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Ryan North’s ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Sets New Kickstarter Record

Just how much of a good idea was Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be, a book that will turn Shakespeare’s Hamlet into a Choose Your Own Adventure-style interactive narrative? Only enough of one to set a new record for publishing projects funded through Kickstarter.At time of writing, there are less than 17 hours to go until North’s Kickstarter ends, but with $502,000 raised so far, it has not only raised more than 25 times its original goal of $20,000, but also obliterated the record for Publishing projects crowd funded through the service previously held by Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception, which raised $287,342 in July of this year.

Just this morning, North updated the campaign by asking “Will we reach the $500k threshold at which I explode?” before mentioning that, thanks to the amount of money raised, he would be donated 400 books to schools, universities and libraries across the globe who had requested copies of the finished product. In an interview on, he explained the reasoning behind doing so:

If you’ve ever struggled with people’s motivations in the play, I think everything becomes a lot more clear when you’re the person making those choices. So in that way, yes, it’s educational! But you can also decide just to cut off people’s faces and throw them into the ocean, so in that way, probably you’re better off just reading Wikipedia.

17 hours to go before the campaign finishes, and it’s already reached the point where North has exploded. Just how much more money will the project raise before the end, and will North’s ghost be able to meet his deadlines without having corporeal fingers with which to type? Stay tuned.

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