So, here's the skinny: I wrote a novel. What is it about? Read this elevator pitch:
"When a stagnant economy forces Addie to move back home following college, she is unwillingly immersed in the very traditions the surplus of the Clinton era might have allowed her to escape. Convinced that this pause in her life will lead to being stuck in a world of skirt suits, church services, and cutting children's sandwiches into adorable shapes, she struggles to redefine what she wants from life, all the while hating that she has to contemplate life at all. Everywhere she looks, it seems, those around her are ticking off marriage and babies as though on a neatly written to-do list, and she's still fighting with her mother about cleaning her room. As she struggles to assimilate to the community she hated as a child, she finds almost love (scourge of 20-somethings everywhere), employment (nothing to do with her degree), and a forgotten family secret that undermines the very foundation on which her life up to this point has been built."
If you're as critical as I am, you may have read that plot description and said, "Ok, well that sounds like a trite coming-of-age novel that will be mediocre at best." Here's why it's more than that expressed in a series of hashtags (these have spaces, unlike real hashtags, for easier reading):
#real talk, #putting the FUN in dysfunction, #I will kill the next person who says quarter life crisis but that shit is real, #more relatable than Nicholas Sparks, #no vampires, #took three years, #fun pop culture references, #my mom loves the title, #zero heartfelt declarations of love, #adulthood is just not as fun as we thought it would be, #I can't look at spreadsheets all day, #biting sarcasm, #it is awesome.
Oh, Cool. You think the book you wrote is awesome? What if you're just an idiot who likes crap?
Fair point. Here's a link to my blog, where you can get a feel for my writing, and where I'll be posting an excerpt of the book once the Kickstarter is live:
Also, read these rave reviews from some of my peers:
"Anna Beach's 'How To Fly with Rocks in Your Pocket' provides a no-holds-barred look into the post-collegiate world of Addie Weston. As the heroine attempts to assimilate into the so-called 'real world,' she struggles against a lifetime of poor self-esteem, the familial and societal pressures brought on post-graduation, and a love life that is never fully within her grasp. Beach's blazingly honest account of a young woman struggling to surmount an existential crisis is thoroughly relatable - you will laugh out loud, you will cry, and ultimately you will feel less alone."
-Adrienne Liefeld, Lifelong Processed-Sugar Provider to the author.
"This book is better than chocolate and wine when it comes to dealing with the scary real world that awaits us after university. Anna Beach is an inspirational firework of optimism that encourages us to not give in to social conventions, but to live every minute to the full, taking new chances and venturing into the unknown. After reading this book in two days, not being able to put it down, I now know that I, too, am not ready to settle. I will not stop until I am who I truly want to be. 'How To Fly with Rocks in Your Pocket' is my new guide to living. Thank you, Anna."
-Amy Inman Villanueva, Leader: Cool Kids Club.
"Absolutely the most relatable and honest book I have read post-grad. There were so many places where I saw myself and others I know. Lets you know it's okay not to have it all figured out without being preachy, cliché, or vomit-y inspirational."
-Lacey Davidson, Truth Seeker.
Why aren't you getting it published the normal way?
The publishing industry is kind of a bitch, especially for new writers. Take a gander at this article for more specific information: http://authorearnings.com/report/the-tenured-vs-debut-author-report/. I'd like for the publication of this book to be the beginning of a full-time career as an author. Self-publishing allows me to cut the costs (both financial and time) of finding a literary agent, finding a publisher, and then trusting that publisher to market my writing really well. I'm ready to publish and market the book myself before the end of this year. The only thing I'm missing is money. That's where you come in.
What exactly does my donation go toward?
Editing and formatting costs, a small first-run printing, copyright fees, ISBN fees, cover design, and marketing costs (website redesign via squarespace, a book launch, some print promotional materials).
If I exceed my goal of $5500, which covers the costs listed above, I have several stretch goals, as well:
At $6000, I will be able to afford additional artwork and design from the designer of my fabulous book cover, Gabby Edlin (gabbyedlin.co.uk).
At $8500, I can commit to working full-time on adapting the novel to a screenplay.
At $12,000, I will either go on a book tour or begin writing another one (your choice).
Why should I support you as a writer?
I've been a storyteller my entire life. As a child, I used to write stories before bed rather than reading them. During my adolescence and early adulthood, I talked myself into doing something more 'practical' and studied Environmental Policy. I've found my forays into the worlds of Environmental Issues and Sustainable Food Systems challenging and rewarding, but, over the past few years, I have realized that writing is just what I do. If I'm mad, I write about it. If I'm happy, I write about it.
I believe that this book is good, and I think it can inspire people. But I mostly wish that this whole experience can prove to me and to the world that chasing dreams and taking giant leaps of faith pays off in the end. I hope you will donate. I hope you will spread the word and help me reach my goal. Most of all, I hope that this serves as a reminder that life is short and uncertain, and we're all better off when we do what we love. Thank you!
Risks and challenges
The primary challenge that I face is that I am a new author. My connections within the worlds of publishing and marketing a published work are limited, and fiction is a saturated market. In an attempt to combat this, I've prepared an extensive marketing plan, and researched best practices and proven methods involved in book sales. My experience working with non-profits has prepared me to roll with the punches and adjust my strategy as needed, which I expect to be beneficial as I move forward with "How to Fly.”Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)