029: The Secret Behind a Million-Dollar Kickstarter: Adam Greene’s Bibliotheca [Podcast]

I began to perceive books as this sort of reverent artifact, this special thing that miraculously transmits words across centuries and millennia.
—Adam Greene

More than words that make up pages. More than just a good story. Books are works of art meant to be cherished and passed down from generation to generation. But in this day of mass production, are books being made that will stand the test of time?

029: The Secret Behind a Million-Dollar Kickstarter: Adam Greene’s Bibliotheca [Podcast]

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing book designer Adam Greene who was the mastermind behind the million-dollar Kickstarter campaign, Bibliotheca.

Adam believes content and design are meant to complement each other. Even in the Information Age, he believes in creating books that are elegant and enjoyable to read. He decided to apply these beliefs to one of the oldest pieces of literature in the world: the Bible.

Bibliotheca, as it was called, had a starting goal of $37,000 on Kickstarter, which was met in just 27 hours. It eventually reached $1.4 million in 30 days. How did he do it? Adam didn’t start with a massive blog audience. He started with an idea, passion, and the support of family and friends.

In this episode of The Portfolio Life, Adam and I discuss the history of books and what makes them beautiful (and readable). We also talk about his project Bibliotheca and what it takes to launch a super successful Kickstarter campaign.

Listen to the interview

To listen to the show, click the player below (if viewing this in email, click here).

You can also download it at iTunes or on Stitcher.

Interview highlights

In this interview, we discuss:

  • How books should be beautiful, elegant, and well-made (even in the Information Age).
  • The story behind Bibliotheca, one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history.
  • How Adam met his Kickstarter goal of $37,000 in just 27 hours after launch and went on to raise $1.4 million.
  • The video behind his successful launch (and why it was crucial to Bibliotheca’s success).
  • What happens after a Kickstarter campaign ends (and the real work begins).
  • What’s next for Adam Greene (and maybe for book publishing, in general).

What is Bibliotheca?

Bibliotheca is the entire biblical library separated into volumes and designed purely for reading. The text is reverently treated in classic typographic style, free of all added conventions such as chapter numbers, verse numbers, section headers, cross references and notes.

Adam desired to create an alternative to the encyclopedic nature of the Bible and create a reading experience that was less daunting. The Kickstarter campaign that funded the project is over, but Bibliotheca is now available for pre-order.

To find out more, watch Adam’s video, or pre-order Bibliotheca, go here.

I hope you enjoy the interview. Feel free to download it and share with friends. And I’d love for you to take a moment and leave a review on iTunes.

A couple of interesting writing resources

Here are some things you might have missed:

  • Don’t miss my free webinar today with Joseph Michael, the Scrivener Coach, on how to organize, write, and format your eBook (replay available for those who sign up).
  • If you’re interested in seeing how a book is written from idea to publication, check out Fiction Unboxed. If you pick it up today, you’ll also get a free bonus video series: “Write. Publish. Repeat. Conversations” when it’s released next month.

Do you think it’s important to have well made books? Share in the comments.