Making a living week: Day 2

Let’s Play Murder

The theam of the second day of this week was working for yourself. The day started with a guest speaker presenting what his company does and how they started working for themselves.

The guest speaker was Chris Walker, an illustrator and partner in Squirm and Learn. They have published two books so far funded with crowdfunding/Kickstarter.

Their idea was to create children’s book style illustrated books (for adults) about murder and death. The first book was called Let’s Play Murder and it’s about a sister and brother who are often left alone and they start trying to murder each other.

Let’s Play Murder book cover

Chris Walker said that the key to the kickstarter process was preparation. They had everything ready before they launched their kickstarter web page. They had done all the illustrations for the book and through through their plan. You have to make it simple so that you can meet your goals. E.g. they really wanted to make a hard cover book but they first aimed for a soft cover one because that is easier to accomplish. Later then they upgraded to hardcover.

They also had made a short to-the-point video which introduced the book, who they are, and what they want. They had put as much info in the first 15 seconds as possible to keep watchers interested. And for the video they had even made a mock-up product so that people could see what the book would look like.

A page from Let’s Play Murder

He wanted to also remind everyone that crowdfunding is not free money even though it is money that people have pledged to your project. Keeping the “campaign” alive is a full time job. They used all their time to answer people’s comments and posting updates on the web page.

There are countless of projects promoting their idea on Kickstarter which can make it difficult to get your idea across. Squirm and Learn however managed to get a “Staff’s Choice” badge which meant even more publicity for them. With that badge they were featured on the Kickstarter home page.

In the end they were able to get the funding they needed to print their book. They haven’t made loads of money with the book but to them it is more important to have managed to create and publish a book that’s now out there for people to buy.

The book is now for sale on Amazon and coming to a few gift shops.

Death by Shakespeare

Since Let’s Play Murder, they have also published another book with crowd funding as well. The second book is called Death by Shakespeare. It follows the same style as the first book.

Death by Shakespeare book cover
A page from Death by Shakespeare

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