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Book review: How the ‘Kickstarter Handbook’ may help fund your next venture

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"THE KICKSTARTER HANDBOOK," by Don Steinberg, Quirk Books, $14.95, 218 pages (nf)

Have you ever had an idea for a new product that has the potential to be the next Magic Bullet or Snuggie sensation? Often ideas for creating the next best thing since sliced bread are quenched by the fact that regular folk like you and I have no financial backing to initiate our ideas into glorious realization.

But the future may not be so glum. Crowdfunding sites, such as kickstarter.com, draw in thousands of potential backers eager to pledge cash for the next big idea. And it's not just drawing in physical products. In fact, more than 58 percent of the 11,836 successfully pledged projects in 2011 were in the categories of music and film, with technology coming in last with a mere 1.06 percent, according to Statista.com.

But don't let those figures fool you. A measly 11,836 successfully pledged projects brought in more than $93 million from micro investors. One particular project, Pebble, an E-paper watch that syncs with your iPhone or Android, asked potential backers for $100,000 and received more than $10.2 million.

And that's where Don Steinberg's book "The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Crowdfunding Success Stories" comes in. The book has been crafted to help those who are interested in learning the mechanics of crowdfunding or even preparing to start their own "kickstarter" project. Steinberg has done well to create a quick-to-read reference that will help any reader gain a fairly deep understanding of the world of crowdfunding. It's both realistic and full of useful case data. The latter few chapters are a little slow and repetitive, but the first two-thirds are worth the price alone.

Sure, you can find the information Steiberg gives in several places across the Web, ranging from hard data to anecdotal stories and experience. But what this book delivers is convenience and coherence. It's a one-stop reference to get a fast start in the world of crowdfunding. After all, you may only be a kick-start project away from inventing the next toaster strudel.