Six Seriously Awesome Crowdsourced Books

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made miracles great and small happen for publishers, from helping establish an entirely new press houses to – we’re not kidding – launching a ‘gluten-free‘ magazine. Some projects start because they want creative control and are thumbing their noses at the publishing industry. Others – again, see GFF Magazine – are niche interests that find their best support through a tight-knit community. Even more feature unusual narratives and boundary-pushing storytelling – that major publishing houses wouldn’t take a risk on without an established writer. Regardless of how it got from plan to paper, we’re thankful for good writing no matter the origin. Here are seven you’ll be happy to have in your life as well:

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by written and illustrated by various artists

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is one of the most successful Kickstarter books in the website’s history, reaching its $40,000 goal in just 30 hours. The book itself is anthology retelling of 100 real women’s powerful stories in the style of fairy tales. Each is set beside artful portraits, created by different artists around the globe. On top of the righteous female empowerment, the publishers also plan on donating 400 copies to the Read to a Child charity. It’s an all-around win-win for everyone.


  • Backers: 13,454
  • Amount Funded: $675,614
  • Average Pledge: ~$50.22/backer

The Princess Who Saved Herself by Greg Pak, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa

Based on a song by “internet superstar musician” Johnathan Coulton, The Princess Who Saved Herself is a rollicking fantasy children’s book that, much like Good Night Stories, takes a crack at breaking down the stereotypes of girls and minorities. Unlike most princesses our heroine, Gloria Cheng Epstein Takahara de la Garza Champion, is a multiracial, snake-owning, rock-n-roll-playing fighter. Coulton said that the book and his song are both inspired by his tenacious daughter, saying that children “have this great energy, it’s like they can’t even really see obstacles, and they just roll over them.”


  • Backers: 3,063
  • Amount Funded: $111,759
  • Average Pledge: ~$36.49/backer

The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth by Chris Burkard, illustrated by David McClellan

When a curious child asks the Earth where he can find happiness, he is sent on a Giving Tree-esque adventure that takes the boy to the most beautiful locations in the world. The Boy who Spoke to the Earth is a spiritually satisfying picture book, told simply. While this type of story could easily become repetitive, we are in the hands of two connsumate professionals: one a surf and travel photographer, the other a Disney artist.


  • Backers: 2,125
  • Amount Funded: $75,107
  • Average Pledge: ~$35.34/backer

Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda, translated by Forrest Gander

Like all great poets, Pablo Neruda was a prolific writer whose magical prose revealed itself in the most surprising of places. When a cache of his poems, written on scraps of paper and in tattered notebooks, were discovered in Chile, there was an uncertainty over what would become of them. Through crowdfunding, this little nonprofit publisher was able to translate and compile these once-forgotten pieces. The success of this campaign also paved the way for them to begin reproducing Neruda’s first poetry book, Crepusculario, bringing even more understanding to the force of this evocative love poet.


  • Backers: 1,443
  • Amount Funded: $103,640
  • Average Pledge: ~$71.82/backer

C is for Cthulu Coloring Book by Jason Ciaramella and Greg Murphy

This coloring book is only the latest in the C is for Cthulu empire that two comic book heavyweights have built for themselves. With accompanying alphabet books, plush toys and trinkets, the oddball combination of horror fiction and childhood development has reached a wide audience. Now, it’s onto the next logical frontier: coloring books. It’s a cute mix of novel and novelty, creepy and creative, and your kids will thank you for it.


  • Backers: 971
  • Amount Funded: $42,489
  • Average Pledge: ~$43.76/backer

The Family Arcana: A Story in Cards by Jedediah Barry

Just as the subtitle says, The Family Arcana is not followed by turning pages, but by shuffling the poker deck on which the story is written. This piece of fiction follows a troubled, vindictive family struggling with secrets and their consequences while their farmhouse slowly deteriorates. Portions of the story are written on the cards’ faces and can be read no matter how order the cards, creating virtually endless variations and endings. It’s stacked with dark passages and surreal images but also is a functional set of cards, which could really shake things up on family game night.


  • Backers: 1,479
  • Amount Funded: $32,050
  • Average Pledge: ~$21.67/backer

Have you ever taken a chance on the publication of a bureoning book? If not, what would make you want to invest? Let us know!

Featured image courtesy of Mashable