I’ve been experiencing conversational déjà vu over the past couple of days. It goes something like this:

Friend: “What have you been up to?”

Me: “Loads! The Kickstarter campaign went live this week!”

Friend: [blank look] “Cool. And how’s your children’s books project coming along?”

As it turns out, the people who spend their time on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, aren’t necessarily the same people who might be interested in children’s books and apps. Which means a lot of the people I’m warbling on to about crowdfunding – parents, aunties and uncles, grandparents – haven’t the faintest idea how to lend their support.

So I thought it might be handy if I provided a basic overview of how it all works.

What is Kickstarter and crowdfunding?

It’s when people who have an idea they want to launch into the big wide world, use a website, such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, to ask normal, everyday people to help fund it in exchange for a ‘reward’.

It’s kind of like shopping before the thing you’re shopping for is ready to buy. With a bit of feel-good factor thrown in because you’re helping something cool come to life.

What’s a pledge?

Don’t worry, there’s no signing in blood or public ceremonies. A pledge is just a promise to give some money towards making the project a reality. You don’t pay when you pledge; the money only leaves your account when the crowdfunding campaign is over. Some sites, like Kickstarter, are all-or-nothing. That means if the project doesn’t meet the funding goal (Lairytales is £10,000), it gets none of the money pledged, and the money never leaves your account.

How much are pledges?

They’re all different but Lairytales starts at £3, then the sky’s the limit. At £25 the reward gets interesting because you get a signed and numbered first edition of our first story book, Parp and the Secret Stink, your name in the credits, plus the app. Generally,  the more you pledge, the bigger the reward.

How can I support Lairytales?

Funny you should ask! You just click on this link, take a look at the project and browse the rewards on offer, then decide if and how much you want to pledge.