**10/28: Great news, U.S. Shipping is included for all deliveries!**
**10/29: Everyone that receives a hardcover copy that also posts about the book encouraging others to check it out will get their book personally signed by me!**
**10/30: New Free Gift! All hardcover copy rewards will include "Erec Makes a Fire Games" which will include crossword puzzles, word searches, and more!**
**11/04: New Free Gift! To thank you all for getting us over 50% we are throwing in extra stickers and coloring sheets to all pledges of $50 or more! Yay!**
***11/20: We've added another free gift! Those that pledge $25 or more can opt-in to have their family name listed as one of the contributors that helped publish the book. Yet another way to make these limited edition hardcover copies the most special book you own and share.***
My name is Sean Shadmand and I'm a serial entrepreneur, passionate about creating products and companies from the ground up! I now act as an advisor to early stage startups and am an advocate for teaching entrepreneurship to anyone interested. In the last few years I have helped younger and younger generations hone their ideas into real businesses from MBA students all the way to those in middle schools. Now, I want to take the message to an even younger generation by explaining the entrepreneurial spirit through storytelling.
My goal is to get as many children immersed as early as possible in learning about entrepreneurism at home. Why? I believe getting subject matters like these brought up at home during a child's most critical cognitive development stage is crucial. It allows them to grow up feeling comfortable and confident in leveraging these concepts throughout their lives. In short, it will make the greatest impact in teaching others how to become great entrepreneurs and help spark the next generation of startups!
I know it's possible! And you must believe it too to have gotten this far in this post!
Some Pages From The Book
Take a tour of the story!
*Page includes great animations on your desktop browser*
Entrepreneurial themes:Those concepts are part of the same ones that incubators like YC (the top most successful Silicon Valley incubator) has laid out in this Stanford class below. Although I am a big fan of what the class is doing, I also believe that hearing it for the first time in college is not ideal. I believe children can absorb these messages through a fun friendly story early on in their developmental years that will make them more comfortable employing its lessons later in life.
Special Edition: 13 X 11 in
Limited Edition: 10 X 8 in.
Both editions come in a hard cover (with cover image printed onto the cover) and what is expected to become approximately 30 pages of illustrations.
Where the project is now (bootstrapped):
- Currently on version 3 of the story (additional work needed)
- Completed development and digital illustration of characters
- Completed main backdrop illustrations (additional work needed)
- On version 3 of page layouts (additional work needed)
- Published individually printed and bound prototypes of various sizes and texture samples
- Tested initial prototypes with kids, writers, and parents for feedback to help complete final version
Here is a video to the work in progress:
What needs to get done:
- Finalize the story. Based on the feedback I received from sharing the prototypes with writers and families I will need to trim and simplify the language for the target audience of 3-8
- Modify the designs based on feedback. The prototype's layout had too much white space and did not prove to be as book friendly as it seemed on the computer. I will also make additional design changes based on feedback and any story edits.
- Work on text layout. Optimize the text layout in relation to the design modifications.
- Create a layout for digital/tablet/ebook versions
- Register a UPC - (so it can be sold in digital and in brick & mortar stores)
- Get as many copies created/sold as possible to bring the cost per book down to a price point that can more easily penetrate the market.
- Distribute books through channels like schools, libraries and books stores.
- Get the book copyrighted
- Stretch goals include: foreign language adaptations, audio recording of story read by me, and, depending on demand, a companion app to help further support the entrepreneurial spirit in children!
Concepts the Book Teaches:
- Great businesses start after solving a real problem, identifying and supplying a demand.
- When opportunity strikes - take action.
- Don't be limited by money or what you don't have. Be scrappy and be creative in how you rise to the top
- When supplying the demand you get starts getting hard you've got something special.
- Being observant, jumping on opportunities, and working hard are are ingredients in making a successful business.
Why Does Erec Make A Fire?
- Erec and the rest of the cast are names after the classes of humans around at the time fire is estimated to be discovered: Homo Erectus and Homo Ergaster. See more: http://www.ErecMakesAFire.com
- The fire represents ideas, a spark of genius, a passion for a product, and focus. All ingredients that make a strong business owner.
- To help complete the journey with your kids, the collection of stickers you receive will include Erec's "Find Your Fire" Badge. #FindYourFire. Give them to your kids when they demonstrate the spirit of entrepreneurism.
Early developmental stages between 3-8:
I picked children between the ages of 3 and 8 since these years are crucial to higher cognitive function. Watch this video below where doctors and PhDs explain the importance of early childhood learning and how critical the time period is in how our mind is shaped -well before high school or college where the first inklings of complex subjects, such as entrepreneurship, are first mentioned, if at all.
Why Kickstarter? Our goal is to distribute this important message to 10,000 young children. A kickstarter campaign allows us to reach critical mass to reduce the cost of production, allowing us to distribute more for less!
Video About the Illustrator:
Prototype of one limited edition and special edition copies:
Image of a completed layout:
Sample stickers of the characters:
Example of a custom character drawing for our larger pledges:
Digitizing Illustrations and Story Board
More about the author
I am currently an advisor to early stage startups in San Francisco and love helping share my experiences with others to help them navigate through the process of creating a business. In my free time I paint, play and write music, blog, and still use my engineering and product background to develop projects of my own.
You can see some of my art pieces here: http://seanshadmand.com/artwork/
And more about my background as an engineer, product, and serial entrepreneur here: http://seanshadmand.com/about-me/
I have been featured in many top publications, have been a featured guest on programs such as Bloomberg, and enjoy giving lectures & presentations on anything startup, tech, or product related. You can see some of those publications here: http://seanshadmand.com/features-and-publications/
I always loved helping others by sharing what I know. As a teen I would teach kids tennis, golf, piano and guitar lessons. While still in college I taught classes at our school on technology/media and loved it! This book is an extension of my two passions: the spirit of entrepreneurism and the joy of teaching to interested minds!
Risks and challenges
The greatest challenge is in delivering a great story and illustration in a way that drives the message home for children, their parents, and educators to form a lasting impact on their lives. As my first children's book project I've had a lot to learn - and still do.
As part of the learning process, and to ensure success, I have created many prototypes and have been getting feedback from parents, children, and children's book writers to deliver the best children's book I can.
Marketing and distribution will be the next big hurdle. Based on the feedback I have gotten so far, this is the subject that draws most interest from entrepreneurs and parents. If all goes well if all goes well I plan on making a second book about marketing to help continue the education process for kids :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)