Scratch and Sniff Book on Kickstarter

by Bryan Ballinger

Animal Gas, the cover!

Animal Gas, the cover!

Animal Gas, the cover!
Fox thinks he passes a tropical breeze
Birdy thinks hers smell like fresh laundry
Fox thinks Birdy's smell like dirty socks

Bryan Ballinger got it in his head that he wanted to self publish a scratch and sniff book. Armed with a vision, this professional illustrator researched scratch and sniff and found the company he wanted to work with. But publishing a book isn't cheap, and publishing a smelly one even less so!

So Bryan turned to Kickstarter, where he's in the early stages of a month-long campaign that seeks to raise $20,000.

I suggest you open his scratch and sniff book Kickstarter page in a separate window so you can follow along as he tells you how he's doing it.

I’ve been a children’s book illustrator and author for over 20 years, and I’ve done work for Disney, Microsoft, Harper Collins, Scholastic, Macmillan, Nintendo, American Greetings and a bunch of other companies. (You can see my work at Bryan Ballinger dot com.) But this is the first book that I’m self-publishing.

Animal Gas is a scratch and sniff picture book that I am trying to fund through Kickstarter.

I love scratch and sniff books, and this book is designed to take full advantage of the "technology"! There are both good and not so good smells in it. It’s also a book that’s designed to appeal to reluctant readers with its wacky characters, fun rhymes and silly smells.

I tried to develop a wide variety of different rewards for the Animal Gas Kickstarter. At the lower end of donations, I’ve got downloadable electronic versions, including a simple PDF and a more interactive i-book version with sound effects and narration.

I’ve also got a reward level where you get a hardcover printed scratch and sniff copy of the book.

firefly passing gas

At the higher levels donors can also get

  • original pages from my sketchbook

  • t-shirts

  • the opportunity to be the voice of one of the characters in the Animal Gas i-book.

I’m doing a lot of different things to help keep the Kickstarter campaign fresh...

turtle smelling fish

I’ve got a bunch of my professional illustrator friends who are contributing original "gassy beastie" illustrations just for the campaign.

(I’m posting a new one every day; they’re really funny and awesome.)

I’m planning on announcing a bonus reward: a printed sketchbook of all their drawings too.

I’ve also got some musician friends who have done some original Animal Gas songs for the Kickstarter. They are hilarious and span very different genres.

I’ve also worked with some friends on some little 15 second short films that I’m posting throughout the campaign. You can see the first one here:

I put a lot of time into my Kickstarter video.

I actually made it three different times and got feedback from some trusted friends after each iteration. I worked with a motion graphics colleague for the opening animation to the video.

I tried to show that I’ve got the experience and background to make the book effectively. I included some preview illustrations and played up the fact that it’s going to be a scratch and sniff book, which is what really sets it apart.

I also included the fact that I previewed the book to large groups of elementary school students and their teachers and got a fantastic response.

In addition to the Kickstarter page itself, I’ve created a facebook page for the book and on Google+. I registered the domain name so I could have that as something I could put on all the images I use for the campaign.

It points right back to the Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter for Animal Gas started off pretty well, and I’m hoping all these extra things I’ve done will help to keep it going enough to get it fully funded. We’ll see!

Bryan Ballinger
written July 15, 2013, with 23 days to go!

Animal Gas on Kickstarter.

Comments for Scratch and Sniff Book on Kickstarter

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Dec 29, 2014
Kickstarter Comment(s)
by: Connie (Corcoran) Wilson

Wow! $20,000 to do a Scratch & Sniff book. Wow! I had no idea.

I've done 4 children's books (1 is off to the illustrator in Rhode Island for next Xmas). There are some interactive pages at the back, but the Scratch and Sniff sounds extraordinary. I ran into a Russian girl who does pop-up books, and we spoke about that, but I had no idea it was so pricey to do these highly original things.

Mine are just "regular" books, with a professional illustrator (Gary McCluskey) called The Christmas Cats.

Good luck!

Connie (Corcoran) Wilson, M.S.
CEO, Quad Cities' Learning, Inc.
dba Quad City Press

Jul 20, 2013
Scratch and Sniff Book
by: Andrea Paez Lozano

Hi Bryan,

Thank you for telling us about your scratch and sniff book. I think it's great! I'm laughing about it already. Can't wait to get a copy. Thanks for writing about how you're going about publishing it too. It's an idea worth looking into.

Jul 15, 2013
Animal Gas, a scratch and sniff book
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Brian, thanks for letting us know how you're doing it! Any questions for Brian?

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