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How a Ph.D. in literature came to write Arizona for Dummies, disrobe on a magazine assignment to a nudist resort, and have a blast!
How a Ph.D. in literature came to write Arizona for Dummies, disrobe on a magazine assignment to a nudist resort, and have a blast!
How a Ph.D. in literature came to write Arizona for Dummies, disrobe on a magazine assignment to a nudist resort, and have a blast!
236 backers pledged $15,125 to help bring this project to life.

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Getting Naked for Money: A Travel Writer's Memoir

$15,125

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Funny, racy, and inspirational, this is a book for late starters, for solo female travelers who venture around the world -- and outside of their comfort zones -- and for all people who follow their dreams on a long, strange path. Come along with me on this latest adventure, to make this book happen.

8 Things That Set Getting Naked for Money Apart 

1. It includes an assignment from a woman's magazine to go to a nudist resort, undercover -- and uncovered.

2. I have no sense of direction, I'm afraid of heights, and I'm a major klutz. 

3. I've been on both sides of the travel editor's desk so I’ve seen it all. I’ll pull back the curtain on the inner workings of travel publishing. Did you know, for example, that the Dummies bought out the Complete Idiot's travel division at the same company where the Frommer's guides were published, which was at one time called Hungry Minds? 

As a freelance writer, I authored three guidebooks, contributed to dozens of others, and wrote hundreds of travel articles for some pretty hoo hah publications. But before then, I worked as an in-house guidebook editor in New York (Random House, Simon & Schuster) and London (Rough Guides in the pre-Penguin days).

Books I've written or contributed to. Some are multiple editions, some are duplicates, and a few are shelved upside down.
Books I've written or contributed to. Some are multiple editions, some are duplicates, and a few are shelved upside down.

4. I did something many people just fantasize about: Quit my job in New York publishing and moved to Tucson, solo, to become a freelance writer. I knew no one in town, had no job, and was phobic about driving.  I was also approaching middle age (many would say I was already there but 40 is the new not-middle-aged), proving you don't have to be young to do crazy stuff. 

This book can either serve as an inspiration or a cautionary tale.

5. I feel guilty about many, many things, but having meaningless sex isn't one of them. My amorous adventures on the road are completely self-flagellation-free (actually, flagellation-free, period; I'm not into that).

6. I have strong opinions about everything related to travel, from accepting freebies (few guidebooks could get written without them) to staying at B&Bs (they make me nervous) and faux Native American spa treatments (not as bad as calling a team the Redskins, but still disrespectful and often a ripoff).

7. There are many great travel memoirs by women--for example, Tracks and Wild--but few of them are funny. I can pretty much guarantee at least a smile per page, and a few spit-your-coffee moments per chapter. 

8. The events in this book occur in the days before listicles were pervasive, before the words "content" and "curation" became ubiquitous. You won't find any of these in my memoir, except in ironic/mocking reference. Like here.

A Bit of Background

Some people know me as a dog blogger and a dog book author. 

Others followed my blog journey through Vienna, where my great uncle sold kosher meat to Sigmund Freud (well, to his wife, Martha, who was a lot keener on religion than her husband). 

Rolled beef -- not corned beef -- sandwich from Ben's Deli in Rego Park, Queens. Rolled beef is a popular topic on FreudsButcher.com
Rolled beef -- not corned beef -- sandwich from Ben's Deli in Rego Park, Queens. Rolled beef is a popular topic on FreudsButcher.com
 

And a few who go even further back in my life are familiar with my edition of The Collected Poems of Paul Blackburn, which had its roots as my Ph.D. dissertation from NYU. 

Those four blue volumes? One copy of my NYU dissertation, from which the  Collected and Selected poems are derived
Those four blue volumes? One copy of my NYU dissertation, from which the Collected and Selected poems are derived

All of this might help explain why my video includes my dog, Freudian slippers, and Lydia Davis.

And these days In Tucson, I'm the contributing dining editor for two local magazines, Tucson Guide and Biz Tucson and general foodie about town -- thus the "food aggressive" label in the video. Okay, and though I firmly believe in sharing food, I've been known to be a little pushy about grabbing the last bite of a good dessert.

This book, covering the pre-puppy, post-PhD period, has been on my back burner for a long time. For the full story, see the introductory post to Getting Naked for Money on EdieJarolim.com.

The Campaign Goal 

I got advances for my four previous books; my last one, several years ago, was $10,000 -- typically modest, but it enabled me to write Am I Boring My Dog. The cost of living has gone up -- and I have a dog with expensive tastes -- but I'm also further along in the process than I was. I'm confident that this amount would again cover my expenses and allow me to work on the book full time until it's completed.

Close up from the cover of Am I Boring My Dog.
Close up from the cover of Am I Boring My Dog.

This time, however, I'm also doing the publishing. I need: designers for both an e-book and a print book (two different processes, I've discovered); a developmental editor and copy editor; a publicist. Then there's the attorney that I'd like to consult about libel laws/using real names for some of the people I write about, plus warehousing and distribution. I'm confident that I can do everything on my own but good quality costs money. I want this book to be indistinguishable from -- really, better than -- anything I've worked on with traditional publishers. Deducting Kickstarter fees and project fulfillment costs such as mailing, an additional $5,000 should cover it.

Risks and challenges

I don't anticipate any problems in completing the project. I've met deadlines for three travel guides and one dog guide with major publishers; I also finished a Ph.D. dissertation and the book that resulted from it. The money is essential to the project but another key reason I decided to crowdfund my book was for the accountability, its own form of deadline. There's no way I'm going to disappoint a bunch of people. Think of the guilt.

I'm planning to hire only responsible editors, designers, and bookmakers -- I have a great network of people with experience in these matters -- but you can't control everything (though heaven knows I try). I promise to keep you posted if someone flakes out big time. Or develops a drug habit.

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    A thank you postcard with the project image that says "I helped an author finish Getting Naked."

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    Your name and a short description of yourself as a Special Supporter on the Kickstarter Contributors page of the trade paperback of Getting Naked for Money. By short I mean 140 characters or fewer, including your name, if you want me to tweet your support, 10 words or fewer if you couldn't care less about Twitter.

    The description of yourself does not have to be serious or accurate. You can be "Cynthia, queen of terriers" or "John, best lover in Indiana." It should not be pornographic, however, or political (categories that sometimes overlap).

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    The matched set of the Original Works of Edie Jarolim: A signed copy of Am I Boring My Dog and a signed copy of the printed trade paperback of Getting Naked for Money with your name as a Kickstarter Contributor before general publication of the book.

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    What a deal! For five people only, I'm offering the Skype (or in person) one-on-one hour-long teaching session that was originally $300. You send me a writing sample -- no longer than two pages -- and we'll discuss your strengths and how to work with them. You'll also get:

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    Planning to be in Tucson or already live here? Let's have dinner and talk about writing, travel, food, you name it. Don't want to eat with me? I'll tell you about all the best places to eat and drink in town based on your culinary preferences.

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    Planning to be in Tucson or already live here?

    Madeleine and I will take a walk with you on the riverwalk. Caution: She's both a fast walker and brakes quickly for lizards. (Note that Madeleine's time is $25 more valuable than mine.)

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    Hour-long Skype teaching session on anything relating to writing -- editing, humor, travel writing, blogging. You can submit a sample (no longer than two pages) if you like and we can discuss it.

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    Planning a visit to Arizona? I'll help you create your ideal itinerary, with advice on the best attractions, best places to stay, time of year to go, depending on your particular interests. Includes one phone call (15 minutes or less) and 5 email interchanges. Note: I don't get a kickback from hotels or restaurants. I wish. Good for one year after end of campaign.

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    Interested in Freud's Vienna and/or Jewish Vienna? My great uncle was Sigmund Freud's butcher, with his shop in the same building where Freud lived for 44 years. I'll create an itinerary for you of his favorite haunts and current places where you can learn more about Freud. If you prefer -- or in addition -- I'll direct you to the top Jewish sites. Both options draw on insider information gleaned from my family research for FreudsButcher.com and my visit to Vienna last June. I'll base my itinerary on the number of days you have to visit.

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    One week stay in the guesthouse adjacent to my Tucson house. Includes two afternoon Yappy Hour visits with me and my dog Madeleine, plus suggested itinerary for your Tucson stay. Choose any week outside of January 15 to February from September 2015 through September 2016. I reserve the right to check references in advance to make sure you're not a serial killer or room-trashing rock star.

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    Madeleine and I will come and give a talk to any group in the U.S. or Canada (well, I will do most of the talking, Madeleine will just beg for food, very vocally).

    If you want me to come after Getting Naked for Money is published, I will bring 20 signed copies of the trade paperback of the book for event sponsors to distribute as they like.

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    Your company logo on the back cover of the print edition of the trade paperback of Getting Naked for Money (1" X 1/2"). No editorial input allowed. I reserve the right to turn down your company (ha, not bloody likely).

    Hey, if it's good enough for Danica Patrick, it's good enough for me.

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Funding period

- (29 days)