New Reward: Books Are Magic Print Set!
What's this book about?
The Localist is a non-fiction book about the importance of buying locally. But it's also sort of a memoir as well, because it tells my personal story — my adventure of going a year buying only from locally owned Alabama stores, and of starting a small business in Birmingham. The tone of the book is fun and hopeful, and my writing style is similar to that on my Shop Small blog, the project on which the book is based.
What's the money for?
I'm raising money to get The Localist — a manuscript that I've already written — printed as a book. I'll use the money to pay a local designer, web designer and editor, and to order the first batch of books to be printed. If we raise $5,000 through the Kickstarter, I'll be able to make The Localist available as a printed book and an ebook for bookstores across the country (and for pretty much anyone who has an ereader). I'll also have Localist stickers printed to be used as bookmarks, as giveaways in press kits and at book signings.
Can I really make this happen? (Spoiler alert: Yes!)
I've worked as a writer and/or editor for the past 13 years, so although I haven't published a book before, I'm familiar with the logistics involved in publishing and production. My Shop Small blog had a big readership, so I think people enjoy my take on the local buying question and will want to read more about it in my book. I attended uPublishu, an intensive self-publishing workshop at BookExpo America in New York, in 2013 and 2014 to learn more about self-publishing, and I've worked as a bookseller for six years (three of them as a small business owner at Church Street Coffee & Books), so I know what readers are looking for in a book.
What happens if I reach my goal?
My first goal, $5,000 is to get the book printed. If we meet that goal, my stretch goal will be to raise $3,000 to take Amtrak's Crescent Line all the way from New Orleans to New York, stopping in bookstores and libraries along the way to host book signings and Localist events. In this case, I'll be using the money to pay for my Rail Pass, but also for expenses along the way, such as transporting/shipping books to various stores, and for a traveling per diem. If we meet this stretch goal, I'm also committing to blog about the project all along the way so any readers and Kickstarter supporters will be able to follow along on the journey and see how people respond to the buy local message all along the east coast.
Could I really make a train ride blog work?
I ride on Amtrak often, partly because I find the train to be a great place to read and write. I've logged about 100 hours on the train in the past year, much of it dedicated to writing and editing drafts of The Localist. Amtrak's Crescent Line goes through several cities that have great bookshops (Atlanta, D.C. and Philadelphia, among others), and a Rail Pass will allow me to stop for a day or two in each city so that I can host events. I know I can keep up with the train blog because I have several years experience blogging about projects like this one.
When is this all happening, and when will you get your stuff?
The Localist book (and audiobook and ebook) should launch early 2015, and rewards that depend on those things will ship then. If the Wagon Train is funded, I'll plan it in the first half of 2015 (before June). Any rewards that don't depend on book-related deliverables will be fulfilled earlier (timelines are specified for each reward).
My thanks to the people and businesses who generously donated their time to make this Kickstarter video happen, including We Three Beeks, Paramount, Shindigs, Carrigan's Public House, Brick & Tin, Charm, and Church Street Coffee & Books. Thanks also to Shalla Wista Studio, who lent me the jewelry I wear in the video, to my P.A.s Jill Woodruff (she also made the great posters) and Kathleen Cook, and most especially to my videographer, Seth Newell: It took a lot of takes, a lot of patience, and a whole lot of cheerleading to get me to speak on camera without looking like a nervous wreck, and Seth's work is the reason it looks so fantastic and fun.
Risks and challenges
Book Publishing: We may run into issues with getting the book printed, since this is a pretty new process to both me and my designer, but I have a contact at our printer who's willing to walk through the process.
Both my designer and I will be learning a whole new process for publishing as an ebook. Although we have a clear plan for getting through the process, I don't know what issues we might run into. I do trust our distribution partner on the ebook side as well, so once we get the book formatted I'm confident that the ebooks will work perfectly for readers.
Book Distribution: I don't anticipate distribution issues, since our printer is handling it and does this kind of thing all the time — through Church Street, I've handled other books they've printed, and I've always been impressed with their delivery times and professionalism.
Train Journey: If the Wagon Train is funded, we'll have to set up signings at various stores, and I know that process will be full of challenges. I'm hoping that, because I'm used to running a signing from the bookseller side, I'll be able to anticipate some of the resistance before we approach stores. But obviously I won't be able to book signings for sure until the stretch goal is funded and I know I can fulfill the commitments.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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