Last week photographer Alma Haser and I launched a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise money to make a second edition of the Cosmic Surgery book. So why did we decide to crowdfund this project? We have launched ourselves head first into a month of continuously refreshing Kickstarter pages, a month of heart palpitations, mammoth spreadsheets and of not knowing if this thing we have spent so much time talking about is going to succeed.
When we first told people we would be attempting to crowdfund this project we had really mixed feedback. Some people loved the idea, I guess these were the people that had signed up early to our pre-orders list and really wanted to see this project happen. Other people were not so keen, Kickstarter for most people brings up past memories of being pestered everyday to pledge, pledge, pledge, and just incase you’ve forgotten, pledge some more.
Our main reason to attempt crowdfunding is because we want to try and retain control over this project that we both care so much about. I first got involved in Alma’s project last year, we made a very limited edition of pop up books by hand. We learnt so many lessons along the way, it took longer than we both expected but the books we produced were full of care.
Just after this release we talked to a few publishers, most of whom would have wanted to be involved in the re-design of the book, which is completely understandable as designing a book is the most exciting part of book making. Others were looking at the books as a business opportunity (not an easy feat with a pop up book) meaning production costs had to be minimal. We entered competitions and were shortlisted by a few, but most competitions come with terms and conditions that again could have quite easily broken the collaboration between the people involved.
Crowdfunding, if successful, gives us complete control over the project. We get to design it how we want to, choose printers and a team that we want to work with, make our own decisions about money and also stick to our own morals when it comes to producing something ethically. It also means that everyone that has pledged is helping make this project happen and people are trusting us to do an amazing job.
To everyone who does decide to pledge, thank you, it means so much to us. I'd also like to thank Gordon at GOST for his amazing generosity when it came to advising us along the way. Now, to a day of refreshing the Kickstarter page just a few more times.