) or whether it goes beyond a listing on their Kickstarter page.
This will be a benefit to authors, but it will be entirely dependent on how many of Book Country’s membership of 12,000 are actually there purely as readers. My mantra to authors has always been the same; reach out to readers and grow that community – don’t make the mistake of advertising or reaching out to the author community unless you are just looking for guidance on the mechanics of writing and publishing. Too many authors rush to launch a Kickstarter project before establishing a healthy reader fan base and end up disappointed when they don’t reach their financial goal. Kickstarter is a place to go after you have established your reader community.  

[Press Release]


Book Country, the online writing and publishing community established by trade book publisher Penguin Group (USA) LLC, announced today that it created a curated page on Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdfunding program, to help writers get their projects funded. Since its launch, there have been more than five million backers to fund over 50,000 creative projects on Kickstarter, including books, films, recorded music, performances, and visual art.
Book Country members apply to have their project featured on Book Country’s curated page on Kickstarter, providing exposure and community support that will help members to reach their funding goals. Kickstarter reports there have been more than 4,500 successfully funded book projects on the crowdfunding site, which translates into over $41 million in pledges. Successfully funded book projects on Kickstarter help authors block out time for writing and research, and cover the cost of editing, cover design, and marketing among other self-publishing costs.
Organizations that have worked with Kickstarter in similar ways are the Sundance Film Festival Institute, TED Fellows, the Rhode Island School of Design, Creative Capital, and Brooklyn Flea, among others.
Penguin Global Digital Director Molly Barton says, “Kickstarter is a natural fit with Book Country. We are the community where writers create the best book possible with feedback from other writers, and Kickstarter is where writers can earn crowdfunding to cover the costs of getting that book into the hands of readers.”
Book Country currently has a community of over 12,000 members, writing in over 60 different literary categories. Book Country members are now creating a wide variety of Kickstarter projects, seeking to fund everything from children’s books to fantasy novels.
“I’ve decided to launch a Kickstarter project so my work can flourish in the public eye,” said Book Country member Cynthia Neele. “Book Country and Kickstarter together are a powerful force connecting writers to their audiences, and marketing/promoting books that might otherwise fall by the wayside.”
To see the curated Book Country Kickstarter page, please visit this link:


Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant

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