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Not Especially Special is a children's picture book about the no-bird-too-ordinary love of God. And a bird with a backpack.
Not Especially Special is a children's picture book about the no-bird-too-ordinary love of God. And a bird with a backpack.
Not Especially Special is a children's picture book about the no-bird-too-ordinary love of God. And a bird with a backpack.
320 backers pledged $15,154 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Not Especially Special: A Children's Picture Book

$15,154

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At my church, when the pastor releases the children from "Big Church," he prays, "May they never know a time when they do not feel a part of the family of God." This always gets me teary. Because if there is one thing I pray for my kids, it is that they would feel the love of God. Always. That they would know it deep in their bones, and that the knowledge of that love would eek out in the way that they live their lives, treating everyone they meet with kindness and love. 

As a mom and as director of our children's program at church, I've seen many beautifully illustrated children's bibles, which have been important to me as I seek to teach my kids the stories of our faith. But for some reason, our bookshelf at home was lacking in imaginative, fictional stories that examined and explored the character of God. I wanted to change that.

About the Book

Not Especially Special is a 36-page, fully illustrated, hardbound children's picture book written for children ages 4-10.

The pen and watercolor illustrations by Emily Marie Henebrey, dripping with whimsy and sweetness, perfectly complement the text of the story. Kids will enjoy getting lost in the beautiful artwork, identifying different animals (you'll even see a few on the endangered list!), and trying to imagine what all those animals are carrying in their various knapsacks, suitcases, and, of course, backpacks.

If we achieve our goal, we will be able to print 1000 copies of the book-- a first print run. We'd love for this book to find a home at a publishing house eventually, too. So every backer (even pledges of only $1) will help us prove that this story has an audience. We need you!

 

 

Art Prints
Art Prints

About the Author and Illustrator

Hi! I'm Katie, an author and mom and wife living in Santa Monica, CA. Not Especially Special is my second book. The first is called Grace in the Maybe: Instructions on Not Knowing Everything about God. It is for grownups, a spiritual memoir about loving Jesus and growing up in church but not knowing all the answers. It is about living in mystery and accepting that faith is a whirlwind. And also there are some funny stories about chin hair and youth camp. 

Katie Savage
Katie Savage

I have to brag a little about my illustrator, Emily. When I first discovered I wanted to Kickstart this book, I sent her an email. We have a mutual friend who had introduced me to Emily's work, but other than that we lived thousands of miles apart and we'd never met. So when I contacted Emily OUT OF THE BLUE about this project, I totally expected her to say no. The email basically said: "You draw good. I have a story. Would you mind spending a million hours illustrating it?" Remarkably, she said, "That sounds so fun!" It has been a match made in heaven and I feel, every day, so lucky that she is on board. Also remarkably, she had a trip planned to Los Angeles for the WEEK AFTER I CONTACTED HER, so we got to meet and dream and plan about the book TOGETHER. I knew then that this book was meant to be, and it would never have been so beautiful or so fun had she not been involved.

Emily Henebrey
Emily Henebrey

 

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If you are a church, school, bookstore, or other institution interested in pre-ordering books in bulk (11 or more), please contact katie.s.savage@gmail.com to discuss. 

Thank You

So very many people helped create this beautiful campaign.

From Emily: Thank you mom and dad for gifting me the bird feeder that lives in my backyard. Your gift has made our house not only a home, but a songbird haven. It is a daily source of wonder, life and inspiration & held quite an influence on the making of this book! Your endless support throughout my life has shaped me for good - thank you. Thank you to Andrew Stout for dedicating so much time to photographing my illustrations and lending your own keen, creative eye - I so cherish my time with you! Thank you to Kristen Haug for the interview & for spending time with me in my studio - the footage may be lost to the interwebs, but the fond memories aren't! Thank you Katie Savage for being a 'creating-something-out-of-nothing' role model - and inviting me on this journey with you! Your ambition, attention to detail & drive are altogether inspiring and infectious. Last but not least at all, thank you Jono, for listening to me talk endlessly about the birds in this story, my mind & in our backyard. Your love & support make the unimaginable seem attainable. You are so especially special to me.

From Katie: Thank you to Lindsey Sparrow, Carie Beth Russell, Kristina Beitey, and Alex Wycinsky for being among my first readers, idea-bouncers, and cheerleaders. If it weren't for you, in one way or another, I wouldn't have pursued this. Thank you to Paul Shirley for the encouragement to do a Kickstarter and for the never-ending writerly support. Thank you to my amazing agent Margaret Riley King for always cheering me on, helping me to be creative, and for finding some professional eyes to take a look at this book. A HUGE thank you to Danielle Hitchen with Catechesis Books for spending time helping me navigate these new waters of crowdfunding, and for her beautiful book Bible Basics, which I ordered and loved. Thank you to Ron Ceballos for a video that came together at lightening speed, that cuts to the heart of the project, and that doesn't make me look like the amateur that I am. Thank you to Mickey Blaine for the use of your equipment and for your help in filming. Thank you Nadine Bosurgi for photos that I will treasure forever and that help get across just how beautiful the book will be. Thank you to Stephanie Jeck for writing a song (in. a. day.) that makes me cry. Thank you to Melissa Benson for bending over backward to hand-letter the title and the art prints. Your talent and kindness bowl me over. Thank you to Ruby, Miles, and Evie for being the stars of the video. 

And finally, thank you to Scott, Miles, and Evie for bearing with me every step of the way, for letting me do a project that is a huge risk and will never make us rich, and for being the people who fill my heart every day with your ordinary extraordinaryness. 

 

Risks and challenges

The risks involved in this project are very low. The book itself has already been lovingly written and illustrated. It's ready to go to the printer, and we've found a wonderful one. Our greatest challenge will lie in product fulfillment because it's new territory, but we have researched the heck out of it and think that there should be no major snafus. Honestly, we love this project too much to let it fall by the wayside.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Birdsong

    For even the smallest donation, you'll receive a digital copy of the companion song, which was inspired by the book. "Fly Away" is written and performed by Indie artist Stephanie Jeck.

    Includes:
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Bird Watcher

    By backing at this level, you'll receive a PDF copy of the book.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Not Especially Special
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    Pledge $17 or more About $17

    For the EARLY BIRD

    You know what they say about early birds: They get the worms. Cheaper. (Note: This reward level includes no actual worms.)

    Includes:
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    Reward no longer available 75 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    For the Birds

    A copy of the book!

    Includes:
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    81 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    For the Nest

    At this level, receive a hardbound copy of the book, plus a beautiful 8.5" x 11" high-quality illustrated print of a line from the book. (Choose one of two.) Calligraphy by Raw Sugar Writes.

    Includes:
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • High-Quality Art Print by Raw Sugar Writes
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    For the Brood

    THREE copies of the book. Perfect as gifts for all the special kids in your life.

    Includes:
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    64 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Birds of a Feather

    A reward level especially for members and friends of WRITERS BLOK: Pledge at this level for a ticket to an exclusive writerly dinner, hosted at M Street Kitchen.

    Includes:
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • Exclusive Dinner on Wednesday, September 13
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    Limited 8 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    EARLY BIRD: For the Flock

    "For the Flock" reward level, EARLY BIRD price. Only available through 7/13, midnight PDT.

    Includes:
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • High-Quality Art Print by Raw Sugar Writes
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    Reward no longer available 17 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    For the Flock

    SEVEN copies of the book. Never be without a baby shower gift AGAIN. Plus an art print!

    Includes:
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
    • High-Quality Art Print by Raw Sugar Writes
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Help Us Take Flight

    Be a forever-part of our first edition! Give a special shout-out in the front- or end-pages. At this reward level, Emily will draw a customized animal in the endpages of the book to say HELLO or GOODNIGHT to someone you love. (+$50 for each additional name)

    Includes:
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • A personalized mention in the endpages of the first edition
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Help Us Take Flight UPDATED

    WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS LEVEL! And since we're so excited, we wanted more backers to get on board for a fun shout-out to a special kiddo. So we've added more goodies to sweeten the deal! (All backers at original $250 level will also get additions.)

    Includes:
    • A personalized mention in the endpages of the first edition
    • Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • High-Quality Art Print by Raw Sugar Writes
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Hear Us Squawk

    Want a personalized reading? We'll bring 10 books, plus a craft for 10 children, to your space (church, library, home, etc). Details negotiable. Limited to the Los Angeles area (for author visit) and Kansas City area (for illustrator visit.)

    Includes:
    • 10× Hardbound Copy of Not Especially Special
    • Digital download of companion song "Fly Away" by Stephanie Jeck
    • Author or Illustrator Visit
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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (31 days)