On the 26th June 2014 the ‘Our Story Book’ campaign began life on Kickstarter. The aim of the project was to create the first ever book about immortality to be 100% crowdsourced. The idea was to find people from around the world, from all walks of life, to each write one page of the book. Just sharing their take on immortality.
Anyone could take up the challenge and donate as little as £5 (US$8) to secure one page in the book and tick off 'become a published author' from their things to do list. In total 182 people, making up (more or less) 38 different nationalities contributed a page to this immortal book.
Follow this link to see the original page from the Kickstarter campaign
Why create a crowdsourced book?
First of all, being a part of anything creative is exciting! With a crowdsourced book there is an added level of anticipation and mystery that goes with not knowing what will end up in the final book. Finally, to hold in your hands the book that you have helped to create is a very rewarding experience. Ask any published author and they will agree. Although publishing a book is not without its difficulties. The idea to crowdsource a book arose as a solution to two common barriers people face when attempting to create a book. Firstly, our über-busy life-styles do not often leave us much time to indulge in writing postcards, let alone an entire book. Secondly, the considerable cost involved in publishing prohibits many people from ever having the pleasure of seeing their own words in print. Therefore, if one person has a desire to create a book, but faces these barriers to do so, then on a planet with 7.2 billion people, there must be many others who have exactly the same unfulfilled desire. Hence, why a crowdsourced book is an easy and inexpensive way to see you own words in print.
Every book is about something and this one happens to be about immortality. It seemed like this was the only obvious choice for a crowdsourced book that would create so many first-time published authors. After all, writing a book is a tried and tested strategy for achieving immortality in the eyes of our fellow human beings. None of us are going to live forever, that is to say our bodies are not immortal, but a good book can be! Our thoughts and ideas make up the most important part of who we are and sharing this part of us, in a book, is one way to experience immortality.
About the creator of Our Story Book
Creator & Curator of Our Story Book: James WJ Sutton
James is passionate about design, education and all things creative! After graduating in architecture from Nottingham University, he was preparing to make a trip to the Amazon rainforest, when he suddenly discovered that he required urgent heart surgery due to a severe aortic aneurysm. Thankfully everything turned out OK for him and now he is the proud owner of a mechanical heart valve, which according to his surgeon will last for 400 years! Like most people who pass through a life threatening experience, James emerged with a clear focus, resolved to spend his time on things that really matter most to him. For James this has led him to work with online education as a tool to help tackle global deforestation and climate change. More recently, to exploring ideas like crowdsourcing, as a new way to create and publish a book, when the traditional publishing model seems to be out of reach for so many people.
Today James lives in São Paulo with his Brazilian wife, dividing his time between teaching and pursuing new opportunities. Currently he is co-founding a coworking space in Brazil. He is also the founder of the Bloomtrigger project, a pioneering online platform for rainforest conservation and environmental education.
Additionally, James spends far too much time running in the park, trying to get his head around Portuguese grammar and experimenting the endless exotic fruits South America has to offer. He is always happy to talk, so feel free to contact him if you wish to discuss this project or would like to invite him to talk about 'crowdsourcing immortality' at your event.