Bell draws on the Kickstarter crowd's generosity to fund illustrated book

  • Publishing
  • November 25, 2013
  • StopPress Team
Bell draws on the Kickstarter crowd's generosity to fund illustrated book

David Bell, ex-creative director at Media Design School's creative advertising course and the recipient of the 2011 lifetime achievement award at Axis, has been on a mission to get his book The Dog Hunters in front of as many people as possible since it was published in July. Sales are building slowly as word spreads, he says, and so far he's been spreading it via social media and at shows like Armageddon. And now he's harnessing the power of Kickstarter to help fund an illustrated version. 

Bell says the book, an "epic reworking of the legend of Gelert the wolfhound and Prince Llewelyn, in a sprawling, dog-infested medieval mystery", has already been getting five-star reviews. So he's obviously no slouch behind the keyboard. And, as the drawings attest, a life spent honing his craft in advertising means he's pretty handy on the other end of a pen, too.  

"It started as an eBook, but paperback sales outstrip digital by five to one. I'm actively working to promote it worldwide, including doing publicity in the UK and USA over December and January. Meanwhile, many people have been pleading with me for the illustrated version. When I took the book to 'Armageddon', Auckland's pop culture expo, over Labour weekend, I did 'live drawings' and we sold nearly as many prints of drawings as we did copies of the book. Compelling evidence that there's a big market for the pictorial version."

He says illustrating the book is a big task as it's 330 pages long, and he needs to do a minimum of 100 more drawings to bring the narrative to life. So funds raised through Kickstarter will be used mainly to help give him time to finish the drawings and then prepare them for publication, which involves lots of scanning and fiddling around in InDesign and Photoshop.

"I will also import several hundred copies to New Zealand so that Kiwis can buy the book without incurring the extra, substantial postage costs. The rest of the money money will be spent promoting the book." 

At present, he's up to 16 pledges and about $800.

"It's slow but steady and a fascinating thing to watch unfold. It would be great to reach the end $15,000 but even if it doesn't make it, it's fun and gets the book out in another way. Whatever happens, there will be the illustrated version, so it's more like an intellectual exercise than a desperate plea for cash." 

Bell is also writing the second book in The Dog Hunters series and he says the drawings for the first book are "actually helping me write the second. Because drawing is a very different process to writing, the two complement and refresh and drive each other." 

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

How is this still a thing? Reader's Digest curates 'articles of lasting interest' for nearly a century

How is this still a thing? Reader's Digest curates 'articles of lasting interest' for nearly a century

In the last 97 years, the world has suffered the Great Depression, countless wars, the rise of tyranny, innumerable natural and man-made disasters and political scandals. We’ve mourned the rise of terrorism and celebrated the invention of the internet. We’ve put humans on the moon and explored that last frontier, oppressive regimes have fallen and human rights milestones have made history. Throughout it all, one thing has remained a constant of bathroom magazine baskets and rest home libraries: Reader’s Digest. Caitlin Salter talks to Australiasian group editor Louise Waterson about how this general interest publication has stood the test of time, and what the future holds.

Next page
Results for

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.


Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit