When Project Creators come on board Thundafund and immerse themselves in their crowdfunding campaigns, reach their Tipping Point and gain more support than even they envisioned, we have no choice but to pick their brains! Ginny Stone, the creative force behind the “Sibo” series of educational children’s books, was eager to have us interview her for our blog.
TF: How was the crowdfunding experience for you?
Ginny Stone: It was brilliant – I really enjoyed it – despite the fact I made mistakes and could have done better.
TF: Do you feel that through your campaign you have managed to crowdsource for Sibo more?
Ginny Stone: Yes definitely – through the incredible generosity of Nash Nissan we’ve got enough funding to have “Sibo Looks Right” illustrated and print 750 copies of the book – plus have the e-book to freely distribute. Without the campaign we would still not have this book – we had been trying to find funding for 2 years before this.
TF: Please note some of the challenges you had with your campaign?
Ginny Stone: I should have built up to the launch more. To be honest I started the campaign at the wrong time (was in the end stages of organising a conference and I was multi-tasking like crazy). I also did not dedicate enough time to a twitter campaign (except for the last few weeks). I somehow imagined that more of the people I know would have kicked in R50 just because it’s a good cause – that was a learning curve – people have other priorities! I also thought the marketing opportunities would be wildly attractive – but clearly I missed the boat somehow. All good – more learning curves! I also missed opportunities of have radio interviews purely because I was too busy. Silly me!
Probably the most challenging was that some people are just not very online literate and they had huge problems trying to register and deposit funds (and yet others had no problems at all). I overcame this by having them deposit money into my account and then I would create TF accounts for them using Sibo’s emails and deposit the money into the TF campaign account. It was a tad laborious at times.
TF: Do you have any advice for other campaign creators?
Ginny Stone: Don’t assume all your friends will support you. Do your build up to your launch properly. I think the biggest thing when asking for money is that your product or end result is something that is useful to other people – not just something you fancy doing and don’t have the money for.
TF: What, in your experience, are some of the benefits of crowdfunding?
Ginny Stone: Apart from the fact that we raised enough money to make our book happen… Marketing. Getting your product – my “Sibo” books – better known. Plus, in our case, I approached a potential funder for R300 and instead they have commissioned their own “Sibo” title and have ordered 10,000 copies (this is a real deal – done and dusted). It will be launched in October – transport month. This was a fabulous spin-off.
The contributions from Department of Arts and Culture were also unexpected and very much appreciated.
Also, I am quite sure that people will be happy to download the free “Sibo Looks Right” e-book and so my ultimate goal – of getting people and kids to be more road safety conscious will be realised even if we did not raise enough money to freely distribute real books around the country.
TF: Where to from here? Now that your campaign has closed, what happens now or what are your future plans?
Ginny Stone: “Sibo Looks Right” is currently being illustrated – it should be printed and will be launched mid-March. As I mentioned above – I am currently working on a new title on etiquette when using public transport (a “Sibo” book on manners – fabulous!). Also as a result of the campaign I have had chats with a guy who is considering having me write a “Sibo” book on saving – another great topic. I do also have many other “Sibo” titles brewing in my head – plus I write a weekly “Sibo” column in the African Reporter and it runs as a blog.
Check out the “Sibo Looks Right” campaign here
You can listen to an interview with Ginny Stone with Cape Talk’s Pippa Hudson here: