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This book asks the question: "Does buying local even matter?" Part memoir, part non-fiction, it's set mostly in Birmingham, Alabama.
This book asks the question: "Does buying local even matter?" Part memoir, part non-fiction, it's set mostly in Birmingham, Alabama.
179 backers pledged $8,199 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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New Reward: Books Are Magic Print Set!

Lettered by Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography and screenprinted by Yellowhammer Creative, this set of four prints is available as a reward!
Lettered by Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography and screenprinted by Yellowhammer Creative, this set of four prints is available as a reward!

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).

Thank you!

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Stickers! Set of 5 stickers featuring The Localist logo.

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    Your Name in Nail Art: I'll write your 10-letter (or less) message on my nails and Instagram it within one week of your pledge. Include desired message in your order, and be sure to mention your handle if you'd like an @reply.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Wagon Train selfie: Carrie will write your name, company name or message on an item (coffee cup, napkin or similar) while on the train and publicly thank you for your support on Instagram during the train trip.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    eBook: Read The Localist on your ereader! Available formats include Kobo, Nook, Kindle, Sony Reader and more — please specify format.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Paperback book: You'll get a copy of The Localist shipped right to you when the book is released!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Local Coffee Cozie: You'll get a coffee cozie hand-knitted by Carrie in her own design — comes with one free coffee at Urban Standard or Church Street Coffee & Books! Fits any size handleless coffee cup, beer cans and beer bottles. Easily thrown in the washer and dryer if it gets dirty or misshapen. (Photo in the updates section.)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Books Are Magic Print Set: Set of four prints lettered (calligraphy and brush) by Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography and printed by Yellowhammer Creative. Maroon and navy ink on French Paper. (To request which quotes are navy and which are maroon, send a Kickstarter message. No guarantees, but we'll try to get you what you want.) See Kickstarter Updates for pictures and more details.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Audiobook: Listen to Carrie read The Localist book to you! File will be emailed to you on the day of the book's release.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Autographed book: You'll get a copy of the paperback book, autographed (and personalized, if you wish). Please include personalization request when ordering.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    I Am Bham tshirt: You'll get one of the fantastic I Am Bham shirts (like Carrie wears in the video). They're designed and screenprinted in Birmingham on American Apparel Tri-Blend (Poly/Cotton/Rayon) tshirts. Please send a Kickstarter message specifying Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large. (Backers who don't select a size will receive medium.)

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Twin Pack: TWO copies of the paperback book; one to read, and one to share.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Book + Audiobook: You'll get a copy of The Localist paperback shipped right to you when the book is released, plus an audio file of Carrie reading the ebook emailed to you on the day of release.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Wagon Train postcards: Carrie will personally write you a postcard for each stop on The Wagon Train book tour. One postcard will be mailed from each city on the tour, so they'll arrive staggered during the tour.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Book Club Pack: You'll get five copies of The Localist paperback book to share with your book club or friends and family.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Christmas Gifts for 4 people: Get your holiday shopping done in one fell swoop! You'll get a Localist gift pack including 1 signed Localist book, 1 I am Bham tshirt, 1 coffee cozie, and 1 (set of 4) Books Are Magic prints. Keep them for yourself or gift them separately as holiday gifts! (If you'd like to specify size of shirt or get a personalized message in the book, send a Kickstarter message with details.)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Your Name in Print: Want your name included in The Localist? I'll personally thank you for your support in the end papers of The Localist paperback book if you choose this reward!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Personal Shopping for Books (and Coffee Chat) at Church Street Coffee & Books: I'll chat with you for 30 minutes about specific book recommendations for you or for your gift list (perfect for holidays!). Includes free coffee and cookie. Deliverable on or before December 2014. Date must be scheduled at least a week in advance.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Skype Book Club Appearance or Book Chat with Carrie: Please allow at least one month advance notice of date to plan appearance. Limited to one hour of discussion time. Fulfillment expires in April 2015.

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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    Christmas Gifts for 10 people: Don't know what to give for the holidays? Now you're covered: You'll get a Localist gift pack including 2 signed Localist books, 2 I am Bham tshirts, 3 coffee cozies, and 3 sets of Books Are Magic prints (sets of 4, so 12 prints total). Keep them for yourself or gift them separately as holiday gifts! (To specify sizes of shirts or get personalized messages in the books, send a Kickstarter message with details.)

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    The Localist Tour of Downtown Birmingham: Carrie will meet you downtown and give you a four-hour tour of her favorite local spots in downtown Birmingham.

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Funding period

- (60 days)