More than 180 people helped to pay for the first printing of Nick Dekker's new breakfast book. The local author knew only about a third of them.

More than 180 people helped to pay for the first printing of Nick Dekker's new breakfast book.

The local author knew only about a third of them.

Unable to bankroll the plan, Dekker posted it to kickstarter.com, an online platform that allows users to browse and fund creative projects like books, plays, albums and inventions. "Breakfast With Nick: Columbus" will be released Saturday, Nov. 5, thanks to people in town and far beyond who noticed a good idea and wanted to see it through on their own dime.

"There were a bunch of names I didn't know at all," said Dekker, who's also a board member of Wild Goose Creative. "I have to ship one copy to Belgium."

His book isn't the city's first Kickstarter project - it's one of a growing number of local ideas launched through the website. Of the 26 Columbus projects funded successfully since 2009, 15 met their goals within the past three months.

As of Monday, locals were in the process of raising money to produce a short horror film, put on a play about time travel, set out on a rock tour and press vinyl editions of a prog-rock album.

"What's great about Kickstarter is that it's really easy to use," Dekker explained. "It's very slick-looking, which allows people to buy in really quickly."

When you sign up on the site, you can search for projects and pledge a desired amount. Your credit card is charged after the funding window closes - usually between one and six weeks - and only if the project's target amount has been raised.

Listing a project is free, though the site collects five percent of the total amount raised if an idea is successfully funded.

In most cases, a pledge is simply a pre-order for a small piece of the project.

For example, Columbus indie musician Seth Ellsworth is trying to raise $1,200 by Dec. 20 to master his solo album. Among other recompense, a pledge of $12 or more gets the donor a digital copy of the album.

Those who gave at least $20 to Dekker's project got a copy of the book - and a special thank-you in print.

Photo by Jodi Miller