About this project
The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses of Planet STEM is a children’s book to help girls engage in STEM careers at an early age.
Hi. My name is Erin Albert. I’m a pharmacist (STEM girl myself), professor, entrepreneur, writer and lawyer. (Don’t hold that last part against me.) I’ve written six books for adults, but I am now writing a first children’s book in order to help out girls in the state of Indiana called The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses of Planet STEM.
Being a girl in Indiana isn’t easy, especially a girl who loves science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Unfortunately, the data is out on girls in Indiana recently, and the news isn’t good when it comes to STEM. Although more girls go to college now than boys, girls in the state of Indiana still do more poorly on AP tests in high school in ALL STEM domains than boys, and the number of girls across the board with interest in STEM careers, particularly in engineering and computer science is decreasing, not increasing.
As a first generation 4-year college graduate and native Hoosier who chose a STEM career in the life sciences, I know that many girls may not have the opportunities to learn about STEM careers at an early age. This is a problem. Also, data suggests that we must engage girls before middle school in order to interest them in STEM careers, and after a lot of research, I can’t find much that helps young girls engage with careers in all four corners of STEM.
I’m writing a children’s book for girls, ages 5-9 because I loved reading a great story as a young girl, which engaged me in imaginative ways and led me to my career in STEM. I’ll admit, I love a good princess story too! In this book, I want to give girls the opportunity to explore STEM careers in a fun, engaging way that broaden their horizons, and provide a list of resources to parents of young girls who want to learn more about STEM careers beyond the classroom. I've got an AMAZING illustrator lined up too (Fraizer Designs) right here in Indiana!
This program is to help print enough copies for Indiana girls in the public library system.
The plot: The story takes place on the Planet STEM, where girls are princesses, and unfortunately, a plague hits the planet—the dark plague of ignorance. After the 20 princesses featured contact their (lazy) fairy godfather for help, he shares with them that no one is coming to save them from the plague of ignorance; they are going to have to save themselves!
Also, this book will have a letter to parents, a glossary of careers in STEM, and a list of resources beyond school for girls to learn more about STEM careers.
Risks and challenges
Why am I asking for your support?
Although I’ve written several books, I want to print enough copies of this book for girls to check out in the public library system in Indiana. There are approximately 550 public libraries in the state. But, while I’m happy to front the costs of hiring an illustrator and some production costs of the book out of my own company’s coffers, (as I have done previously with all my other books), I need your help to print enough copies and make the dream of sharing this book with girls across the state of Indiana a reality.
This campaign is all or nothing – that means, if I don’t reach my goal, I don’t get funded, I can’t print enough copies for public libraries in Indiana, and you and I can’t help girls get excited about STEM careers. Boo. Let’s NOT go there!
Risks and challenges: FAQ
While I’ve funded a few Kickstarter projects myself, I’m guessing you may have questions, such as…
Q: I want to support this project, but I don’t want my name in the book. What are my options?
A: Easy. Submit your pledge, and then email me at: pharmllc at gmail dot com and let me know that you’d like to be anonymous. I completely respect your privacy—but I’m sure the universe won’t forget your positive karma!
Q: Why isn’t there an e-book version available on Kickstarter?
A: E-books are a challenge to distribute. In the past with my other books, I’ve had some challenges distributing them, and I want to ensure that I can deliver on my promises. We intentionally have really affordable funding levels starting at $5, so we welcome your support.
Q: How much will the book cost when it comes out in stores?
A: This is a guess, but around $15+ per copy, and the eBook will be less. Also, I can’t guarantee I’ll have the hardcopy book available via the traditional channels just yet.
Q: I want to purchase more books for myself – how can I make that happen?
A: We’d welcome different levels of support! Just email us and we’ll work something out: pharmllc at gmail dot com.
Q: What formats will the book be available in?
A: Hardcopy (hardbound) and an eBook for Kindle. We’re only working with the hardcopy, hardbound books for the Kickstarter campaign. Also, I can’t guarantee this book will be available for sale in hardcopy format the traditional route, via Amazon, just yet. This may be your only shot to purchase a hardcopy book.
Q: When will I receive my book?
A: 1Q14. We’re in production right now on the book, the illustrator is cranking, and we are aiming for the entire book to be done and to the printer by the end of the year. The printer needs 6-8 weeks, which will put us somewhere in 1Q14 for book deliveries. Note that if the Kickstarter plan isn’t successful, this project is going to take much longer. You’ll have to wait for the Amazon old-fashioned ordering, and we can’t guarantee we will have both types of formats available.
There are also a lot of contingencies here—life and limb of the author, illustrator, publisher, and of course fire, floods, any generalized force majeure. Life is risky! But, if any acts of God happen, we promise to keep you in the loop. Any other questions? No problem! Email me and let’s discuss: pharmllc at gmail dot com.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
One question after I launched Kickstarter that I received was the previous. There are 20+ princesses slated for the book, and some of professions/careers included will be: medicine, pharmacy, computer science (database administration, software development), forensic science, zoology, electrical engineering, aerospace, geophysics, laser & optical technology, microelectronics, organic chemist, telecommunications and theoretical/math physics, and other professions.
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