"Rebel girl, rebel girl, rebel girl you are the queen of my world," Bikini Kill once sang. That song could be the anthem for one of the biggest book successes ever on Kickstarter, "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls."
With 12 hours to go, the campaign for "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" has raised more than $635,000 for a picture book for girls that will feature the stories of 100 brave, adventurous, intelligent, ambitious and creative women, not princesses, as its heroines.
The concept behind "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" is a relatively simple one — the book will contain 100 stories about real women, written in fairy-tale style, with illustrated portraits of each. Subjects include Queen Elizabeth I, Serena Williams, Frida Kahlo, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.
It's a phenomenal success for a campaign that started in April with modest ambitions to raise $40,000 to commission international artists and graphic designers to create portraits of the women, and to print the book before Christmas.
It took just 30 hours for Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, the co-founders of creative marketing agency Timbuktu Labs, to reach that goal.
"Our entrepreneurial journey made us understand how important it is for girls to grow up surrounded by female role models," Favilli and Cavallo, who grew up in Italy and live in Los Angeles, write on the campaign's Kickstarter page.
"We realized that 95% of the books and TV shows we grew up with, lacked girls in prominent positions. We did some research and discovered that this didn't change much over the past 20 years, so we decided to do something about it." They note that despite the title, the stories are for both genders: "These women are incredibly inspiring role models for both girls and boys."
"Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" will be printed in November; and the large amount of money its creators raised means the campaign has reached its "stretch goals" — so backers will not only receive the book, but also a poster, a set of temporary tattoos, and an audio version. In addition, Favilli and Cavallo will donate 400 copies of the book to the charity Read to a Child and will visit Rwanda next year to host a week of workshops about female leadership.
More than 12,500 backers have chipped in $630,000, making "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" one of the most successful books to raise money via Kickstarter's crowdfunding platform.
It hasn't quite approached the success of Bibliotech, a printing of the Bible with each book as a separate volume. That project started with a $37,000 goal and went on to raise more than $1.4 million. Another book, a compilation of the webcomic "Order of the Stick," raised more than $1 million.
Yet "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" may be the most crowdfunded book featuring all original, previously unpublished material. And Favilli and Cavallo couldn't contain their happiness over the project's success. "The response to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls' has been overwhelming and — make no mistake — this is just the beginning," they wrote in an update on Kickstarter. "We're on the verge of a tectonic shift, and it's exactly people like you who are making change possible. Feel proud of yourselves."