Case Studies/Crimperbooks - Children's Novels
For centuries humans have shared our experiences through stories and shared the stories themselves. Many of our most loved stories – particularly childhood ones – have been passed down over the generations. Another way to put that is they have been shared. This project is about stories you are free to share. — Ryan Cartwright
Crimperbooks produces and publishes children's novels and stories under Creative Commons licence. The project evolved when the author, Ryan Cartwright, had a story telling session with his own children. The children suggested they should make one of the stories into a "proper" book. Being an advocate and user of Creative Commons anyway, Ryan looked for publishers who were already using CC licences in this genre. Whilst there were several picture books for younger children and a few "teen" or "young adult" books there were very few - if any - published CC novels for ages 6 to 12 (the target demographic). Cartwright decided to self-publish and Crimperbooks was born in the summer of 2013 when the first novel - Sugar the Robot and the race to save the Earth - a story of two children whose toy robot turns out to be under control of aliens - was published. eBooks in varying formats were immediately made available under CC:By-SA.
A second book - Do Not feed the Troll! - about a family who discover a troll living under their back garden - was released in the summer of 2014 with more planned after that.
The books are all released under CC:By-SA
Ryan is a free software developer and has long been a supporter of Creative Commons. When it came to publishing his own books there was no question that they should be under Creative Commons. The motivation is to produce not only stories that are a good read but stories that can be shared, built upon and developed. CC:By-SA allows for that.
Aside from that Ryan is hoping that getting CC-licenced novels into the hands of children will encourage them to think about sharing and freedom from an early age. The project's webpage makes a lot of the idea of sharing and actively encourages readers to share the books.
The books are also available in paperback and on some eReading devices. As expected downloads of the CC-licenced work far exceeds the sales figures for paperback and eReader versions. The interest in the project from other authors jumps when they hear about the Creative Commons licencing. Apart from the obvious "how do you make any money" questions there is surprise as many self-published authors presume the only way to publish is the traditional restricted-licence way.