THIS HANDBOOK IS NOT A TYPICAL CHILDREN'S BOOK:
- You probably won't read it cover-to-cover in one sitting (You could, of course, but it would take you quite a while!)
- There are not illustrations on every page
- The writing is in true handbook style, therefore a bit more advanced than most Christmas-themed books, and will likely need parent help for beginning readers
The Official Christmas Elves Handbook is written from the viewpoint of a Christmas Elf and contains countless details and information about life in Santatown. It is a comprehensive description of elf-life broken down into 12 chapters named for the 12 Days of Christmas and written in a true handbook style. It is also a flip-around reference, yearly planner, four-page directory with pull-out map, word/picture find, and an interactive activity book. Mrs Claus has even included one of her favorite baking recipes for you to make with your family (her side-job when she’s not running North Pole Publications).
Christmas books are typically aimed at young to middle readers, but because of the nature of a “handbook” and my intention to convey a fun and playful yet still intelligent version of elves, the writing is at an upper-middle reader level - but with a little help, younger readers will still be able to enjoy learning all about life in Santatown. And, by the way, my adult test-readers had as much fun reading it as my child-readers did!
My hope is that families can enjoy all the different aspects of this book together throughout the whole year and not just add to the imagination of only the Christmas season (but, of course, it’s the most fun to pour through it all with the Christmas warm-fuzzies all around you!) This is also where the 5 Golden Rings come in - one of the many ways you can incorporate this book into your family's lives throughout the year.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday - I love the traditions, the family time, creativity, lights, music, decorations, the list goes on and on…
Almost two years ago, I was in my Christmas happy place after a whole day of music and decorating and then watching some of my family's favorite Christmas movies when the idea for a truly comprehensive book about the entire life of elves popped into my head. I became more and more excited as I jotted down notes here and there for quite a few months. Then, everything seemed to fall into place just about one year ago, and I was off and writing!
To create the Elves Handbook, I conducted extensive research into Christmas history and culture and included hundreds of original and imaginative details regarding the daily life of Santatown. My goal is to portray an intelligent image of elves and to design an impression of a fun and welcoming elfin utopia: Christmas Elves believe in a balance of work and play, never question gender equality, have an excellent work ethic, find joy in the little things, and view everyone warmly and openly.
In reaching for that goal, I also tried to be very conscious and respectful of different family beliefs and traditions, leaving certain aspects vague to allow for individual interpretation. Christmas is a special time for many families, some may even say it’s a sacred time, so, taking that into consideration, parents can explain inferences in their home as they would like.
There are “Early Bird Specials” that are limited in quantity, so jump on those while they’re still available! (see Three French Hens and Five Golden Rings)
There is also one VERY SPECIAL OPTION to have one of the Christmas Elves send your child a Christmas AND Birthday card this coming year! (see Nine Ladies Dancing)
Because you can only pledge to one level, if you would like to add items to any pledge option, just increase your total amount by:
- 5$ for every additional set of 5 Golden Rings you would like
- 7$ for every additional package of 3 cards you would like
- 8$ for every additional 8x10 print you would like
- 18$ for every additional book you would like to add to the donation stack
- 25$ for every additional book you would like to purchase
(It would be really helpful if you could send me a message if you add extras so I can make special notes in my files in advance.)
If/When my goal is met at the end of the campaign, each person participating will receive an email with a link to my Survey Page. It is here you will fill in your shipping address and specify any requests, etc. Please fill it out as soon as possible to ensure you get your books, etc in plenty of time for the holidays!
I am also offering an option for LOCAL PICK UP. In exchange for the shipping & handling fee per book that automatically gets included for the U.S., I will include a set of 5 Golden Rings or 2 elfin Christmas Cards with purchase, IF you pick up your book(s) during my book reading/signing events at Happy Up Inc in Edwardsville, IL or Clayton, MO - more details on dates/times to come and you can make your decision when surveys are sent out after the end of the campaign.
INTERNATIONAL ORDERS - I am currently not offering shipping options to any other countries. However, if you are not deterred by the exorbitant shipping/customs rates ($20-$40, depending on destination and weight of pkg), please feel free to send me a message and we could possibly work something out. I'm very sorry for any inconvenience, I truly wish international fees weren't so cost prohibitive.
All the costs to get the book this far have been covered. What I’m hoping for now is to raise enough money to fund the first round of printing, shipping, and Kickstarter fees for 500 books, while also giving the Kickstarter community a chance to get your copy before the rest of the world - WITH added special options! Any funds raised over the goal amount will be directed to recouping the costs I have incurred so far, the largest being illustration time and rights fees.
I am also hoping this will be a great way to raise a large amount of books to donate to three incredible children’s hospitals this Christmas season! I have spoken with a local St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital representative who will deliver the books to their amazing hospital in Memphis this Nov/Dec AND I have spoken with the three children’s hospitals in St Louis, two of whom accept book donations. (Using names and logos of these specific hospitals is a lot of paperwork and legalities, so if you would like to know which ones, just search “best children’s hospitals in St Louis” and you will always get these three names. We are very lucky to have them in our city!) Follow us at www.santatownpress.com or on our Facebook and Instagram pages to see updates on donations and hopefully pictures and stories from delivery visits!
If you can’t contribute financially, I completely understand! Actually, one big way to support this project just happens to be free! Spreading the word on your social channels and/or via word of mouth to friends, family and co-workers, makes a big impact and I appreciate any referrals you can send my way. SHARE this page! Thank you thank you thank you, from the bottom of my red&green elfin heart.
p.s. I really did intend for the video to be cute AND corny. My husband and I had fun putting it all together and it still makes us laugh. We hope you enjoyed it. ;)
Risks and challenges
Of course there are risks when completing any project, but I’m confident my book will land in your laps on time - because everything is finished except the printing!
~ The illustrations from The Firecracker Press are complete, awesome, and in place
~ The book has been fully edited and formatted
~ The ISBN#, bar code, Library of Congress Catalog#, and Copyright have already been assigned
~ Example copies have been approved
~ Murray Print Shop has assured me of a 2 - 3 week print time, with books in my hands no later than the end of October. They have over 60 years of quality results and experience working with many top names in the St Louis area, so I trust that all will go smoothly. And if we greatly exceed the initial order quantity, they have assured me of their ability to print more than double the amount with enough time to still have them shipped in November, plenty of time before Christmas!
However, if there are any unforeseen delays, I will be sure to communicate those to you immediately.
I’ll also post updates on the great stuff, too, like when and where local book signings will be this holiday season and how many donated books we’ve raised!
Thank you for supporting our handbook! The elves and I hope you enjoy reading it
and that you all have a wonderful hollyday season!
- (30 days)