So I had this mid-life crisis. Big deal – they’re a dime a dozen. Mine didn’t involve trading in either wife or car for a newer, flashier model though. I merely torpedoed a career full of Corporate American perks, in favor of becoming the world’s oldest unpaid PGA Tour intern. Why? Because I've always been madly, passionately in love with sports, and 40 seemed as good an age as any to start loving what I did for a living.
And get this – I pulled it off! Ten years later I was still gainfully employed, living the sports biz dream. Happy ending, right? I thought so too…until a friend blindsided me with an innocent question one day: "Do you still love sports?" I honestly didn't know the answer. But I really, truly needed to figure it out.
I've written a book called It's Game Time Somewhere, which is the product of a one-year "sports walkabout" that took me across the country and back; to 100 separate sporting events involving 50 completely different sports. And I found my answer - in spades. For better or worse.
So I took my manuscript, the 10,000 readers who follow my blog (www.itsgametimesomewhere.com, coincidentally enough), and my blurbs from respected writers and similar folk, and went in search of a publishing deal. Cue the crickets...chirp, chirp. Hmmm. Curious. I decided to do a little investigative reporting, and this is what I found: With apologies to the Rolling Stones, the traditional publishing industry is in tatters. Shattered (sha-doobie). Evidently, the world is changing. And like the recording and newspaper businesses before them, the publishing industry has chosen to “adapt” by (a) circling the wagons at NASCAR speeds; and (b) imitating the Hollywood business model of producing only things that have already sold repeatedly in the past. New authors need not apply.
The way I looked at it, I had two viable options. I could change my name to Tim Patterson-Grisham-Cornwell-Rowling and hope nobody noticed the difference. Or I could “go indie” and self-publish. Which, given that assuming the up-front risk on a book entitles you to the lion’s share of the rewards that accrue, sounds pretty good to me. I’m more than happy to be my own general contractor, doing the work that I do best and then outsourcing the stuff I haven’t a clue about how to do.
Here’s the thing though. The start-up expenses of self-publishing can run anywhere from “Spare Change From Under The Sofa Cushions” to “Well, I Could Always Take Out That Third Mortgage.” I’m shooting for something in the middle. The money raised by this Kickstarter campaign will be used to help defray the costs of book cover and interior design, professional editing, conversion of the book into ebook format, and the creation of a marketing campaign to help sell both versions of the book.
But enough about what’s in it for me. Let’s talk about you.
For those of you familiar with the Kickstarter model, you know that it is not a request for a handout – it’s a quid pro quo amongst creative types like yours truly and people who become warm and fuzzy at the idea of being patrons of the arts. Patrons of the arts with benefits, that is.
To start off with, those of you who choose to back this project are effectively pre-ordering a book called It’s Game Time Somewhere. A book that many, many people (and no, not just my friends and family) have told me is pretty darn entertaining. You just have to wait a little longer to rest your eyes upon it. Or to rest someone else’s eyes upon it. My family is famous for the creatively packaged “IOU” Christmas present – maybe yours is too? Then again, the book will be printed and delivered to you well in advance of the next Father’s Day. Just think of all the brain cells that won’t have to die in service of trying to find a unique present for Dad.
But the fun doesn’t have to stop there. You can wade knee-deep into the “It’s Game Time Somewhere” experience, through a choice of Rewards Packages that you just plain can’t get anywhere else. I know I’m biased, but I think there’s a little something in here for everyone. And that’s ON TOP OF being able to let it slip at your next social engagement that “Why yes, I am a dedicated patron of the arts, thanks for noticing.”
Intrigued? Great - my fiendishly clever plan is working. For specific Reward Package details, simply look to the right......no, a little further right - there you go.
Some Logistics & Final Thoughts
The Kickstarter veterans among you know that this proposition is Make or Break…All or Nothing…Sink or Swim…[insert your favorite desperate cliché here]. For everyone else, let me spell it out: If I don’t meet or exceed my $8,000 funding goal by January 5th, NONE of the money pledged will be charged to the accounts of my backers and then released to me. The project will simply fade away. So if you like what you see, please pass the link to this page along to others who you think might get a kick (no pun intended) out of it as well.
All they, and you, have to do to help out is click on the Big Green “Back This Project” button at the top of this page. You’ll be taken to a Kickstarter pledge page customized for this project, and then on to Amazon, which houses the Shopping Cart functionality used by Kickstarter. If you’ve ever purchased anything through Amazon before, you simply enter your email address and password and you’ll see a screen that looks very familiar. If you haven’t used Amazon before, it’s very easy to set up a free account and “check out” with your It’s Game Time Somewhere purchase.
There’s one last vitally important thing. I know I’ve stressed the whole “What’s In It For You” concept, but I know that at the end of the day, your decision to back my project comes down to your wanting to help me achieve a very important goal. And for that I am very grateful. I thank you for both your financial support, and for the enormous good vibes you are putting out there for me by taking the time to get involved. You are appreciated more than you can imagine.
Now let's do this!
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