About this project
The goal of this project is to produce a 1000-copy print run of my hardbound baby keepsake book for science-loving parents.
Science is all about seeking answers to life's big questions. Babies raise a million questions just by existing: Do you have a name picked out? Boy or girl? Where did those gorgeous eyes come from? Is he sleeping through the night? How much did she weigh? Is he walking/talking/solving for X yet?
Besides, raising a child is truly one big experiment. It's okay to feel like you're using trial and error to get your baby to go to sleep. So is everyone else.
And more than that, I love science. I love babies. I wish something like this had been available when my kids were born, so I made it.
The Human Infant Project includes all of the sections you'd expect from any baby book. But instead of traditional headings like "Before you were born" and "The delivery" etc, you will find sections like:
ABSTRACT, results summary
TEAM BIO/ BACKGROUND, prior works -- open ended, not gender specific
METHODOLOGY -- families can be built in so many ways
DATA -- all those little details
OBSERVATIONS -- milestones and notes about your baby's first year
CONCLUSIONS -- letters of love, photos, lock of hair...
Take a peek at some of the concepts and works in progress for this version. Bolder colors, cleaner layout, more muchness!
ABSTRACT, results summary
TEAM bio and prior works -- this section has been worded so that it will gracefully work for any type of family situation. Single parent, same-sex parents, one mom and one dad, it takes a village, whatever works for you will work for this book. It would even work for Ed and H.I.
It's your story, and I took great care to avoid getting in the way of it.
METHODOLOGY -- pages for all of the events and decisions that lead up to the arrival:
the pregnancy or adoption process
details about baby's arrival
current events/popular culture trends
This section is all about the earliest days.
First day home, first visitors, about your first home, gifts, what that first week was like
- Notes about contemporary life -- news stories, recent scientific breakthroughs, current debates
Firsts -- like bath, outing, babysitter, illness, toys, nicknames, smile, laugh, solid food, tooth, haircut, early physics experiments (which can include standing/walking/etc)
Favorite things/least favorite things
first major holiday
The final section offers space for...
Letters to your young human
Details about the first few birthdays
Handprints and footprints
- Medical records
- Other fun stuff
A few years ago I designed a science-themed baby book called The Story of You As Told by Nerds. I printed 50 of them and found a local archival bindery to bind them. The books quickly sold out, so I did it again. Since 2009 I've sold hundreds of these books in small batches through Etsy, NerdyBaby.com and Think Geek.
But there are serious bummers of small batch production. Our high cost per book has forced us to keep the retail price at around $45, much pricier than the average baby book. The production time is also long and unpredictable depending on the bindery's workload, so it currently takes anywhere from 4-10 weeks for a batch of books to go from the printer to the bindery to here. This unpredictability has caused us to miss out on retail opportunities because we couldn't fulfill purchase orders in time. Someday, I said, staring wistfully out the window at the night sky, we will print a lot of these on a real press so we will always have them in stock.
It's time to go bigger!
I have found a printer/bindery that will produce a press-run, professionally bound hardback book with minimums of only 1000. With your pre-orders and support we can take advantage of bulk buying power to lower the cost per book to approximately $28.
Backer demanded, mom approved. Add these amounts to your pledge for some cool bonus rewards:
Additional copy of The Human Infant Project book -- $20.00
Coloring book -- $11
Add a signed art print (you will have a choice of prints at the end) -- $15.00
Add an adult T-shirt -- $18
Sterling silver limited edition pendant -- $50.00
Baby's first little physics book, Pat Schrodinger's Kitty. -- $24
Risks and challenges
The two biggest concerns are always quality and on-time delivery.
To make sure the quality is up to my standards, I am anticipating the additional cost and time to receive a printed proof vs a simple digital proof so we can catch any possible issues before the books are produced. I will also stay in constant -- some may say annoying -- communication with the company.
The other issue is time.
We are on an aggressive timeline, hoping to be able to deliver at least some of the books in time for the holidays. Most of the design work is complete, however with feedback and changes this could take another two weeks to complete. As soon as we reach our funding goal, we will work with the printer/bindery to nail down an exact delivery date. Watch for updates!
I have worked with this company on smaller projects before, and while I do feel confident that they can deliver as promised, this portion of production is admittedly outside of my control.
Any project can encounter delays, particularly when we are shipping across states. Freak snowstorms, damage in shipping, unprecidented grasshopper swarming, etc. I will stay in touch with my backers throughout the project and will update everyone about any possible delays.
As for shipment of backer rewards, there's always the possibility of illness striking me down. I have family and friends who can help but the reality is that if my kids start throwing up, the world slows to a crawl. If this happens, I will hire folks to get everything out the door in a timely manner. I would rather lose money on the project than have backers feeling empty handed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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