A Krypton Radio exclusive interview by Senior Editor, PK
A gaming artist with a dream and a Kickstarter campaign going viral – internet dreams can come true
Back in June of 2012, I was browsing the pages of Kickstarter looking for interesting projects when I stumbled upon Nathanael “Nat” Iwata’s campaign to create a children’s Steampunk alphabet book. Nat who is a professional artist and illustrator working in the video gaming industry, had through his then recent work on a Steampunk themed video game, been inspired to create a Steampunk themed alphabet book to share with his young children.
That idea blossomed into creating a book for all kids and it went from concept to Kickstarter, with the goal to raise $7,500 to help fund production and marketing to a publisher who could bring the book to life in bookstores everywhere. I thought this would be an awesome project to share with our readers/listeners, many of whom are Steampunk fans. So I reached out to Nat for an interview and he was happy to oblige with more details.
From the book’s overview:
“Every family needs an alphabet book. That’s a given. But until now there has not yet been a compelling Steampunk-themed ABC book. Nat Iwata has been doing steampunk art for several years in the video game industry, and now he has illustrated a visually compelling, fun-for-all-ages Steampunk Alphabet book that is approachable both to fans and those unfamiliar with Steampunk. In light of that, while all of the illustrations are total Steampunk, the opening ‘letter sentence’ for each page is a familiar word.”
“For example “A is for Apple.” The idea of taking everyday ordinary things and re-imagining them as Steampunk is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and especially appeal to all of the hipster parents. The second part of each page is a description of the object as set in the Steampunk world. This portion will be more enjoyable to older kids and adults to enjoy, while the book could be read entirely with just the ‘letter sentences’ for younger readers.”
On June 30, 2012 the story went live on Krypton Radio and was well received by our fans, then it went viral. While I can’t be sure it was the main reason, it was an interesting factor in the fundraising that the story of Nat’s book was picked up by a news humor and mocking site called Fark.com, where it spread like wildfire from there. After the initial blast of traffic from Fark, and combined with many people sharing the project via social media, the donations to the Steampunk Alphabet book jumped very quickly. By July 26, 2012, Nat Iwata’s project had not only been funded, but exceeded his original goal by bringing in an impressive $11,391.
I always hear people say that it’s the power of the internet, and they’re right. Social media and related websites have helped change the way we do business and raise money for great projects like Nat’s book.
With part one of the victory being attained, part two was in the works. It wasn’t until recently that I received an update from Nat:
I just wanted to share some more info with you, as the book has gone through the final editing phase and is off to the presses this week! It is available in various places for pre-order, but the site offering the largest discount of 32% is Barnes & Noble, here’s a link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/steampunk-alphabet-nat-iwata/1112774056“
Interview after the break: