About this project
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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